Caithness woman helping the UK's Labradors

Carolyne Poulton from Lyth has helped thousands of Labrador Retrievers, now the breed rescue club she works for has been invited to Crufts, to tell people all about its valuable work.

The Labrador Retriever is the UK’s most popular breed of dog, with around 40,000 Labrador puppies registered with the Kennel Club each year. Unfortunately, not every new owner will be able to cope with the commitment needed to own a Labrador Retriever and will seek help to find them a better home - last year Labrador Retriever Rescue Scotland saw more than 600 dogs needing its help.

Carolyne has been volunteering with Labrador Breed Rescue clubs for 15 years. For the past seven years she has assisted Labrador Retriever Rescue Scotland, and for the eight years previously with Caithness and Sutherland Labrador Retriever Rescue.

Carolyne’s passion for the breed all comes down to a dog called D’arcy. She explains: “I never had dogs growing up and I never really thought about them, but my husband loves Labrador Retrievers and often said, the only thing he wanted was a Labrador Retriever.

“Eventually we ended up getting Labradors, but it was not until D’arcy came along that I truly fell in love with the breed. She had such a wonderful nature she really made me want to give something back to the breed of dog that had given me so much.”

Since she started helping Labradors in need fifteen years ago, Carolyne hasn’t looked back. She helps dogs and owners, and helps people who are finding it difficult to look after their dog but only give them up reluctantly, by keeping in touch with the new owners, making sure her rescue dogs are properly cared for, for the rest of the dog’s life.

Carolyne continued: “The majority of dogs I see coming to me have not been badly treated but their owners have been unable to care for them properly. I do see many Labradors that have come from homes where the new owner underestimated the commitment of getting a dog.

“Often the dogs have not been properly trained or exercised and with the right owner, training and lifestyle they make amazing family pets. Other times I get dogs where the owners are no longer able to look after them - sometimes the owner has passed away or become ill, sometimes circumstances have changed. One man lost his job and was sleeping in a tent with his dog - he reluctantly gave his dog up to be rehomed but to this day he still calls to make sure she is doing ok with her new family.”

Labrador Retriever Rescue Scotland will be on the Kennel Club Breed Rescue stand at Crufts this year with some of their rescue dogs. The charity will be meeting visitors to talk about the benefits of finding a pedigree dog from breed rescue and about the invaluable work of the charity.

Crufts takes place from 8th-11th March and different dog breeds will be joining the Kennel Club Breed Rescue stand each day. Labrador Retriever Rescue Scotland will be on the stand on Friday March 9th along with the Cocker & English Springer Spaniel Rescue, German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue and Midland Golden Retriever Club Rescue.

For more information or tickets to Crufts visit

6th February 2012

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The Kennel Club is the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.

It runs the country’s largest registration database for both pedigree and crossbreed dogs and the Petlog database, which is the UK’s largest reunification service for microchipped animals. The Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme is the only scheme in the UK that monitors and sets standards for breeders, in order to protect the welfare of puppies and breeding bitches. It also runs the UK’s largest dog training programme, the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme and licenses shows and clubs across a wide range of activities, which help dog owners to bond and enjoy life with their dogs. The Kennel Club runs the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, and the Discover Dogs event at Earls Court, London, which is a fun family day out that educates people about how to buy responsibly and care for their dog.

The Kennel Club invests in welfare campaigns, dog training and education programmes and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which supports research into dog diseases and dog welfare charities, including Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations that re-home dogs throughout the UK.The Kennel Club jointly runs health screening schemes with the British Veterinary Association and through the Charitable Trust, funds the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust, which is at the forefront of pioneering research into dog health.