Meet The Welfare Team…
Sue Millson – Chairperson & Welfare Officer
Sue lives in Kent and has kept Vizslas for over 40 years. Her passion for gundogs dates back to early childhood, when her father always included her in the care and training of his pack of working spaniels and retrievers. Sue has been involved in showing her dogs since 1984, and has been fortunate enough to breed two UK Show Champions, an Australian champion, and a Canadian & American champion, as well as judging the breed at championship level in the UK. Sue’s current pack of four Vizslas enjoy working on local shoots, where they are often used for picking up during the shooting season.
Sue served on the Hungarian Vizsla Committee for many years, and was Chair for a short period. She has been a Welfare Officer for the breed since 1998. She is also the KC Breed Health Co-ordinator, as well as the breed archivist and the Puppy Line Co-ordinator for the Vizsla Club. She is also the author of a puppy training book which can be found in many breeders’ puppy packs. She still runs KC Puppy Foundation classes, and trains groups for their Bronze, Silver, and Gold KC awards.
Professionally, Sue enjoyed a successful medical career in both the NHS and the private sector, qualifying as a nurse in 1973, moving on to the operating theatre to specialise in orthopaedics and trauma, and finally becoming an NHS unit theatre manager where she remained until her retirement in 2011.
Claire Aldridge – Trustee & Welfare Officer
Claire lives in Kent.
Noanie Heffron – Trustee & Welfare Officer
Noanie lives in the West of Scotland and has been involved with the charity since 2017, after first adopting Welfare boy Rufus, then nine months later adopting Failed Foster old man Vaz. Noanie has a keen interest in dog training and behaviour, she regularly fosters Vizslas (and other dogs) with behavioural issues, and she has helped many troubled Vizsla owners achieve a more trusting and harmonious relationship with their dogs.
Noanie has a variety of other paid and voluntary roles: outdoor events organiser, administrator for a music charity, Equality and Diversity advisor to Scottish Athletics, and she also runs a small home boarding service for dog owners in her local area.
Claire lives in Cardiff with her partner, two children, two golden oldie Vizslas Woody and Scooby (both Welfare boys) and Great Dane Floyd. Claire became a Welfare Officer in 2017, after adopting Scooby in 2014 then Woody two years later, and realising she would love to help other Vizslas find their forever homes.
Claire is a professional dog walker and has fostered many Welfare dogs that have been surrendered to the charity as emergency cases. After a short spell with Claire and her family, these dogs are then able to leave fully prepared for their new homes.
Sue lives in Dorset with her Welfare boy Rezzie. Having mainly kept German Shepherds, eight years ago her love affair with Vizslas started when she rescued seven year old Bonnie from a long-term kennels situation in Spain. Within a week of arriving in Dorset poor Bonnie was diagnosed with several nasty cancers, but after removal of tumours, and despite a very poor prognosis, with Sue’s expert care she went on to live until she was 12! Shortly after Bonnie’s death, and despite telling herself ‘No more dogs!’ Sue then agreed to foster a troubled young Vizsla boy for the Charity. Three years later Rezzie is still with her, has gone from strength to strength, and has become a fine example of what can be done for even the most difficult dogs when they have the right training and a stable sensible home.
Sue’s professional background is in fraud investigation, police and dealing with the public. She is also very active in other animal charities, being both a licensed badger vaccinator and a hedgehog welfare coordinator.
Kim lives in Devon with her Cyprus boy Jeeves and Welfare girl Lulu. Kim’s father loved dogs and she spent her early years surrounded by dogs and horses, so of course she went on to have many dogs of her own, starting in her 20s with adopted Doberman Adam and then her first Vizsla, having met one locally and fallen in love with the breed. As a result of the pandemic, Kim is now on her fourth unplanned hastily adopted Vizsla, and says her life just wouldn’t be complete without dogs.
Kim was originally a police officer in the Devon and Cornwall constabulary for ten years, until injury lead to a new career in teaching. She has been a professional photographer and trainer for over 20 years, specialising in equine and canine photography, but due to recent Covid restrictions is now focusing on online training, skills which come in very handy in her secondary Welfare role as fundraising coordinator.
Nina lives near Preston with her Welfare boy Blakey, her Korthals Griffon boy Geri, and her Sphynx cats. Her love of animals started from a very young age: her parents bred working Labradors and Springers and she was constantly surrounded by dogs in her family home. Nina has worked in the animal industry since leaving school, first training as a veterinary nurse, then as a dog groomer, and after a break to start a family she now has a well established dog walking and pet care business that keeps her very busy. She has also showed and bred horses for over 20 years whilst working as a show groom. She has kept a wide variety of dogs, including German Shepherds, Dobermanns, English Bull Terriers, Staffies, and also a toy poodle. `
Nina’s love for Vizslas started in 2002 with her beloved Lexi (pictured left) whom she showed and bred. She has fostered many Vizslas over the years, and finds it very rewarding. She is our resident trainer, and is passionate about helping problem dogs, working closely with them and their owners, always on hand to give advice and help to resolve their issues. In her spare time, she loves trail running, hiking, and mountain biking, and usually has Blakey and Geri keeping her company on her outings.
John helps with the charity’s day-to-day administrative tasks, mainly checking and reassigning the microchips of dogs that are rehomed by us. It is such an important duty; by law all dogs are required to be microchipped, and up-to-date microchip details can help reunite owners with their dogs in the horrible situation that they are lost and then found.