Information regarding media coverage of photo Saint Bernards in Zermatt
Martigny, 27 January 2015 – The Barry Foundation has received numerous enquiries and comments in connection with the media coverage of photo Saint Bernards in Zermatt. The dogs are not from our breeding kennels, but we feel that it is important to clarify a few points in the interest of providing some background information.
The future owners of hospice Saint Bernards are chosen with great care. Before a Saint Bernard from the Barry Foundation breeding kennels is handed over to an owner, we make sure that thorough, extensive checks are carried out. If all the necessary criteria are met, we entrust the animal to its new owner. What is more, the Barry Foundation remains in direct contact with the owners on a regular basis, and exchanges information about the development of the dogs. This approach is extremely important to us, because it is just one of the many measures we take in order to prevent events like those in Zermatt.
In principle, we have no objection to photo sessions. Even the Barry Foundation allows visitors to take photos with the hospice dogs. Photos are acceptable provided that the animals' welfare is taken into account. Several conditions must be observed when taking photos. Dogs can remain concentrated on a task for a maximum of half an hour per day. The dog keepers at the Barry Foundation make allowance for this undeniable fact by only using the Saint Bernards as photo dogs for limited periods of time. After a maximum of 15 minutes – or sooner if the dog no longer wants to take part (the animal keepers recognise the signs and reactions of the Saint Bernards) – the animal is replaced by another dog. And finally, we guarantee the well-being of the hospice Saint Bernards and encourage their socialisation by providing a varied occupation schedule.
As social dogs, the hospice Saint Bernards play an important role in helping people and animals get on together. Their numerous visits to homes for the elderly or handicapped show that if the dogs are looked after well and occupied in an appropriate manner, they do not have any behavioural difficulties or other problems.
The Barry Foundation cannot comment on the case described in the media. This is because the animals in Zermatt are from a different breeding centre, because the Foundation has no connection with these kennels, and because the cantonal veterinary office is already involved in the matter.
Fondation Barry du Grand-St-Bernard
Route des Chantons 52