How the Irish Wolfhound Charitable Trust was founded
In 2012 when Dr Serena Brownlie first started visiting the Bonaforte Kennel, we asked her how we could help her, her heart research and our breed.
Serena immediately suggested, a) by having your hound's heart tested every year, ensuring continuity of testing, for their entire life. b) it would be nice to have funds on hand to help with research if needed.
Being extremely passionate about our breed, and recognising how important heart health is, we suggested that not only would we follow through with the heart testing here, but also track the heart health of all the hounds we breed.
In answer to the second suggestion we started raising money for a Heart Fund, and along with the help and support of the Bonaforte owners, we steadily watched this collection grow.
It wasn’t until late 2014 early 2015; we realised the enormity, financial responsibility and pitfalls of collecting and holding monies.
"Let’s form a registered Charity", I gleefully suggested. That was a journey and a half, what had I let myself in for. Taking nearly two years, backwards and forwards, with the Charity Commission answering questions and waiting for meetings and approvals. However, despite all the encounters and obstacles, I was overjoyed when The Irish Wolfhound Charitable Trust was finally approved by the Charity Commission in September 2016.
I am glad I persevered and succeeded in founding the first ever registered Wolfhound Charity in the UK, but I was also delighted to step back and allow trustees to take over. My job was done, the Irish Wolfhounds now have an accountable secure platform for fund raising, with all the benefits of having charitable status.