Pets

Swansea GP’s vision for an animal rescue centre with a difference

A GP from Swansea has secured the greenlight from the Charity Commission for an innovative new animal rescue charity that will reinvent the way in which dogs are rehabilitated and ultimately rehomed.

Dogs Roam Free Rescue is the brainchild of Dr Ameera Brett, a doctor for 12 years and a GP in Swansea for seven. The principle behind the charity is that the rescue dogs would be free to roam a purpose-built dog rescue centre comprising a house and extensive but secure land.

The centre would also have a café where potential new owners could come and meet the dogs in a more relaxed environment. The overall thinking behind the innovative idea is that such an environment would be less stressful for dogs, more akin to living in a family home and, there, make rehabilitation and bonding with potential owners easier.

The charity, which has appointed trustees, has now launched a fundraising campaign. It is seeking donations of approximately £100,000 to buy a suitable piece of land for the project and build a centre in keeping with Ameera’s vision and dream.

For Ameera, who volunteers in other animal shelters and has already rescued three dogs and five cats in her own right, it is also something of a race against time before many people who bought dogs during lockdown struggle to manage the commitment once working from home ends. She has also called for any tradespeople interested in helping make the project a reality to get in touch.

Ameera said: “It is my dream to build a new free roaming dog rescue centre in Swansea to help dogs from all over the world who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. My view is that dogs that are kept in cages in the more traditional kennels become far harder to rehome – they become stressed, antisocial and sometimes aggressive as a result.

“We aim to make our adoptive process a lot smoother than other rescue centres, which can be quite restrictive in the criteria which we believe ultimately harms the dogs by keeping them caged for longer periods of time.

“As a GP, I help people every day. The rest of the time, I want to help animals. I would describe myself as a compassionate humanist. I believe we have a lot more similarities as human beings than differences, and I extend that same love and compassion to animals.

“My dream is to help more animals, especially dogs. I really believe dogs are very special beings; they are the only creature that will love you more than they love themselves. They are loyal, fully present in the moment, funny, surprising and I would even say soulful.”

Ameera’s passion for helping others, in part, stems from her own experiences of being abused as a child, something she is open about as being a driving force in her life. Ameera won a scholarship to study Medicine in Manchester University in 1996, which allowed her to escape her tough childhood.

“I know what it feels like to be neglected and physically and emotionally abused and yet still yearning to be loved, accepted and understood by your abusers,” she said. “I wanted to be a doctor so that I could help people going through difficulties just like I did. Luckily enough I had incredible teachers who were kind to me and showed me love. But that’s why when I see any type of animal in an oppressed situation, I feel a passion to do something about it.”

More about Dogs Roam Free and how to donate can be found at its website: www.dogsroamfree.org.uk

Lead image: Dogs Roam Free at Clyne Gardens in Swansea: From left Trustees Crystal Boyce and Jamie Evans and charity founder Dr Ameera Brett

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