Dogs being returned 'like jeans that don't fit', say Shropshire kennels worker

“It’s like taking a pair of jeans that don’t fit back to the shop.”

Sophie Shenton and Jess the Collie, who is one of the dogs adopted and then brought back to Hilbrae
Sophie Shenton and Jess the Collie, who is one of the dogs adopted and then brought back to Hilbrae

Those are the words of Marty Burrell, of Hilbrae Kennels, Cold Hatton, who said the number of dogs being returned after being homed has sharply risen in the last 12 months.

It’s not a local problem, but an increasingly difficult national issue with no simple solution or cause.

“Every change, every upset is having a negative effect on the dogs,” Marty said.

“By the time they come to us, they have had at least one, maybe several other homes.

“We feel like we’re letting them down by misjudging people. It’s really frustrating.”

Some dogs have been returned to the kennels after years with their owner, some who have a change in job role or a new baby.

Others spend less than a few days with their new animals before deciding to take them back to Hilbrae.

“It’s not the dogs, it’s people suddenly deciding they don’t want the commitment,” Marty said.

“It’s more about what people want for themselves and their kids, not about what they can do for the dog.

“Dogs are a 10 or 15-year commitment.

“It’s not something to play with while the kids are at school. It’s not something that’s going to blend into your life. It’ll take work – they’re the same as children in that way.”

It’s especially frustrating for the kennels because those who want short-term access to the animals are welcome to walk the dogs without adopting them.

“We’ve got a lot of dog walkers now and when we get people we welcome them with open arms,” Marty said.

“There’s people that work full time and can’t for practical reasons own a dog but there’s no reason they can’t come and walk one of ours for the day. The dogs love it.”

Thankfully there is a host of dedicated, reliable dog homers willing to take on more difficult animals with health conditions.

Marty said: “We get some lovely people who will take on old dogs, even dogs with veterinary problems. Dogs that have to have painkillers or epilepsy medicine.”

Hilbrae Rescue Kennels is a charity that takes in stray and unwanted dogs. It currently has more than 70 dogs looking for new homes. The kennels can be contacted on 01952 541254.

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Comments for: "Dogs being returned 'like jeans that don't fit', say Shropshire kennels worker"

Manc Lad

Are you sure this article is not referring to West Mercia Police Force they have a very similar approach in the way Dogs are treated like Tools.

There is only one way to stop this mentality Join the Fight for Sgt Dave Evans and Ivy to be reunited

I must pay tribute to Jacob Windsor who has worked so hard in promoting this campaign.

Both Jacob and a very Gracious Young Lady (My newly adopted Nan) has donated Ten Thousand Pounds between them.

This is such the determination to seek Justice For Sgt Dave Evans and Ivy the Police Dog

The State will not suppress the rights of ordinary hard working people, we have witnessed that type of behavior in The Hillsborough Disaster SCANDAL and never wish to see it happen again.

We Will not roll over and we will not give up until Ivy is returned to her rightful family

"Jacob Windsor says: ‘Sod this, I know you can't support this fund because of the police, politics Dave, ***but me and the supporters are going to 10 Downing Street – Prime Minister Theresa May MP***, we’ll deliver the petition, get her to see sense, ***offer her £100k*** to buy Chief Bangham another four dogs and a bit left over for West Mercia Police Retired Dogs Fund…

“Whatever we don’t use and whatever else we raise, we’ll look after the police and army dogs all over the country, set up a charity, stop it from happening again, put everything else like this under the spotlight, look at other animal welfare issues, get things changed...

At no point, did we attempt or intend to offer West Mercia Police one single penny of the money raised on our GoFundMe page.


Manc Lad

I could not agree more with you Marty Burrell this attitude of it's only a Dog.

You could always say hello at

They may be able to help out in some way if they can? It maybe a good way to spread the word around to would be people who may want to take on Mans Best Friend. What have you got to loose?

Believe it or not they are not a bunch illegal cowboys who want to scam money out of the General Public They actually believe in the Welfare of Dogs and the Owners also.

How Can West Mercia Police Force Set the Standard and say Dogs are only Assets or Tools with no consideration Given to the Bond that naturally exist between Humans and our Canine friends, as is the case of Sgt David Evans who effectively has had his Beloved dog forcefully taken from his own home.

How can I teach the old fashioned Values to my Five year old Grand Daughter

"A Dog is for Life Not Just for Christmas" she asks me how can they do that?

How the Hell do I reply to that when a Professional Body like West Mercia Police Force Publicly Act in this manner and they are so hard faced to advertise their low standards to young children. No wonder you have so many This Dog dose not Fit anymore.

This is What our very own West Mercia Police Force is telling everyone!

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