South Yorkshire organisation helps mistreated dogs with emergency support from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust

Rotherham Dog Rescue, based in Rawmarsh, has benefited from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust’s (KCCT) emergency fund, enabling them to continue their rehabilitation and rehoming work during the pandemic, giving abandoned and mistreated dogs a second chance and forever home.

Rotherham Dog Rescue helps dogs that were abandoned or given up by owners due to behavioural problems. The organisation works with a canine behaviourist to address those issues and find the dogs forever homes. They often put months of work into a single case to show all dogs want, deserve and can live in a loving home. The organisation also supports owners, helping them understand how to best care for their pets and promoting a better understanding of dog behaviour.

One of their successful students was Smurf, who came into their rescue in June 2019. He came from a broken family and volatile home situation, with known occasions of aggression among the family members and towards Smurf. His background meant that he was extremely traumatised and distrustful towards people. The team at Rotherham Dog Rescue worked with Smurf intensively, and step-by-step managed to build a relationship with him, taking him for short walks and getting him interested in training. They are now working with a family that would like to adopt Smurf, with loving human parents and new dog siblings.

Like many smaller organisations, Rotherham Dog Rescue was badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in March. All fundraising events, one of the major sources of the rescue income, have been cancelled since March, and all viewings and home checks were also suspended for over three months. The funding received from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust helped the organisation to cover bills for their boarding kennels, ensuring they had places for their dogs to sleep in during the pandemic, before rehoming could start again.

Ann Diaz, trustee from Rotherham Dog Rescue commented: “We are grateful for the donation which has helped us to support dogs in our care and enabled us to help them overcome their behaviour issues and find a new home. We never give up on dogs, even if their behavioural issues take longer to tackle.”

The KCCT Emergency Relief Initiative, which was established in April, was set up to support canine organisations which may be suffering and unable to continue their vital work, which makes a huge difference to dogs, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. All of the applications were considered carefully and funding was allocated to 30 organisations in the most urgent situation.

Other recipients of funds from the KCCT include breed rescue organisations such as the Northern Ireland Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club and Greyhound Rescue, as well as other general smaller dog rescue organisations, such as Friends of Animals Wales - the charity from which Boris Johnson rehomed Dilyn, the Jack Russell Terrier.

Revd. Bill King, Chairman of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust said: “We received a significant number of applications for our emergency funding and had to make some very hard decisions on where funds need to be placed as a matter of urgency.

“Keeping these organisations, which take care of health, welfare and future of dogs from all breeds and backgrounds, functional is a priority for the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. We know that most of smaller organisations depend on funding to keep up their excellent work that save dogs’ lives and want to ensure they can continue despite the pandemic.

“We are also grateful for Our Dogs newspaper’s help with our appeal which helped to grow awareness about our fund amongst their readers who have so far donated over £40,000.”

To donate online to the KCCT relief fund and help dogs, volunteers and organisations across the country during this difficult time, visit the Virgin Money Giving website. Alternatively, you can make a donation by text. Simply text ‘KCCT [amount]’ to 70450 to donate the desired amount. For example, if you wish to donate £30, simply text ‘KCCT 30’ to 70450. You will be charged your donation plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about the work of the KCCT and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to make a donation but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text ‘KCCTNOINFO [amount]’ to 70450.