History of Kim’s Home

Kim’s Home really started with the arrival of Kim into the family in 1997.

However, we did not know then what she had started.

Over the next 2 years, 2 rescue dogs arrived: Max from the RSPCA kennels and Freya, found tortured as a puppy.

Even then I had no thought of rescuing dogs. It was not until in late 1999 when I visited a traveller/gypsy site in order to get Suzi Saluki that I realised that the dogs there needed help. There were so many unhealthy-looking dogs wandering around, obviously uncared-for and so sad.

So since then, thanks to some very good gypsy/traveller contacts, I have “rescued” many dogs from the sites and either found them good homes or passed them to rescues.

Nowadays I work only with good, tried and tested rescues, but back then I didn’t know much about anything. I think one poor lurcher went to a dubious rescue. And one dog that I passed to a volunteer foster home was seen advertised for sale in the Free Ads a few days later – and I had to rush back and get her. So I learned through my mistakes. Alarmingly dogs could have suffered through my mistakes.

I remember feeling really shocked when I discovered that not all rescues are in it for the dogs. Some are in it for the money – though it is hard to see how it pays. Some are in it to feel good about themselves, I suppose. Some people rescue and rescue and end up with too many dogs and standards slip to the point where the dogs need re-rescuing. I’ve sometimes wondered if I was going down that route. But so far so good.

Four Acres 2011 052

One of my friends became a Dog Warden in 2003. And that opened up another source of dogs for me. Once in the pound the dogs are cared for and this particular pound does not put to sleep after 7 days. But dogs do languish there and some very old dogs never get a home offer. So I have had many sighthounds from the pound and taken them home or passed them to rescues.

Some of the very old dogs stayed at Kim’s Home.

Until 2012 my reasonable salary paid for the care of the residents of Kim’s Home, the purchase of pound and gypsy dogs, the cost of transporting rescue dogs and all the veterinary treatment associated with rescue. I had flexible hours at work and could often work from home. My daughter lived at home for some years and so the dogs were never left very long. But it was hard work: up before 6, dress up to 18 dogs, drive out of town, walk and run for an hour, back home to get dried and fed. Then I had to get ready for work and be at my college desk by 8.30. Then, at the end of the day, the whole procedure has to be done again. For those people who say that it must  be heaven to live with so many dogs, I can only say “hmmm…..”.

Since spring 2012 I have been retired. This has been fantastic because my dogs have me around all the time, our walks are longer and more leisurely and I even get the house-work done. Could things be any better? Well, yes, they could because I now have time but very little money. So that left me with a choice: either I give up the rescuing because I can’t afford to go buying dogs out of trouble, paying for fuel to traipse round the country, paying for veterinary expenses because most rescue dogs come in with health issues; or I find a source of income that will enable me to continue to do my limited rescue work. I considered the situation in South Wales – two all-breed rescues that are full to bursting, very few dedicated sighthound rescues close to Cardiff. The 200 plus dogs that I’ve passed to rescue or rehomed in the last 10 years don’t add up to much but they do help a bit. And those 200 do not include the dogs that I get from the pound that go straight to rescue. The 200 are those that came to Kim’s Home for some length of time.

Ideally I would like to continue with the rescue work. And so that is why I decided to give Kim’s Home a try as being a vehicle for fund-raising and for getting sponsorship for the dogs. If I had some help, I could carry on. If it’s a disaster, I shall grow old with the dogs already here and stop rescuing.