We hosted a series of events throughout the month, some big and some small, and had some fantastic brands on sale, but more on those later!
First we must say a huge thank you to Trace Publicity and Shaftesbury Estate, who generously offered their space in Seven Dials especially for this pop-up event, without which none of this would have been possible. And because this beautiful location was generously donated, we were able to allocate 100% of proceeds to our global dog rescue projects!
In fact, everything was donated from the space to the products on sale, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the generosity and support of everyone involved, including our fantastic sponsors Value Retail and all the incredible brands who donated:
Manolo Blahnik | Hunter | Lily’s Kitchen | Sophie Conran | Wild at Heart | Bonds | Barc London | Found My Animal | Bird & Wolf | Kintails | Joe’s Treats | Annabela Chan | Hip Hop Homes | Loquet London | Dinny Hall | …and of course our very own Wild at Heart Foundation clothing, by the incredible Simeon Farrar.
We kicked off our Monmouth St Pop-Up events with a launch party to end all launch parties! Joined by over 200 incredible guests, brought together by our shared love for all things dog, we were delighted to meet so many of our supporters both new and old.
A huge thank you to incredible DJ and longtime WAHF supporter DJ Nikki Beatnik, who got everyone in the giving mood with her party vibes and upbeat taste in music. Fabulous ambassador Pixie Geldof also took to the decks, with an effortlessly cool music set – a huge, heartfelt thank you to you both.
Throughout the month, we hosted a number of incredible events…
The Braid Bar donated their time to let us relive our teenage dreams, with colourful, intricate braids for every customer! A fresh new look in time for summer, while saving dogs everywhere.
Our Community Coffee Morning event was particularly special to us as we were joined by so many WAHF adopters and their dogs. The coffee – kindly donated by Timberyard – was flowing as we caught up on all things rescue!
We also hosted a very special book reading, with none other than WAHF ambassador and author of the utterly wonderful bestseller Lost Dog, Kate Spicer and her rescue pup Wolfy. Kate read and discussed ‘8 Things Only Dog Owners Know’, which was wholly relatable and a lot of fun, celebrating all that is absurd and wonderful about life with dogs!
Following the theme of literature, we were also joined by incredible author Damian Dibben for a book signing and Q&A. His book ‘Tomorrow’ follows a dog’s awe-inspiring voyage across countries and cultures in search of a master; a truly epic tale that we were honoured to hear from Damian himself.
Another fabulous event was hosted by DOGA founder Mahny, who delivered an utterly unique DOGA class…that’s right, yoga with your dog! The bond between rescue dog and rescuer is one that many of us can attest to so when we heard that the practice of DOGA is said to strengthen that bond, we said sign us up! A huge thank you to Mahny for donating her time and also to Pineapple, who generously donated the perfect yoga mats.
Our Monmouth St Pop-Up also hosted a series of creative workshop events; from a Potato Printing Workshop with renowned artist Sally Muir (that’s right, we potato-printed our dogs’ portraits!) to an intimate evening with Nikki Tibbles herself, learning how to create the iconic Wild at Heart bouquet. We even hosted a drawing class with the fabulous Jennie Webb, founder of Wild Life Drawing. Jennie taught us how to draw our gorgeous rescue dogs, who were professional models…most of the time!
And that’s not all…we were even treated to a photography class, ‘How to Photograph your dog with Butternut Box’. The generous folk over at Butternut lent us their photographers for the evening, who taught us all the tricks of the trade! We even go to take our very own professional pet portraits.
Nearing the end of the month was a Cruelty-Free Makeover event by renowned MUA Joe Pickering, whose work has graced the pages of Elle and Marie Claire, no less! A huge thank you to Joe for kindly donating his time, and for promoting cruelty-free alternatives to some of our favourite products.
Our final event (we told you it was a busy one!) was a fabulous, intimate evening celebrating two of our favourite things, fashion and vegan feasting! To celebrate, our very own Nikki Tibbles donated some beautiful vintage pieces, while Bar dei Baci served up delicious vegan fried pizzas…what a way to end the month!
Phew! After a busy few weeks, we closed our pop-up events with a Flower Crowns Dog Parade…what else! Our rescue dogs looked so incredible in the flower crowns created by Wild at Heart florists, we simply couldn’t refuse them the attention of a parade around Seven Dials, with Nikki leading the way! A truly magical way to end what has been such a successful, fun and compassionate month.
Hosting such events is crucial for continuing our global dog rescue projects and sterilisation, education and rehoming initiatives around the world. But we can only do it with your support – so a huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who was involved and, importantly, everyone who stopped by to say hello!
