Our 2020 Newsletter was online only, you can read it below.
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2020 Newsletter

Hello Supporter

Welcome to our 2020 newsletter which tells you about our work during this very challenging and different year, as well as some of our plans for the future.

The year started well with lots of animals in our care being rehomed, but lockdown quickly necessitated Centre restrictions and shop closures. Fortunately, we have recovered well thanks to the wonderful support of our friends, supporters and external funders.

Covid has, however, significantly impacted on our new kennel project plans causing a delay in obtaining a building warrant as well as project costs almost doubling to around £300,000. For this reason, the Trustees are currently considering alternative planning options for the way forward but remain utterly committed to creating a new kennel facility as soon as is reasonably possible.

Your continued support is vital to the work we undertake, and we do hope that you will take the time to visit our website to find out how you can help us further.

Thank you from the staff, Trustees and of course the animals at Borders Pet Rescue and we wish you a safe and peaceful 2021.

Please click here to visit our website

The Centre

Well, it has been a strange year for us all. In March the entire UK went into lockdown which meant that we had to close the Centre to the public and stop our wonderful volunteers coming to assist us. Fortunately, we were fairly quiet at the time so staff were able to manage the animals already at the Centre.

Unfortunately we had to cancel all appointments made for people hoping to see animals in our care. We also had homes lined up for the majority of the animals, which had to be put on hold. Only a few cats were at the Centre at the time,  some of whom were quite nervous, so staff were able to spend a good amount of time supporting them whilst the Centre was quiet. The dogs also received lots of extra training and attention and really enjoyed Scentwork, Mantrailing & Agility.

On 16th April Government guidelines allowed us to start to rehome and take in new animals again, albeit in a limited way. We were allowed to visit peoples homes to collect and drop off animals whilst everything else had to be done remotely such as paperwork and discussing the animals over the phone. We wore PPE and adhered to social distancing guidelines.

Once travel restrictions lifted we allowed members of the public to meet the animals at the Centre. All meetings were held outside and measures were put in place to minimise contact whilst operating on an appointments only basis. We are still completing all paperwork online via email to minimise physical contact. There has been a clear increase in the number of people applying to adopt animals during the lockdown period, more than ever before. For each animal advertised we had double the amount of people applying and we could have rehomed some of the animals several times over! We have also seen a decrease in the number of animals coming into us, although we expect this to change in the months to come when life eventually begins to return to normal and people return to work.

During lockdown we also had to close Bramble’s Field which provides a regular weekly income for the charity. For those of you that don’t know about Bramble’s Field, it is a fully secure 10 acre field which we rent out to members of the public. It can bring in £100-£200 per week. Again, once travel restrictions lifted we gradually reopened the field with procedures in place to keep everyone safe.
You can find out more about Bramble’s Field by clicking here


Due to Covid-19 restrictions we had to cancel our annual fundraising events for 2020. These included our Dog Show, Big Borders Dog Walk and Open Day. These events are a vital source of income for the charity so we had to find alternative methods of fundraising.

Online Pet Show

Our Dog Show is normally a great fun event, so this year we chose to host an Online Pet Show instead. With categories such as Best Puppy, Prettiest Girl Cat, Most Handsome Unusual Pet, Best Group Photo (any species) and many more, we had the opportunity to meet a wide range of pets from farther afield and also a lot of different species of pets!

You can see some of the wonderful entries below:

Thankfully we had some amazing sponsors who helped us judge and choose the winners from each category! Our sponsors and judges included Country Hounds, Eildon View Pet Crematorium, Duncan & Rosie, Braw Puppy, Alex Dalgetty & Sons and Teviot Tyres

You can see some of the winners below:

Out of almost 800 entries we identified 23 finalists who were automatically entered into our Best In Show category. This final category went to the public vote and after an exciting week of voting, we had our winners!

With 739 votes our Reserve Best In Show was “Aussie” who had placed 1st in both Most Handsome Unusual Pet & Best OAP Unusual Pet:

Our Best in Show with 865 votes was “Ollie, Jay, Jenny, Megan, Carrie, Indi & Mini” who had placed 1st in Best Group Photo:

Although we really hope our Dog Show will be able to take place at Bramble’s Field again in 2021, our Online Pet Show was enjoyed by all and we do therefore plan to hold a similar event in the future, keep your eye on our website and Facebook page for more information!

