A new ‘leash’ of life for Scots pooches

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 23:09 on 17 July 2015

Save a Staffie Scotland

Charity volunteer Anne Russell (pictured) spoke to Cumbernauld Media. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.

CUMBERNAULD’S Pets at Home store came to resemble something of a dog’s house last Saturday (11th July), when the store opened its doors to the charity Save a Staffie Scotland.

Throughout the day, dog owners, dog lovers, charity supporters and store customers talked to the organisation’s on-hand volunteers about the work which the group does.

With leaflets in hand, treats in the bowls, and a tombola on the table, the volunteers welcomed a number of canines, hounds, and pooches through the door. Oh, and their owners even paid a visit too.

Speaking to Cumbernauld Media’s Scott Campbell, one of the charity’s volunteers explained why the group were in Cumbernauld and provided some background to the three-year-old organisation.

Anne Russell, a volunteer with the Save a Staffie Scotland charity described to us how the organisation is “partnered with Pets at Home” in Cumbernauld, Glasgow Parkhead and Stirling, explaining how “all of the fundraising that is done in each of these stores comes to help our charity."

“So, every once and while we come out and we fundraise within each of the fantastically supportive stores; helping to promote ourselves as well as the stores themselves, to basically get the word out that we are here to help,” she said.

Speaking to Cumbernauld Media’s Scott Campbell as a number of dog-loving pet owners marched in and out of the Westway Retail Park pet store, Anne explained to us how the aim of the charity was to “create a shelter for dogs”.

She said: “The aim of the charity was to have a shelter; creating a safe shelter for dogs, and also to help dogs out in the community.

“As part of our community support, we have for instance, a neutering promotion, that’s done through Vets 4 Pets, and dog owners can have their dogs neutered at the Vets 4 Pets store in Stirling, and at 9 other branches.”

Anne added: “Save a Staffie Scotland started three years ago, and we’ve been a registered charity for two years now, with the aim of not only creating a shelter for dogs but also to support dogs in the community.

“There’s a committee of ten volunteers behind the charity, all of whom are working towards the same aims, and it’s all to help dogs, not just Staffordshire bullterriers but any breed.”

Trading as the Save a Staffie Scotland charity, the Julia Taylor Staffie was founded back in 2012 by a number of former dog rescue staff, who had all came to the conclusion that a new approach towards the much maligned Staffordshire bullterrier breed was needed.

After getting together, the group decided that the initial three aims of the charity would be to raise funds for a refuge or sanctuary for Staffies, campaign for changes in breeding and ownership legislation in Scotland, and promote responsible ownership – aims which run to the charity’s core even now.

Commenting on the public’s response to her charity’s visit to Cumbernauld’s Pets at Home store, last weekend, Ms Russell said it had been “amazing.”

“The public’s response to our presence in Cumbernauld has been absolutely amazing. We had a number of dog owners showing up, and a marvellous number bringing their dogs along too. 

“We look forward to our next visit,” Anne added.

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