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Margaret Carter.

I have owned cavaliers since 1976, when we bought a tricolour puppy for my daughter’s eighth birthday. She won two classes at a fun show and started me on a long career of showing and breeding dogs.

In 1992 I bred my once-in-a-lifetime Cavalier, Monty ( Champion Mareve Indiana ) who became a leading stud dog with Champion children all over the world.

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When Monty was nine years old I found out he was implicated in the spread of a newly identified health problem called syringomyelia ( SM ). He had no symptoms at that time, but two years later he started screaming with neck pain and soon after I was forced to make the decision to put him to sleep. A post mortem confirmed he had syringomyelia.

At this time I was the UK Cavalier Club Health Representative so I was well placed to try and raise awareness of the rapidly spreading problem of SM within the breed. In 2008 I appeared in the documentary ‘Pedigree Dogs Exposed’, which publicised the issue, and this led to my removal from my position within the Cavalier Club Committee.
I still continued to work to improve the health and welfare of Cavaliers. Like Carol I gave evidence to the APGAW and the Bateson Reports on dog breeding and have campaigned for official BVA/KC screening schemes for CMSM and Mitral Valve Disease.
I am also a member of the Expert panel to the Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding and a trustee for the CavalierMatters Charity. (+) more
I started the Cavalier Collection Scheme in 2007. This project helps owners volunteer their cavaliers for post mortem and cell tissue donation to heart, pancreas and SM research. The scheme pays for all collection costs and for individual cremation and the return of the pet's ashes to the owner. The Collection Scheme has been said to be "probably unique in the world" and to have "allowed studies that would otherwise not be possible"
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In 2010 I started a website for Cavalier Puppy Buyers to give simple advice about inherited health problems and how to identify a responsible breeder:

I am the Founding Member of The Companion Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club which was launched in January 2012. The Club aims to speak for cavalier pet owners and with 200 members having joined within the first six months we are now applying for Kennel Club recognition:

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I still have one of Monty’s Grandsons at home; Tommy is the sweetest twelve year old blenheim, good natured and loving despite having severe SM and MVD. I also own beautiful Faith, a four year old tricolour, and five little Japanese Chins.

Margaret Carter