Volunteers Alan and Charlie are dogs’ best friends

By Rob Smith | Shawbury | News | Published:

These are Alan Nash and Charlie Swift, some of the volunteers who give up their weekends to spend quality time with rescue dogs like Wrinkles the bulldog, walking them and making sure they feel loved.

Charlie, Alan and Wrinkles the bulldog

Alan, 77, and 13-year-old grandson Charlie regularly go to the Hilbrae Pets Hotel at Cold Hatton, east of Shawbury.

There they get acquainted with the dogs that have been rescued and are waiting to be re-homed, some of them for more than a year, and take them on walks.

Alan, who lives in Shifnal, has been visiting since before Charlie was born. He said that especially after the family's two beloved dogs died, both of which they owned for more than 10 years each, helping out at Hilbrae was a good way to stay in touch with some affectionate animals.

"We have supported Hilbrae for over 20 years," he said. We go down as often as we can to take the dogs out for walks.

"We lost two dogs ourselves, Ella and Finlay, who we had from Hilbrae, and turned out to be the most wonderful, affectionate dogs anyone could ever wish for.


"Charlie has grown up with dogs really. As soon as he was able to open his eyes Finlay was there. He was a bit of a handful when we got him but he turned out to be the most lovely dog you could ever have."

Alan was full of praise for the Hilbrae centre and the "tremendous" manager Marty Burrow.


He said: "It's lovely. The Hilbrae is a fantastic place. They do such wonderful work, they look after the dogs so well.

"There are groups of volunteers, companies support them, recently a pub in Telford had a sponsored event on the weekend that raised money for them.

"Some people won't entertain the idea of having a rescue dog but sometimes the reason they're in rescue centres is through no fault of their own – a break-up, the owner dies, it could give a baby allergies, and then there's nowhere else for these dogs to go other than a rescue centre like Hilbrae."

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Rob Smith

By Rob Smith

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.


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