Fewer people have shown their dedication to our four-legged friends than Dougie O’Neill.
In 1991, The Mail heard from Dougie while advocating for abandoned dogs at Barrow Dog Shelter, although he recalled Christmas was often one of the busiest times of the year for him.
The shelter said that as Christmas approached that year, the dogs were often given away as unwanted gifts and ended up in council kennels soon after.
Dougie said it was because members of the public often underestimate the responsibility required to care for a dog.
But following a campaign to encourage the people of Barrow to think carefully before buying a pet, he said: “This is definitely an improvement over other years, the best year we have had. had.
“Usually we expect to see some. We have had puppies found in gutters and all kinds. Maybe people get the message.
Ten dogs had arrived at Walney this Christmas, but luckily there was plenty of room at the Barrow Shelter, under Dougie’s care.
Speaking of their arrival, Dougie said, “This week has been like the January sales. We had six that were taken from us yesterday.
The previous year, The Mail reported that the shelter had also hosted a scared little stray who was running around West Shore Park in Walney.
Dougie was able to find a home for the stray dog soon after, much to the residents’ delight.
That same year, a local resident was followed by a mysterious white crossbreed dog.
Dougie arrived at the scene of the collie found shortly after he was reported.
“If the lady has a dog in the house, which is in season, the stray dog may have caught the scent and started following her because of it.”
In 1989, the Mail reported how Doug had welcomed more than 137 dogs to his shelter during that year.
While many years were busier than others for arrivals, Dougie said he’s always there to try and help the influx of dogs with nowhere to go.