In one way or another, whether you helped organise or stopped by to shop, you’ve all improved the life of a stray dog somewhere. So from us and them, thank you and see you next time!
There’s no denying 2020 has been a period of great uncertainty. With new and totally unpredicted challenges to face, charities across the globe have been fighting to keep raising funds for their mission at a time when aid for the vulnerable feels more urgent than ever.
Wild at Heart Foundation are no exception: we remain utterly committed to providing support from afar for as many dogs in need as we can. After all, the cycle of uncontrolled breeding is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, with many previously owned pets being dumped and abandoned, the rate of stray births is set only to increase, and our partner shelters are experiencing a significant increase in the number of owned dogs being dumped at their gates. Now more than ever, we owe it to the stray dogs of the world to continue to extend our support however and wherever we can.
And yet, without the support of our community, there would be so little we could do. In these times of uncertainty and difficulty, we need the help of our fundraisers more than ever before.
Scenes like this may feel like a distant memory, but there are still plenty of ways you can raise money for charity in 2020
Here at Wild at Heart Foundation, the cancellation of a number of large organised events (including the Hackney Half, and the Royal Parks marathon) have meant that a whole raft of people who were eagerly gearing up to raise money for dogs in need have been denied the opportunity for 2020. Whilst their places will be deferred to next year, how do we explain that we can’t provide immediate support to a dog, a project, a campaign that needs us urgently?
Short answer? We don’t! With your help, we can continue to raise money for the dog rescue causes that need our help the most – and we don’t need to let Covid stand in our way!
Social responsibility must remain the upmost priority for fundraising in 2020: with social distancing guidelines in place, it’s important that we’re all doing our bit to help control this unprecedented issue. But abiding by new guidelines, does not mean we can’t still raise money for causes that urgently need it. Far from it! This is a chance for all of us to get creative, champion compassion, and raise vital funds for rescue dogs in need…
In just a month of “trading”, The Hair of the Dog hosted happy hours, live Q&As, DJ takeovers, creative workshops and even a pub quiz…phew! Best of all, these virtual events have raised over £1,500, every penny of which will go directly towards our global rescue and rehoming projects, helping to end the suffering of stray dogs everywhere.
So without further ado, let’s catch you up…
The Hair of the Dog opened its doors with a series of live Happy Hours hosted by our fabulous ambassadors Karen Hauer, David Webb, Emily Hunt and Estee Lalonde, all of whom were of course joined by stars of the show, their gorgeous WAHF rescue dogs!
We received hundreds of questions from our community, which made for some rather interesting Happy Hours, including David and his pup Marley performing an acapella duet! Our wonderful hosts discussed everything from adopting to dealing with separation anxiety – an important topic given the current lockdown situation.
Speaking of Happy Hours, we ended the month with an extra special Friday evening spent with our very own Founder Nikki Tibbles, and incredible author Kate Spicer. The pair reflected on the first dog-loves of their lives and Nikki reminisced on the very beginnings of Wild at Heart Foundation – not one to miss!
But if you did miss it, don’t fret, because all our Happy Hours and live Q&As have been saved to our IGTV!
But that’s not all The Hair of the Dog had to offer this month! We also welcomed some fantastic masterclasses, hosted by the fabulous Harry Mead, founder of The Court London, and Jennie Webb, founder of the wonderful Wild Life Drawing.
Harry welcomed us all to his ‘Quarantini’ cocktail-making masterclass, which was hosted over Instagram Live. His step-by-step tutorial showed us how to recreate all The Court’s delicious cocktails, including our very own ‘Wild at Heart’! Coinciding with #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, the award-winning illustrator Jennie Webb hosted a relaxed, friendly rescue-dog drawing class via Zoom (the place to be at the moment!) and what a fun afternoon it was! Jennie’s step-by-step guidance was spot on and meant that even us novices were able to bear some resemblance to our rescue models Maggie, Millie and Mishka.
And for those who weren’t able to make the class, wonderful artists Freya and Jessica collaborated on some WAHF-inspired colouring pages – perfect for the whole family and undoubtedly worthy of the kitchen fridge! Click the links below to download your own…we’d love to see your masterpieces!
Another highlight from the month was our virtual pub quiz, hosted by football legend and long-time WAHF supporter Lee Dixon. Across the UK, thousands of us have been turning to the humble pub quiz in these strange, socially-distanced times so WAHF thought we’d get in on the action – and what a night it was! A huge thank you to everyone who took part, and of course to Lee for being a fabulous host as always!
Harriet is not only a passionate advocate for all things dog, but her taste in music was spot on for welcoming in the bank holiday weekend – lockdown or not!
