Dogs Trust Shrewsbury is gearing up for Christmas with the help of two volunteers who between them have given more than 4,000 hours, helping make sure the dogs have everything they need whilst they wait for their forever homes.
Moira Wallace started volunteering in 2015 and Dave Hughes joined the team a year later. They have since become great friends, walking the dogs together and turning their hand to everything from gardening and decorating to baking tasty dog treats.
Dave, a retired police officer who adopted Tibetan Terrier Cross, Ted, in 2006 who is now 16, says: “I can’t imagine my life without Ted or without helping out at Dogs Trust Shrewsbury. I adopted Ted and there are two other dogs in the family from the centre too. They had given us our dogs, so I wanted to give something back.
“As well as walking the dogs, which is wonderful, I have planted spring bulbs so there are nice places to walk the dogs on site, this year I arranged a music night and raised £450, and I help out at events that Dogs Trust goes along to such as the Shrewsbury Festival and Ludlow Food Festival.”
Moira, who adopted ten-year-old Terrier Cross, Lola, and Max, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is eight from the centre, also goes the extra mile for the dogs, not least helping decorate Oakfield Oldies, a special home on site for older dogs who prefer a space of their own and baking special treats for one of the dogs she walks every week, Crossbreed, Diesel.
She says: “Diesel is one of those dogs that I have a very special bond with. I love taking him out on walks. He’s on a special diet so I bake for him so that he has some tasty treats that are just for him.
“It’s fantastic being part of the team and the focus is on Christmas now! Myself and Dave and many of the other volunteers will be at the centre over Christmas. We love it! All the dogs get their own stockings with their favourite toys and treats, and they get so excited. They seem to know it’s a special day, which is lovely. They all deserve to have a fantastic Christmas and we all do our very best to make sure they do.”
This Christmas the centre will be caring for at least 80 dogs and Helen Downing, Volunteer Co-ordinator, says having the help of volunteers like Dave and Moira makes all the difference.
She says: “Our volunteers make a massive difference to the dogs’ lives, and we are very lucky that they choose to spend their time with us. Having them here over Christmas helps us make sure that every dog gets that little bit more attention and time to have fun with their new toys. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them!”
To find out how to give your dog a happy, relaxed Christmas, and how you can support dogs at Dogs Trust who are still waiting to find their forever homes, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/christmasadvice