Dog walking & kitten cuddling

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Bryson's Animal Shelter

We spent two days volunteering at Bryson’s Animal Shelter. Their goal is to provide temporary care and shelter for stray, abandoned and relinquished animals, and to place as many as possible into responsible and caring homes.

Bryson’s relies on the generosity of volunteers to help support the running and continuous existence of the shelter, from providing exercise and social interaction with their animals to being part of their fundraising team.

We live in a rented property that doesn’t allow pets and as we both work Monday to Friday 9-5 this sadly doesn’t set us up to be the most perfect dog owners. Michael and I are huge dog lovers and we thought that volunteering at Bryson’s would be the best way to enjoy some ‘dog time’, little did we know the impact that these cute canines would have on us. We were also asked if we could help out with ‘kitten cuddling’… and who could refuse that?

These animals have arrived here for a variety of reasons - some were bought as puppies/kittens but, as they aged, they required more care than the owner could provide. Some had been left without a home after their long-term owner had passed away and some were abandoned for unknown reasons. But they all have one thing in common, they long to be loved.

Upon arrival we were greeted by dogs of all shapes and sizes jumping up at their fences coming to say hello! and pick me! All dogs living at Bryson’s are walked twice a day when possible. They love being out enjoying the fresh air and are lucky enough to be seconds away from a big open field behind the back of the refuge. 

Some dogs that we walked pulled on their leads more than others. Here is Murphy (now re-homed, yay!) who is responsible for my right arm being 6 inches longer than the left now.


We walked 57,000 steps over the two days and were absolutely exhausted by the end of it but completely elated from the whole experience. Tracy and her team are amazing, working tirelessly all hours to ensure the dogs have every chance of finding a new family.

Michael and I each get two days paid leave with work so we will volunteer again in the coming Summer. The enjoyment we got from walking and spending time with the dogs was immense. We were rewarded with that feeling of being part of something that is actually making a difference to animals less fortunate than ourselves.

We regularly check the website to see the new arrivals and any news that the team has to share. It’s an amazing feeling when you see ‘on trial’ next to a dog’s name because you know this is the first steps to them being re-homed. It’s crazy how much of a connection you make with the animals and when their picture is removed from the page you gasp and do a lil happy jig because you know they’ve been re-homed for good!

You can offer as much or as little time that suits your lifestyle. Both the staff and animals will appreciate any time you can spare. By helping the dogs to become companionable and trusting, you will be helping them on their quest to find their forever home. So if you’re caring, understanding, love animals and live in the area, what are you waiting for… visit Bryson’s Animal Shelter to become a volunteer today!

Love Luce x

What do you get if you take a really big dog out for a walk? A Great Dane out! (ba dum tss)


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