The Labrador Rescue Trust struggling to cope with influx of labradors

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Workers for The Labrador Rescue Trust are appealing for help after an horrendous start locally to 2012.

Volunteer Lisa Canham from Thornhaugh says the first few weeks of the year have been distressing.

“Dogs are coming in at an appalling rate. One day last week, in just a three-hour period, one of our volunteers was asked to take in three older puppies - a six-month-old black labrador, a seven-month-old black one and a nine-month-old chocolate one,” said Lisa.

She blames the current economic crisis for the surge in cases.

“People are losing their jobs and their houses and going into rented accommodation where dogs are not allowed.

“There’s also the permanent problem of people buying a labrador puppy which they think is cute and wonderful but then realising as it grows up that it needs lots of exercising, lots of food and there are regular vet’s bills to pay which means the initial attraction soon wears off,” she said.

The small national charity, which takes in, cares for and re-homes 900 labradors a year, is constantly in need of donations, sponsors and people willing to foster or permanently home a dog. An appeal for help for one particular dog has been made this week.

Drummer, a four-year-old chocolate labrador, has a terrible mystery skin infection affecting mainly his head and abdomen which are sore and devoid of fur.

He needs constant care and veterinary tests and treatment are draining the trust’s coffers.

Drummer was initially in such distress that he was rubbing his head on the carpet so strongly that he created burns that bled and his eyes were so swollen that the lashes were turned inwards and rubbing against his eyeballs.

After four weeks with a host family in Devon however, Drummer has made some improvement.

“This is the worst skin allergy case I have seen in my life,” said Lisa.

“I burst into tears when I saw pictures of him.

“He’s now in foster care as his owners had to give him up and he’s getting great veterinary care but it’s costing a fortune.”

Drummer has gone on to the trust’s “sad” list of 155 dogs with problems such as arthritis, chronic illness and infections.

He has his own fundraising page -

The Labrador Rescue Trust was started in 1988 in Somerset and has gradually spread outwards to Rutland and south Lincolnshire which currently form its northern boundary. So far it has helped 9,000 dogs.

Lisa and area co-ordinator Shirley Smith from Bulwick cover Stamford, Rutland and parts of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

They have no premises as such but do home checks and match up people wanting a labrador with ones being fostered.

That way the dogs are always in a home rather than kennels and volunteers transport them around the country to suitable new owners.

Anyone willing to help Gunner, or the trust, can contact Lisa on 07920 199155 or see the website -

Lisa will be jumping out of an aeroplane on April 26 to raise money for the trust and she and Shirley and their own dogs were at Morrisons in Stamford this week raising awareness and collecting cash.

They raised £505. More details from Lisa or the trust’s website.