Dachshund Rescue HQ

Dachshund Rescue HQ – a new admin centre and kennels facility

Last weekend I had the privilege to visit the charity’s new central headquarters and to see for myself the work going on and the future impact this facility will have upon the dogs we have surrendered to us.

The first impression is of a beautiful location surrounded by fields and countryside. The space available and the freedom for the dogs to exercise is great.

Rehoming | Adoption | Emergency Fostering
Rehoming | Adoption | Emergency Fostering
Bertie having a great time exploring
Rehoming | Adoption | Emergency Fostering

The kennels are in a very safe and secure area with lovely exercise facilities for the dogs. I spent a lot of time there cleaning the kennels, feeding the resident dogs, letting them out for regular runs around the field and getting involved in their care (All under the supervision of Clare McGrogan who runs a very tight ship!!!!!)

At the kennels, I met Reggie, who Dachshund Rescue is struggling to rehome for various reasons relating to his behaviour… This is where our new HQ proves invaluable. Reggie can be assessed in a safe environment and learn the skills necessary to be rehomed in the near future with all his needs catered for.

I was also thrilled to meet our special little dachshund Eddie, whose story many of you are familiar with, (check out our Facebook page for the story if you’ve not seen it), and for whom many generous donations were made to the charity.

He is recovering well at our headquarters and has received all the necessary rehabilitation after his very serious life-threatening surgery. He is on his way back to full health with the need to gain weight slowly a priority. He will still require regular visits to the vet and close monitoring to ensure his progress is maintained.

Rehoming | Adoption | Emergency Fostering

As you can see he is a sociable little chap. I was also able to play a part in this lovely boy’s journey by taking him to meet his new owner. Eddie has a wonderful life ahead of him and he is another example of the work being undertaken at Dachshund Rescue HQ.

After all the hard work in the kennels, I was able to enjoy walking my dogs along the river with Lynn (Chair) and her dogs. Such a wonderful environment to be in with lovely views.

All the dogs are thriving in the space and freedom of the setting.

Rehoming | Adoption | Emergency Fostering

Evenings were spent being exceptionally well looked after by Lynn and her husband Steve. I was fed delicious meals, relaxed in front of a beautiful wood fire and slept in a most comfortable bed.

Lynn spent time talking with me about the future of the charity and how our new Dachshund Rescue HQ is going to play such an incredible part in the lives of dachshunds who need extra help and support with behaviour and medical problems.

I left feeling excited about what lies ahead and proud to be part of such an amazing charity.

Rehoming | Adoption | Emergency Fostering

Dachshund Rescue Rehoming Adoption Emergency Fostering

We’re always on the lookout for good people. If you’d like to get involved in the work we do, check out the information on our volunteer roles here.

Linda Hesp

Linda Hesp – Dachshund Rescue coordinator for Mid, South & West Wales

Linda Hesp is the newest coordinator team member, joining us in June 2022. She spoke with fellow coordinator Sue Page having seen our appeal for help and decided to volunteer.

Rehoming | Adoption | Emergency Fostering

After she was contacted by our Chair, Lynn Hall, it soon became clear that Linda would be a great asset to the group.

Linda is a retired PE and Science teacher, so she is used to dealing with people of all ages. Being a PE specialist, she totally understands the importance of teamwork and how people support each other.

She really enjoys learning from all the other coordinators and their experiences which is helping her with all the different situations her new role brings. During Linda’s final years in teaching, she acted as an assistant headteacher in a secondary school responsible for pastoral care and safeguarding.

These skills have really helped with her work for Dachshund Rescue and in her care for everyone involved in the process of rehoming.

Just to enlighten everyone as to Linda’s sporting prowess she represented Wales up to the age of 16 in Tennis and played circuits around England and Wales.

She specialised in Dance at PE college and choreographed lots of school dance routines for concerts during her teaching career. She has also worked on producing dance performances within local theatre shows.

Rehoming | Adoption | Emergency Fostering

Linda has had dachshunds in her life since the age of three. Her first dachshund was a standard and she has gone on to enjoy the ownership of all different dachshunds within the breed!!

Alongside her own dachshunds Linda and her family took in lots of rescue dogs whilst she was growing up. Her experience and knowledge cannot, therefore, be questioned!!!

At present Linda has three dachshunds, all of which are rescued, having sadly had two pass over the rainbow bridge earlier this year. Fletcher and Deefa had both lived to a wonderful age before cancer cruelly took its toll.

Her loss has enabled her to show great empathy towards people having to surrender their dogs, who can also undergo those heart-breaking emotions felt when losing their dachshunds.

