The charity Forever Hounds Trust is delighted to be opening the doors to its first shop.
Situated in South Road, Haywards Heath, the shop was opened by The mayor, Councillor Sujan Wickremaratchi on Saturday August 6.
Also in attendance were several dogs rescued by the charity, including two very special lurchers, Grace and Summer, with their owners Mark Snelling and Gerri Hickman.
Grace came into the care of Forever Hounds Trust after she had been found, exhausted and close to death, having been abandoned at the side of the road. Her skin was red raw from mange and it was clear she had recently given birth.
Two of her puppies were later found in a dustbin – just alive and also suffering from mange. She now leads a happy life with Mark in Hove, even winning ‘Best in Show’ at a local Dog Show, and her puppies were also placed in loving homes.
Summer had a lucky escape after being found abandoned at the side of the M25 in an appalling emaciated condition. She, too, had recently had puppies, but, sadly, no sign of them was ever found. Summer has spent a happy three years in her East Preston home with Gerri and her husband. Like Grace, Summer is also a prize winner, being highly placed in the prestigious ‘Scrufts’ Dog Show
As well as raising funds through the sale of a wide range of goods, including clothes, accessories, vintage items and small pieces of furniture, staff and volunteers will be raising awareness of the charity and seeking homes for the many dogs in its care.
Manager Tania Rodd says: “I saw joining Forever Hounds Trust as a great opportunity to help out with a brilliant cause at the start of something.
“I am very excited at working with everyone and helping bring the Forever Hounds Trust more into the public eye, through the retail shop, and also within the community. Make sure you come and visit when you are in Haywards Heath – and, of course, if you would like to volunteer or donate goods for sale, it would be a tremendous help!”
The charity is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and homing of greyhounds and lurchers and is independent of the greyhound racing industry. It also provides a voice for the welfare of these dogs as a member of the UK Greyhound Forum and The Association of Dogs and Cats Homes.
It was founded in the West Country, as Greyhound Rescue West of England, changing its name in this, its 20th year, to reflect the development of its work and lifetime commitment to every dog homed.
Sussex falls within its South East Region, where volunteers take in greyhounds and lurchers in need from members of the public, veterinary surgeries and dog pounds. They also help responsible trainers and owners to rehome their racing greyhounds. Forever Hounds Trust takes in dogs of all ages, from puppies to golden oldies. Each time the Trust finds a forever home for one of their hounds, it frees up space to rescue another. So, if you offer one of their dogs a home you will actually be helping two!
The charity takes great care to match hounds and homes and provides support to new owners through a wonderful post-homing support team of qualified behaviourists.
Greyhounds and lurchers make wonderful pets. They are affectionately known as the ‘40mph couch potato’ because they only need a twenty minute walk twice a day and will happily spend the rest of the time snuggled on the sofa - although lurchers can sometimes be a little more active than greyhounds.
Forever Hounds Trust is only able to do the incredible work it does thanks to a network of fantastic and dedicated volunteers.
For more information visit www.foreverhoundstrust.org