We Can’t Change a Dog’s Past, But We Can Re-Write Their Future

The Rescue Hotel Charity was created 3 years ago by volunteers, Toria & Mathew Acreman, Greta Sullivan & Alex Milakovic to help promote the dogs at Cardiff Dogs Home.

They have also recruited Andrew (Bernie) Plain into the role of Law & Governance, to help with the additional needs for the charity to help run as smoothly as possible. Also, check out some of his videos on their Instagram page: therescuehotelcdh, well worth a watch! The home is council run and although they receive some money from them, the volunteer-run organisation gets most of their funding they’ve raised themselves. 

We spoke to Hayley Perkins, who recently stepped into the educational role for The Rescue Hotel. Hayley plans on spreading as much awareness about the shelter as possible, going into offices and schools to talk to people about the importance of animal welfare, approaching dogs, diet etc.

With the dogs home being council run and receiving only a small amount of funding, the charity is helping by putting on events and selling merchandise to help add to the pot.

We run fundraising events, where we sell possibly some of the coolest charity merch around. You can purchase, T.Shirts, Jumpers, Caps and accessories. All that money goes straight towards funding for the new kennels.” Their merchandise can also be purchased on there website- https://store.therescuehotel.com/ 

As the Rescue Hotel is volunteer run, they are always looking for people to donate any time they can to help the organisation.

“We are always looking for volunteer walkers on weekends but ideally during the week as well.” 

Are you interested in volunteering? It’s an easy process to sign up and it can make a huge difference. “You can go onto the website and there are set induction days. It will give you dates for those on the website. Otherwise people can just call up and enquire. During the induction, they’ll tell you the do’s and don’t’s when out walking the dogs. There are some people who have none or very little experience around dogs, so these inductions days are important for the dogs safety and wellbeing.”

Volunteers are now more important than ever, as Hayley explains, “There is an influx of dogs due to Covid-19 and lockdown. Lots of people adopted dogs because they were home and bored, and then realised the level of work involved and the financial responsibilities. We have loads of French Bulldogs from when they were a “fashionable” breed. They get bred in bulk because of the demand, and they are then either dropped off at the Dogs Home(which is the better option), or worse, left to roam the streets as strays.”

And there are more ways that you can help too. If you’re not sure about adopting, have you thought about fostering? “Because of the amount of dogs we have and the amount of kennels. We never say no to any dog, but that does mean we often have a high volume. It is great for dogs who aren’t adopted that quickly, who might become depressed. Fostering gives them the great opportunity to have a break away from the kennels. It gives that connection they need.

“Fostering a dog is brilliant and makes a huge difference. We don’t expect everyone to adopt a dog, but fostering is so helpful and important. It helps massively because it just takes some of the pressure off. The dog wont get too depressed, and it helps them to social which is very important in the adopting process.”

“A lot of the time people do fall in love with the dogs they’re fostering, as you can imagine. And others have the perfect mindset for fostering.” And it provides great benefits for both the dogs and the fosterers. “Fostering just gives them that company and comfort while they’re waiting for their forever home.

The dogs, once brought into the dogs home, have a seven day cooling off period to decompress and get used to their new environment. This also gives them a chance to make an evaluation about their personality. 

During the assessment of a dogs personality and social behaviour, the volunteers play an essential role.“They take them out on walks and see how they react with humans, others dogs, loud noise etc.” This becomes the jumping off point for their adoption journey. 

Hayley goes on the praise the volunteers and the work they do, “the volunteers are absolutely fantastic. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do that work we do. It’s a charity that is run by volunteers.” 

If you’re interested in learning more, you can head over to the Rescue Hotel website (https://therescuehotel.com/). Even the smallest thing can make a big difference to these dogs lives.

Here are a few mixed breed pooches who are currently in search of new homes.

Meet Abraham! You can learn more about him here- https://www.cardiffdogshome.co.uk/2023/10/abraham/

Meet Socks! You can learn more about her here- https://www.cardiffdogshome.co.uk/2023/10/socks/

Meet Goldie! You can learn more about her here- https://www.cardiffdogshome.co.uk/2023/10/goldie/

Meet Liza! You can learn more about her here- https://www.cardiffdogshome.co.uk/2023/09/liza/