As a Sanctuary we house many, many breeds of dog but as some of you are aware we also have five Caucasian Shepherd boys, most of whom arrived with serious issues including aggression and now live safely and happily within the arms of the sanctuary. Two weeks ago we were ready to take in Caucasian Shepherd number six at a moment's notice. She was an older Caucasian, she was abandoned on wasteland, tied to a telegraph pole on scrub-land in Hartlepool. In under an hour of hearing of her plight we had a handler ready, a space at The Sanctuary ready and all we needed was consent to collect her and make her safe. Sadly it was not to be; despite every effort her fate was sealed and her death sentence decided by the fear and ignorance of the officials on site. I spoke on the radio and have made my views known to various people that there were options for this girl and that I was more than willing and able to give them to her. She affected me deeply and I will not let her die in vain.
Despite our seeming to be quiet since the incident we are far from it and have been working behind the scenes with some amazing people to strive for justice for her and more importantly to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.
For our part, we decided to honour her by adding another section to our umbrella at the sanctuary and to set up a breed specific arm; Caucasians UK SOS. We will be here for them, for advice, for information and for emergencies to try our best to bring them into sanctuary when needed and to become a point of contact for rescues, professionals and public alike for consultation and advice 24/ 7 for situations like Hartlepool and we will have nationwide contacts who can step in at a moments notice with the knowledge and means to try to prevent another needless death.
We have set up a dedicated group on Facebook and can also be contacted through our website.
We hope that you will give us your support and spread the word so that this much misunderstood and little known breed are given a voice and safety.
Joy Keys (The Birkett-Smith Animal Sanctuary)
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