At Saving Saints, we advocate for the welfare of all big paw breeds, ensuring their complex needs are met for long-lasting care.


At Saving Saints, our mission transcends the traditional boundaries of rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming. We place equal emphasis on prevention and education, advocating for the welfare of all large and giant breed dogs. Our goal is not just to address the immediate challenges of large and giant breed ownership but to illuminate the often-overlooked reality: despite their imposing stature, large and giant breeds possess unique vulnerabilities. Their care demands a departure from contemporary dog ownership methods, necessitating specialised attention that recognises their distinct physical and emotional requirements.

By harnessing the expertise of specialists and fostering a supportive community ethos, we champion the cause of these majestic animals, striving towards a future where every giant paw is empowered to lead a life that's not just healthy, but also understood and valued.

Join us in our journey to safeguard the welfare of these magnificent dogs, one giant step at a time.

Navigating the Misconceptions of Big Paw Breeds

Big Paw Breeds have been stars of the screen for years, from Beethoven and the Newton family 30 years ago to today's endless list of social media icons. This visibility has led to misconceptions about the responsibilities involved in caring for large and giant breed dogs. A scroll through any social feed reveals a stark contrast between dogs in educated environments and those treated as lifestyle accessories. From puppies navigating stairs to being carried around like ragdolls, to being allowed to leap from trucks and SUVs without proper support, the online narrative dangerously oversimplifies the requirements for their proper care.

Many are drawn to big paw breeds due to their adorable puppy phase. However, without adequate training, numerous owners find themselves overwhelmed and ill-equipped to handle the demands of these powerful dogs, leading to rehoming or unregistered sales within the first year. Regrettably, we frequently encounter surrendered puppies and adolescent dogs with physical and behavioural challenges, with some breeders refusing to honour return-to-breeder contracts.

Conditions like hip dysplasia, exacerbated by allowing dogs to regularly navigate stairs or jump from cars, are not uncommon and are incurable, resulting in a debilitating quality of life indefinitely.

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The Impact of Economic and Lifestyle Changes

Surrenders have surged, prompted by financial hardships, divorce, relocation, or health crises. We are witnessing a concerning trend in response to the ongoing cost of living crisis. It's imperative to recognise that the welfare of these breeds demands a consistent, lifelong investment. The bottom line is, these dogs are expensive to buy and care for.

In essence, if prospective owners cannot afford to provide for these dogs in the event of unforeseen circumstances, they should refrain from acquiring them altogether, including rescues.

A Global Challenge

A Global Challenge The situation for giant breeds is particularly challenging beyond the UK, with insufficient legal protection against abuse in many parts of Europe. Some countries lack official dog rescue facilities, leading to the use of "killing stations" where unwanted dogs meet a tragic and brutal end. Our commitment extends internationally, working with rescue partners to save these dogs from abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

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Our Dedication to a Better Future

We vehemently believe all dogs deserve better. Many of the dogs we rescue have suffered unimaginable cruelty at the hands of their former owners, left to fend for themselves on the streets, chained up, or starved, in the UK and abroad.

Our organisation steps in to provide these dogs with the best possible life, supported by a community of dedicated individuals who understand the unique needs of giant breeds.

Our History

Founded in 2013, Saving Saints embarked on a mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome Saint Bernards and their crossbreeds. From the outset, Saving Saints distinguished itself by welcoming dogs that had been rejected or deemed too complex for adoption because of their behavioural issues or health concerns.

Our journey has been marked by numerous success stories rehabilitating dogs facing a range of challenges, giving them a second chance at life within loving homes. As our charity evolved, it became clear that the needs and welfare concerns of Saint Bernards were mirrored in other giant breeds, leading us to open our arms to any large and giant breed dog in need.

We successfully initiated an overseas rescue programme and have seen us reach out to save giant breeds from European kill shelters and Asian meat markets, demonstrating our global commitment to big paw welfare.

The charity has also introduced additional areas of rescue and provision, including TriPaws and Dog Therapy. TriPaws specifically caters to the rescue and rehoming of dogs with physical ailments with dedicated support. Dog therapy was introduced to help vulnerable and isolated people in care homes, hospices, hospital settings, mental health units. Today, some of our dedicated Saint Bernards and other big paws visit places across the UK to help those in need feel the love of a big paw breed, while helping to raise awareness of their needs to more people in the community.


Having firmly established its presence, the charity is redoubling its efforts towards preventive measures. By prioritising awareness and education on the unique needs of giant breeds, especially among prospective owners, we want to ensure that every family welcoming these dogs into their homes does so with a comprehensive understanding and informed choice.

Meet the Trustees




Hello, I'm Rachel, and I've proudly served as the chair/secretary of Saving Saints for the past six years. My journey with rescue dogs began when I adopted my first furry companion, Toby, as a puppy from Bolton Destitute Animal Shelter when I was 18. He was a lovable cross Rottweiler who stole my heart

Today, I feel incredibly fortunate to share my life with a diverse pack of four-legged friends, including three St. Bernards named Dotty, Zara and Willow, as well as Monty, a cross between a Saint Bernard and a Romanian shepherd who is partially sighted. Each of them brings their own unique personality and joy to my life. In addition to my dedication to animal welfare, I work as a mental health worker, qualified EMDR psychotherapist, and advocate, advocating for the well-being of both humans and animals.

