Rescue Me is a project exploring the benefits that can be gained from families who adopt dogs from rescue centres. My photos are a true representation of my time spent with some families that have done just that. By catching a glimpse of them and their happy hounds in their own environment, I hope to raise awareness about dog adoption.
As a child I was a little scared of dogs. I’m embarrassed to say that I had the typical misconceptions that dogs from shelters were all going to have behavioural problems.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Dogs in shelters are no different to any other dog, they have just had a less fortunate life than others and during this project, I have seen this first hand. In my opinion, we are to blame for many dogs who are in desperate need of re-homing, whether it be due to a lack of education when choosing the right dog, or not enough control surrounding puppy farming. We have cross-bred them and domesticated them. We now need to save them. Hopefully my work will help to get this message across.
Fiona, Scarlet and Sonny rescued Zapper, the very chilled out 10 year old retired racing greyhound from Allsorts Dog Rescue in Sussex. They all live in Stoke Newington, London, but will soon be relocating to Los Angeles.
Originally, they couldn’t decide which breed they wanted. Fiona was thinking of a Wire Haired Dachshund, and Phil fancied a Pointer. Eventually their choice was a Greyhound!! Fiona’s aunt had Greyhounds when she was a child and so she knew that they had lovely temperaments. When they went to pick Zapper up from the rescue centre he was desperate to go home with them and tried to clamber into the car. He clearly hated his kennel.
In the early days, Zapper not being use tobeing indoors, would wee on everything; jump on the table for the food and bark at shiny surfaces. It took him a while to settle into his retirement but they assure me he has been worth it, and seems grateful to have been given a loving, relaxing home. One of Zapper’s favourite past times is being scratched, and sometimes all the family gets involved, bliss! Zapper has a tattoo on his ear, representing where he was born and where he raced. They say Zapper is now a very calming influence on their family, he is mostly found on his back with his tongue hanging out and they love that his nose is so long he can sniff around corners.
TAZZY AND SCAMP
They rescued Tazzy, a 6 year old 3 legged Staffordshire Bull/ American Bull Terrier cross, and Scamp a 10 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, both from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. They all live in Stoke Newington, London.
Tazzy was thrown out of a window at 6 months resulting in a broken pelvis leaving him with only three legs. Their previous dog, Ambrose, adopted from Battersea, was also a 3 legged dog. When they saw Tazzy, they knew he was the dog for them. Scamp was a favourite at Battersea and he was often seen (and heard) with a plastic squeaky sheep in his mouth, which he still has today! Scamp’s story is also tragic, the cigarette burns on his back were a clear sign that he has been abused. He has been a resident of Battersea twice, the second being over 18 months, which was one of the longest stays at the time. The couple who previously owned Scamp had been volunteers at Battersea and had looked after Tazzy during his short time there. As it happened, they lived close to Alex and Di and often saw them walking Tazzy whilst they were with Scamp.
It was obvious that Alex and Di had made Tazzy a very happy dog. A year after Tazzy’s adoption, Scamp’s owners approached Alex and Di to see if they would consider adopting Scamp, because of personal reasons they could no longer look after him. The last thing they wanted to do was return him back to Battersea for a third time. To make sure the two dogs were compatible Alex and Di arranged ‘play dates’ and this was successful so they decided they would take Scamp. It didn’t take too long before they bonded and now it is infeasible that they could live apart.
They rescued Vaughan, a 3 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier from Rescue Remedies, an internet based rescue charity specialising in Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. They live in Bow, East London.
Helen volunteers every week at Rescue Remedies, walking the dogs and helping in the re-homing process, along with fostering dogs in her own home over the Christmas periods. Vaughan was the fourth dog Helen and Chris had fostered and because he fitted in so well with them they decided to keep him. Chris had never had dogs before and was a little scared of them as a child, so Vaughan’s laid back temperament and easy going nature made him a perfect match. He goes to doggy daycare 3 times a week, which he loves, and he’s a bit of a favourite there. When he’s had enough of playing with the other dogs, he goes and sits on his very own chair in the corner, to take a rest. He’s even got his own ‘school bag’ with his name on it. Helen and Chris got married a few years ago, and Chris surprised Helen by organising it that Vaughan came along for a short while after the ceremony so that he could be part of the photos.
They have now opened their own dog food and accessory shop in Bow, called ‘Hounds of Bow’.
Rescued Roxy, the very enthusiastic 4 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Rottweiler cross from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. They all live in London Fields, London. They will soon be relocating to East Sussex to start a new life in the country.
Roxy had a tough start in life. From only a few months old, her owner would leave her with people for weeks at a time and when she was with her owner she would be crated for very long periods. Eventually he abandoned her completely and she was taken to Battersea. Jessica and her husband Faisal were thinking about starting a family when they first adopted Roxy and thought a small Terrier would be suitable. Jessica admitted at the time, she didn’t think a big powerful dog like a Staffie would be a good idea with small children, and wasn’t initially looking to adopt that breed.
