A RESCUE dog with a sticky up ear and no tail is the loveable face of a Christmas collection campaign being run by a veterinary group.
Sasha, the six-year-old, black Labrador Collie cross with an enormous heart, has been overlooked for her forever home despite the best efforts of dedicated volunteers at Laurel Animal Rescue, based in Newton-le-Willows.
The adorable hound is very fond of the people who look after her and likes nothing more than a good fuss.
Fun, energetic and playful Sasha is one of the many needy animals who are set to benefit from the fourth year of Willows Veterinary Group’s Pawsome Pets Christmas Appeal which aims to help as many abandoned, unwanted and unloved animals as possible over the festive period.
Willows Veterinary Group has a network of 24 small animal practices, a referral veterinary hospital, two equine centres and a four-office farm practice, located across the north west region.
Pet lovers are being urged to bring in unopened pet food, new toys, blankets, bedding and treats for animals of all types to any of the Willows surgeries in the group by Friday December 20.
The resulting collection will be distributed to various animal rescue charities and organisations across the region including Laurel Animal Rescue, founded by Bev Gaffney from Newton-le-Willows.
Bev’s home acts as a base for the not-for-profit rescue which she started six years ago in 2013. It relies on a network of caring volunteers all over Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire who act as foster carers for the many cats and dogs, young and old, which they take in and seek to find long-term homes for.
The rescue team is always on the look out for new foster carers who are home checked by one of the experienced volunteers and viewings to see the animals looking for new homes are by appointment.
David Crane, Willows Veterinary Group Marketing Manager, said: “Our clients have shown us year on year how extremely caring they are towards needy animals needing a little bit of extra TLC over the festive period.
“In past years, we have had trolley loads of food, blankets, bedding and toys donated by generous people across all of our surgeries and our teams work hard to make sure it finds its way to these lovely animals, like Sasha, all trying to find a new home.
“The idea first came to us a few years back and it has been so popular that it is now an important part of our calendar and it’s a fantastic way to give great animal charities and organisations across the regions a Christmas boost.
“We are asking for help again this year and urge people to take in unopened and in- date food, new blankets, animal bedding, toys and treats, for all different animals, to any of our Willows surgeries and we will make sure it finds its way to those animals in need such as Sasha at Laurel Animal Rescue.”
Bev Gaffney, Laurel Animal Rescue’s founder, explained how Sasha came to the rescue organisation when her owner’s work hours changed and Sasha was being left for long periods which was making her very unhappy.
She said: “She was making her own enjoyment when the owner was out and had been chewing things which, given her attachment to her carers, probably suggests that being left alone, particularly for long periods of time, is very stressful for her. She just wants to be with people.
“What we need for her is a household preferably with adults or older children where someone is home most of the time. Perhaps it is a family where someone works from home. She’s full of life and loves her walks so she will need plenty of exercise. A canine friend would also really help and she is fine with dogs of all sizes.”
Bev, who adopts permanently many of the more elderly or troubled dogs who are difficult to rehome, said Sasha has been with Laurel Animal Rescue for almost a year and explained why she thought the sweet-natured dog had been overlooked.
She said: “She’s black which never helps as they are the least popular colour, cat or dog, which people are after. She’s a bit quirky looking with her ear sticking up and no tail but what she lacks in conventional good looks, she more than makes up for in love and loyalty. She’s a very sweet dog.”
She added she was very thankful to Willows Veterinary Group for their support with extra goodies via the Christmas collection, and said: “It costs us in the region of £18,000 per year to run Laurel Animal Rescue and approximately £3,000 of that is spent on food and cat litter alone.
“Having a boost in food and other supplies is such a help and just eases the pressure. We are so grateful to Willows Veterinary Group for including us in this festive collection and we know our animals will be extremely grateful too in their own way.”
Can you support the Willows Pawsome Pets Christmas Appeal? Drop off unopened food, new toys and blankets at any Willows Veterinary Group Surgery by Friday December 20. For a full list of surgeries and more details go to www.willowsvetgroup.co.uk
Can you be a foster carer for Laurels Animal Rescue? Can you offer one of their dogs or cats a home? Contact them on 07518 256160 or firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit their Facebook page @LaurelAnimalRescue or Twitter @LaurelRescue