BIG-HEARTED John Taylor has saved dozens of abandoned dogs from a life on the streets.
The dedicated 67-year-old, from Newbottle, has cared for more than 70 dogs during his four years as a volunteer foster owner for animal charity Pawz For Thought.
The retired ship’s chandler provides a temporary roof over their heads until a permanent home can be found.
“It’s great to look after all these different dogs,” said the grandad. “Sometimes you have them for a few weeks, other times you can may be have them for a few years.
“Often they have been mistreated before being abandoned, so they need a lot of care and attention.
“But I enjoy every minute of it.”
Over the years, John has looked after all sorts of breeds, from Labradors, Rottweilers and Jack Russells to schnauzers, Pomeranians and poodles.
“I don’t know how many different breeds I’ve looked after in that time,” he said.
“I’ve looked after dogs that are all shapes and sizes.
“They are all different in some way.
“As well as being various breeds, they all have different personalities and requirements, but they’re all amazing.”
Lynne Ebdale, from Pawz For Thought, a Sunderland-based rescue and re-homing group for abandoned and ill-treated animals, described John as “the best”.
“He really is fantastic,” she said. “The care he provides is absolutely fabulous.
“There would have been a lot dogs we would not have been able to take in without his help.”
The charity is appealing for other volunteers to help with its fostering programme.
“It can often take a while to arrange permanent homes for the animals,” said Lynne.
“We need to find owners that are willing to take in the pets but also have suitable homes and environments for them.
“Often it is a good alternative to people owning a pet full time.
“It can offer a degree of flexibility.
“If people need to take a break, they are not tied to their home or have to
“We’re urging anybody who can help us out to give us a call.”
For more information about Paws For Thought or becoming a foster owner, call 549 1982 or visit www.pawzforthought.org