Tiny De Keuster (Chairman)

Tiny de Keuster graduated as a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine at the State University Gent (Belgium) in 1982. After qualification she started a companion animal practice in Gent and became more active in behavioural medicine from 1996, achieving specialist status in France in June 2001. She has been involved in dog bite prevention since 1998, becoming the co-organiser of the Belgian National symposium “dog aggression, a multidisciplinary approach” (2000) and the coordinator of the Public Health Task Force on dog bites ( 2001). She  worked as a scientific expert in a prospective study on the characteristics of dog bites in children (2002 ). 
In 2002, Tiny became President of the European Society for Veterinary Clinical Ethology (ESVCE) and a diplomat of the European College for Veterinary behavioural Medicine Companion Animals. In November 2008, Tiny was nominated as visiting Fellow in the faculty of Health, Life and Social Sciences at Lincoln University UK.

Ray Butcher MA VetMB MRCVS – Secretary

Ray qualified as a veterinarian from Cambridge University in 1976. He is currently a partner in the Wylie Veterinary Centre, a large companion animal hospital in Upminster, UK. He is a past president of The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and The Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA) and is currently a veterinary advisor to the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and a Board member of the Alliance for Rabies Control (ARC). He has received WSAVA Award for outstanding service to the profession, as well as outstanding service awards from the national small animal veterinary associations of Britain, France, Spain, Portugal and Hungary. He has also been awarded the Chiron Award from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) , the J A Wight Memorial Award for contributions to animal welfare. and the Phyllis Mayer Argus Medal from the Dogs Trust in regognition of long and distinguished service on behalf of dogs. He is an Honorary Member of both the BSAVA and the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA).


Sarah is a veterinary surgeon and spent four years in mixed general practice before setting up a behaviour medicine referral practice in 1992. She is an Honorary Lecturer in small animal behavioural medicine at Liverpool University and Immediate Past President of the European College of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine – Companion Animals. Sarah works extensively with owners of dogs who are exhibiting aggressive behaviour and frequently with families where dogs are living with young children. She has a particular interest in the interplay between behaviour and physical illness in dogs and cats and specifically in the role of pain in changes in behaviour. Sarah has two sons and also owns a flat coated retriever and two cats. She has therefore had first hand experience of the interactions between dogs and children and is keen to promote the value of a positive relationship between children and their pets.


Chris Laurence qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1968 and went straight into mixed practice in Somerset.  In 1969 he moved to Chippenham in Wiltshire to take up small animal work and remained there until 1998.
Chris joined the RSPCA in 1998 as Assistant Chief Veterinary Officer and was promoted to Chief Veterinary Officer in 1999.  Chris left in 2003 to take up the post of Veterinary Director for Dogs Trust (the new name for the National Canine Defence League).  He is also a Trustee of the Feline Advisory Bureau.  He was awarded the MBE for services to animal welfare in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2007.
He is married with two children and four grandchildren.

Chris retired from Dogs Trust in 2011, and stood down from the Blue Dog Board in 2012.

Des Thompson

Des qualified in Dublin 1961 and has been an owner/partner in the Earlswood Veterinary Hospital , Belfast  until his retirement in November 2009. He has been a Past President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and the Society of Practicing Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) and is currently President of the Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group (CABTSG). The CABTSG are core sponsors of the Blue Dog.

Paula Boyden BVetMed MRCVS

Paula graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 1992. She spent 11 years in general practice where she developed a particular interest in small animal medicine before joining Intervet UK Ltd as a veterinary adviser in 2003.  Following a number of roles within Intervet, Paula joined Dogs Trust as Deputy Veterinary Director in June 2010 and was promoted to Veterinary Director in August 2011.

Paula has an ongoing interest in the ‘link’; the interrelationship between domestic violence, child abuse and cruelty to animals. She has spoken widely on the subject, is past secretary of the Links Group and is regularly involved in undergraduate training on Non-Accidental Injury (NAI) within the UK veterinary schools.

Paula is currently treasurer of the Links Group, chair of the newly-formed companion animal advisory board within Eurogroup and a member of the British Veterinary Association’s Veterinary Policy Group. She has two Golden Retrievers and a cat called Norman.