Bedlington Terrier Rescue was set up by the late Barbara Butcher MBE and Phyllis Cooper in 1976, 40 years ago this year, as a private organisation. Gradually others joined the ranks as Area Coordinators and they all worked well together with Barbara as Group Coordinator.
Although BTR was not run by any breed clubs, as Barbara was joint editor of the Bedlington Terrier Association news bulletin she always included a progress report of BTR and published the accounts.
After Barbara Butcher’s death in 2004, Frances Fuller was asked to take over the running of the group, which she agreed to do and continues as Group Coordinator today.
Bedlington Terrier Rescue as a whole, have the welfare of rescue Bedlington Terriers and their crosses at the top of the list of priorities and now, some 40 years later the BTR has rehomed several hundred dogs and work as a strong team of volunteers.
All of the Coordinators are experienced Bedlington owners and three are reward based trainers / behaviourists, so we are fortunate to have a dedicated team of people more than qualified to help and advice for adoption and rehoming of Bedlingtons as well as offering behavioural / training backup and support when needed.
The needs of the new owners are just as important too. We try to match the dog to a new owner by asking them to complete a Home Enquiry Form as well as agree to a home check and the owner handing the dog over to rescue also has to complete a Surrender History Form so that we have as much background on the dog being rehomed. Where possible we always try to rehome dogs in the local area to help reduce the stress of driving them long distances around the country.
Once adopted, the BTR then offers back up and support to the new family which may include veterinary care or training / behavioural advice.
In our 40th year we are extending the message of the BTR in general. We plan to raise the profile of the breed, which sadly is now on the Kennel Club's At Watch list, to help and advise on the care and welfare and to interact with pet Bedlington owners and raise the awareness of Copper Toxicosis, a disease that can be present in the Bedlington Terrier.