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​Helping pets from home

Photo of volunteer Jo Savage sitting at her computer with her terrier cross Riley and a

After 10 years of caring for dogs and cats at our Tiverton rehoming centre, volunteer Jo Savage now works from home in a role that’s just as vital for keeping Blue Cross pets happy…

“I was working at the centre one day a week, looking after dogs mainly,” says Jo Savage, who has dedicated 11 years to volunteering with Blue Cross.

“I looked after cats as well, but dogs are my main love. I did anything to do with dogs; walking, grooming, feeding, socialising, bathing. Whatever I was asked to do.

Photo of volunteer Jo Savage on the phone
When collection boxes are full, shops call Jo and she picks them up

“After 10 years of falling in love with dogs that I couldn’t have, I couldn’t do it anymore but I wanted to carry on with fundraising.”

Time for a change

During her time helping at our Tiverton rehoming centre in Devon, Jo helped start up a fundraising group that raises money locally for homeless dogs and cats, and while she could no longer volunteer at the centre, she wanted to continue helping the pets that needed her.

Jo is now a Fundraising and Events Volunteer and is based at home and around the local community. She performs a wide range of tasks that raise both support and funds for our Tiverton centre.

Jo says: “I look after 14 collecting boxes in the area. I empty them, replace them, count all the money and bank it.

“Local shops frequently fill their tins and I’ve got a little label on them saying to call me when it’s full and I’ll come and collect it. I enjoy doing that, it’s fun.”

“We couldn’t do all the fundraising activities we do without the guys like Jo. Her talent, skills and dedication are priceless and we really value all the help she gives us.” Lauren Chilton, Blue Cross Volunteer Coordinator

All for pets

Although Jo no longer volunteers directly with the resident dogs at our centre, she gets her ‘dog fix’ by helping to run the fun dog shows which are a regular feature of our open days, fun days and local shows – and Volunteer Coordinator Lauren Chilton says the events wouldn’t be the same without Jo.

Photo of volunteer Jo Savage chatting to Blue Cross Volunteer Coordinator Lauren Chilton over a cup of tea
Jo discusses an upcoming fundraising event with Blue Cross Volunteer Coordinator Lauren Chilton, over a cuppa

Lauren says: “I know that if I’ve got Jo on it, a good job will be done!”

Jo adds: “They’re great fun. You meet all these lovely dogs, lots of different varieties, and lovely people as well. I enjoy meeting the general public.”

The Tiverton dog shows usually have between 10 and 12 fun classes, including waggiest tail, fastest Bonio eater, and dog that most looks like its owner.

Jo explains the method behind the madness of her favourite class, the Bonio eating competition: “We had about 10 dogs all lined up and there were about four of us judging. We put a Bonio a couple of feet in front of each dog, who were all sat with their owners holding their leads.

“Then we said ‘Go!’ and they let the leads drop.  Each owner had to put his/her hand up as their dog had completely finished eating. We were all watching carefully. It was hilarious!

“Some dogs would pick it up and spit it out, and others would gulp and it was gone. The Labradors usually win!” (Are we surprised?)

The dog shows are fantastic fun for everyone who attends, but importantly they bring in vital donations for our pets too, raising about £200 a time.

Lauren adds: “We couldn’t do all the fundraising activities we do without the guys like Jo. Her talent, skills and dedication are priceless and we really value all the help she gives us.”

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Jo and all our wonderful volunteers. We really couldn’t help the pets we do without them.

If you’ve got some spare time and you’d like to find out more about getting involved with Blue Cross, please visit our volunteering pages.

Show your #suppawt and help change the story for pets like me!
Photo of volunteer Jo Savage making a phone call

— Page last updated 22/04/2016