I’m sure you’re all aware of the “Adopt, don’t Shop” slogan relating to the adoption of rescue animals rather than buying a new puppy/kitten from breeders. This blog is all about some of the dedicated (dog only) rescues that we work with here at Saint Leonard Veterinary Centre; there will be a subsequent blog feature on the other rescues that help Cats and Rabbits too.

Some of the partnerships between SLVC and the rescues are established from as far back as 2013, and one is a new liaison just this year “2018”; CAESSR rescue – Cocker and English Springer Spaniel Rescue. The rescue centres we work with are quite varied; some are national charities that have local branches in our area, and others are single-centre affairs.

Caessr have their main kennels in Staffordshire, but have additional facilities in the Tameside/Oldham area and also in the Lincolnshire area. This charity doesn’t have access to its own private kennel facilities so it rents space in privately run kennels, where they aim to care for, and re-home, unwanted, neglected, or stray Spaniels. Current owners of Spaniels are also offered advice and support if they need it, not just those who have re-homed a Caessr dog.

Angels Small Paws Rescue is based in the East midlands, but re-home unwanted and abandoned dogs from all over the U.K; they are very active on social media, so you may well be aware of them alreadyJ. This team offer a lifetime rescue back-up to any of their re-homed dogs, all of which are neutered, vaccinated, chipped, wormed, and flea-treated before they go to their new “furever” home. Dogs that are under 8 years of age when adopted also go home with 4 weeks free insurance. To help their constant fund-raising efforts, Angels Small Paws have their own EBay store and Facebook Auction site, and they ask for a minimum adoption fee of £200.

It’s at the health check, treatment, neutering, and chipping phase that we get involved at Saint Leonard Veterinary Centre. A lot of the dogs that come into rescue may have been on the street for some time and have nutritional needs, as well as typical flea and worm burdens. Abused dogs can have injuries that require surgical management, or need medical intervention such as anti-biotics. We try to limit the cost to these rescues as much as we can; literally every penny counts to them, especially given the unfortunately large numbers that pass through their doors.

Caring for animals on a large scale really is a labour of love, especially for the two man team at Derby based Life Commitment Dog Rescue. This started when they went for a pup at a rescue centre themselves and came away with an extra 4 paws that was going to be PTS! After the dogs in their care have had the gamut of checks and procedures done, a network of foster homes helps to look after them before permanent homes are found for them. The LCDR teams’ own dogs help teach “the ropes” to the majority of dogs that come to themJ

Harleys Hounds Rescue Centre is also one of the rescue centres we work with, and like the others they make sure that all dogs are neutered, chipped etc before they leave their care. Any dog is taken in here, no matter what the state of its health, age or breed. This selflessness is a common characteristic of all the rescue centres we work with, one that I personally think is vastly under-estimated and valued.

Yappy Ever After was started by Louise Radford after, in the time-honoured tradition of many rescuers, she rescued two dogs that were passed from pillar to post. Originally this rescue was based

in the East Midlands, but social media quickly increased its popularity and they now have a network of foster homes and supporters all over the country that compliment the core of 5 team members that work with Louise. Dogs from other countries such as Romania, Serbia and Cyprus have benefitted from yappy Ever Afters’ efforts too. All dogs undergo necessary treatment and extensive assessment before they leave for their fur-ever homes, and they have a life-time back up from the rescue too. William Roach and Jack O’ Connell are two high-profile supporters of Yappy Ever After J

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is an instantly recognisable name and was established in 1931. I bet there are a lot of you reading this blog who collected metal milk bottle tops as part of the Blue Peter appeal, or sent in name suggestions for BP dog Goldie’s puppies before they underwent selection for guide dog puppy training! It takes two years for a puppy to be trained as a guide dog for a blind or partially sighted person, and there are currently over 4,950 guide dog owners in the U.K. The “adopt a puppy” scheme is a very popular campaign; from a little over £1 per week you can sponsor a puppy and follow its journey a sit progresses to a fully fledged guide dog. For your money you get “pupdates”, a photo album and pictures, personalised certificate of adoption, a magnet, and a calendar at the end of each year.

The final dog-only charity that we work with is a little different to the others in that it trains assistance dogs for people living with various disabilities. Canine Partners is a country-wide charity, but it has its Midlands base in Leicestershire. As you can imagine, training a dog like this isn’t a quick over-night process; it takes two years to train an assistance dog! A puppy is selected at 7 or 8 weeks old and then spends the next 12-14 months training with a volunteer, before moving on to 4 months advanced training at one of the charities centres. It isn’t just the assistance dog that gets trained though; their human partners get trained too! An intense 2 week course puts the partnership through its paces whilst under the guidance of the dogs’ trainer, to ensure that communication is crystal clear between both sides.

I’m sure I’m not alone in the admiration and respect I feel for all the rescue workers and volunteers out there; they do such an incredible job. If you can, go and check out the websites of the rescues and pop along to one of their events, fun days, or even do a sponsored event for one of them if you so wish! Donations of blankets, feed, toys etc are always welcome too; as you can imagine, things wear out quickly.

We’re always available to help your fur-baby, whether you shop or adopt, so feel free to contact us whenever you need to. There’s nothing nicer than the feel of a wet nose or a paw given when we meet your four-legged family member 🙂

Until next time; stay safe, stay well, and be happy.