Charity: Mutts in Distress, helping abandoned dogs
12:18 18 January 2017
Discovering lost and abandoned dogs were being put to sleep after a week at a pound near her home spurred Pat Clark to take them in. Thousands of animals and 30 years later, Mutts in Distress continues the work
Hundreds of lost and abandoned dogs are found new loving homes each year by the small dedicated team who run Mutts in Distress founded by Pat Clark at Normandale Kennels in Little Hallingbury, near Bishop’s Stortford.
‘I heard stray dogs taken in by my local pound were put to sleep on their eighth day if not claimed by their rightful owners. So I visited and asked if this was true. I was told it was. I asked why. “What do you expect me to do with them?” I was told. “Give them to me,” I replied.’
That was 30 years and nearly 6,000 dogs (and other animals) ago.
When Pat started rescuing and rehoming dogs, she ran the operation from her two-bedroom terraced house. When she had filled her home with dogs, and ran out of friends who could take them, she began renting kennels. Fifteen years ago Normandale, a local boarding kennel and cattery, came on the market. Pat bought it and it became the home of Mutts in Distress.
The charity is run by a small team of volunteers. It also works with other dog rescue charities to find homes for its wards.
‘We have too many dogs here – some have been here for a very long time. So we are always looking for forever homes,’ Pat explains. ‘Watching them leave Mutts with their unhappy past behind them is what keeps me going.’
Mutts relies solely on donations, all of which go to paying for food, essentials and vet treatment. There is an ongoing need for simple basics, such as bleach, towels and dog treats.
Volunteers are also always needed to help to exercise and play with the dogs in the paddocks on site as well as with cleaning the kennels.
If you would like to help by donating some time to the charity, call 01279 656633 between 9am and 7.30 pm.
If you are able to offer a loving home to a dog, visit the website mutts-in-distress.org.uk and start the process of finding a new four-legged friend by downloading the rehoming application form.