Recently, the very kind staff at Dogs Trust Glasgow allowed to me to visit them and what an experience it was! You may not know, but this week is Scottish Animal Week and I asked the charity if I could visit as I was eager to feature them in a blog post. It was such an amazing experience and I am keen to share the work they do ‘behind the scenes’ because you may be surprised at the attention to detail that goes into looking after every single dog..Some of the dogs were very nervous and didn’t like getting their photo taken so I was really respectful of this.
Upon my arrival, I was greeted very warmly by the staff and the centre manager was going to be my guide for the day. Sandra is lovely and her passion shines through, as it did with every staff member/volunteer I had the pleasure of meeting. The entrance is large, bright and welcoming, with plenty of seating available as well as a large reception desk in the centre. Each corner in the room serves a function; from the kids corner, to an area for quiet time (understandably, some people can find their visit quite upsetting). There were also various tables with plenty of leaflets available giving details on all the services that Dogs Trust offer (trust me, you will be as surprised as I was when you learn about the amount of work they do!).
Dogs Trust Glasgow is currently home to between 90-100 dogs and new dogs come to stay every single day (as well as dogs leaving who have found loving homes). Unbelievably though, the staff members know each dog by name and appreciate each of their individual quirks. Visitors who arrive at the centre looking for a dog fill in an application form and are then allowed to go through to the viewing area where 20 dogs are housed in individual homes (some with their best friends which was lovely to see!). Their ‘homes’ are spacious with plenty of room for the dogs to move around, as well as having an area where they can sleep out of sight and enjoy some quiet time (they also have under floor heating) And of course, they have toys in there with them to keep them occupied! The glass panels to view the dogs run from ceiling to floor, and there are a few small holes (very small) which allow each of the dogs to have a little sniff and this acts as a point of contact which is really lovely and the dogs love the attention.
You may remember that I mentioned there are 90-100 dogs at the centre but only 20 in the viewing area? That is because the same dogs are not ‘on display’ all the time. Can you imagine what life would be like constantly having people come in and out looking at you through a glass panel? Not much fun! Dogs Trust understands that this is not good for the dogs. Therefore, the dogs are ‘rotated’ so that they can have a rest and some time away from visitors. There are some dogs who have health difficulties or are far too nervous to be in the viewing area and the staff look after these dogs ‘behind the scenes’ until (if ever) they are ready. Everything revolves around the dogs and what is best for them which I think is fantastic. Dogs Trust never puts a good dog down!
Beyond the viewing area is off limits to the public but I was lucky enough to get a tour of everything the centre has to offer. There is an area for puppies (I was so lucky to meet some lovely male puppies who are only a few weeks old!) and dogs with different health problems. I met a gorgeous dog called Hope (or Hopelicious as the staff like to call her) who suffers from neurological problems. Hope was lovely and honestly, I have never seen a dog look so happy. They have a shower area (on different levels so small and large dogs can be showered at the same time, great idea!), a food preparation area (the dry food is divided into bowls and covered before the wet food is added before serving) and a washing area for all the blankets, bed sheets, towels, curtains – literally EVERYTHING that is donated by the public to keep the dogs cosy.
Wow…this is such a long post but I had an amazing time! I’m going to end this post here but there is a Part Two coming up which is all about how the dogs are exercised (and have so much fun!), the veterinary centre, the work Dogs Trust do for non-Dogs Trust dogs (and their owners!) and how YOU can get involved to help and support your local Dogs Trust. Thank you so much to Sandra and her wonderful team for allowing me to come and spend some time with them. I am going to be volunteering myself (along with my sister) and we’re so excited!
If you would like to find out more information about Dogs Trust or offer them a helping hand, here are all the links you need:
I definitely have so many ideas to raise money for Dogs Trust and I’m really excited to be starting to work on some of them. If you love dogs as much as I do, have visited Dogs Trust (or a similar charity) or have any questions about my visit, please comment below or tweet me @thingsarahloves. Thanks!