A CRUFTS competitor has said UK dog owners and breeders are losing money through The Kennel Club's refusal to register dogs imported from Russia.

Shirelle O'Dell, 32, lives in Allenheads and owns four Siberian Huskies, and has competed twice at The Kennel Club's international dog show, Crufts, in 2019 and in this year's competition.

She paid £5,000 for her newest husky, Selene, now six months old, in November 2021, and she arrived in the UK from Russia on Tuesday, January 18 with the necessary paperwork.

On Friday, March 4, Tony Allcock OBE, Chairman of The Kennel Club, announced the company would contribute £50,000 to help Ukrainians in need. "The Kennel Club shares the world’s dismay and devastation at the horrifying atrocities being witnessed in Ukraine," he said.

He also said: "New import registrations from and exports to Russia and Belarus will be refused." There was no quantifiable date stated at the time it was announced.

It was then updated on Saturday, March 5 to say applications sent after midnight would be refused.

Shirelle paid for Selene's registration as soon as she received the outstanding pedigree paperwork from Russia on Thursday, March 10. 

She said The Kennel Club did not give people enough time before banning registrations and the dogs already in the UK shouldn't have been sanctioned.

"I couldn't apply for registration beforehand since I didn't have the export pedigree from Russia, and I also paid for the documents to be fast-tracked, so I couldn't have done anything else to get it quicker."

The Kennel Club responded to Shirelle's registration application and said as her application was submitted after the cut off date, they wouldn't accept her application.

"I was absolutely gutted," Shirelle said. "I wouldn't be as upset if they had said it was only going to be on hold until everything settles down in Ukraine, but that wasn't the case."

"If you have got proof of export and all paperwork to say the dog has been a resident of the UK since before the Russian War, they should be allowed to be registered."

Shirelle joined a Facebook group for other UK dog owners in the same situation, which has more than 200 members who have paid a total of £310,000 for their Russian or Belarusian exported dogs and their travel costs to the UK.

"There's at least 220 dogs waiting for registration and the UK people are at least £310,000 out of pocket for pedigree well-bred dogs for pets, show dogs and breeding prospects, however, without registration they cannot be shown or bred. People paid thousands and have every right to have registration but are being refused."

"I could've just bought a husky here in the UK but I paid for the fully tested, healthy bloodline. Now she won't be able to compete and breed for the purpose I bought her for." 

"I hope The Kennel Club do change their mind. If people have bought a pedigree, they deserve a pedigree registration," she added.

To read the petition, go to https://www.change.org.