Who We Are & What We Do

  • To raise further awareness and educate humans in the psychological and physical welfare issues specifically related to the St Bernard as a breed to encourage responsible breeding and ownership
  • To re-home our rescued dogs into a safe and loving environment where they can mutually enjoy a good quality of life with human beings and other animals
  • To promote responsible and safe dog ownership and welfare for large breed dogs within the UK and Europe through partnership working with rescues
  • To provide pat dog therapy sessions to vulnerable and isolated people in care homes, hospices, hospital settings, mental health units
  • Rescue Within the UK & Europe


    Many St Bernards within Europe are used as working dogs and are often crossed with other large breeds – they are sheep protection dogs or guard dogs in some countries such as Romania. In terms of animal welfare, there is no specific legislation making animal abuse an offence.

    Another difference is that some countries have no official dog rescue or shelter welfare and some Eastern European countries have what are called ‘killing stations’. An owner can take their dog that they do not want to a killing station. Basically, they wait until the dog is weak and are bludgeoned to death by a blunt instrument normally within 7 days. Quite often, all the dogs in the killing stations are killed in one night.

    We believe that all dogs deserve better than that, which is why we work with our European rescue partners. Many dogs that come to us have often been abused by their owners, discarded onto the streets to fend for themselves and most are chained up. Some are starved. We often have less than 5 days in which to rescue the dogs that we are contacted about to fund their removal and move them into a safe shelter.


    In the UK many people buy St Bernards as they see them as cute puppies however once the dog is around 8 months old, without any adequate training, they often decide that they made the wrong decision and can’t handle the dog so contact us to re-home or sell them on via unregistered sites. Sadly the film Beethoven has done the breed some harm as people do not recognise Beethoven as a very well trained film dog.

    Sometimes we are offered pups who have health problems perhaps hip dysplasia or blindness. We take these dogs and offer them the best life that we can with people who are committed to the breed and understand their needs. Due to financial difficulty, divorce, house moves and ill health we are also contacted to deal with emergency rehoming.

    Contact Us

    [email protected]
    Marina Papas | +44 7913 350768
    Rachel Wesley | +44 7759 516241
    Charity Commission Registration Number: 1171050
    Copyright 2019 - St Bernards and Big Paws Rescue UK, All Rights Reserved.