Rehoming | Adoption | Emergency Fostering

Having retired from teaching Linda set up her own little business for boarding dachshunds and often had up to eight of them running around her home. She did this for six years. One of her boarders, Emily, ended up staying permanently!! Emily had severe anxiety and was only comfortable in Linda’s care.

Despite all this experience Linda feels she has fallen behind with all the changes going on with breeding in the world of dachshunds. She has come across “dilutes” and “double dapples” and feels there has been a massive increase in dachshunds developing back issues!!

Like many dachshund owners, she has concerns for the future of the breeds’ health and well-being. She has experienced IVDD with her dachshund Daisy, who for a while lost sensation in all four limbs.

With dedication and hard work, Daisy made a remarkable recovery, and her story can offer hope to others. Linda was someone who helped to set up the South Wales IVDD group with Charlotte Baldwin and Dachshund Rescue has helped in supporting this wonderful group.

Like so many of the team, Linda worries when a dachshund enters their new home. We all want everything to go well, and Linda’s greatest reward is when that happens, and she receives lovely feedback from the new owners.

All of our team are volunteers and Linda can struggle when owners want immediate action once, they have decided to surrender their dachshund. She understands that it is hard for people to keep their dogs a little longer having made the decision and that makes the emotions involved even more difficult.

Linda has a saying that “It takes as long as it takes” and assures owners that she will be doing her best to resolve everything as soon as she can, but her priority is always about the dachshund finding its best future life.

What little spare time Linda has now is spent listening to children reading at her local Primary School and singing with her local choir. Despite all her PE teaching and sporting knowledge, she chooses to support Arsenal!!!

This choice was made on her respect for manager Arsene Wenger who was the first to involve science within football training methods in this country (her two subjects combined). We’ll forgive her!!!

If you would like to volunteer to help Linda or any of our coordinators in their work for Dachshund rescue, then we would welcome your support.

Rescue Coordinator Lauren Thomas

Lauren Thomas is the Dachshund Rescue coordinator for London, Berkshire and East Sussex.

She has always had animals in her life and grew up around horses. She became a dachshund owner 8 years ago when Blue came into her life. Lauren had until this point worked with gun dogs and assistance dogs and she was fascinated by the complete difference in the psychology of dachshunds and other breeds of dogs.

Rehoming | Adoption | Emergency Fostering

Lauren Thomas, the Dachshund Rescue coordinator for London, Berkshire and East Sussex

Lauren’s dog, Blue, had a few behaviour issues when settling into his new home with her, and she was eager to work on helping him to improve.
She worked alongside a behaviourist and was fascinated to learn that the drives behind most breeds differ from those of the dachshund.

She discovered that for most dogs the main drive is to please the owner and gain their praise. Dachshunds have other ideas!!!!! Lauren was fascinated by what she was learning and how it changed her normal ways of dog training.

She has worked for dog charities, training assistance dogs for people with physical and mental disabilities. The role meant spending time working with the dogs to learn their personalities so that she could then find the owner best suited for each particular dog.

As you can imagine these skills fit alongside her work for the charity perfectly.

Rescue Coordinator - Lauren Thomas pictured walking across a footbridge with her dachshund, Blue

Lauren’s work in training assistance dogs was ideal experience for her role with Dachshund Rescue

More recently Lauren has been working for a charity that puts together teams of dogs and horses that act as therapy for children and adults of all disabilities.

Whether it be the physical exercise or emotional connection she finds the right ways in which animals can help. As you can imagine this is incredibly rewarding work.

One of Lauren’s concerns is how many owners expect their dogs to conform completely to their lifestyle.

She has learnt through her work with disabled children and adults that communication is sometimes difficult and you need to find different ways to relate to people.

This has made her very aware that the same is true of our dachshunds and that often they communicate their underlying emotions through aggression and barking.

She believes that sometimes we need to try to view situations through their eyes, to help us to recognise the cause of their anxieties, and then try to avoid those triggers in the future or find a way to work around them. Some good advice for all dachshund owners.

As a rescue coordinator, she wants people who apply to adopt, to do so only when they are completely ready to make the necessary commitment.

It is not always practical to believe our dachshunds can be “fixed” with their behaviour but they can improve tremendously with hard work.

Lauren has only been in her rescue coordinator role with us for a few months and she has really enjoyed meeting lots of new people and helping to find our dachshunds’ wonderful new homes.

She has loved being part of our team and is learning every day how different every situation is.

As you’d expect, Lauren is very busy and, like many of our coordinators, is always on the lookout for extra help.

If you are in and around Lauren’s neck of the woods and think you might be able to help with Home Checks, Transport, or anything else to support her in her work as a rescue coordinator for Dachshund Rescue, get in touch, she’d love to hear from you. You’ll find Lauren’s contact details here.

