The next instalment of our series dedicated to Alnwick-based dog sanctuary, SHAK.
Two stricken dogs, which were staring death in the face, have been saved from the brink by SHAK.
The Alnwick-based charity has welcomed two new arrivals over the last few days and work is already under way to transform their lives.
The first dog, who has not yet been named by his new carers, was found abandoned and tied to a bus shelter in Birmingham.
Frightened and alone, he was showing severe signs of fear aggression and, having arrived at SHAK, it is clear that his problems won’t be fixed overnight.
The second, a Yorkshire terrier named Toby, has come to SHAK from a local pound and the charity is working to make him less snappy.
SHAK founder Stephen Wylie said: “Whenever I get a call from our good friend Jennie down at K9 Search in Birmingham, I know she has a serious problem.
“This time a big Bull breed had been found chained to a bus shelter and was showing severe signs of fear aggression.
“Thanks to the great people at Animal House Rescue they somehow managed to get the dog safe before he was taken to the local pound to serve his seven days.
“Within two hours of arriving, his fear had lead to him failing the assessment and he was destined to be destroyed.
“That was when the phone call to me happened. Once the seven days were completed, he set off on his road trip north.
“After arriving, I needed to get him out. He was so stressed and frightened. His kennel was in a horrific state and he was trying everything he could to keep me away.
“He would not let me get anywhere near him with a lead and his stress levels were rising dramatically. The only safe way was to use the rigid lead.
“He hated that too, in fact having seen him arrive on a lead, the difference with the rigid one was upsetting to see. I just needed to get him outside.
“Once outside, I tried my luck again, I really didn’t want him to associate what should be fun with the stress the rigid lead was causing him.
“He really is an amazing dog. I can see that in his eyes already. All we need to do now is make him realise we are not about to hurt him.”
But, in the space of 48 hours, he is beginning to turn a corner, slowly learning to trust and even getting out and seemingly enjoying a walk.
Stephen continued: “Ironically, at the same time, the dog wardens called me about a Yorkshire terrier that was due to be destroyed in the local pound after several weeks because only one person could get near him.
“Of course I said we would help, and it really was a surreal moment getting him put on the lead for the first time so soon compared to the big boy that had just arrived. Toby hates getting the lead on, he will jump and lunge and snap at you while doing so. He might be smaller than our other dogs, but his teeth are still as sharp.
“Once out though he loves life and we just need to help him work through his issues.
“It is quite upsetting to see such a big dog so emotionally scared, but equally as upsetting to see such a small dog so close to losing his life. I’m pleased we could save them.”
○ SHAK is currently in talks about opening retail outlets across Northumberland to help raise funds for the charity.
If anyone would like to help out in the shops, email firstname.lastname@example.org
All positions would be voluntary to begin with and would include store managers, assistants and anyone interested in the actual running and development of such sites. While retail experience would be a great help, it is not essential.