Meet the Team 14

Teresa Oliveros

Tessa1) Position at MM I live in a land far, far away (outside the UK), so I help MM mostly online by posting on some social media networks (tumblr, Pinterest and instagram); I also do the #ThrowbackThursdays post (ideas are welcome! Just comment below ).

2) Three things you would take with you on a desert Island If it’s a tropical island, I rather stay where I am ;). I guess I’d take books, my little family (husband and fur-kids included), and a solar panel powered laptop with broadband to keep in touch 😛

dogs3) If you weren’t doing MM what would you be doing instead? Aside from also volunteering at the Malamute Club of Belgium, I guess I’d spend more time actually finishing up the renovations at our home.

4) What is the toughest part of your job? There are two things: Seeing all  the dogs in need. It’s heartbreaking to see dogs being dumped (whether by people who don’t want to care for them anymore or because they are busted from puppy mills). The second thing is the indifference many people show. Closing our eyes to the situation doesn’t help.

5) Where do see MM in the next 2 years?  With a much wider outreach . It’s not only about helping dogs in need,  Malamute Matters is also about creating a community that really cares.

6) Do you have dogs yourself? Breed? Names? How many? Only two Alaskan Malamutes, half siblings Atka and Igaluk (if I would have my way, I’d have more). I also have two kittens a Nordic forest cat mix, Milo and a European shorthair mix, Elvis (well, they are no longer kittens, they’re almost 9 years old, yet they are still my kittens).


7) When away from MM what do u do in you spare time (if any)?  Walk the Moots and when the weather is suitable we try to train for the mushing season (we are rookies, so we have tons to learn, but it’s real fun!); if we have the strength, we continue renovating out house bit by bit, and being out and about on shooting days (both my husband and I like photography, and if we can, we take our Moots with us).

I also volunteer at the Alaskan Malamute Club of Belgium where I have recently become responsible of treasury, members’ administration and sponsorship and this year, my husband and I are getting ready to participate in the 2015 Arctic Expedition. We were so inspired by Christine and Richard’s expeditions that we decided to fulfill one of our dreams and help a bit while we’re at it. We have set up a blog to keep track of our preparation progress and for after the expedition, as well to shout out all those that want to help Malamute Matters and the Alaskan Malamute Club of Belgium. We have created some chip in packages, so whoever helps out by donating, aside from the satisfaction of helping out dogs in need, will also receive something in return as a thank you from our part. Feel free to take a look around:



8) What is the best part of your role at MM? I get to research things I wouldn’’t otherwise for the “Throwback Thursdays “post. I also get to be in touch with like-minded people, and learn a lot in the process.

9) Fave band, actor and TV Show?

Favorite bands: Evanescence and 30 Seconds to Mars, and well, this comes to a surprise to many people, but I love goth metal, and I’m all in for anything alternative.

Favorite actor: Jared Leto (did I mention I’m a 30STM fan?)

Favorite TV show: Gilmore Girls

10) Any human kids/grand kids? Names? None, just furry kids J



Co. Antrim’s Malamute Disgrace



The last 24 or so hours have possibly been some of the most difficult for us here at Malamute Matters due to the double tragedy of the fire at Manchester Dog’s Home and the death of one our own Volunteer’s (SaraHenley’s) 2 dogs Marley and Sassy. Within almost minutes our members in our group  and volunteers sprung into action and began organising, posting updates and donating to the MDH appeals.

We are very proud of our members and our record with helping dogs. However we can only continue to do this with “your” help. Sadly there is no limit to the dogs that need our help, the Northern Ireland Malamutes are just one of these examples. We desperately require your help to be able to continue to help these’s a story that should never be forgotten.

For those un-familiar with this story and for those who only know ‘some’ of the details we encourage you to please read on…

In July 2013 two people moved from the UK to Northern Ireland (Ballymoney area)  with a few Alaskan Malamutes  and began breeding dogs.  What made this situation disgraceful from the beginning was that the two people were already well-known in UK and Scotland for evading RSPCA investigations in 2010 and 2011. Their main aim was to make money, pure and simple and move to America.

In the Autumn of 2013 there were reports that there were over 40 dogs at the Ballymoney area property. And neighbours had made reports to the local council over the condition of the dogs, including many un-planned and accidental matings of dogs, with the result of many litters being produced.

Incredibly  this continued for several months.


It was at  this time that Benvardin Kennels offered to help re home some of the dogs. This request fell on deaf ears; it was very clear that main purpose of these 2 people were sole financial gain and not the welfare of their dogs. Further  advertisements  were placed on  Gumtree offering these dogs for sale.

On April 15th the local council were again notified of the situation with these dogs, and were further informed that the couple were about to dump dogs and take of for the USA. Not only was no action taken by the council, but a council worker stated that the dogs just needed a good wash but were physically fine !

