Dog trains man

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hovie Hugs For a V.I.P

Photo: Kim Rasmussen,
The Hovawarts in the shelter welcomed an unexpected V.I.P. visitor, the Danish Minister of Agriculture & Animal Welfare. Mette Gjerskov paid them a visit to learn more first-hand about the "puppy mill case" and the efforts from "Dyrenes Beskyttelse" to re-home the survivors.

On the photo you see Mette Gjerskov - on the right - probably getting her first ever Hovie Hug in life. The puppy in the photo is Barney - the staff nicknamed him "Barney Police Officer" - a 2 months old Hovawart pup. How appropriate, it was "Barney Police Officer" to be the spokesman for "our" Hovawarts. And before you get your hopes up, Barney is adopted, and is moving to his new forever home soon.

Would the puppy mill meltdown have attracted massive attention from national media, I probably wouldn't have given the visit a lot of thought. But as it didn't, and coverage of the events so far was restricted to local papers, radio and TV, this visit was not meant as yet another attempt of a politician doing some window-dressing in front of flashing camera's.

Undoubtedly, the many mails and signed petitions you send to Mette Gjerskov voicing your concerns, have played their part in making this happen. And Mette's interest therefore seems genuine to me. I am confident that "our" Hovawarts and "Dyrenes Beskyttelse" planted a little seed for the longer term aspects of this case - to make sure this never can happen again - and send Mette Gjerskov back to Copenhagen with some food for thought.

Aapo, almost 6 yrs, oldest of the "ready" dogs
so far, seeking a foster home
Back to the dogs. All the puppies are adopted, which is fantastic news. Three of the older dogs are in foster families for additional individual care. The remaining eighteen dogs are doing well, and more and more are ready for adoption. It is very hopeful, the dogs are so resilient, and already seem to recuperate in such a short time. Rikke Christensen-Lee - to the left in photo on top - commented today to
"Their spirit is not damaged beyond repair. They are seeking human contact already, and want to hug and play, as soon as somebody enters the kennel."
The dogs spend a lot of time outdoors, and are outside the whole morning on the large seven-hectare ground that surrounds the shelter. They also spend time out in the afternoon and evening. 

Rikke Christensen-Lee informed me concerning possible adoptions abroad, that the shelter prefers families from Denmark. They think travel could stress the dogs more than they can handle at the moment, and they will have to be held an additional 4 weeks in the shelter due to the required rabbis vaccinations for travel. But the shelter welcomes everybody to apply. Note that they will require you to meet with them face to face, in Denmark, as well.


For the latest and how you can help, visit the page Stop Danish Hovawart Puppy Mill.


  1. Great pup-date. We looked forward to reading that they are all adopted. Have a super Sunday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. How awesome Ms. Gjerskov made a special trip just to visit these pups - and not out of political motivations. Truly this is heart-warming progress!
    What adorable dogs, I am so glad to hear there are restrictions and guidelines for those who want to adopt. It's all about the dogs, as it should be!

  3. It's good to see interest from Government ministers - it suggests they are listening to public opinion, and hopefully they will act on it. Thanks for the update.


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