Earlier this week, Neil Etheridge paid a very special and personal visit to Cardiff Dogs Home on Penarth Road.
Cardiff Dogs Home takes in around 1,000 dogs every year and looks to re-home as many as they can. They have an army of volunteers, many of whom are part of the Friends of the Dogs Wales charity who walk the dogs on a daily basis, helping them to be more relaxed and boosting their re-homing chances in the process.
The home is a ‘no kill’ shelter and only puts dogs to sleep in extreme circumstances. Many pounds will only keep a dog for the statutory seven days and will put to sleep those who haven’t been reclaimed or re-homed.
Joined during his visit by fiancé Alex, Neil spoke to Premier League Productions’ Frances Donovan – who has two rescue dogs of her own - on why offering his support to CDH was so important to him.
“I think it’s important to dispel the myth that dogs in shelters must be damaged or problematic,” said Neil.
“We’ve learned today that ninety-nine percent have been someone’s pet at some time or another and have found themselves in a shelter through no fault of their own. Instead it’s through the changing circumstances of their original owners or because they’ve lost interest in the dog.
“We’re really pleased to support Cardiff Dogs Home and encourage everyone to visit their website to find out more about the fantastic work they do and ways of getting involved.”
Neil and Alex were later joined by Bluebirds Boss, Neil Warnock and wife, Sharon, who are also dog lovers and were keen to make the short trip from CCS over to CDH to check out the fantastic work.
The Gaffer took a little French bulldog called Lilo for a walk and, being an owner of two dogs, one of which is a rescue, admitted he and Sharon would like to be volunteer dog walkers on a more regular basis.
Shelter Manager, Maria Bailie, reflected: “It was so exciting to have Neil and Alex here and you could feel that extra buzz about the place when Neil Warnock and Sharon surprised us by visiting too!
“It’s been so good for all the staff and brings a great focus on the work we’re doing here to help find new homes for our dogs. We’ll never forget the day Cardiff City FC came to see us and we wish them the very best for the rest of the Premier League season.”