On St Dwynwen’s Day (Welsh Valentine’s Day) 2021 we launched our first People's Choice campaign, asking the Welsh public to choose our newest charity partner.
Hope Rescue received 3,085 votes from the Welsh public, fighting off 22 other charities to become our new charity partner. To give our Loteri Cymru players a better introduction to who Hope Rescue are we asked them a few questions...
What type of charity is Hope Rescue?
We are a dog rescue charity based in South Wales.
What does Hope Rescue do?
Hope Rescue saves the lives of stray, abandoned and unwanted dogs that, through no fault of their own, need a second chance. We commit to take all stray dogs from six Local Authorities in South Wales – Merthyr Tydfil, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taf – irrespective of their age, breed or medical condition. Now more than ever, we are helping more dogs in crisis situations and their owners who may be giving up their beloved pets due to their own ill health or changes in their circumstances.
When was Hope Rescue established?
Hope Rescue was established in 2005 – last year was our 15th Anniversary and what a year it was for us.
Where are you based?
Llanharan – South Wales
Why do people come to you?
There are so many reasons that owners come to us for help and our commitment is to be there for every dog irrespective of their age, breed or medical condition. So many dogs that come into our care have chronic health issues or require additional behavioural support from our welfare team.
Why should the people of Wales support Hope Rescue?
The demand on our service continues to rise. We are seeing more dogs coming into our care with complex needs which in turn, means an increase in the amount of time they stay with us. Often extra veterinary attention and specific help from our trained welfare team is needed.
We rely on the passion and support from our local communities to help Hope Rescue continue to save the lives of dogs in need across South Wales.
How many dogs does Hope Rescue help per year? And how?
Despite all of the challenges we have faced over the last year, we continued to provide a place of safety for 589 dogs of which 309 were strays, 197 came from owners in urgent need of help, 47 were ex-racing greyhounds from our local track, 17 were puppies born on site, 6 came from other rescues and 13 were respite dogs. Every dog that comes to us receives the very best care. We work tirelessly to find the perfect forever home. We want life after their time at Hope Rescue to be the very best.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Hope Rescue and the work you do?
Coronavirus has had a direct impact on our fundraising activity, with nearly all our events cancelled or postponed. Our charity shop in Pontypridd was closed back in February 2020 after the devastating floods caused by Storm Dennis and was barely open following due to COVID restrictions. Despite these setbacks, our focus has not changed. We are still working hard to continue to provide essential support to the most vulnerable dogs and their owners in our local communities however, we are still losing around £1,000 a day.
How have you had to adapt to the current situation?
Everything has changed for us. We can’t currently invite volunteers to the rescue centre which means our team are working extra hard. The foster and adoption team are receiving an unprecedented number of applications for rehoming and have had to adapt to virtual and remote rehoming, which poses many challenges. Our shop has been closed for the best part of 2020 thanks to the flooding or Storm Dennis followed by the restrictions on retails from the pandemic. Our fundraising team are used to being out and about, organising events and meeting supporters, this has all moved online for now.
How did you feel when you found out Hope Rescue were chosen as Loteri Cymru’s new charity partner?
The whole team were ecstatic! A partnership with Loteri Cymru is amazing. We can’t wait to spread the word and raise the profile of this amazing relationship.
What will the financial support mean for Hope Rescue and what will the money be used towards?
In the year that sent us so many hurdles our vet bill surpassed £100,000 and on top of that the neutering support that we have previously benefitted from came to an end, meaning an additional £50,000. So, the financial support from this partnership will certainly help towards this. We are also building a new summerhouse in one of our paddocks as a lasting reminder of the day we found out that we would be working together.
What do you hope to achieve over the next year with the support of Loteri Cymru?
We are looking forward to making the most of every opportunity the partnership presents, and we can’t wait to welcome the team to the rescue centre once it is safe to do so.
Have you had any specific feedback internally (from colleagues) / externally (e.g. on social media) on becoming Loteri Cymru’s new charity partner?
We have so many messages of support and excitement about the new partnership. We had over 80 messages on our Facebook page announcement alone. We use Work Place to communicate with colleagues and volunteers and there was such a good vibe on there the day that we found out.
What do you ‘hope’ for the coming year?
We are looking forward to creating a brilliant mutually beneficial partnership. We know that the impact of a relationship like this can be both financially and non-financially rewarding and can have a lasting impact.
If you would like to support Hope Rescue, along with our other charity partners sign up to play today...Play now!