Colchester dog groomers come to the rescue of hundreds of neglected strays at Greek rescue centre

Kerry Youngman, right, said it was an emotional experience. Picture: ANIMAL MAGIC

Kerry Youngman, right, said it was an emotional experience. Picture: ANIMAL MAGIC - Credit: Archant

A group of dog groomers from Colchester went on an emotional trip to Greece last week to treat hundreds of stray dogs seeking a new home.

THe team managed to groom hundreds of dogs on their visit to the Greek rescue shelter Picture: ANIMA

THe team managed to groom hundreds of dogs on their visit to the Greek rescue shelter Picture: ANIMAL MAGIC - Credit: Archant

Kerry Youngman, who owns Animal Magic, in Military Road, took eight of her former apprentices to Kalamanta on Thursday, June 28, on a quest to groom hundreds of dogs at rescue centre Dream of Safe Haven (DASH).

The rescue centre puts a roof over the dogs’ heads and food in the bellies, but the animals often arrive with matted hair, skin problems and fleas and ticks.

She said there ‘wasn’t a dry eye’ when they saw the state of the animals.

“I thought I would know what to expect but I was shocked,” she said.

Although the rescue centre was able to feed and shelter the animals, many had matted fur, fleas and

Although the rescue centre was able to feed and shelter the animals, many had matted fur, fleas and ticks Picture: ANIMAL MAGIC - Credit: Archant

“People had come from all over the country to work for a couple of weeks and help these poor dogs.

“They were wandering round in packs, it was surreal to see them living together like that.

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“Everyone just sobbed when they saw them.

“But they were being given shelter and food every day, they were the lucky ones.”

The team of dog groomers treated hundreds of stray dogs to give them a chance of being rehomed. Pict

The team of dog groomers treated hundreds of stray dogs to give them a chance of being rehomed. Picture: ANIMAL MAGIC - Credit: Archant

She said the dogs’ reaction to being groomed was absolutely heartbreaking.

She said: “When we got to grooming them they would close their eyes put their head on your shoulder.

“They were craving that human contact.

“It was unreal, I have never experienced anything like it in the 30 years I have been working with dogs.

“We had taken some muzzles with us as we didn’t know how the animals would react.

“But we only had to muzzle a handful out of hundreds of dogs, just the dogs who were really scared.

“They just closed their eyes and loved every second of their grooming, having their ears cleaned and the knots cut out of the fur.

“I think we cried all the time we were doing it.

“It was lovely but an emotional rollercoaster.

“These dogs have been beaten, neglected and tortured before they reached the rescue centre but when somebody was nice to them they were all lovely dogs.”

Mrs Youngman plans to make this a regular visit.

“The place is addictive, she said.

“We will go back there every year - we are already planning out next visit.”

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