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.
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. The latest addition to her pack was the lovely senior lady Koa in early 2023. 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 owners of behaviourally difficult Vizslas achieve a more trusting and harmonious relationship with their dogs.
Noanie has a variety of other paid and voluntary roles: outdoor events organiser, music charity administrator, Equality and Diversity advisor to Scottish Athletics, and she also runs a small home boarding service for dog owners in her local area.
Claire Aldridge – Trustee
Claire lives in Kent.
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 kennels 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. Four 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.
Karen lives near Blackburn with her elderly but very lively Welfare girl Bella, who was rehomed to her under the false pretences of ‘poor old dear just needing a quiet home and a warm sofa to live out her remaining years’, but who now loudly demands several long energetic walks a day and insists on dragging Karen out in all sorts of horrible weather. Tee-hee!
Shelley lives in North Yorkshire. She is a retired police officer and keen Vizsla fiend. She joined the Welfare team in early 2023.
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 main Welfare role as fundraising coordinator.
Barb is a key part of our fundraising team and a self-confessed online auction junkie
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.