NDWA at DFS Crufts 2011
Thu, 10 Mar 2011
The NDWA stand is up and running at DFS Crufts 2011 in Hall 3 and we have an excellent spot this year located at stall 3-45A almost in the centre where the Hall's converge.
The stand is located on the end of a row and our immediate neighbour is www.springsthings.co.uk who make rug coats for dogs and a canine massage rug!
The troops arrived early on day one to ensure that the stand was ready and looking great before the public were allowed through the gates.
The troops on day one the Gundog Group consisted of: Iris Thompson Eastleigh Borough Council, Alison Waine Swindon Borough Council and Laura Cashmore of Dog Control Solutions Limited who had kindly given up their time to explain the role of Dog Wardens and Animal Welfare Officers in educating the public about responsible dog ownership.
The first query of the day was the traditional, 'I never see my Dog Warden!', it is the NDWA stand equivalent of the first cuckoo of spring although worryingly it may actually mean there is no Dog Warden due to council cuts!
As is the case on the first day of DFS Crufts, there is the usual slow build up of dogs, their owners and the general public.  By 1pm the aisles were beginning to resemble London in the rush hour and the team were busy answering questions and handing out poop scoop bags to all.
A new initiative is a wall of dogs that need new homes.  Members have sent in photograph's and brief information on long term dogs that are looking for homes.  This will be updated on a daily basis as we have literally run out of wall space.
No celebrities have yet been seen but public address announcements inform us that Ant and Dec are here to film a challenge for their TV show Push The Button!'
As usual the plethora of dogs, dog related products and the show rings combine yet again to make DFS Crufts 2011 the world's greatest dog show!
If you are visiting the show over any of the four days, please make sure you visit your stand.  Even a half hour stint to allow one of the volunteers to have a break would really be appreciated.
Extra special thanks go to Alison Waine from Swindon Borough Council for setting up the stand the day before.
Working & Pastoral Group
Day Two of DFS Crufts 2011 saw a flurry of visitor activity to the NDWA stand, there were more Dog Warden visitors to the stand today.
Working the stand today is Alison Waine of Swindon Borough Council and Rachael Smith from the Sales Team atAVID Pettrac who are the main sponsor of NDWA.
All copies of Dog Warden News have now gone and the supply of 20,000 poop scoop bags kindly donated by Swindon Borough Council are diminishing rapidly!
The team on the stand report that there appears to be an increase in the number of visitors today and Alison Waine as this years stand coordinator is preparing for a massive increase in visitors over the weekend!
If you are going to visit DFS Crufts 2011 please come along and visit us in Hall 3 between Eukanuba and Ben & Jerry's!
It is nice and busy again on Day Three, Alison Waine Swindon Borough Council and Dave Griffiths East Hampshire District Council are giving out lots of poop scoop bags.  We do appear to be the only organisation handing out free poop scoop bags?
The dog biscuits inside the poop scoop bags which are kept in a box at the front of the stand is a great idea as when dogs walk by they get a whiff and dive for them!
No celebrities have been seen so far or have visited the stand yet but several people have asked about joining NDWA.
The 'Dogs In Need' wall is a great idea as it shows the public and others that we do try our hardest to rehome unclaimed dogs.
Next year the wall is going to feature dogs needing rehoming based on the particular groups being shown that day.
Toy and Utility Group
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The final day of DFS Crufts 2011 saw the NDWA stand manned by Iris Thompson of Eastleigh Borough Council and Abi McEwan of Dog Control Solutions Limited ably assisted by former Her Majesty's Prison Service drug sniffer dog's Fern and Max.
There was a constant stream of visitors to the stand who had a variety of questions and enquiries, the most common being 'how do I become a Dog Warden?', 'how do I become a member of NDWA?', 'how do I update my dog's microchip details?', 'I run a dog club, will a Dog Warden come and give a talk to us?' and 'how do you not take all these strays home with you?' in reference to the NDWA 'Dogs in Need' wall that was on display.
Over the four days of Crufts 2011 the stand handed out approximately 20,000 poop scoop bags easily eclipsing the 10,000 we went through on a previous show.
200 lollipop's were also handed out to children and some adults! All the copies of Dog Warden News sent to the stand were snapped up in record time with them all gone by lunchtime of day two!
The stand was also visited by a variety of Dog Wardens and friends of NDWA such as Trevor Cooper.  Several breed rescue organisations also visited the stand to express their thanks for the hard work that Dog Wardens do to re-home strays.
A national animal charity also requested that NDWA work in partnership with them on education and training in relation to a variety of dog issues, so watch this space for more details in coming months.
Once again thanks to the hard work and determination of some members of NDWA, the four days of Crufts 2011 had a Dog Warden presence through our stand that highlighted the work and professionalism of Dog Wardens.
Next year's Crufts 2012 will be held on 8th-11th March, make a note of it now and come along to promote our work and role.
All you need to 'volunteer' to work on the stand is to be a corporate or personal member of NDWA.
Grateful thanks go to all the organisers and volunteers who worked so hard to promote our association.
See you next year at Crufts 2012!