SHE’S been as far as China to save poorly-treated dogs, but Lindsey Scanlon’s French bulldog rescue charity is based a little closer to home.
Situated at her house in Mirfield, Lindsey set up French Bulldog Saviours – originally called Dolly’s Angels – in 2013 after seeing an advert on Facebook selling a badly-abused French bulldog named Dolly. She ended up buying the pup to give her the care and attention she needed.
Thus the dog rescue charity was born, and now six years down the line it has saved more than 2,000 of the troubled breed.
Lindsey, who is helped by a team of 30 volunteers across the country, explained: “We get told about or see a dog and we take them in, they come to us and get their health sorted out, a full assessment is done. Then we put them into foster homes for two weeks before they go up for adoption.”
That is the premise of the charity – and it has grown so much that 46-year-old Lindsey soon had to quit her role as a teaching assistant at Battyeford Primary School.
Lindsey, who also has two young kids to look after as well as two older children, says she works around the clock and has even had dogs dumped on her doorstep on Boxing Day. She said: “We’re always open, regardless!”
Lindsey used to have a French bulldog of her own and explained that the problem with the pups now is people over-breeding them, which has led to a number of health issues and insurance sky-rocketing.
She said: “The French bulldog originally started in four colours – fawn, fawn pied, brindle and black brindle. People decided to start breeding them purely for different colours – they didn’t test for temperament. Once they started breeding non-recognisable colours (NRC) some dogs were going for £24,000 and people buy them to make money.
“A lot of the NRCs were originally bred in Hungary, so if it wasn’t for the UK buying in these dogs the dogs in Hungary wouldn’t be in the state they’re in.”
Most recently, Lindsey has travelled to Hungary in a bid to save dogs at a kennel in the town of Puspokladany.
So far she’s found homes in the UK for 30 dogs and is returning to Hungary to save another 25, which she said are in “absolute despair”.
Lindsey wants to educate people about the French bulldog breed. She said: “I just can’t understand how people can treat them like they do, and it’s not just French bulldogs it’s any breed.”
The charity relies solely on donations and is always looking for more volunteers and foster homes for the dogs.
Lindsey can be contacted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook.