Giving Them the Life they Deserve
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.
Giving Them a Chance & Hope
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.
Rescued Animals (2019)
Meet the Trustees
Hi I’m Rachel and I have been the chair/secretary for Saving Saints for the past 3 years. I adopted my first rescue dog Toby as a pup from Bolton Destitute Animal Shelter at 18. He was a cross rottweiler. I am fortunate to share my world with 2 St Bernards and a cross Saint/ Romanian shepherd who is partially sighted (Dotty, Willow and Monty). This photo is of my first St Bernards, Kuba from Romania (who died of bloat) and William a UK rescue (who died of heart failure at age 4) – sadly both common problems in St Bernards.
Hi I’m Chantelle, currently a Trustee who works on our fundraising and PR activity for Saving Saints. I found my passion for large breed dogs when my parents adopted one several years ago and couldn’t believe how many were in need! Although I don’t currently have a large breed I do have my adorable dachshund x jack russell who throughly enjoys playing with the big boys & girls.
Hello, I am Marina. I am a trustee for Saving Saints, currently helping to co-ordinate adoptions. I have been involved in rescuing companion animals in need since my childhood. At 18 I adopted Rayner, a beautiful mixed breed junior dog, from the Greek Foundation for the Protection of Animals. Rayner and I shared our flat with a number of abandoned dogs over the time we were together. I currently enjoy sharing my life with my five Saint Bernards and eleven beautiful cats.
Hi, I’m Sam the treasurer for Saving Saints. I’ve worked in banking and finance for over 30 years. My first dog was called Champ, a Cairn Terrier. Willow is one of our St Bernards and here she is as a youngster.
I came to rescue in a strange way 13 years ago after being a breeder and trainer of gundogs for some years and wanting a companion for a young dog I had. Not finding a pedigree one available at the time I ended up adopting an Irish Rescue! I soon became involved with a Charity homing from Greece and went on to adopt 4 more Greek rescue dogs. As 2 of these dogs had special needs, it started me on a path to wanting to help and raise awareness of the old, disabled or big dogs that were less attractive to would be adopters . I met Rachel after she offered to help home a very abused Caucasian Shepherd I was also helping in Greece and the rest is history!! I’m still very passionate about the special paws and so proud of how many of these amazing dogs Saving Saints Rescue has helped to a new and wonderful life of love . I am an NHS Nurse of 39 years , married with 3 children, 5 grandchildren and an eclectic bunch of 7 fur babies !
What Drives Us
- 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
adopt a dog
make a donation
They need YOU!
You'll save a life
Each year, it’s estimated that millions of adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized globally. Often because too many pets come into shelters and too few people consider adoption when looking for a pet.
The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When you adopt, you save a loving animal by making them part of your family and open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it.
You'll get a great dog
Our group and the rescue partners we work with are brimming with happy, healthy pets just waiting for someone to take them home. Many of our dogs are in need due to a human problem like a move or a divorce, not because the dogs did anything wrong. Many are already house-trained and used to living with families.
it’ll cost you less
When you adopt a pet, the cost vaccinations, flea/worming and microchipping is included in the adoption price, which can save you some of the up front costs of adding a new member to your family. Depending on the dog, you may also save on housetraining expenses and dog classes.
No one needs to see another selfie—unless it’s a selfie of you with the adorable dog you just adopted! Adopt a dog, post those pictures and let the well-earned likes roll in.
Fighting puppy mills
If you buy a dog from a ‘breeder’ or online seller you may be getting a dog from a puppy mill without realising it.
Puppy mills are factory-style breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and are often very sick and behaviourally troubled as a result. The mums of these puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. And after they’re no longer profitable, breeding dogs are simply discarded—either killed, abandoned or off for dog baiting.
These puppy mills continue to stay in business through deceptive tactics — their customers are unsuspecting people who shop over the internet or through classified ads. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop supporting them. By adopting a pet, you can be certain you aren’t giving them a penny.
Your home will thank you
Many of the pets from shelters and rescues are already house-trained, which means you’re not only saving a dog’s life, you may be saving your rug. Adopting a mature dog not only gives older animals a second chance, it often means introducing them to your family can be much easier.
good for your health
Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial to their companions. Caring for a dog can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness. And when you adopt, you can also feel proud about helping a dog in need!
adoption helps many
Overburdened shelters take in millions of stray, abused and lost animals every year, and by adopting an animal, you’re making room for others. Not only are you giving more animals a second chance, but the cost of your adoption goes directly towards helping us and our rescue partners better care for the animals they take in!
we will support you
We support you post-adoption with general dietary and health advice and have specialist behavioural back up for the life time of your dog.
Change a dog's world
And get a new best friend out of the deal. Rescue dogs know how fortunate they are for a warm bed, regular food and loving company and they give us that love back ten fold. Seriously, what could be better than that?
Meet The Team
Rachel & Marina
Marina & David
Margaret & Marina
Steve & Helen
Tom & Sonia