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Dress up for dogs!!

Updated: Jun 15

Meet little Izzy. How precious is she? She's a corgi collie cross and she's currently in China at Harbin SHS Animal Rescue. We're going through the process of adopting her so she can come and live with us in Somerset. I'm going to try and raise some funds to help Harbin SHS, to contribute to the final bit of Izzy's travel, and also to donate a little to a special Somerset rescue who partner with Harbin - Rushton Dog Rescue. More on that and what I'm going to be doing in a bit, but first... why China? What is it about dogs there that hits me right in the heart?

Well, this would be a really really long explaination if I covered all the reasons why I want to try and help a bit, so I'll keep it to three!

1. I have a historic connection to China

I studied Chinese at uni and lived there for a while, over 25 years ago.

When I was there, I didn't appreciate what was going on in terms of animal welfare and years later, I decided I really needed to educate myself. One of the results of that was I couldn't (and still can't) bear the Summer Solstice, because I know it's when the Yulin dog meat 'festival' starts. Dogs are skinned alive, tortutred to make their 'meat' taste better. All breeds of dogs, crushed in cages, waiting to die the most painful death. It's beyond cruelty and there are no words to describe just how truly horrifying it is.

The horror isn't just confined to that event alone though. There are no legislative protections in place for animals in China yet, and the illegal black-market meat trade is rife. As an animal lover, I can't just sit by knowing dogs are being slaughtered for meat. What I can do isn't much, but it's something... and if we all do a little, we can achieve a lot together.

2. In memory of our beautiful Hopey Myles

If you've seen any posts about our Hopey, or remember our fundraiser back in 2018, you might know she came from China. She was rescued from a meat truck by Cindi, founder of Rushton Dog Rescue, and I adopted her from Somerset and Dorset Animal Rescue. Hopey was the gentlest soul, a real heart stealer, and it was a privilege to give her a home for the 5 years she was part of our family.

Hope's vocal chords had been cut in China by her torturers, so she couldn't bark, growl, or make any noise apart from a quiet cough, and she had ongoing health issues because of what had been done to her there. Despite it all, she loved people.

Hope passed away in January and I miss her every single day. I wanted to help another dog from China because it's something small we can do. I think Hopey would definitely approve of little Izzy.

3. There are truly incredible people on the ground in China, and in Somerset, dedicating their lives to making a difference, saving dogs and other animals

Ever since I found out about Harbin SHS, I've been in awe of the team and what they do. The rescue was started by Emily, Aimee and Hayley, three ex-pat woman from England, Australia and Ireland who were teaching full time in China, but who couldn't turn away from what they were seeing. They set up the rescue to help save dogs from the horror of the meat trade - alongside local abuse, neglect and abandonment cases.

They now also work with the local community offering work opportunities, education, and support, and with volunteers and partner rescues too, so their doggie survivors can leave the safehouse and be adopted by loving forever families all over the world. They've saved thousands of animals, and if you follow them on Instagram you'll see just how many they are caring for at the Rescue at the moment.

You'll also see just how much of a difference they are making, but, of course, vets bills and care for over 1,000 survivors doesn't come cheap. It would be brilliant to be able to send them some funds. Every penny or pound genuinely helps.

And there's more...

Talking of partner rescues, there is a special one in Somerset - Rushton Animal Rescue. Cindi and Zoe are incredible and there are many dogs from China with them.... survivors who are ready for their forever homes, and also dogs who can't ever be rehomed because of the cruelty they've experienced. Cindi and Zoe give them a safe haven on the farm and care for them alongside other dogs rescued locally, and from across the UK.

It would be amazing to be able to donate some funds to Rushton too, so I really, really need your support :).

Support for what? Well this is where the, err, fun comes in!!!

Dress up for dogs!

I'm dressing up in various dog costumes, over 4 days to raise funds. Yes, you heard me correctly!! Join me on Instagram @somersetcool from Thursday 28th March to Easter Sunday 31st to see what I'll be going about my daily business wearing. I can't quite believe I'm going to be doing this but hey! It's totally worth making a fool of myself for. If we can help to get Izzy here, help Harbin SHS and give some money to Rushton too, it will be the best start to April.

To go to my JustGiving page, just head HERE:

And the biggest of thank yous from me, little Izzy, and all the animals yet to be saved x


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