Please give generously to the dogs this Christmas

Joseph Bulmer

SIR - Thanks entirely to the generosity of the people of North Devon, your readers may remember how successful we all were in collecting food, dog tins, toys, biscuits, beds etc for stray homeless dogs at the Dogs Trust at Ilfracombe last Christmas.

We have already been asked if we are doing it again this year. Absolutely! Sadly, animal charities are reporting escalating cases of animal abuse and abandonment with rescue centres bursting at the seams.

Unfortunately, in these times of economic cuts, the family pet is often the first to go. Abandoned pets, like abandoned children, should be on all our consciences. Life can be very boring (and sad) for a dog staying at a rescue centre so, just like children, they need toys and chews to help them pass the time until, hopefully, someone will want them again as a family pet and friend.

We have spoken to the Dogs Trust about their particular requirements. I’m pleased to say that they are very well off for blankets, beds and towels and space is limited.

This year they are in great need of dog tins, chews (especially the large rawhide chews) and biscuits, especially “SCHMACKOS”. Apparently, I am told, these are the dogs’ favourite treats and the staff like them, too!

If any other smaller animal charities like to get in touch - we will of course do what we can to assist. Gifts can be left in our garage or front porch. Look for the large sign in the front garden. Please leave your name & address as we do like to thank people for their kindness. We can also collect if people are unable to deliver - just give us a ring.

Last year, we were genuinely touched by so many older people living alone who do not drive any more and yet collected a tin of dog food every time they went shopping. It was much appreciated. We hope local schools will get involved just as they did last year, which was brilliant!

It is, in our opinion, as important to teach children to be kind to animals as it is to teach them about climate change. Many thanks also to Wendy Robinson from Bradiford who has already donated her gifts for our homeless friends - which gave us the kick start we needed to get the ball rolling!

Jim & Joanne Bell

38 West Yelland