We saw out the month with Nikki, who has not only DJ’d at some of the biggest festivals (we’re talking Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and Lovebox no less!) but has supported the Foundation at numerous events, lending her effortlessly cool vibes to getting everyone in the fundraising mood!
Phew, it was a busy month at The Hair of the Dog but all totally worth it, having raised over £1,500 for rescue dogs in need! Once again, we can’t thank our hosts enough for putting so much time and effort into these events and for coming together in such strange times. And of course another huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who attended classes, tuned into our Live events and, most importantly, donated – lockdown has been difficult on charities, but undeniably less so with such an amazing community!
There’s more events already in the diary for June, so keep an eye out as we’ll be announcing these soon!
It will likely come as no surprise to many of you that this pandemic has played havoc with our mission to rescue street dogs from around the world. With travel increasingly restricted and rules relaxing only slightly, we’ve been itching to get back to normal. This week, a truly unique opportunity gave us a glimpse of what ‘normal’ looks like, with the arrival of 25 Greek rescue street dogs – in fact, these dogs are our first Greek arrivals in over two months, so naturally we were giddy with excitement!
What started as a last-minute, totally unexpected opportunity ended as a very special occasion for our adopters who are, as we speak, enjoying their precious first moments with their newest family members.
At a time when compassion and collaboration mean more than ever, we’re so grateful to everyone who made it possible for us to take us this golden opportunity. Heartfelt thank you’s go to everyone at IAG Cargo, British Airways and 101 Pet Express, as well as all those on the ground in Athens and Heathrow, for helping to unite these beautiful rescue street dogs with their new families.
We mustn’t forget our truly wonderful family of WAHF adopters, without whom such successes would not be possible. Adopting really is a one-of-a-kind experience – watching your pup grow in confidence and learn new things each and every day, it’s a feeling we simply can’t describe! Our adopters not only opened their hearts and homes to these Greek arrivals, but they waited so patiently to meet them.
Such a success story is a true reminder of why we love what we do – you’ll be able to see from these photos, just what a magical moment this was. And although transport runs remain few and far between, we remain poised to jump on the next opportunity that comes our way and we can’t wait to share more happy news stories with you, our community.
If we weren’t in the festive mood already, we certainly are now! That’s because the wonderful people (and doggy daycare experts!) over at Urban Mutts have selected WAHF to be the Merry Mutts Motel charity partner and we couldn’t be more grateful! A special thank you goes to our good friend Barry the Dog Jogger for being a long-time supporter of our work and for extending the festive cheer to all the dogs in our overseas shelters.
It’s hard to believe that over a third of us dog owners spend less time with our four-legged companions over the busy festive period. That’s why we love this collaboration between Westfield London and our friends at Urban Mutts; a Christmas-themed doggy drop-off service that means with busy social calendars and a never-ending shopping list, our four-legged friends needn’t get left behind!
It really is the perfect way to make sure our pups aren’t feeling left out of all the festive activities going on around them – in fact, it looks a bit like doggy heaven if you ask us…
Upon dropping your pup off, they’ll be treated to the ultimate festive experience including a range of Christmas treats, their very own gift from ‘Santa Paws’ and there’s even an outside lawn dedicated to learning new tricks and playing games with the Urban Mutts expert trainers! If your dog isn’t keen on the British weather at this time of year, there’s a cosy indoor area where dogs can snuggle up and socialise with other canine companions.
All dogs get the chance to take a festive walk with the Merry Mutts Minders and there’s even the chance to dress up for their very own Christmas card shoot – because who doesn’t love a family portrait! We really can’t think of a better way to treat your pup this Christmas, just check out this video if you don’t believe us!
We must extend a heartfelt thank you to the team at Urban Mutts, who not only have a wonderfully unique approach to caring for and socializing dogs, but who will be working super hard over the coming days to keep all our dogs thoroughly entertained! Merry Mutts Motel is the first of its kind and we couldn’t be prouder to be involved.
We’re also incredibly grateful to Westfield London for their collaboration on Merry Mutts Motel, which not only raises funds for our international dog rescue and rehoming projects, but also our sterilisation and education programmes. While not every dog is lucky enough to have a home this Christmas, initiatives like Merry Mutts Motel go a long way in supporting them from afar and we’re so grateful to everyone who visits over the coming days.
The exclusive Merry Mutts Motel is officially ready to welcome four-legged guests and we can’t wait to see you all there, between 4th – 8th December at the Winter Village market in Westfield Square!
With a generous portion of the ticket sales going directly to the dogs, these classes are always a fantastic way to celebrate rescue dogs of all sizes, breeds and colours; all of them with happy rehoming stories to share!