However it quickly became clear that the small Terriers in Battersea at the time they were looking were not going to be suitable for being homed with small children, but were told that the majority of the Staffies would be! So they decided to meet one of the Staffies. Roxy came bounding into the meeting room where they were and after lots of excitable running around, went and sat next to Faisal and put her head on his lap. Instantly they both fell for her. Even though she was twice the size they were looking for, they just couldn’t resist her enthusiasm. She has since calmed down a great deal, but is still such a happy and grateful soul. When Sofia is in the kitchen reading her books, Roxy will often sit beside her and she loves pushing her snout in between Jessica’s knees, she finds it really soothing.
After having Roxy for a while, Jessica set up her own company 'East End Best Friend', an online shop offering the finest handmade canine accessories. It was because of Roxy that she decided to start the company as she struggled to find toys that could withstand the enthusiasm of Roxy. Her products bridge the gap between durable and beautiful.
LILY AND LOUIS
They rescued Lily, a 5 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and Louis a 6 year old Border Terrier - Chihuahua cross. They all live in Greys, Essex.
Louis was 8 weeks old when they adopted him through an online centre rescuing young dogs from puppy farms; which unfortunately no longer exists. The day before Adam and Sarah went to the rescue centre, Louis along with 5 other puppies had been found in a box outside the centre. As soon as they saw Louis, they knew he was the one they wanted.
When they were deciding to get a second dog, they were keen to get a Staffie as they knew there were many Staffies in rescue centres waiting for homes, more so than any other breed. Lily was given to her previous owner as a Christmas present, but on Boxing Day she was left by the side of a road tied to a lamppost. Luckily someone took Lily to a rescue centre and a few days later Adam and Sarah went to see her, and fell in love with her immediately. Adam has his own dog walking company, ‘The Running With Dogs Company’ and he volunteers at The Dogs Trust working with youth offenders as part of their reparation work on a project called ‘Take the Lead’. Adam teaches them about responsible dog ownership. The Dogs Trust released a statistic that 98% of the young people that enrolled onto the reparation programme in one year alone didn’t go on to re-offend. Adam says that the kids he’s worked with often have barriers up when they first meet him but as soon he introduces them to the dogs he can see a change in them almost straight away and they become engaging and more communicative.
Adam and Sarah have been musicians since they were kids and met on an Acting and Musical show 8 years ago. Adam plays the Saxophone and Sarah plays the Trumpet. Sarah is an actress and plays in regional musical theatres and spends a lot of her time living out of a suitcase moving around the country with the shows. Sarah also plays in a band called the Daisy Chains, a 50’s Rock ‘n’ Roll band. When Sarah is practising the trumpet, Lily hates it and takes herself off into another room. Louis is more chilled out about most things and enjoys listening! Together they look after dogs in there own home too occasionally, and whilst I was there they were looking after Rugger, a very handsome Weimaraner, so I couldn't leave him out of the photos...look out for him!
They rescued Ruby, a 4 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier from The Mayhew Animal Home in Kensal Green. They live in Walthamstowm East London.
Ruby was found as a stray walking the streets, so her background is relatively unknown. She was very nervous of other dogs to begin with but after some training she soon recognised that other dogs were not a threat to her. They are a young couple, who will probably want to have a family in the future, so they chose a Staffie because they had been told how good they were with children.
They found Ruby on The Mayhew website. The adoption was quite an involved process, including an interview and a home check, but they say that it was a good thing and it made them feel confident in the rescue centre that they had the good of the animal as their priority. During the few weeks the rescue team were doing the checks, Kate visited Ruby a couple of times and was allowed to take her for a few walks. They were, of course accepted. Kate admits that she was quite anxious about bringing Ruby home at first, and so they did a lot of reading up on what to do and not do. The responsibility of looking after a dog was a scary one, Kate said, but one they knew would be very rewarding. It has been!
Ruby loves learning tricks and she can roll on demand, and balance treats on her paws and nose. One of her favourite spots whilst relaxing at home is sitting right on top of Adam. Ruby is all about contact.
They rescued Reggie, a 4 year old French Bulldog from French Bulldog Rescue, an online charity for people with French Bulldogs they can no longer look after. They organise foster homes throughout the UK until the dogs are adopted. Reggie was given to the charity after he had been seen online for sale for £50. They live in Victoria Park, East London.
Reggie goes to work with Nick most days, and is spoiled by everyone. They all love him and see him as part of the team as he is often present at business meetings. He’s has a special bond with the cleaner, Juan Carlos, and waits for by the door every evening and follows him around continuously. They decided to get a rescue dog because they believed there’s something nice about giving a dog a home especially as there are so many need homes. After a rigorous process of answering questions and home checks, along with 40 other applicants doing the same, they were accepted and went to pick Reggie up from where he had been fostered.
French Bulldog Rescue keeps in touch with Nick and Sam, and they are now a part of a community on a French Bulldog Rescue online club.