Like many other people who find themselves honoured in some way for their good works, Anne Owen said that being appointed an MBE in the UK’s 2015 New Year Honours was not just for her but also for her family and friends.
You often hear award recipients say that. They say it is as much for their team as themselves and, to a certain extent, it is true. There is no doubt that without close support the individuals concerned could not have achieved so much – but the award recipients are the really worthy ones.
She set up the North Clwyd Animal Rescue Centre in 1978 after she took in a stray dog. It is now the largest animal charity in North Wales (that’s in the UK, not the North Wales in Pennsylvania), rescuing more than 1,800 unwanted cats and dogs a year.
Reacting to her award, Anne said that she was really shocked and explained: “It’s not something I really think about, you just get on with life.”
Modestly, she added: “It’s nice that your work is recognised. It’s not just me, it’s my family and friends too.” True – and I’d add the animals too.
Of course, North Clwyd Animal Rescue is just one of numerous pets rescue organisations in various countries. And whether these are run by volunteers or larger charities with paid staff, volunteers are always welcome – as are people willing to give a pet a home.
I must admit to having a soft spot for the North Clwyd rescue centre as one day my then wife and I happened to meet volunteers with an exhibition stand in a local shopping centre. They also had a couple of dogs with them, dogs looking for their forever homes. Well, we fell in love with a large male border collie whose original name I now forget but we renamed him ‘Bryn’. We were even allowed to take him for a short walk. It was a match, we wanted him as much as he wanted a home and caring owners.
Of course, there was paperwork to be completed as well as a home check to be undertaken by the rescuers but within a few weeks, Bryn was with us. He was a softee and, at night, had to sleep in his basket in our bedroom. During the daytime he had a second basket downstairs but also had the freedom to run and play in our fields. He enjoyed a full and active life for many years until it was time for him to leave us. He was buried in one of our fields that he loved so much.
With Bryn as an inspiration, from that moment on our home was never without at least one rescue dog. At one time we had six.
So, if you would like a pet of your own, please don’t buy one without at least considering sharing your home with one that has needed the help of rescuers. They have a lot of love to give and in return just need your love and a forever home.
- To contact North Clwyd Animal Rescue, you’ll find the website at: www.ncar.co.uk; on Twitter at @ncaruk; or on Facebook as NorthClwydAnimalRescue.
- To find an animal rescue centre near you, just Google ‘animal rescue’ and your town’s name.