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Meet The Charity Striving To Save The World’s 600 Million Stray Dogs

The Wild at Heart Foundation is a charity with an incredible vision to end the suffering of 600 million stray dogs all over the world. Every rescue dog, deserves the chance to live a full and happy life free of pain, suffering, maltreatment, or negligence. The vital work they do aims to support this, improving the lives of dogs all over the world. They do this through rescue, adoption and sterilisation projects as well as through awareness and education campaigns.

Wild at Heart Foundation is both brain-child and passion project for world renowned florist, Nikki Tibbles. Before the charity blossomed, Nikki rescued and supported dogs stray dogs in a shelter in Southern Spain. Often working hard to bring them home and finding them perfect homes through friends and clients. In 2015, she saw her passion of rescuing dogs turn into a something more permanent, the Wild At Heart Foundation.

Nikki said: “Ideally what we would like to do is raise awareness of this and to stop the mass inhumane culling of stray dogs all over the world and to stop these unwanted dogs ever being born. Therefore, the biggest vision of the Foundation is global spaying/neutering clinics and education, and education that comes from within like our project with Animals Asia in Hong Kong and China. If we can educate children to be kind and compassionate and know how to treat animals, then that stems us for good stead for the future.”

Nikki turned her personal passion, into a professional, meaningful, and genuinely life-changing venture. They now work all over the globe, with thousands of rescue dogs finding loving, happy homes and tens of thousands are sterilised (preventing the unwanted birth of literally millions of puppies).

How We’re Supporting Wild At Heart Foundation

Earlier this year, we launched our annual Bark Aid appeal and online dog show. The proceeds from this event will help the Wild At Heart Foundation to continue their excellent work. To give you an idea of how far your donation goes:

  • £10 vaccinates a puppy
  • £20 provides a dog with a lead and a collar in South Korea
  • £25 could sterilise a stray dog
  • £35 buys a dog their very first bed in Mexico
  • £40 can neuter a stray dog in South Africa, preventing more strays on the streets
  • £50 could provide a week’s urgent shelter for a dog
  • £120 could feed a stray dog for a year

A spokesperson for Wild At Heart said;

“We are delighted to receive support from Bark Aid this year. With 600 million stray dogs in the world, we are so grateful to have support to help us further our mission. A mission to compassionately reduce the global stray dog population through rescue, adoption, sterilisation, awareness, and education campaigns. From everyone at Wild at Heart, thank you for choosing us as one of your chosen charities.”

Meet The Dogs Rescued By The Foundation

Ralph

A lot of people who adopt through Wild At Heart learn about it through friends who have done the same.They say that once you give a rescue dog a second chance at life, there’s no going back!

That’s exactly how Warren and Kate felt when they first saw Ralph’s face smiling back at them. The couple adopted Ralph from Bulgaria late last year and were understandably nervous before picking him up, hoping everything was just perfect for him.

Turns out Ralph was equally nervous, being abandoned at such a young age. However, Warren and Kate did everything right. Taking things slow and giving Ralph all the time he needed to figure out this fabulous new life of his.

Anyone who has rescued a dog knows that it is a journey. For Warren and Kate this was no exception. Teaching Ralph what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour, watching him learn and develop has been part of their journey together…even if Ralph does have a cheeky side!

With rescue dogs, each milestone is that little bit more special. Like seeing Ralph learn to respond to commands and flopping down beside them for a cuddle.

That’s without considering the ways that adopting a dog can benefit us too. For Warren and Kate, they’ve become more organised with their time and have gained an extra stash of patience they never knew they had!

For the couple, Ralph has brought an added level of mindfulness into their home…an impressive feat for an ex-street dog!

Santi

Becky Garforth adopted the adorable Santi. She writes about her experience with Wild At Heart:

“We always knew we wanted a dog. As I knew someone who’d adopted their lovely dog through Wild at Heart Foundation, I’d already decided where we were going to find one. 

However, by the time we got the house I was around 20 weeks pregnant. Therefore I was unsure whether this would be the best time to get one. Unbeknown to me, my boyfriend had contacted to “just see” if there might be one we could consider. Next thing, there was a picture and description of the most gorgeous, smiley dog in my inbox.

He’d only recently been rescued from living in a small cage and they had selected him because he appeared to be gentle and eager to please. He’d passed the test with children, but would he pass the real-life baby test?

Everyone we spoke to seemed to think not and advised us against it but we were already in love with him just from the email, so we decided to send off the form.

Santi arrived 10 weeks before the baby was due. I’ll never forget meeting him for the first time, he bounced out of the van. We tried to put a seatbelt harness on him but failed because all he wanted were belly rubs. We got a lot of brilliant behavioural advice from the WAHF behaviourist and took him to obedience classes soon after, where he passed with flying colours.

Once the baby arrived, Santi continued to be the gentle and loving boy we’d got to know. We were naturally a bit anxious when we brought her home from hospital, but he was just inquisitive. There wasn’t any jumping up when she cried, much to our relief! He tried getting involved with nappy changes (not a good time for a belly rub, Santi) but this was solved when we were loaned a changing table. 

We‘ve now had Santi for 14 months and really couldn’t imagine life without him in our family. Even my 2 friends who are scared of dogs admit he is an exception for them!

Our 1 year old daughter absolutely loves him. Her face lights up when she sees him and “Tanti” was the second word she said after “Dada”. Even though we have to revisit some of the training methods every now and then for his recall and lead pulling, we couldn’t have got a better dog and I’m so glad we ignored everyone’s advice! 

Adopting Santi and seeing him thrive really is one of the best feelings. Whether it’s snoozy cuddles, our daughter laughing at his waggy tail or watching him run around with doggy mates, he brings us a lot of joy! 

How You Can Support Wild At Heart Foundation?

Donate directly to the foundation here. For more causes and charities check out the suppawt section of Houndy.

Written by Dog Furiendly

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