Pawprints began as a Facebook group offering advice and guidance on responsible dog ownership within Rugby and the surrounding areas.

We actively assisted owners in searching for their lost or stolen dogs and were allowed access to local pounds to help reunite strays with their loving owners.

We quickly realised that less than half of the strays were being reunited and to our horror, we found that many were euthanised. These were healthy, social, happy dogs that had done nothing wrong – they had simply lost their way home or had been abandoned by their owners.

As of October 2011, we began finding rescue spaces and transporting these strays around the country to give them a chance of survival and of finding new families to care for them. Some local authorities would not pay for medical treatment for those that were sick or injured, so we also began to fundraise to cover the cost of treatment.

In January 2012, available rescue spaces simply dried up. We began paying for emergency boarding in local kennels to wait for spaces to become available, but by February nearly all rescues had just closed their doors to new intakes. We were left with a dilemma when no rescue in the immediate area was willing or able to take the poundies. We felt that we had no choice but to form our rescue, organise foster carers and start fundraising in earnest.

To date, we have rescued hundreds of dogs that would otherwise have been put to sleep. Under the Pawprints banner, we neuter, vaccinate and provide treatment for injured or abused dogs.

We have paid thousands of pounds out for medical treatment for neglected, abandoned or lost dogs and are proud to say that we are not breed selective. Our vet bills are on average around £25,000 per year.

We currently have some dedicated foster carers who support us by offering a home environment for our dogs, working on training or providing post-operative care – we cover the costs in full.

To meet these costs we have held online auctions, jumble sales, dog shows, quiz nights and have held stalls at various venues to raise much-needed funding.

Please visit our news and events page to see what is currently planned.

In late 2012, our founder decided to take over the lease of Dunsmore Boarding Kennels and Cattery which provides the rescue with an office and some desperately needed kennel space.