The aim of PAWS is to offer practical help to Irish Wolfhounds
The idea for PAWS came about as the result of a number of cases where owners were faced with Wolfhound related problems, that they simply couldn't fix on their own. All of these fell outside the usual remit of the various breed groups, so finding someone to turn to for advice, support and practical help was difficult.
Inspired by a variety of personal experiences, some of the founder members of the team, have been working together on an informal basis, for many years. The network has operated mainly within East Anglia, but certain events suggested that there was a need for the network to be extended to cover the whole of the UK.
The PAWS team believe that no Irish Wolfhound should suffer simply because of the challenges associated with being a giant breed of dog.
It is heartbreaking to think that in some cases, Wolfhounds faced euthanasia, due to a lack of practical help, advice and/or insurmountable financial constraints.
For example, as a giant breed, they are physically more difficult to manage during post-operative rehabilitation. The practicalities of lifting and turning a 150lb dog are akin to those involved with human care - but the facilities are not often readily available. Owners who live alone would be unable to care for a Wolfhound at home, who was temporarily paralysed (see Fergus) - There just isn't an organisation that provides this type of service. Harnesses and lifting equipment are expensive to buy and may only be needed for a matter of weeks, so hiring would be a useful option.
Sometimes, all you need is another pair of hands .... or two - or three!
At PAWS we aim to help find a solution to those "awkward" problems.
We aim to help Wolfhounds and their owners overcome difficulties, by providing a "one stop" service for advice, hands-on help and support. We are entirely self- funding and rely on donations to cover our costs. All our members work on a voluntary basis.
Our Latest Inspiration
Twelve week old Bjorn needed a life saving operation to repair his liver
His breeder had tried to do everything right when rearing her first litter of Irish Wolfhounds, including having them tested for the presence of porto-systemic shunt, as recommended by the breed clubs. This is a developmental abnormality, a rare condition which cannot be foreseen prior to breeding. Sadly, Bjorn was not the only puppy in the litter to have a problem - seven puppies had been stillborn and three of the five surviving pups, tested positive for liver shunt.
Soon after the test, one of Bjorn's affected brothers died and the other followed a couple of weeks later. After reading about this tragedy on a social network page, a member of the PAWS Team contacted the breeder to offer practical advice on Bjorn’s care. She provided information on the special diet needed to alleviate his symptoms and recommended that a scan be performed as soon as possible to assess his chances of survival. Bjorn's best chance for future good health was a life-saving operation, however, such surgery is complex, highly specialised and expensive. Most insurance companies will not insure puppies whilst still with their breeder and finding thousands of pounds to save a puppy's life is way beyond the average breeder's budget, when planning a litter.
In view of the heartbreak suffered by his breeder and the serious and urgent nature of his condition, the PAWS Team decided to offer to support a fundraiser – specifically for Bjorn’s treatment. You can read about Bjorn's progress and the success of the fundraiser, in our News section.
Thanks to the overwhelming support from Wolfhound lovers worldwide, a substantial amount of money was raised to help save the life of this young puppy. His story is now included in our Inspirations section.