Shropshire Star

The Shropshire woman who dedicates her time to saving dogs

A Shropshire woman is dedicating her life to ensuring no dog is forgotten in Shropshire's rescue kennels - and to honouring the legacy of a misunderstood dog that changed her life.

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Shropshire Canine's Cheryl Gibson with Indi the Belgian Malinois

Cheryl Gibson, 33, from Broseley, has spent much of the last decade caring for some of Shropshire's most misunderstood dogs.

Now, she's using her experience to help people see the potential in the pups being left behind bars in the county's rescue centres.

Cheryl, owner of the dog walking and caring business Shropshire Canine Enrichment, recently launched a foundation to ensure she can commit more time to improve the lives of rescue dogs.

The JD Foundation is named in memory of an 11-year-old Doberman that died having never found his forever home

The JD Foundation is named in memory of one of the county's most heartbreaking rescue stories, an 11-year-old Doberman that died having never found his forever home.

Cheryl explained: "JD was in kennels for around seven years and the most misunderstood dog that I ever worked with.

"I was determined to show people that he was more than the dog he looked like in the kennels.

"We went on some amazing adventures, we ran through streams, played in waterfalls, climbed Shropshire hills and even shared an ice cream on the beach."

Cheryl said JD was the most misunderstood dog that she ever worked with

It was after one of those beach days when Cheryl had already put plans in place to ensure she could take JD home, that she got a phone call from the rescue centre where JD was staying.

"The kennels phoned me to say that he was unwell, and when I got down there it wasn't good news.

"Even though he was happy to see me, I could tell that he was giving up.

"He had a really nasty tumour, that was going to be really painful for him to live with.

"JD passed away in my arms having never experienced the loving home he so truly deserved."

Cheryl's experience with JD has made her determined to show dog lovers the potential of all rescue dogs.

"I won't allow this to happen again," she said, "I cannot walk away from dogs wasting away behind bars being forgotten."

Cheryl Gibson with May the Mastiff

Cheryl has recently launched a Patreon page that allows people to set up regular donations to help fund her time spent working with dogs in rescue centres.

The dogs get days out, walks, training and heaps of TLC as well as promotion all over Shropshire Canine's social media channels.

"We realised the importance of social media when I was working at Hilbrae." Cheryl explained. "We started a social media page for an American Bulldog that had been there for three years and it went viral.

"It did so well online that he received so many toys from all around the UK, even Anthony Head from Buffy the Vampire Slayer sent him a bed!

"That was the first time we realised how important online attention can be for these dogs. We just need to let people know these dogs exist."

Cheryl Gibson with Jim the Lurcher at Hilbrae Rescue Kennels

Shropshire Canine's emotional video appeals have amassed over 37k likes on TikTok videos with thousands of more likes and shares over Facebook, helping people from across the UK learn about the Shropshire dogs waiting for their forever homes.

To support The JD Foundation, visit: or, for more information, visit @ShropshireCanine on Facebook.