My passion for cars also drives me, and I enjoy spending my spare time indulging my love for fast rides, particularly on track days with my Porsche 911. Dotty, my bombproof girl, accompanies me as a pat dog, spreading comfort and joy wherever we go. In the photo, you'll see my beloved St. Bernards, Kuba from Romania, and William, a UK rescue. Sadly, both succumbed to common health issues prevalent in St. Bernards, such as bloat and heart failure. Through my experiences and dedication, I strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of animals, advocating for their welfare and providing them with the love and care they deserve.


I'm Helen, a dedicated advocate for dog welfare with a deep-rooted passion for rescuing dogs from the meat trade. My journey in dog rescue spans many years, during which I've specialised in offering a lifeline to those dogs who've faced the most harrowing circumstances.

In my home, I'm greeted daily by a diverse pack that spans the size spectrum from small to giant breeds. Each day is a new chapter in understanding dog behaviour, a journey I embrace with all my heart.

Among my furry family is Kingsley, a St. Bernard rescued from the meat trade, now living harmoniously with his new pack. My role as a dog behaviourist allows me to guide dogs like Kingsley through their past traumas, helping them flourish in their forever homes.

My commitment to dog welfare reaches beyond the confines of my home. For the last five years, I've been a Trustee and behaviourist for Saving Saints, playing an integral part in safeguarding the future of countless dogs. My qualifications from the Cambridge Institute of Dog Behaviour and Training empower me to blend expertise with empathy, making a tangible difference in the lives of dogs and their human companions.



Hello, I'm Tracey, a devoted advocate for the welfare of both working dogs and rescue animals. My foray into the world of breeding and training gundogs initially didn't hint at the path towards rescue that I would soon take. This unexpected journey began 13 years ago, when I found myself searching for a companion for one of my dogs.

At that time, finding a pedigree companion proved challenging, leading me to make a decision that would change my life: I adopted an Irish Rescue dog. This singular act of adoption ignited a deep-seated passion for rescue work within me, prompting me to get involved with a charity dedicated to homing dogs from Greece. Since then, my home has become a haven for four more Greek rescue dogs, including two with special needs.

My experiences with these dogs have deeply inspired me, driving me to raise awareness and support for the often overlooked older, disabled, and large dogs struggling to find their forever homes. It was by fate that I met Rachel, the chair of Saving Saints Rescue, and together, we've been on a mission to change the lives of these special animals. I now lead the charity's TriPaws initiative.

Beyond my life in animal welfare, I am an NHS Nurse with 39 years of experience, offering a blend of compassion, dedication, and medical expertise to every aspect of my work, be it healthcare or animal welfare. Alongside my husband, three children, five grandchildren, and a vibrant mix of seven fur babies, my life is a testament to my commitment to the well-being of animals and my community. Through Saving Saints Rescue, I've had the privilege of contributing to the transformative journeys of countless dogs, helping them find new lives filled with love and happiness.


Amanda Rees

I'm the freshest face at Saving Saints, having stepped into the role of trustee in April 2023. My journey with this incredible charity began when I adopted Tal, my Greek street dog, a few years back. That experience was nothing short of fabulous, sparking a deep desire within me to support the phenomenal work of this team in any way possible. Since then, I've opened my home to foster six of Saving Saints' rescues, including Tal's street siblings, all of whom have since found their own loving, forever homes.

In the midst of various fundraising efforts, I've somehow earned the title of the team's biscuit maker, a role I find both brilliant and ironic given my notorious lack of baking skills (my mum used to say I could "torture dough"). When I'm not attempting to bake or working with the charity, I immerse myself in the world of TV/Broadcast and Business consultancy work.

My life is beautifully chaotic, shared with my husband, four wonderful step-children, two beloved dogs of my own, a constant parade of furry fosters, and Oscar, our long-suffering 20-year-old cat.



Why Adopt?

Adoption gives animals in shelters and rescue organisations a second chance at life. By adopting, you're providing a loving home to an animal in need and potentially saving them from euthanasia.

Adopting from shelters and rescue groups helps reduce the number of animals in overcrowded shelters and prevents further breeding, thus addressing the issue of pet overpopulation reducing pet surrender rates.

Many animals in shelters are already spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped.

Shelter staff and volunteers often assess the animals' behaviour and temperament, providing valuable insights into their compatibility with your household and family members.

By adopting, you're supporting ethical practices and promoting responsible pet ownership. You're not contributing to the demand for animals from commercial breeders or pet mills, which often prioritise profit over animal welfare.

Adopted animals often show immense gratitude and loyalty to their new family, forming strong bonds with those who have given them a second chance at life. Knowing that you've provided a loving home to a previously homeless or abandoned animal can bring a deep sense of fulfilment and joy.

Adopting from local shelters and rescue groups strengthens your community by supporting their efforts to care for and rehome animals in need. Many shelters and rescue organisations provide ongoing support and resources to adopters, including training advice, behavioural support, and community events.

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