A revolving door at SHAK, as yet more newbies arrive

Stephen Wylie with Kiki and Nora flanked by Bren and Rex.
Stephen Wylie with Kiki and Nora flanked by Bren and Rex.

The latest instalment of our weekly series dedicated to Alnwick-based dog sanctuary, SHAK.

Another week, another rescue – SHAK has stepped in once again to give love and attention to a number of new arrivals.

The animal charity has offered a place of sanctuary to two terrified strays, as well as another which was showing serious behavioural issues.

One of the strays has since moved on to another rescue – having already received some TLC from the charity – while the rehabilitation process will continue for the others still in SHAK’s care.

SHAK founder Stephen Wylie said: “Two of the dogs were picked up as strays in south-east Northumberland and were absolutely terrified.

“The black and white one is called Kiki and is a Karakachan (a kind of Bulgarian shepherd) so is quite unusual.

“We’ve traced a little bit of history through her microchip but it appears that she’s been passed about from home to home, so the owners’ details are out of date.

“She’s coming on nicely and is making friends, both four and two-legged.

“Little Nora, as she has been called, was also terrified. In fact, she was so frightened that she had to be poled out of the vets she was handed into.

“She is so young and playful, though, and learning to trust all of the time. I’m delighted to say she recently moved onto another rescue and is already winning hearts.

“We were needed to take a dog from them that was showing serious behavioural issues. So it shows just how far she has come in a week.”

To prove just how effective the charity’s work is, Stephen used Bren – one of the dogs in its care – to welcome Kiki and Nora to the SHAK family.

This in itself was a huge milestone, as Bren arrived at SHAK in 2017 with a hostile reputation.

Stephen said: “When Bren arrived last year, he was terrified and he was displaying it in horrendous fear aggression.

“He was so bad that the pound we saved him from, who had booked him in to be destroyed, described him as the most aggressive dog they had ever seen.

“I’ll emphasise the point again, he was terrified.

“Today, of course, he’s a lot happier and from being discarded and written off, he has turned into a valuable asset for helping others who are finding life in rescue difficult and he was fantastic with our new arrivals.”

In fact, Kiki and Nora came on so well, the SHAK team decided to take them on a walk with Bren and canine companion Rex (pictured above).

Stephen said: “They all had so much fun and loved each other. It was a proud moment.”