The wonderful Wunderdog Maggie attended this month’s class, along with her fellow rescue pals Mischa, Bella and Millie, who all took the modelling life very much in their stride…if a little tiresome!
The WAHF rescue gang also brought their owners along to be on hand for any questions. Not only have these classes been a great excuse to get creative (and messy!) but it’s a wonderful opportunity to share our joyous success stories and talk a little more about the Foundation’s upcoming overseas projects, which events like these play a huge role in.
We must extend a huge thank you to the incredible Jennie Webb, mastermind behind Wild Life Drawing, for her enthusiasm and for supporting the Foundation so generously, time and time again! London-based artist Jennie is not only the Founder & Director of Wild Life Drawing, but is also an award winning children’s book illustrator and, of course, lifelong animal lover! Jennie’s classes are open to all (no experience necessary!) and always begin with handy tips on how to draw animals from life, with creative guidance available to anyone who needs it along the way. And, of course, if you’re interested in adopting and the world of rescue, a WAHF team member is always around to talk through the process and the work we do.
The aim of these classes, in Jennie’s words, has always been to “inspire a sense of appreciation and understanding for the animals and their conservation”. Such passion really does shine through at every event that Jennie hosts for us – we can’t wait to collaborate with Wild Life Drawing again!
We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to the many venues who have hosted these drawings classes for us, over the past year: The Ministry, our Pop-Up Shop at Seven Dials, Monmouth St and Flowerpot in Hoxton, all of whom have been incredibly generous in lending us their beautiful spaces. Not only this, they also allow us to bring our four-legged friends along, making such events all the more fun!
And finally, our Wild Life Drawing classes wouldn’t be the same without everyone who has attended them over the past year. Thanks to you, we’ve raised over £1,500, every penny of which will help further our mission to end the suffering of stray dogs all over the world. As well as being a lot of fun, events like these really do serve a real purpose, having a huge impact on the lives of dogs in need. The profits raised allow us to continue our international rescue work, as well as funding sterilisation and education projects that help get to the root of the 600 million stray dog problem.
If you haven’t yet had the chance to attend one of our drawing classes, don’t fret! We might now be in lockdown, but our virtual pub The Hair of The Dog has plenty of events in the pipeline, over the coming weeks!
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After five years of rescuing and rehoming dogs from around the world, we’ve learned that such tales of exploitation and greed are all too common. The sad truth is that animal abuse is still overwhelming prevalent the world over. As such, rarely a day goes by that the team don’t hear of yet more dogs in need of urgent help. Amidst the ongoing tidal wave of cruelty, we’re embarking on a rescue mission with a particularly harrowing story. It’s a story that casts dogs as mere vehicles in the pursuit of wealth and notoriety; a story we’ve heard one too many times. We’ve decided to write a new, happier ending for our Salukis, with our S.O.S fundraising appeal and rescue mission.
With 100% of proceeds going directly to our rescue projects all over the world, it was a guilt-free evening enjoyed by all, in one of the cosiest festive spots at the heart of the city – Crispin, Spitalfields. We must extend a huge, heartfelt thank you to this beautiful venue, who not only donated their space and staff, but allowed us to bring our four-legged friends along too!
We were joined by our fabulous friends and ambassadors of the Foundation, Karen Hauer and David Webb, who were wonderful hosts as we’re sure our guests would agree. With three rescue pups of their own, Karen and David are long-time supporters of the charity and our work. We can’t thank them enough for bringing such genuine heart to the festivities!
In addition to the Christmas carols and cute dogs, we had delicious, vegan mince pies from Riverford and there were even some crafts taking place, with many of you turning your hand to some wreath making. A big thank you to the fabulous Wild at Heart team, who supplied the foliage! And for those less crafty amongst us, there was also the chance to enjoy some guilt-free Christmas shopping from our brand new WAHF Christmas range- the perfect stocking filler for a loved one!
We’d also love to thank the incredible Opera singers, whose talents were a truly beautiful addition to the evening. Each coming from a globally renowned choir, we can’t thank them enough for their time. We were lucky enough to have a second musical talent join us on the evening, with fabulous harpist Jess King Holford welcoming our guests; Jess kindly donated her time, for which we are incredibly grateful!
And finally, our evening of Carols at Crispin wouldn’t have been the same without everyone who attended. Thanks to you, we raised over £5,000, every penny of which will help fund our mission to end the suffering of stray dogs all over the world. As well as being a lot of fun, events like this really do serve a real purpose, having a huge impact on the lives of dogs in need. The profits raised allow us to continue our international rescue work, as well as funding sterilisation and education projects that help get to the root of the 600 million stray dog problem.