To see all the photos from our Online Pet Show, please click here

We are keeping our fingers, toes, paws and claws crossed that 2021 will give us the opportunity to hold all of our annual fundraising events and we look forward to seeing you all again as soon as we can. We will be adding any events to our website HERE and you can see some of our previous events HERE.

To find out how you can help Borders Pet Rescue, click here

We need your help this winter!

This winter we are making a special request for donations. You have all been so generous to us during the Covid lockdown by donating food, treats and toys for the animals in our care and for buying the few extra items we have needed from our Amazon Wishlist. So much so that our cupboards are currently full with food which should last us through the winter!Even during lockdown, our small Animal Care Team continued working tirelessly to look after the animals in our care, admit new animals and rehome some pets to their new forever homes. All the animals that come into the Centre get a vet’s health check, they are neutered, vaccinated, microchipped where possible, treated for worms and fleas and they receive any other medical care they may need. This means our monthly vet bills are around £2,000, so that comes to about £20,000 since lockdown began in Scotland! Unfortunately, due to the Covid restrictions, we had to cancel all of our fundraising events for this year and we also had to temporarily close our charity shops in Galashiels, Hawick, Duns and Kelso. Our events and shops are a vital source of income for the charity which normally helps cover the cost of our vet bills. Without these funds and with very little income, we need to find an alternative method of fundraising!So, this brings us to our special donation request – we would kindly ask that, if you are considering donating food, treats or toys this Christmas, that you might alternatively consider donating towards our vet bills.You can donate by clicking the ‘donate now’ button on this post or, if you would prefer to donate a different way, please get in touch!

Donate now

Some VIP (Very Important Pet) Updates


Pal came into our care on the 18th November 2018 and little did we know that this little man was going to be a long-term resident and a record-breaker. Pal, who is a Jack Russell cross (we think Corgi with that tail!), was only around 5 years old when he came into our care although he had already had at least 3 homes!During Pal’s stay with us, it became clear that he had some behavioural issues that would make him a little more difficult to rehome than we initially thought. He did not like being handled, was not great with other dogs and he definitely could not live with cats.Despite his issues, Pal was extremely popular and had a few visits by a number of potential new families. He even went out on trial, but all of these homes, for one reason or another, did not work out and the poor little man was left waiting for his new home whilst many of his friends came and went.Finally, after a record-breaking 643 days (1 year & 9 months) in our care, Pal went off to his new home and we are pleased to say that he has been there for almost four months and is doing extremely well, enjoying home life. His new family have kindly allowed us to share some of the photos of him in his new home which you can see below. We will continue to post any updates that we receive about Pal on our Facebook page so make sure you are following us and have liked the page…

Mrs Turtle

In a previous newsletter we talked about the lovely upgrade Mrs Turtle got back in 2018, if you didn’t see that update then simply click here to read about her 1000 litre tank!Sadly, Mr Turtle passed away last year but Mrs Turtle is still going strong! We are always looking for ways to improve her life – she now has shoals of fish for company and lots of plants and ornaments to keep her amused.Since Mrs Turtle is staying with us long-term, one of our Animal Care staff members decided to do some target training with her! This is not only brilliant enrichment for her but also allows staff to check that she is fit and healthy.Check out the video below to see how quickly she took to this…

Mrs Turtle learning that following the target gets her a treat…

Big Puss & Little Puss

In March 2020, a few days after the start of “lockdown”, a pair of elderly female cats came into our care at the Centre after losing their owner. They were well named as Big Puss and Little Puss, with the added consideration that Big Puss was not only chunky but also diabetic. Little Puss was indeed small but in truth, they were a delightful pair of sisters with quite different personalities.

Big Puss needed regular medication for her thyroid as well as 2 insulin injections 12 hours apart each day. Her diet needed careful control so it was felt that they would be happier placed with one of our foster carers. Luckily they settled in very quickly or should we say, took the place over – commandeering the bed and purring constantly.

