Jan 19th
    Walking a rescued Jaguar through the Bolivian jungle at the Ambue Ari Reserve

    Walking a rescued Jaguar through the Bolivian jungle at the Ambue Ari Reserve. Too extreme maybe?



    Feedback please…



    1) I want to help wild animals that I can physically touch – and help immediately.Tigers are too rare, elephants too big and hippos too dangerous.

    2) I want to work with a small organisation (or small part of a bigger organisation) so I can actually make a hands-on difference. No point shaking a charity pot on Oxford Street

    3) I want to go somewhere fairly wild / dramatic. Poodles in Peckham are out, panthers in pakistan may be better.




    Rescuing wildlife in India

    Rescuing wildlife in India

    Does that little one need help with his cheeks?

    Who: wildlifeSOS http://www.wildlifesos.org/rescue   A really nice, small, charismatic organisation that helps wild animals in distress all over the country run by two great people.

    What do they do?: Travel all over India responding to distress calls for elephants, cobras, monkeys, dogs, you name it. They even work to fight wildlife crime.

    Pros: Small, dramatic, hands on, sounds like I could actively help.

    Cons:- I just came back from India. Should I really go again? Do you care? Do you want to hear about somewhere new??



    Rescuing Sloths in Brazil


    Sloths are damn funny looking animals. Who wouldn’t want to help?

    Who:  A woman in Brazil who rescues and rehabilitates sloths in danger.

    What do they do?:  Rescues Sloths!! The slowest, weirdest, most biblically-slandered, cutest creatures in the jungle!  Her video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGdGr8hWXlo

    Pro: Sloths are slow so I can probably catch them. They make good photos because their eyes sort of look in the wrong direction. I want one. Working with an individual – slightly crazy sounding – woman is good to learn how to make a difference on your own.

    Con: How many sloths am I actually going to see in distress? Will I fall asleep trying to catch them?



    Working with Turtles in Greece

    This turtle looks fine but other's aren't!

    This turtle looks fine but other’s aren’t…apparently.

    Who: Ketalios Group  http://www.kateliosgroup.org/kefalonia/

    What do they do?: Helping conserve, protect and rescue the turtles in Kefalonia, an island west of mainland Greece.

    Pro: Apparently they are small and fairly physical (even confrontational with their enemies). A fight might be interesting.

    Con: More conservation than rescue? Oh crap, it’s probably the wrong time of year. I think WSPA are also working on this…will look into as well. From what I have seen turtles get a shit ride.



    Helping wild dogs in South Africa

    African wild dogs...kind of scary. Are they anything like the dogs I know?

    African wild dogs…kind of scary. Are they anything like the dogs I know?

    Who: Painted Dog UK   http://www.painteddog.co.uk/index.asp

    What do they do?:  A charity, amongst others, helping the quickly dwindling population of this incredibly large-eard species: education, conservation, tagging, rescue..

    Pro: A nice link to the work I have done with dogs. In some areas these are close to extinction and their biggest threat – man. What a surprise. They need help!

    Con:Bloody scary. Got a bad press recently for eating a child that fell into a zoo. No PR whizzkid can get them out of that.  These really are WILD. But since when can we criticise a wild animal for wanting to kill a foreign being? What can I do to help? Most of the work centres around conservation. I wonder if I can make a difference?



    Working with Wildlife Police in UK

    Working with WSPA and the UK police against Wildlife Crime

    Working with WSPA and the UK police against Wildlife Crime

    Who: WSPA and the UK POLICE  http://www.wspa.org.uk/wspaswork/illegal_wildlife_trade/london_animal_police.aspx

    What: WSPA have teamed up with the MET Police to try and clamp down on wildlife crime in the UK – including importing illegal wildlife and crime based here in UK. I may be able to help, document and travel with them.

    Pro: Unusual, unpredictable, interesting. I’m sure they sell baboon bits somewhere here in Hackney.

    Con: Can I actually do anything to help? Or will I just be making cups of tea for the chief superintendent in charge of monkey-meat?



    Saving animals in Thailand

    Arhhh! Saving wild animals in Thailand

    Arhhh! Saving wild animals in Thailand

    Who: Wildlife Friends Thailand   http://www.wfft.org/about-wfft/

    What: Great organisation helping all sorts of wild animals in distress.

    Pro: Thailand – yippee!

    Con: Too big and organised? Can I do any more than make tea?



    Whale disentanglement?

    Whale disentanglement

    Whale disentanglement. This looks quite hard

    Who: I have no idea! More work to be done but there are groups out there.

    What:  Going out to see and helping to disentangle whales. Like it says on the tin.

    Pro:  My first ‘awakening’ of animal compassion was when I saw a whale being killed on TV as a kid. I’d love to help.

    Con:  How the *&*@ am I going to save a whale? Do I need a year of training?



    Or…forgetting the whole ‘wild animal’ thing and making the WHOLE book just about dogs. How many dogs can one man save in one year?

    Beautiful african dog photo from Daniel Naude - a photographer in South Africa

    Beautiful african dog photo from Daniel Naude – a brilliant photographer in South Africa  copyright www.danielnaude.com

    So instead of dividing the book into three (domestic animals / wild animals / farm animals) concentrating instead on what I know best.

    Topics I could cover:

    Puppy farming in Wales ( I have some leads)

    Dog meat trade in Asia

    Wild dogs in Africa (as above)

    Dogs in Georgia (I have a great tip off about a woman going it alone like Avis)



    THOUGHTS PLEASE!!!! thank you!


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    1. Your dog photos are all particularly soulful and touching. When I look at them I can feel my wallet loosening in my pocket. It’s apparent that you have a special connection with them and should concentrate on getting them all saved. Then move on to sloths and whales and turtles. Even in your honeymoon shots, you capture that dog “joie de vivre” so perfectly.

    2. Your first book could focus on saving dogs, the second book could focus on saving wildlife, and the third book could focus on saving farm animals. 🙂

    3. I think that you know that you want to save dogs! And that doing so will really hit you in the heart – so that would be really brave. I do love sloths though – they’re just so unlike any other animal!

    4. The choice is overwhelming. There are many small dog rescues around the world who could use the help of a volunteer man! For example, I support Elpida Shelter of Hope, north of Athens and Animal Heaven Animal rescue (AHAR) in Ireland.Good luck in whatever you decide.

    5. Which book would I want to read? Probably one about dogs – as others have said, you have a way with them. Maybe it makes sense to begin with them as your other books have been dog-oriented so it makes a link, but your compassion for animals obviously goes wider too so I like Serena’s idea. That makes a logical “next step” for another book/project. I don’t think you necessarily need to preclude bigger organisations either, it would be an interesting perspective to see how effective you think these are in contrast with the smaller groups – does more money, publicity etc really help more animals? But remember you have your own furry family and a new wife to think about as well so which ideas work best for them too?!!?!?!?

    6. I think you should stick to what you know and you can use what you know to help them, dogs are your thing, the georgia one sounds good and the meat trade in asia, not sure what you can do about that as the whole nation needs re educated, I think you should do what floats yer boat as that will come across in your blog/book.

    7. Hi Martin, I agree with Jacqueline. Dogs are obviously very close to your heart and the dog meat trade is so horrendous, and having said how much some of the things you saw in Kerala plagued you, I think that would be enough to send you over the edge (I know it would me… You would have to be extremely brave to stand up to monsters who think nothing of boiling a dog alive!) Georgia sounds perfect. Wherever you decide , good luck and I look forward to reading all about it xx

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