If you were too busy over the festive period to attend, don’t fret! 2020 is set to be an even more exciting year with events already in the pipeline! Keep up to date with news and events by signing up to our newsletter.
All imagery by Cat Arwel, who so kindly donated her time on the evening, thank you Cat!
And what a night it was! We were joined by legendary Arsenal and England footballer Lee Dixon who was a fabulous host as we’re sure our guests would agree. Although we suspect the hints were free-flowing by the time we got to the Sports round! As an ambassador of the Foundation and a WAHF adopter himself, Lee is a long-time supporter of the charity and our work. We can’t thank him enough for bringing the first charity pub quiz of 2020 to life with such warmth, fun and genuine heart.
Another huge, heartfelt thank you must go to beautiful venue, the Prince of Wales pub. We can’t imagine a better spot for meeting our WAHF community in person for a good old-fashioned pub quiz! Paul and Rebecca, who run the Prince of Wales, adopted Basil from the Foundation in 2019. As such, they’ve been much loved members of the WAHF family ever since!
And finally, the WAHF charity pub quiz wouldn’t have been the same without everyone who attended. So a huge thank you! Following our last quiz back in November, we’re over the moon to achieve sell-out success once again – any excuse for a trip to the pub! Even better, the event raised a total of £3,000, every penny of which will go towards our mission of ending the suffering of stray dogs all over the world. Events like this really do make a huge impact on the lives of dogs in need. The profits raised allow us to continue our international rescue work, as well as funding sterilisation and education projects to help get to the root of the 600 million stray dog problem.
*first image courtesy of the Prince of Wales
With thousands of people having to work from home in the past few days, many more people have been enjoying the chance to spend more time with your dogs. In these worrying times, having a dog by your side is incredibly reassuring and we know that dogs all over the world are enjoying the extra time spent with their very favourite people.
But simply being in the house isn’t enough to keep your dog entertained. The Wild at Heart Foundation team are no strangers to working from home (we work remotely to help keep the charity’s overheads to a minimum), and so have perfected some of the tricks of the trade that help to keep our dogs happily occupied whilst you’re focussing on your work:
There’s a wide number of toys you can buy which are all designed to challenge your dog to earn their treats by switching on their brains. Mental stimulation is not only good for keeping your dog busy, it’s also a proven way to tire them out, especially if you’re not able to exercise them as much as you usually would.
You can buy a range of weird and wonderful boredom-busting gizmos in pet shops and online, but our favourites are easy to make yourself (and are kinder on the bank balance too!)
Snuffle mats work by secreting treats within the folds of their torn up material, leaving your dog with the challenge of locating them. If you don’t own one, you can easily make one yourself from old scraps around the house. You will need:
Watch a video tutorial here.
Hide & Treat
Encourage your dog to think for their dinner by creating a simple puzzle. Place a row of halved toilet rolls or upturned match box cartons in a shoe box, with treats hidden under one of them and let them work out where it is. You can also twist treats into a scrunched up roll or plait of newspaper, or knot them into an old tea-towel to keep them busy while they work out how to get to the goodies!
Christmas Come Early
A simple but wonderfully effective game – simply wrap up their favourite toys in paper and watch them relive the joy of the very first time they discovered it! In fact, you’ll probably find that they’re more interested in the paper than what’s inside it…
Teaching your dog new tricks is not only a great way to keep them mentally stimulated, it also helps to build the bond between you, and gives you both a rush of oxytocin – just what we all need at the moment! “Little and often” is the best approach for teaching your dog new skills, so it’s the perfect activity while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil (or perhaps while you’re stuck on a particularly dull conference call – just don’t forget to mute first!)
We believe that the most fundamental skills to teach dogs are those which help them learn how to live a happy and safe life within the home – that’s why we recommend focussing on commands like “sit”, “wait”, “settle”, “gently”, and “leave it” as a priority. That said, we’re suckers for a good party trick, so now’s a great time to teach your dog something a little more jazzy than usual!
Impressive though this trick is, it’s actually very easy to teach – so perfect if you’re looking for optimum “show off” points! Here’s how to teach it:
Another crowd-pleaser, this is a great trick for dogs who love a belly rub as it’s easier to teach to those who naturally like to show their belly!
However you’re managing to keep your dog entertained at the moment, we hope they’re helping you stay healthy, safe and happy. We’re loving seeing your photos and videos “live from the office” – keep tagging us on Instagram!
If you have any questions or concerns during the coming months that you think we might be able to help with, we’re always happy to talk to our community – drop us a line and we’ll be in touch.
If you’re a Wild at Heart Foundation adopter and you’d like to make the most of the amazing support offered by our adopter’s community (especially at times such as this) you can join our private Facebook group and join in the conversation.