We’re always on the lookout for good people. If you’d like to get involved in the work we do, check out the information on our volunteer roles here.

Christine Furneaux

Christine Furneaux – An Announcement

It is with deep sadness that Dachshund Rescue has to announce the passing of our Chair for many years, Christine Furneaux.

Founded in 1972, Dachshund Rescue was the result of the collaboration of several Dachshund breed clubs.

Later Chris became responsible for Daxaid, a small organisation providing foster care.

She was a very proactive lady, nothing stood in the way of what she wanted to achieve in her life!

In 2014 Chris led us to achieve charitable status for Dachshund Rescue, finding new Trustees and Coordinators.

It was the beginning of Dachshund Rescue as we know it today.

At this time Chris also initiated and managed the amalgamation of Daxaid and Dachshund Rescue.

Covering the whole of the UK, we now have; 4 Trustees, 14 Coordinators, over 40 volunteers, a team of mobile physiotherapists and a Dachshund trainer.

We have also established working relationships with various referral clinics across the UK. In 2021 the Charity found forever homes for 190 Dachshunds

The amount of energy and dedication Chris had for the welfare of Dachshunds was tremendous, and she grew a very successful charity over many years.

She was an extremely determined lady with very strong values and ethics which she instilled in each and every member of the Charity.

These values remain in place today and we are all very proud to honour these vital components which are instrumental in the rehoming work that we do.

Chris had a great love of Lawn Bowls which she attended two mornings a week for many years. Nothing interfered with her bowling mornings and the socialising that went with them.

We all quickly learned which mornings were bowls mornings. There became an unspoken rule that Chris was not to be disturbed at these times!

Wildlife was a great love of Chris’s and whilst sat at her desk for many hours carrying out the rescue work, she would watch a special little bird that sat on the hedge outside her study, watching her.

The last few months prior to Chris stepping down as Chair of Dachshund Rescue saw the beginning of the pandemic. This brought in a massive change in the way we would work to rehome Dachshunds.

This she did with great aplomb, as always leading her team successfully through these unprecedented times.

She was, however, not a great fan of technology, and as our meetings could no longer be face-to-face, we all had to get to grips with Zoom.

Chris found this very frustrating, to say the least but her determination to master the situation resulted in a very strange login to our first Zoom meeting, culminating in us all pulling her leg that she was using a stolen iMac!

She roared with laughter and from then on we all had great fun with her adapting successfully to Zoom life.

Chris also held various other positions, all Dachshund related of course.

She was on the committee of the Southern Dachshund Club Association for over 20 years and the committee of the Dachshund Club, holding positions of Membership Secretary as well as Chair for a couple of years.

Due to ill health, Chris stepped down from Dachshund Rescue in December 2020.

The knowledge and experience of Dachshunds Chris possessed were enormous. We feel very privileged to have worked with her.

Christine Furneaux

Chris will be hugely missed and the Dachshund breed has sadly lost a great Ambassador.

Sponsorship of QVSH Cambridge University

We are delighted to announce two major collaborations at the Queens Veterinary School Hospital (QVSH), University of Cambridge.

3-year Training Position

Dachshund Rescue UK are fully funding a three-year training position for a veterinary neurologist, beginning in July 2021.

The position attracted many high-quality applicants. Eventually, the team decided on Bruno Scalia (pictured here).

Bruno Scalia of QVSH Cambridge University
Bruno Scalia

Bruno is an Italian veterinary surgeon who came to the UK to fulfil his ambition of becoming a neurologist.

He visited QVSH Cambridge University prior to the pandemic and made a particularly good impression.

Gaining valuable experience at a busy private referral hospital, Bruno has already been published in a leading veterinary journal.

The team is confident he will be an outstanding neurologist.

Bruno’s aim is to find evidence for a surgical treatment to reduce the frequency and recurrences of ‘disc disease’ in our breed as, well as others.

1-Year Research Project

Our second sponsorship is the funding of a one-year research project.

The successful candidate is a veterinary surgeon from Colombia, Viviana Rojas (pictured here).

Viviana Rojas of QVSH Cambridge University
Viviana Rojas

This is a potentially life-changing opportunity for Viviana, who will begin her research in October 2021.

Working as part of Paul Freeman’s research group, she will be looking at various aspects of intervertebral disc disease.

The group at QVSH Cambridge University has already made some exciting advances in the understanding of the disease.

We are sure that Viviana’s work will add to the pool of knowledge, eventually leading to novel treatments and/or preventative measures in the future.

We’re extremely excited about this partnership, and to further developing our relationship with the team at QVSH Cambridge.

The results from the work at QVSH Cambridge University will benefit our breed, but also of course the welfare of all breeds which suffer from neurological disease.