Spirit of the Dog Rescue

Our organisation is small at present and made up entirely of volunteers. We have:
  • Our Chairwoman and Canine Care Coordinator Jenna
  • Our Treasurer Nikki
  • A dedicated team of volunteers who cover every role, from professional dog trainers and behaviourists to administrators
Click to learn more about the Committee keep us running and the work of our Wellbeing Team.
We operate throughout Essex. Until 2018, Spirit of the Dog was mainly foster-based and worked in the local communities around Tendering and Little Clacton where the charity founders lived; since their retirement our base has moved to Burnham-on-Crouch and our dogs reside in local foster homes and boarding kennels.
  • To prevent cruelty and suffering inflicted upon dogs through appropriate direct action and public education surrounding humane behaviour towards animals, including, but not limited to: appropriate care, kind and effective training methods, and ensure treatment is provided for those in need of care and attention by reason of sickness, maltreatment, poor circumstances or ill usage.
  • To provide knowledge of matters pertaining to safety around dogs with children and legal responsibilities surrounding dog ownership.
  • To uphold a duty of care to, and the best possible quality of life for every dog registered to us and rehomed by us, ensuring rescue back up for life for each one.
  • To obtain our own premises, to continue ensuring the highest standards of dog-centred care throughout rescue and rehoming – once a Spirit Dog, always a Spirit Dog!
  • Claudine Benstead and Jane Nettleton founded Spirit of the Dog in 2004 when they became increasingly concerned about a pattern emerging with clients at their dog training school. They realised that some dogs are being unfairly labelled as ‘naughty’ or even ‘aggressive’ due to a breakdown in communication between both dog and owner. The problems start small, but in some cases they escalate to the point where owners feel that their only option is a final trip to the vets.

    The organisation was started with 2 main aims:

    • To prevent dogs being surrendered to rescue by giving owners a place to go for training and behavioural advice, offering low cost one to one sessions to local people who are considering rehoming their dogs because of training struggles. They aimed to one day take this further and provide information about dog body language and welfare for their local community as a whole to create a world where dogs are understood, a mission we continue to work towards today.

    • To give dogs who have nowhere to go an alternative to the vet’s table- shelter, sanctuary and rehabilitation.

    Our Spirit Dogs in kennels are patiently awaiting adoption. Whilst we search for their forever home, they receive day trips out, lots of playtime in their exercise fields and all of the dog-centred love and care they need to get ready for family life. Our Facebook page and dedicated YouTube channel documents their activities and gives updates on their progress and the costs involved in the work we do. We take the welfare of our dogs very seriously: quality of life over quantity of dogs is key, especially as many of them need lots of extra help and support.

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