Who wouldn't want to spend thier day off surrounded by dogs needing cuddles? We have such a mix of dogs with various issues at the sanctuary who have lifelong places with us in the safety of our grounds and we adore every single one of them but it can be hard to give each of them the attention they deserve every day. What they need is some special people with time to spare to come and sit and spend quality time with them, an hour or so or longer each week ideally. People like Louise Chambers and her mum who are both pictured with thier nominated packs. Apparently it was mutual love at first sight and mum and daughter are coming up regularly to groom and generally make a fuss of some very lucky dogs. Louise said "I loved it! Can't wait to come back!" and we think the dogs agreed!
It's not all just about cuddles and we have others that love walks (we have acres and acres of wonderful countryside to enjoy) and play time or quiet company and would love some new play mates..
Sandra Umfreville is a key volunteer at the Sanctuary and helps with a lot of the SOS and more human reactive dogs making herself indispensable to Joy. She comes up a few times a week now and along side Joy, she also works closely with a set group of dogs who have challenging and complex problems."I try to go to the sanctuary once a week. It started as me trying to give a bit of love and hope to some of the most frightened and abused dogs I have ever come across but it has ended up with me getting more from it than I could ever give. I love it in so many ways. The feeling you get when one of the frightened rommies makes eye contact with you, albeit only for a split second, or when they actually take a treat from your hand is very special. It might have taken weeks of sitting outside of their run talking rubbish to them, throwing treats in their direction before one of them trusts you enough to come closer, which then gives the others in the pack more confidence to trust you but it truly is the most amazing feeling. A feeling of fulfilment that is difficult to find elsewhere in this crazy, busy world. And then there is the honour of meeting some of the human fearful dogs, from a distance of course as joy gets them out and works with them, knowing that them meeting you is the first step to them recovering as best they can, to be able to lead a full life in the sanctuary, a life free from fear, a life free from hunger or cruelty is totally humbling. OK they might not have a sofa to call their own but they have love and in a very small way the time I spend there helps to show these dogs that there is hope and they have a future. It is difficult to put into words what spending a little time with these once lost souls means to them but they seem to give back so much and seeing a fearful tail un-tuck to wag with thanks makes every second worthwhile, if only I could spend time with them everyday I would. Throwing a tennis ball for Harry makes his world complete. Throwing anything plastic for Mr Beau to chew to pieces, talking to him every time I walk past his run and seeing him wagging his whole body is a delight. Daisy, so damaged turning his back on me and leaning against the run, which is his invitation for me to touch him was such a compliment I cannot tell you! The list goes on and on, these dogs are all individuals and they all repay the time you spare them in their own way. My days at the sanctuary, or mad house as Joy calls it are in fact my days of sanity and fulfilment. I would encourage anyone who truly wants to make a difference to offer some time as it really does mean so much to each and every dog you spend time with, it changes their world a little for the better with every ball thrown, every treat given and every kind word spoken. Not to mention it is a privilege to spend time with joy and watch how she cares for and never gives up on these guys and how she is always looking for a way to improve their lives. Sandra Xxx"
If this is your idea of heaven and if you have the time, patience and love to give to be a buffer to the world for these guys until they learn to trust humans again then The Sanctuary is the place for you and a little bit of your time could make such a huge difference in the lives of these very special souls who deserve all the love they can get.
Over 150 animals call The Sanctuary their home and we always need practical help with the dogs and other animals and jobs like gardening and maintenance (we have lots of weeds!) as well as fundraising and admin volunteers. In fact volunteers in general are vital to us and the animals. Whether it be hands on or fundraising etc whatever you can do will help us and we NEED YOU! YES YOU!
If you share our dedication and passion for giving animals a better life please register your interest by filling out the form and we will get back to you as soon as the woofa's allow!
*Please note: We can only accept Volunteers on site who are aged 18 or over.
It costs you NOTHING, it's EASY and just by shopping online you can help us to save lives here at the Sanctuary.
Please sign up today and start helping us to help those animals most in need. Just click the link:
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support The Birkett-Smith Animal Sanctuary every time you shop, at no cost to you.
When you shop at smile.amazon.co.uk, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as amazon.co.uk, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to The Birkett Smith Animal Sanctuary.
"If you have received love from an animal in your life then you are very lucky. Give back a little to this fantastic trust and see what YOU can do to make a huge difference. Love, shelter, healthcare and food. What an amazing gift you can give. Do it today. Thank you so much."