Dogs Trust manager celebrates 30 years finding new homes for dogs

Dogs Trust Newbury is celebrating an Assistant Manager who has been helping dogs to find new home for 30 years.

Assistant Manager, Jenny Hopkins started working for the charity in 1988 as a Canine Carer but quickly progressed to Assistant Manager, back in the day when there were only four full-time members of staff.

This is very different to the current team of around 30 staff who provide care for the dogs, which is made up if Canine Carers, Training and Behavioural Advisors, Volunteer Co-ordinators, maintenance and veterinary staff.

Jenny grew up around animals and said as a dog lover, the temptation became too much and she applied for the Canine Carer role at the Hamstead Marshall site. The role involves, walking the dogs, cleaning the kennels and talking to potential adopters.

Jenny says that even after 30 years, no two days are ever the same and she still finds it extremely rewarding to be able to offer help to the dogs who really need it.

The Hamstead Marshall centre underwent a rebuild which was completed in January this year and includes new refurbished kennels with underfloor heating, a puppy suite, a veterinary suite and specialist training and behaviour areas.

Jenny said: “It’s so different today, but it’s fantastic! Dogs Trust leads the way when it comes to kennel design and people often comment on how quiet it is when they come because the dogs are so relaxed in their new space.

“We know so much more about what makes a dog happy and healthy these days and whilst in our care we do everything we possibly can to give them everything they need before they go on to find their forever homes.”

As well as helping homeless dogs find their forever homes, Jenny has also welcomed quite a few into her own home over the years. She currently shares her home with Cariad, the Cocker Spaniel, Megan a Springer Spaniel, Boxer cross Monty and Labradors, Goose and May.

Jenny adds: “In total I have adopted 30 dogs over the years – the equivalent to one a year – and usually I’ve adopted them because they have some kind of health problem or tugged at my heart strings for one reason or another.

“I’m never without a dog at home and taking my work home with me quite literally can be an emotional rollercoaster. Some days are draining, others are a true delight.”