Widnes dog lover swaps full-time work for full-time volunteering
A Widnes dog lover has stunned Dogs Trust Merseyside staff by swapping full-time work for full-time volunteering to help hundreds of dogs as they wait for their new forever homes.
Linda Wells and her husband, David, started volunteering at the Huyton-based rehoming centre as work commitments meant they couldn’t have a dog of their own. But now, eleven years later and having recently retired, Linda has shocked staff by spending at least five days a week helping the team look after the dogs.
Linda, who was a personal assistant before retiring, says:
“I absolutely love volunteering so it just made perfect sense to me that once I’d retired I’d spend as much time as possible here with the gorgeous dogs! I think the staff were a bit shocked, but hopefully pleased!
“It is such a great thing to do that I don’t see it as me giving my time, I just see it as a wonderful opportunity to spend time with dogs who deserve the best of everything whilst they wait for their forever homes.”
Linda has clocked up more than 5,600 hours of volunteering - more than 230 days - and does everything from dog walking to home checks at homes dogs may be heading off to, as well as working on the puppy block which is one of her favourite jobs.
“Since starting volunteering with Dogs Trust Merseyside I’ve received training which means I can do lots of different things but my favourite thing has to be helping look after the puppies.
“All dogs deserve a great start in life so to help puppies get used to as much as possible before they meet their new families is really important as then they will settle in much better and become happy adult dogs. It is really rewarding and it’s wonderful seeing them, and all of the dogs, leave with their excited new families.”
The rehoming centre has around 100 volunteers helping out with everything from laundry to grounds maintenance but Linda is the first volunteer who has committed so much of her week.
Clare Lybert, Volunteer Co-ordinator, says:
“Our volunteers are amazing and Linda is one of our most long serving but when she retired we thought she might want to take a holiday. Instead she immediately asked if she could come in during the week, as well as sometimes at weekends, and of course the answer was yes!”
Although Linda and David are planning to adopt a dog from Dogs Trust Merseyside when David also retires, they will both continue to volunteer.
“We definitely want to give a dog a forever home when the time is right but that won’t stop us volunteering. We will both still come to the centre throughout the week as that way we can help lots of dogs but we will work it out so we can have a dog of our own too. That will be the best of all worlds!”
You can find out more about volunteering at Dogs Trust Merseyside here.