Saturday 19 September 2015


Unwanted dogs often end up in the city dog pound… and if not claimed or re-homed, they will be put down. Reader Sophie tells us how she got involved in helping to rescue abandoned dogs…

Sophie says:
We owned a retired racing greyhound and my mum wanted advice on how to look after him, so she approached a charity called Greyhound Gap. Soon after that she started to volunteer for the charity and I started to help out too. Greyhound Gap is a rescue charity which helps save the lives of greyhounds and lurchers. We get many of our dogs from the dog pounds and if we didn't help them, they would be put to sleep as the council dog pounds can only afford to keep strays and abandoned dogs for a short time. Greyhound Gap has around 80 dogs in their care.

After a while, a four month old puppy came into the rescue, and my family decided to foster her. We ended up falling in love with her so we adopted her and named her Zelda. Since then we have fostered nine dogs altogether. At the moment, we have three of our own, called Buddy, Zelda and Luna. We also have three foster dogs, Bunny, Misty and Cardi. It's fun to look after foster dogs because they have had a rough life and I can help to make them feel loved. I like it when new dogs come in because if they are scared or naughty, with the help of our volunteers they can become really nice dogs. At the moment we are fostering Cardi, who is very ill… it really upsets me to see her in pain, but when a dog gets well again you know that all the hard work has been worthwhile.

This summer, I helped a lot at the rescue. We have had lots of trips to and from the vets, and we had to drive to Worcester to rescue some dogs. One day we went to Shrewsbury to collect 100 donated duvets for the dogs - I had to help lift them onto the van! We did some fundraising events, which was fun, and every Saturday we all met up to walk the kennel dogs. After the walk, they get lots of treats and I really enjoy that part!

There are lots of ways to help Greyhound Gap, such as fundraising or donating money, giving us things to sell or auction, helping at the kennels and walking the dogs. And adopting a dog from us, too, of course! Misty, in the picture just to the right, is one of the dogs we are fostering until she gets a home. She is a young lurcher who was abandoned and had puppies soon after; her puppies have all been re-homed, but Misty is still waiting for her perfect home, and she so, so deserves a family of her own. There is one thing every dog-owner can do… if everybody made sure their pets were neutered so that they can't have puppies, there would be far fewer unwanted dogs out there.

You can donate to GREYHOUND GAP here… or check out their website with a view to RE-HOMING a dog. THANK YOU!!!

Cathy says:
Awww! I looked after my dad's rescued greyhound after Dad died, and we have two rescue lurchers too, so I already know all about the wonderful work done by GREYHOUND GAP. I really hope that beautiful MISTY finds her forever home soon! How awesome is Sophie to help the charity? Would YOU ever help at an animal charity, or re-home a rescue animal? COMMENT BELOW to tell me more!


  1. I don't volunteer at any animal charities but I'd love to help the Cat's Protection. We've had 3 cats from there including my two kittens. The Cat's Protection often have a float at the Guid Nichtbours (I have no idea how to spell that!) celebrations and this year, the volunteers wore cat onesies and had their faces painted to look like cats. Mum and I want to help out next year - I already have a grey Pusheen hoodie and grey jeans so I'm ready! My friend was on the float so I might ask her if we can help next year. There's also the amazing volunteering position of cat cuddler. Many cats that come in are abused or neglected and don't trust humans which makes them difficult to rehome. Volunteers build up the cats' trust towards humans so they can find a home. Kittens also need to be socialised into enjoying human contact otherwise they could become feral cats who avoid or attack humans. Doesn't that sound like the best job in the world - cuddling kittens all day long? I know cats can be scratchy - my arms are covered in scratches and scabs thanks to my little rascals - but it would be so rewarding to see an anxious cat slowly learn to enjoy being petted. Our old cat Mau was terrified of women when we first got him, he must have been abused by a woman before, but within a month, he learnt to trust Mum and sit with her and in time, he'd follow her to the shops and wait outside while she shopped then walk home with her. He also followed her to work once and she had to take him home. From fearing women to adoring was such a big step for him. All cats should feel that comfortable around humans. So I'd love to be a volunteer cat cuddler. Mum spoke to the Cat's Protection about fostering cats but I don't think I could participate in that because I get so attached that it would break my heart when they get adopted!

  2. Sophie it's wonderfulthat you are giving up your free time to help out with the kennel dogs every week. That is such a commitment.

  3. Aw Sophie what a wonderful young woman you are. I have four greyhound gap dogs and it is down to wonderful people like you and your family who step in at short notice and foster them that so many have the chance to live xx

  4. Well done, Sophie, you are an inspiration! We have greyhounds incuding a Greyhound Gap foster called Babe and we know that GG are the best - and with youngsters like you looking after the dogs it's not hard to see why. May you keep that big heart forever x

  5. Thank you for supporting me- it really means a lot. By the way, we now have 90 dogs looking for a home. 2016 has been a busy year!!!

    1. You are amazing, Sophie. I have just lost my own 16 year old lurcher (who looked a lot like Misty) and am now looking for a another rescue dog to join our family, so am following the Gap pages very closely. Thanks Sophie for all that you and the Gap team do. xxx

    2. Thank you- you are such an encoragement to thousands across the country. I feel so lucky to be one of those.(P.S thanks for the book-it is my fave and i will treasure it forever)



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