Once the weather became pleasant they loved to go outside and roam around their garden. Little Puss, being the more energetic of the two, took to terrorising the local mouse population with much success. Big Puss was interested in the daily hunting but preferred to find a warm and sunny spot and doze in the sunshine although she did bring a baby rabbit into the house once and cuddled up to it in her basket! Luckily it was still alive, though a bit confused, and was released unharmed. Big Puss had one scare in October when she had a serious hypo which needed an overnight stay at the vets. Otherwise, both cats led a happy life and Big Puss’s diabetes was well controlled. Sadly, in early December, Big Puss became ill again and went off her food, became lethargic and was found to have an unexplained high temperature which needed further urgent attention from the vet, many tests and a 2-night stay before she could come home. Little Puss was very pleased to have her home again and Big Puss is gradually improving.

Both cats were adopted by their foster carers in late Autumn and are very dearly loved. Borders Pet Rescue continues to pay the huge veterinary cost of Big Puss’s diabetic needs, and any help with these costs would always be extremely welcome! You can donate via the link below or contact the Centre staff on 01896 849090 or info@borderspetrescue.org

Donate now

Kittens born at the Centre

One of our long term volunteers Sue, who has, for many years, been helping us deal with feral cats in and around the Duns area had been trying to catch a young female cat for a while. Finally, in August, we received a phone call to say that she had caught her and she was suspected to be pregnant!The cat was brought into the Centre and settled into a quiet cat run. Due to her being very unsure of people it was decided that, unlike most of the pregnant cats who go off to a foster home, it would be best for this girl to stay with the staff at the Centre. After a week in our care, she gave birth to 6 kittens; one boy and five girls. The mum was given the new name of Xena as she was a feisty warrior. The kittens stayed with her for around 6 weeks until it became clear that they had been weaned and were ready to go off to a foster home until they were ready for adoption. In the foster home they would become familiar with a household environment. We used a trusted foster home for them and Isobel took fantastic care of them for the three weeks they were with her.Once the kittens reached nine weeks old, they were all seen by our vets to get their first vaccinations and a full health check. As part of our standard procedures and policy, all the kittens were also microchipped and given preventative treatment for worms and fleas before they were ready to leave us.
We already had a huge waiting list for kittens and started making contact with people to arrange for them to go off to their new homes. All six kittens are doing really well in their new homes and are growing quickly…

The mum Xena is almost ready for her new home herself now and will be looking for a quiet home where she will be able to build up trust with her new owner. Xena is still really unsure about us humans, however, she is slowly making progress and she does like her Dreamies!

As Xena is such a shy girl, she needs to be the only pet and have no children in her forever home. She will require outdoor access once she has fully settled in as well.

If you feel you can give Xena the home she deserves please click HERE to apply for her!

Jimmy & Isla

Written by Karen, one of our Trustees. In February 2020 my husband and I were asked if we could help out and foster two greyhounds that had just come into Borders Pet Rescue from racing kennels. On the 16th February, two beautiful greyhounds called Jimmy and Isla came to stay with us. Initially, they were a bit on the thin side, their coats weren’t great and they had a few old scabs and scars. They were quite shy with us humans but they loved the company of our dogs. As time went on we gained their trust and they became our little shadows, everywhere we went they followed.They were very inquisitive and always wanted to help with any jobs we were doing, in fact, there was always a little greyhound nose sticking itself into something and causing mischief. Having never lived in a home environment they did extremely well with toilet training and settling down overnight. Within days they were into our routine and way of life.  It turns out Isla was a natural counter surfer and thief. She has incredibly long legs and can reach just about anything left on top of the kitchen counters. We would find her with tea towels, oven gloves, hats, TV remotes, glasses and glasses cases – in fact, anything she could reach! She would lay down with her stolen goodies right next to Jimmy so it took us a while to figure out which of them was the thief. Isla was full of mischief and always up to something and Jimmy was the calming influence, they were so close we just had to find them a home together. By April time they were really part of our family and we knew it would be so hard to let them go.By June time we were seriously considering adopting them ourselves as there just hadn’t been any interest in adopting both dogs together. Borders Pet Rescue had them as the Pet Of The Week in July and we finally found the perfect home for them both together. On the 16th July, Jimmy and Isla went off to their wonderful new home where they finally had a sofa to curl up on and call their own.  It was an absolute pleasure to have Jimmy and Isla stay with us for 5 months. Greyhounds are wonderful dogs, they are easy-going and very loving and need very little exercise- a secure garden to run around and a few short walks.  They love the company and really do make wonderful pets. Please do consider a greyhound if you are thinking of adopting a dog as there are so many ex-racing greyhounds that need homes.

