Win the ultimate short break in Somerset
Buy a raffle ticket to be in with a chance of winning the ultimate luxury short break in Somerset
Raising Funds for W.A.G.s
A Charity that supports retired police dogs of Wiltshire, Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset.
Closing date 26th November
A Somerset family who has opened their doors to retired service dogs are launching a raffle with a difference to support a canine charity. Emma and Simon Oliver have put up for grabs “the ultimate dog-friendly short break” in the beautiful Quantock Hills. The raffle will benefit W.A.G.s, an organisation that supports ex-service dogs in their twilight years.
Emma says: “We have been so lucky to have two ex-police dogs come to live with us. First, there was Cube who was 8, and most recently we have adopted Suatra, who is 5 years old. It’s been so enjoyable watching them slowly relax into civilian life after their years of doing their job. We feel very privileged they have come to us.”
Both Cube and Sutra are German Shepherds (as most people imagine when they think of a police dog), but there are many different types of service dog jobs met by different breeds. There are explosive detection dogs, data dogs, cadaver dogs, and drug dogs, as well as the general-purpose dogs who track people, assist with arrests, and do riot control.
“All service dogs work hard during their career, so they are often retired at a young age,” says Emma. “Many leave work early due to an injury. Usually, the dogs are adopted by their handlers, who are regular PCs on standard salaries. As many companies won’t offer insurance for these dogs, their owners bear the financial burden of their care.
“Any animal owner knows how expensive vet’s fees can be, especially if you are dealing with surgery or long term rehabilitation after an injury. Too many animals ended their years of service needing to be put down because their owners couldn’t afford the treatment they so richly deserved. This is why charities such as W.A.G.S were set up, and why we are so passionate to do as much as we can to support them.
“When we offered to re-home Sutra, we were contacted by W.A.G.s who said they would be there for us if she or Cube ever needed large scale clinical care. It was enormously reassuring to know that someone would be there to help if we needed it.”
Emma and Simon run Quantock Cottages, a collection of luxury dog-friendly boutique properties in the Quantock Hills. The package, worth over £1’000, that they have donated to WAGS is a three-night weekend stay or four night midweek stay in a luxury cottage, with a private hot tub, outside bar and open fire.
“This is the ultimate dog holiday spot,” says Emma. “We are positioned on the edge of about 9,000 acres of open moorland, with so many magical walks to discover, as well as dog-friendly pubs, cafes and restaurants and the coast is just a mile and half down the lane. We know how important dogs are as family members, so we have ensured that the cottage gardens are totally dog secure and we have a ¾ acre enclosed woodland doggie play area, and for the discerning dog they have their own doggie “spa” with hot and cold shower and drying bench.
“We look forward to welcoming the winners of our prize to enjoy the magical surroundings here, and spending some quality time with their four-legged friends.
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