Nestled in a rural village in the Chew Valley, Mutts With Friends is a not-for-profit dog rescue and sanctuary helping save the lives of unwanted and abandoned dogs.

Founded thirteen years ago, Julie and longstanding volunteer Claire have been making happy hounds out of some upsetting cases of neglect and cruelty. Some of the dogs are looking for new homes, whilst others will live out their days in happy surroundings at the sanctuary due to their complex needs.

“I love dogs, I’ve always had dogs.” Says founder Julie, who explains her reasoning for wanting to start a rescue. “My mum got me my first dog when I was nine from Bath Cats and Dogs home and I’ve had them ever since”.

“It can be difficult sometimes because you get so attached to them all. But you have to break that attachment and do what is right for the dog. You have to trust people based on your instincts as well, even after doing home checks and going through the paperwork you still wonder if you’ve done right by that dog.”

Despite Julie’s reservations, it’s clear that Mutts With Friends do an excellent job of matching up dogs to new homes. One testimonial reads:

“The satisfaction gained from adopting Jasper cannot be put into words. We have given him a loving home and know that in doing so we have given him a life he can enjoy. Mutts with Friends did a wonderful job of rehabilitating him, considering the abuse he had suffered, and we have appreciated their support over the past year.”

Currently, seven dogs are looking for their pawfect home. Those enquiring will need to fill out an application form and will be subject to home checks before adoption. The Mutts With Friends team will arrange a few meetings between dog and potential owner before rehoming to make sure that both parties are comfortable with each other and are a good fit.

Whilst waiting for a home to call their own, these precious pooches are treated to a life of luxury! Some dogs are homed in double kennels but the reactive dogs have their own separate space. All of them are treated with love, attention and treats daily, though.

Julie explained, “What we have found is that many of the dogs love their kennels. They feel comfortable with it, they have their own bed, toys and a space that is completely theirs. Some of them can’t wait to go back in after a walk!”

All three of the dogs that The Journal team had the pleasure of meeting on a walk are looking for their forever homes. They are Grace (pictured), a calm, gentle girl with plenty of affection to give to the right person; Zyron, a lively, cheeky chappie that loves playing - you’d be forgiven for thinking he had springs for legs! - and Blue, the most recent addition to the Mutts With Friends roster. He is a friendly, playful boy finding his feet (and his bark) at just a year old.

Claire is a long-standing volunteer at Mutts With Friends and comes twice a week to help with cleaning kennels, walking, grooming. She also handles fundraising, emails, and social media for the nonprofit.

“I started off walking once a week and gradually got a bit more involved alongside my full-time job! I absolutely love it here, the dogs are all amazing with different personalities”.

Mutts With Friends have a dedicated group of volunteers who help with walking, washing the dogs bedding, collecting donations, donating, helping at events and generally supporting the rescue. Their fantastic network of people help them to continue the brilliant work they are doing.

If you’re interested in getting involved with a worthy cause, Mutts With Friends is also looking for volunteer walkers to help with their furry fleet. If you can spare about an hour out of your day between Monday and Saturday from 11am, let the team know.

With more than a handful of dogs to walk every day, the organisation would be happy to have you on board. All that they ask is that volunteers are over the age of sixteen and are physically fit (or hoping to get fit!) as the walking route is uphill for the majority of the duration.

Walking boots or wellies are an ideal footwear choice, the route is often muddy thanks to the Great British weather.

If you come prepared with treats in your pocket, you’re likely to get a few extra points from the dogs too.

For more information or to register your interest, email the team at: [email protected]