Manager of Dog's Trust Newbury celebrates 30 years of rehoming
More than 23,000 re-homed waggy tailed mutts later, Mrs Iggelden, aged 62, celebrated 30 years as manager of Dogs Trust’s Newbury Centre in Hamstead Marshall this week by helping find a home for a greyhound, nicknamed ‘Mo’ in her honour.
“I was a housewife with two kids 30 years ago when I got involved with a local group of Dog’s Trust ladies who were raising money. I heard they were looking for a manager, and my husband badgered me to apply, she said.
The family moved from Boxford to the centre in Plumb’s Farm, Hamstead Marshall, as Mrs Iggleden’s tireless campaign to give every dog a happy life resulted in her devoting her life to the cause.
“I never for one moment thought I would be here 30 years but it has flown by.
“It’s like an itch you can’t stop scratching.”
Her memories of taking in hurt and frightened canines over the years would leave few dry eyes but her passion to ensure compulsory micro-chipping for every dog and to raise the plight of the greyhound - a breed which famously suffers due to its links with racing, is as steely as ever.
“My first Christmas here absolutely broke by heart, but although traditionally it is always seen as the worst time but the truth is it is the six weeks running up to it which are worse and something I will never ever get over,” she said.
“More dogs are brought in after summer than any other time; that is when I know Christmas is approaching. Families have dogs over the summer holidays but then when the kids go back to school and the parents go back to work it’s too dark and miserable to walk them and so they get neglected and we end up taking them in.
“It is harder to re-home dogs today simply because people’s lifestyles have changed, they have less time and are so busy; that has always been our biggest challenge.
“We will always keep going though, we have some very loyal families who are on their second and third generation of dogs with us, people know us here and it is nice to have built that relationship.”
If she had to pick a favourite breed it would be either flat coated retrievers or whippets, which she has kept for 25 years.
“I love them all though, they all have a special place,” she said.
“It doesn’t matter what breed, we just want to make sure we give every dog a happy life.”
The chief executive officer of Dogs Trust, Clarissa Baldwin, said: “Maureen’s commitment has contributed to so many re-homing success stories all over Newbury and the surrounding area, and I am delighted to thank Maureen for her commitment on behalf of Dogs Trust.”
For more information about the centre and the 43 dogs currently looking for a new home log on to www.dogstrust.org.uk