Twenty-five years of dogged devotion
A devoted dog-lover has spent 25 years – more than half her life – caring for dogs and helping them find their happy endings.
Tracy Marshall from Evesham has worked for Dogs Trust Evesham since 1995 and has spent more than two decades helping to care for around 20,000 dogs who have come through the doors of the Wickhamford-based centre.
Tracy started as a part-time Kennel Maid when she was just 17 through a Youth Training Scheme and three months later became a full-time Canine Carer. Over the years, Tracy developed a love for helping the dogs who needed an extra bit of help with their behaviour and in 2017, became one of four Dog Trainers at the centre, working in the centre’s Specialist Training and Rehabilitation facility (STAR).
She has seen the centre change so much over the years, more recently in 2016 when the site underwent a significant refurbishment meaning they now host an impressive array of facilities for the dogs in their care including kennels with underfloor heating, a full veterinary suite and large enclosed all-weather paddocks. When Tracy started working for the charity in 1995, the kennels were old-fashioned and run down and office computers were few and far between.
“The difference between then and now is incredible. Whilst the dogs have always been well looked after, the facilities we have now are second to none which means the dogs have plenty to wag their tails for.
“In my early days at Dogs Trust, we only had a basic website, whereas now we have a fantastic website and social media to help us find our dogs homes. We’ve come a long way and rehome dogs to people across Evesham and Worcestershire, as well as across the UK.”
Back in the nineties, there was a team of around 25 staff which is very different to the current team of around sixty, made up of Canine Carers, Training and Behaviour Advisors, Volunteer Co-ordinators and Veterinary staff who provide the best possible care for the 800 dogs that find themselves at Dogs Trust Evesham each year.
“The last 25 years have flown by and it’s safe to say I have loved every minute of it. No two days are ever the same and even though a lot has changed since I started, the one thing at the front of my mind every day is to give every single dog in our care everything they need before they go on to find their forever homes. I’ve cared for so many dogs over the years, but a few stick out in my mind, particularly some of the ones who needed more TLC with their behaviour before they were ready to find new homes. One of which was Albert who came into us with quite a few worries, but he was rehabilitated and rehomed in four months, something I was really proud of and he’s still happily in his forever home.”
As a dog lover, the temptation became too much and over the years Tracy opened up her home to three four-legged friends herself. She has a soft spot for Terriers and the three she adopted all lived until they were sixteen years old. Up until recently, she shared her home with JJ a Fox Terrier who sadly passed away in December last year.
“I am definitely of the opinion that a house is not a home without a dog and I will never get bored of seeing dogs heading off with their new families. I truly believe a dog is for life but in 25 years, the one thing that still shocks me is how many stray dogs are found that aren’t microchipped despite it being a legal requirement, and how many dogs are still end up with us because their owners haven’t considered the long term commitment of dog ownership.”
One of the dogs currently at Dogs Trust Evesham who has stolen Tracy’s heart is Fox Terrier, Majik, who is looking for patient adopters and could live with teenagers aged 14 and above.
To find out about all of the dogs waiting for their forever homes at Dogs Trust Evesham please call 01386 572666.