By Ann Evans
Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, cares for 15,000 unwanted dogs each year. A huge number, but every dog has its own tale to tell. Ann Evans brings you just a few of these stories.
Dogs Trust began back in 1891, known originally as the National Canine Defence League. They were founded in a bid to protect dogs from torture and ill-usage of all kinds. For the last 126 years the charity has been involved in every piece of legislation affecting dogs and their website is packed full of advice and guidance for dog owners
From small beginnings, Dogs Trust now have 20 rehoming centres around the UK and one in Dublin. At every Centre there are heart-breaking and heart-warming stories of dogs who no fault of their own find themselves unwanted and unloved. But dogs arriving at Dogs Trust, are the fortunate ones. They find warmth, shelter, veterinary care and lots of love, and dedicated staff who do their utmost to team that dog up with its perfect new owner or new family.
Dogs Trust Kenilworth are currently appealing to dog lovers to consider adopting a Greyhound or Lurcher after seeing an influx in these loveable breeds looking for homes. Amongst the many dogs at their centre they currently have seven Greyhounds and nine Lurchers, and staff are keen to dispel the myths surrounding the breed. Contrary to what people might think, these dogs known as Sighthounds, are often real couch potatoes, and don’t need as much exercise as people expect.
While they love an energetic burst, they are generally content then to chill out on a cosy bed or a comfy sofa. These 16 Sighthounds, are looking for new owners who can provide them with a little extra comfort and a lot of love.
Claire Rowe, Dogs Trust Kenilworth’s Deputy Manager, said: “Sadly many Greyhounds and Lurchers end up in rescue centres like ours waiting for a loving home to spend the rest of their lives in. People often assume they are dogs that need lots of exercise but that’s not the case. They are definitely strong and fast, but they are surprisingly lazy and very loyal, which is why they make great pets.
“We also take in ex-racing Greyhounds whose time on the track has come to an end, so they all look forward to a home where they can enjoy a slower pace of life and put their paws up!”
Further north at Dogs Trust Manchester, they’ve had a very busy start to the new year, rehoming 100 dogs in the first month. The 100th happy hound to find a loving new home was two-month old English Springer Spaniel cross, Oscar who is now settling happily into his new home in Dukinfield with owner Robin Stroud.
Dawn Bishop, Manchester Rehoming Centre Manager, said: “It has been an incredible start to the year and we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has adopted one of our gorgeous dogs. We have seen dogs of all shapes, sizes and I’m happy to say ages, from young pups to golden oldies, find their special someone and it’s all thanks to people choosing to give a dog a second chance.
“Dogs find themselves without a home for many reasons including death or illness in the family, it might be because of a relationship breakdown or financial reasons. Whatever the reason we are committed to finding them their ideal home and although we have now seen thousands of dogs leave the rehoming centre with their excited new families, tails happily wagging, we never tire of it. It’s a fantastic feeling that never fades.”
While Dogs Trust Leeds, staff are hoping for a new home to be found for a five-year-old Boxer cross, Missy, a lovely natured three-legged dog who was found wandering the streets heavily pregnant shortly before Christmas. She has since given birth to eight healthy pups and proved to be a great mum. As the pups prepare to start a new life with their new owners, staff at the Leeds centre have their fingers crossed that Missy will find her special someone soon too.
Amanda Sands, Leeds Rehoming Centre Manager said: “It is so tragic whenever a stray dog is found but it was the depths of winter and she was so heavily pregnant she, and her unborn litter, were very vulnerable. As soon as she arrived she was checked over by our vet who thankfully said she and her pups seemed to be fine, but we were still very anxious. We settled her in a quiet kennel away from the hustle and bustle of the centre where she could have lots of one-to-one attention and kept a close eye on her.”
After a week of waiting, Missy gave birth to her pups, five boys and three girls, and having been given a great start to life thanks to Missy, they will be heading off to their new homes within the next few days, but Missy is still waiting. She is looking for a home where she is the only dog so she can lap up all the attention, and would thrive at the heart of a family with older children.
Amanda added: “Missy is such a super dog. Despite what she had suffered she was instantly friendly when she arrived, was such a great mum and her tenacious character has really made an impression on everyone here. Now it’s time for her to be looked after and loved and given the home she deserves for the rest of her life.”
Dogs Trust are always in need of foster carers. They explain that some dogs just aren’t cut out for kennels. These may be puppies, older dogs, dogs with injuries or medical conditions. Or sometimes they just run out of space. Foster carers take a dog into their care until a permanent home can be found for it. You receive full support from the charity, plus bedding and food – so all it costs you is your time. For further details and to hear what other foster carers say, go to:
For further details please visit: https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/