Animals needing homes!


Milo is a friendly 10-month-old boy who came into our care through no fault of his own. He is a very intelligent dog who gets easily bored which can lead to unwanted behaviours. Milo will need more than just the normal dog walks for a few hours a day.

Milo walks well along with other dogs but would prefer to be the only pet in his new home. Milo should be able to be left for a couple of hours once he has settled into his new home, as long as he is given the exercise he needs.

Milo has a lot of energy and would be best suited to an active home where he will get plenty of physical and mental stimulation. An owner who was willing to do agility, cani-cross, mantrailing or similar would be great for Milo as he gets bored easily.

To apply for Milo please click HERE

Grants & Financial Support during Covid-19

We have been in a fortunate position during 2020 as our charity was able to apply for several grants to help us through the Covid-19 crisis. We cannot thank these organisations and people enough for their support and commitment. Without their financial help, we certainly would have struggled financially during the pandemic.

The Government Job Retention Scheme provided essential furlough support for us whilst the shops were closed between March and June. Our landlords were also very helpful during this time with some offering rent free months or a 50% reduction.
Some of our suppliers also gave a discount on committed costs.

SBC offered a rates free period and Government grants for each of our effected premises.

Zero Waste Scotland helped us with our Covid-19 signage, PPE equipment and other related expenses to help keep our customers, staff and volunteers safe.

Support adoption for pets was able to assist us with a grant for our daily running costs and Petplan who had just awarded us a grant towards a new van allowed us to use this for emergency running costs instead.

Thanks to G&M Trotter, J Woods, D Hamilton and  Misses Robinson: these are charitable trusts that support us on a regular basis and also helped us through this difficult time.
95% of these grants were received by our charity before the end of our financial year (31 July 2020) which helped with our 2019-20 results.

Please visit our website to find out more about the work we do and how you can help

New Galashiels Shop

In August 2020 we opened our new Borders Pet Rescue flagship shop at 82 Channel Street, Galashiels. This is now well established, and we are delighted with its success. Thank you to everyone who has supported the shop to date.

Click here to visit our Borders Pet Rescue Charity Shops Facebook page where you can keep up to date with all the Charity Shop news and see some of the wonderful items we have for sale!

Shop ’til you drop

Borders Pet Rescue relies on income generated by our charity shops. They raise more than 60% of the income required to run the Centre. We have 4 shops in Galashiels, Duns, Kelso and Hawick.
Whilst the shops are an invaluable source of income there are also other reasons to support them:

  • Encourage recycling. Even if the goods you donate are a little too “pre-loved” to sell they are recycled to a “rag-man” for which the charity receives money.
  • Volunteering in charity shops gives people an opportunity to meet others and help combat loneliness. Many charity shop volunteers believe that volunteering has a positive impact on their physical and mental health and that it improves their self- esteem and confidence.
  • Save money by getting some bargains. We regularly receive donated designer and high-end items. We sell them at a fraction of their cost!
  • The money you spend helps others, or in our case, the animals. We do not receive any grant funding from Government or local authorities or anywhere else to pay wages, vet bills, heating bills etc. So, EVERY PENNY COUNTS.

Volunteers Needed!

Your local shop needs help with volunteers!Can you spare a few hours a week to help in one of our charity shops which raise the vital funds we need to support our animal rescue work?You can see the shops contact details below:

82 Channel Street
01896 668260

3 The Square
01573 224430

3 South Street
TD11 3AJ
01361 883908

19b High Street
01450 376916

Amazon Smile

Did you know you can help us raise funds by simply shopping online at smile.amazon.co.ukAmazon donates 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) of eligible purchases to the charitable organisation of your choice at no extra cost to you!AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.

