Celebrity dog lovers Damon Scott and Craig Revel Horwood are getting behind a campaign calling for more regulations to help improve the long term health of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Owners of 13-year old Sophie, a Cavalier Damon rescued a little over five years ago the showbiz couple are supporting the petition organiser Margaret Carter who says “many people wrongly believed losing the BBC’s Crufts’ coverage was a watershed but most breeders continue to mate Cavaliers that are untested. Even puppy farmers are able to register their litters with the Kennel Club.”
Sophie is known as the ‘wonder dog’ at her family vets. From her first visit in such poor health the vet gave her two weeks to live, Damon has done whatever was needed to keep her happy and healthy.
The couple cherish each day with her having recently been diagnosed with Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) which is a degenerative disease of the heart valves that leads to congestive heart failure. In 2009 a report by a leading veterinary cardiologist stated that 50 per cent of Cavaliers develop MVD heart murmurs by their fifth birthday. It is the biggest killer of Cavaliers under 10.
Craig and Damon were told recently that Sophie, who has MVD, has months to live.
Craig says, “She is the most beautiful little girl. We need to make sure all Cavaliers are MRI scanned and heart tested before breeding,”
Damon, a life long dog owner said, “We’re backing the petition because we thank our lucky stars for every day we have with Sophie. She’s my little girl and Craig and I are passionate about animal welfare and the lives of all dogs. This campaign is focused on Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, but we want every dog to be healthy on the inside, rather than for the focus to be on how they look on the outside.”
Damon continues, “The life of a Cavalier is one where owners know their dog will have an inherited health problem and that’s surely wrong. This petition isn’t designed to cause a disruption to the business of The Kennel Club. We want to enforce better health regulations for the breed. Otherwise the Cavalier is just a dying breed and it’s scandalous if we, as a nation of dog lovers, sit back and let this continue.”
Craig, Damon and Sophie will soon be joined by Pippa, a Cavalier they’re adopting if their introduction goes well.
Damon says, “Sophie’s health problems don’t put us off her breed. We love Cavaliers and Craig knew I would fall in love if I met one at the Battersea Collars & Coats Ball, but dog owners in generations to come should get to know this wonderful breed for their spirit and fun nature, not because of their health problems and the way to achieve this is to bring the breed back to health, not by ignoring the problem.”