Sun, 05 Aug 2018
DOGS Trust Newbury’s assistant manager is celebrating 30 years of helping to re-house homeless hounds.
Jenny Hopkins started working for the charity in 1988 as a canine carer, but quickly progressed up the ranks when there were only four full-time members of staff.
Mrs Hopkins said: “I couldn’t resist.
“We’d always had dogs in our family and I just wanted to do what I could.
“I was a canine carer for a year before becoming assistant manager and, as they say, the rest is history.”
Today there are 30 staff made up of canine carers, training and behaviour advisers, volunteer co-ordinators, maintenance and veterinary staff.
Mrs Hopkins said: “It’s so different today, but it’s fantastic.
“Dogs Trust leads the way when it comes to kennel design and people often comment on how quiet it is when they come because the dogs are so relaxed in their new space.
“We know so much more about what makes a dog happy and healthy these days and while in our care we do everything we possibly can to give them everything they need before they go on to find their forever homes.”
Jenny grew up around animals and her earliest memories are of being surrounded by Welsh springer spaniels, chickens, geese and cats.
When she became a canine carer at the Hamstead Marshall site, she took on everything from walking the dogs and cleaning the kennels, to talking to potential adopters.
She said that even after 30 years, no two days are ever the same and she still finds it extremely rewarding to be able to offer help – sometimes even a home – to the dogs who really need it.
She said: “In total, I have adopted 30 dogs over the years – the equivalent to one a year – and usually I’ve adopted them because they have some kind of health problem or tugged at my heart strings for one reason or another.
“For example, Megan, my springer spaniel, can suffer with panic attacks and then collapses as a result. I can’t leave her with anyone and my life revolves around her and my other dogs so I haven’t been on holiday in years.
“But for me, looking after them is a privilege and my main priority.”