So you can support Borders Pet Rescue by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.co.uk

You can find out more about AmazonSmile by clicking here
You can see our Amazon Wishlist with some items we need for the animals by clicking here

Fostering for Borders Pet Rescue

Written by Gwen, one of our trusted foster carers.I have always had an affinity with animals and loved having animals around my home. I have my own pets but started fostering animals when I was a teenager.
A friend suggested I could foster for Borders Pet Rescue and I thought that I definitely had more room in my heart and my home. Since starting I have fostered around 6 dogs and over 200 cats.Fostering is a wonderful process where animals come, often frightened and unsure and leave with a happy, loving home.  Each journey is different, some animals have had loving homes but a change in circumstances means they cannot stay there or others have never experienced a home environment. Being able to welcome animals into my home and slowly build a relationship of trust and understanding is such a privilege.  My own pets have become so used to our visitors and help them adjust to their new settings. My family all play a role in the lives of our foster pets, particularly my grandchildren, who love to be involved in caring for the animals!Animals bring such a lovely dimension to your life and being able to help an animal grow in confidence and trust and leave with a lovely new chapter of their life ahead is just the most rewarding experience!

If you feel you would be interested in fostering then click HERE to send us an email for a fostering application form!

Newest Animal Care Assistant

My name is Helen and I am the newest member of staff working at the Rescue Centre. I have been an Animal Care Assistant at Borders Pet Rescue for nearly 2 years now and I love it! I originally started volunteering to prove to my parents that I would walk a dog in any weather… and I did! For 5 years I helped at the Centre to mainly walk dogs but would also help out with the feeding and socialising of the animals. Rain or shine, I would give up my Saturday afternoon to help out and would turn my hand to any job that needed to be done.I went on to study Level 3 BTEC Animal Management at Borders College and came out with a distinction+, all whilst continuing to volunteer throughout my time at the college. I got to know the Borders Pet Rescue staff members and other volunteers well and always looked forward to my time there. Then a job came up… Great! I went for it right away and hoped for the best, after my interview, they offered me the job and I was thrilled! Having so much experience behind me definitely helped and I was excited to start my new chapter.Here’s a bit about me…  I have three dogs one Labrador-cross-Patterdale (a bit of a strange mix, I know… but it was an accident!) and I have two Alaskan Malamutes. I also work a second job where everyone knows me as the lassie who loves dogs and will talk to anyone if its about animals of any shape or form!Enough about me… and let me tell you how amazing it is getting to work with animals! The best part of the job is getting to see animals all day, you do get attached and whilst it is sad to see them leave when they go off to their new homes, you are also so happy for them as you know they are going to have a great life with their new owners. There is a lot of cleaning involved in working in a rescue – it’s not just getting to play with kittens and puppies all day! Every day starts with feeding and cleaning but you get to see the joy in all the animal’s faces when you come in to see them and that’s what makes it all worthwhile. It is a cold wet job in winter but when it comes to summer you are outside in the sun most of the day which is a bonus. You have to do a lot of walking, even in the pouring rain as the dogs won’t walk themselves but it is worth it.

Jackie Scotland

A huge thank you to Jackie Scotland who has raised funds to support the animals in our care every year since our Hawick Charity shop opened in 2016!

Jackie has no dogs of her own but always walks her friend’s dogs; Meg, Daisy and Casper, who all regularly call in for biscuits at our Hawick shop.

Thank you Jackie for this year’s marvellous donation of £600 raised by selling tray bakes, picture frames and collecting donations from friends and family.

Jackie was also featured in the local paper earlier in the year for her fundraising efforts which you can see here

You can find out more about fundraising for Borders Pet Rescue by clicking here or click here to see some fundraising ideas!

Currently, we are seeking to appoint new Trustees to assist with plans for the post-Covid period. We are keen to recruit individuals with experience in any of the following areas: estates and/or facilities management; governance; marketing /social media. We would also welcome applications from individuals with a wide range of other experience.Please contact Lorraine Wilson at secretary@borderspetrescue.org for further details.

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