Set up in 2005, Hope Rescue is not a rescue in the conventional sense. Primarily a coordinating rescue, most of our work involves saving dogs from put-to-sleep or emergency situations, irrespective of breed, age or medical condition.
We find spaces for these dogs with reputable rescue organisations and transport the dogs to them, wherever they are located. Most of these dogs are strays in local authority pounds that would otherwise be put to sleep once they have been held for 7 days. In Wales, we commit to take all the stray dogs from two local authorities and also work with a number of other pounds and rescues throughout the UK.
Because we don’t have our own centre, we use boarding kennels in South Wales to hold dogs if there is a delay between their put-to-sleep date and a rescue space becoming available. Often there just aren’t enough rescue spaces, particularly for the bull breeds and other larger breeds, so these emergency holding kennels are literally life savers.
We also rehome dogs through our UK-wide network of dedicated foster homes. These may include dogs from owners who find themselves in emergency situations and have to surrender their dogs. Our ‘foster dogs’ are assessed in home environments so we have a better understanding of their individual needs as well as the most suitable types of homes for them. We have a very comprehensive rehoming policy that includes checks of all prospective homes and our dogs are health checked, neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, wormed and treated for fleas prior to rehoming.
Hope is run by a small staff team, all volunteers, who give their time and professional expertise freely. We are supported by dedicated volunteers of all ages, up and down the country, including fosterers, fundraisers, transporters, home-checkers and those who help behind the scenes running the website and social media, providing graphic design and photography, and not forgetting the bakers, knitters and others who make things for us to sell at shows and other events.
We also work hard to promote responsible dog ownership and awareness of welfare issues including the stray dog problem and responsible dog ownership, puppy farming and “back yard” breeding, dog fighting/status dogs and greyhound welfare. We also have our ‘Hope in the Community’ project, the main aim of which is to support owners to keep their dogs. This project has included work with women’s refuges, social services, hospitals and the police to provide canine respite care and a partnership with homeless charities to support dogs that live on the streets with their owners.
One dog that epitomises Hope Rescue’s philosophy is Roly, a young chocolate Labrador. Roly was born on a puppy farm and left alone in a cage because he was sickly and not thriving. Fortunately he was discovered during a veterinary visit and although the farmer wanted him to be put to sleep, the vet asked Hope Rescue to take him in. He went to a foster home but had numerous setbacks with his health, including lungworm and kennel cough, and has also been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, a deformed jaw and stunted growth. But thanks to the chance he was given, he has been rehomed under our Assisted Adoption scheme, which means that we will pay for any treatment he needs for the rest of his life. He is an adorable and happy dog who now enjoys life to the full!