‘Over Christmas we are stretched to the very limit’

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

The holiday season may fast be approaching, but for the dedicated team at SHAK, Christmas is certainly not a time to put up their feet.

In fact, it is quite the opposite, with the festive period being incredibly busy.

SHAK founder Stephen Wylie said: “Generally at Christmas, people are beginning to wind down and head for parties.

“However, in here it’s just a normal working day and the build-up is one of our busiest times of year.

“Every day I receive phone calls, emails and texts about people wanting us to take their dogs.

“It can be other rescues, the dog wardens or members of the public, and of course you always get the destruction cases at the vets.

“It seems like a lot of behavioural issues occur this time of year and while I understand that people’s priorities change and Christmas is an important time of year for family time, sometimes these changes in routine can really have an effect on another family member – the dog.

“We try to help as many as we can which is why we have to limit ourselves to the most severe cases, but at times like Christmas we really are stretched to the limit.

“We have recently taken dogs in from as far away as the Isle of Man after a campaign for him to find somewhere to go proved fruitless. In these cases it really is a case of life and death.

“I’m not really sure what the answer is but maybe including the dog as part of the celebrations or even booking them into kennels over the festive period may provide a solution to so many of the issues.”

For more on SHAK, visit www.shak.org.uk