883332_10203845230635536_4948466210946792889_oOnly 4 days later, after no action was taken by the council, 8 of these ‘physically fine’ dogs were dumped by Tuvaurat Kennels at Benvardin Kennels.  Benvardin kennels ended up with 8 of the dogs, with another rescue receiving up to 13 dogs. One of the 8 dogs Gerti at the very young age of  10 month old was already  pregnant and gave birth to three pups. And more tragedy struck as one of the pups crossed over last month.

Maxi BeforePresent Day: Most people who are reading this article may already know the details of the state of the dogs, many photos have been circulated on social media and internet sites. However when I spoke to John Burns , who has been on the front line on (sadly) many abused dog cases, I was myself shocked to read about the horrific details he gave MM about these dogs.

“The state they were in is just indescribable. The smell is what really hit you when you saw them. The two Adult dogs Mieki and Siku were horrendous. Both had coats completely matted with faeces and stained with urine and their nails were so long they had started to curve back on themselves. All of the dogs were like skeletons with no muscle mass at all. The younger dogs were very unsure of humans and it was pretty obvious that they’d never been handled before.”

All of the dogs were under weight and malnourished with several having to be treated for ear and eye infections. Maikai’s  coat was so badly matted that it had to be all shaved off. Everyone who is familiar with the Alaskan Malamutes knows it’s a big no to shave these dogs, because even in really hot weather their coats protect and insulate them from the heat. However that was how bad Maikai’s coat was, that it had to be shaved. Further his nails on his urine stained feet had to be clipped as they were causing him to be able to walk properly.

MAIKAIThese days there are soo many cases of abandoned and abused dogs so understandably many cases do get ‘forgotten’ or pushed aside (when they shouldn’t) however  we are determined that this story must not be forgotten. And not just because it’s such a horrible treatment of dogs but because some of the dogs still require extensive care and support as a result of their treatment at the hands of  these ” breeders.”

Further what has made this situation worse is that in 2011  the animal welfare laws in Northern Ireland were overhauled and the Animal Welfare Act was introduced providing Animal Welfare Inspectors and Police the power to enter any property and search and seize animals and makes it a criminal offence not to ensure an animal has suitable diet, suitable environment, displays suitable behaviour and is free from pain, suffering, injury and disease. However even with this legislation in place, the Welfare officers are not using it and seem reluctant to take action. Hence the tragedy of these dogs.

As John added  ” had Welfare Inspectors and the local council used the full extent of their powers the Hunters would have faced prosecution. A law will never stop people from doing wrong by animals but it will make sure they are punished.”

Malakai it seems will be a long-term resident at Benvardin due to health problems such as severe Arthritis, stage 2 Spongelousus of his spine and ADHD. He needs medication and treatment which costs

Malamute Matters currently have sponsorship of approximately £250 per month and donations were initially raised of c £5000 + donations of food, bedding, toys etc were sent. Updates are sent to those who send sponsorship money to us each month. If you would like to sponsor one of the Benvardin Malamutes please email  sponsorship is just £5 per month OR donations can be made to our paypal account

Malakai perm residentSadly there is no ‘happy ending’ to this story. Currently all the Malamutes that were dumped are still at Benvardin, further since the birth of Gerti’s pups a few months ago there are two additions

Gertie 10 month old gave birth to 3 pups

A great deal of time, effort, love and money has gone into getting these Malamutes so far, and considering the aweful condition they were in not just physically but mentally and emotionally they are making progress.. Yet their journey has only begun. More to come on this story as we do our best to find them their forever homes. These miracle dogs are also featured in this short Malamute Matters Video


Meet the team Part 13

Tracy Giles

10656491_10152506629427839_1826855402_n1) Position at MM: Fundraising / Promoter mostly at dog shows. And I also bake for our local walks to raise funds for MM too.

2) 3 things you would take with you on a desert Island: Broadband, Laptop and the Woos

3) If you weren’t doing MM what would you be doing instead?  I really don’t know


4)What is the toughest part of your job? Organising ! I am a very organisationally challenged, time challenged and geographically challenged person !

5) Where do see MM in the next 2 years ? Much bigger and well-known; being a world wide brand for dogs in need.

6) Do you have dogs yourself ? Breed ? Names ? How many?  I have two rescued Alaskan Malamutes Tala and Chester. I was invited to MM when I started getting issues with my first rescue Tala. I read the books but she wasnt playing by the rules. So in the early days I needed a lot of advice, and from what Tala has taught me I am now able to offer others advice. Then came Chester, who is a different challenge all together.


7) When away from MM what do u do in you spare time (if any ?) HAHAHA good joke!

8)What is the best part of your role at MM ? The  amazing people and dogs that I meet. And the knowing that there are a lot of dogs with better futures because MM have helped them.

10638055_10152506613472839_933416370_n9) Favourite band ?  Fleetwood Mac Favourite Actor ?Mark Harmon Favourite TV show ?  NCIS

10) Any human kids/grand kids ? Names ?  Kids: Philip, Simon, Sebastian, Sarah and Benjamin. I have no grand children from my lot. But have 7 other fur kids in the house with the Woos’s being out numbered by the cats ..most of them are rescued too.