A group of volunteers from the North-east is helping a Scotland-wide dog charity to celebrate its 10th anniversary this week.
Over the past decade, nearly 400 volunteers have been involved with Springer Rescue for Scotland (SRS) at some point, all dedicated to rescuing and rehoming Springer Spaniels the length and breadth of Scotland.
The charity’s first Springer was rehomed in December 2008, just in time for Christmas. Since then the charity, chaired by Dr Charles Saunders, has rescued and rehomed over 975 dogs.
Sara Denham of Kemnay is one of the charity’s more recent volunteers.
Two years ago she adopted her Springer, Troy, through SRS. He quickly became an integral part of her family, and as a result she decided to volunteer to help other dogs to change their circumstances and find the right home.
As well as regularly helping out with fundraising, Sara is also a fosterer.
She said: “I have huge pride in working for SRS, based on their dog-friendly approach to re-homing and the efficiency of the organisation, which always prioritises the dogs’ well-being.”
John Cohen, from Kinmuck near Inverurie, has been involved with the charity for four years.
A passionate volunteer, John is immersed in every aspect of the charity’s work, from dog assessments and transportation, to fundraising, volunteer training and supporting forever families. He is also an Area Co-ordinator for Aberdeenshire, Moray, Banff, Nairnshire and Inverness-shire, and a Trustee of the Charity.
John derives an immense amount of satisfaction from his work with SRS, saying: “There is nothing more satisfying than fostering a dog that has not had a great start in life, training them and giving them some exercise and love, and then seeing that dog being adopted by their selected forever home. The photos and emails we receive about the unconditional love these dogs bring to their new families are testament to the worthwhile nature of our work. What’s even more remarkable is the fact that it’s all done by volunteers!
“As well as celebrating the successes from the past 10 years of the charity this week, we are also looking ahead to how we can continue our vital role into the next decade and beyond. We need more people who are willing to become foster carers, looking after Springers while they are waiting to make the transition to their new home. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to become foster carers, or indeed volunteer with us in any capacity.”
John is joined by an army of around 100 volunteers across the country - one quarter of whom hail from the North-east - who work tirelessly in roles as varied as administration and publicity, to transportation and foster caring.
Colette Cohen, volunteer and fellow trustee of Springer Rescue for Scotland, is passionate about their work. She said: “I find it absolutely incredible that a charity that was set up by a small group of people a decade ago, has flourished and grown into one of national reach and importance. John and his fellow volunteers continue to run SRS in their spare time, working around families and jobs to ensure that every Springer Spaniel in Scotland should have the chance of a happy, fulfilled life in an appropriate home. Their achievement is truly inspirational.”
If you would like to volunteer with SRS, find out about how to register to foster a Springer, or to make a donation, please visit the website.