An animal charity manager has reminded the public that ‘a dog is for life not just for Christmas’ as she celebrates three decades helping her canine companions in Leeds.
Dogs Trust Leeds manager Amanda Sands said even after 30 years she is still shocked when dogs arrive in a terrible state and is as passionate as ever about finding them the best possible home.
She said: “I’m never without a dog at home and since working here I’ve adopted them usually because they have some kind of health problem and tugged at my heart strings more than ever.
“Two of the ones I adopted had three legs and my current dog, Clooney, is blind so it’s fantastic to be able to give them a loving home.
“I am definitely of the opinion that a house is not a home without a dog and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone across Yorkshire and beyond who has adopted one of our beautiful dogs and given them the second chance and loving home they all deserve.”
When Amanda, from Otley, joined the charity in 1986 the Leeds branch consisted of one other person and a single block of kennels.
But the 30-strong team is now based on York Road and able to care for at least 100 dogs. The centre has a dedicated puppy suite, a veterinary suite and staff include specialist training and behaviourists.
Amanda said: “It’s so different today, it’s wonderful! Dogs Trust leads the way when it comes to kennel design and people so often comment on how quiet it is when they come because the dogs are so relaxed.”
Visit www.dogstrust.org.uk for more information.
Dogs Trust Leeds was originally based on a small site in Adel and Amanda would see and hear, the dogs when she went to look after her horse in a nearby field.
As a dog lover the temptation became too much and she started volunteering for the charity, doing everything from walking the dogs and cleaning kennels to talking to potential adopters.
She said: “I simply couldn’t resist. We’d always had dogs in our family and I just wanted to do what I could. I volunteered for quite a few years and then the manager’s job was advertised and I got it! As they say the rest is history!”