Almost 14,000 dogs rehomed by Ballymena’s Dog Trust

Back row L-R: Julie Tweed (Receptionist), Stephanie Scott (Home Form Home Coordinator), Oonagh Phillips (Manager), Ann Owens (Campaigns assistant), Ronnie Milsop (Campaigns Manager), Michael Faith (Canine Carer). Front Row L-R: Maura Cushenan (Training and Behavioural Assistant), Laura Phillips (Canine Carer), Steven McNeilly (Canine Carer 2 Rehomer), Sponsor Dog Eric (Collie x Staffordshire Bull terrier), Marbeth Gilmour (Assistant Manager, Operations) and Sarah Park (Assistant Manager, Admin)
Back row L-R: Julie Tweed (Receptionist), Stephanie Scott (Home Form Home Coordinator), Oonagh Phillips (Manager), Ann Owens (Campaigns assistant), Ronnie Milsop (Campaigns Manager), Michael Faith (Canine Carer). Front Row L-R: Maura Cushenan (Training and Behavioural Assistant), Laura Phillips (Canine Carer), Steven McNeilly (Canine Carer 2 Rehomer), Sponsor Dog Eric (Collie x Staffordshire Bull terrier), Marbeth Gilmour (Assistant Manager, Operations) and Sarah Park (Assistant Manager, Admin)

Dogs Trust celebrates its 125th anniversary this year and 21 proud members of staff at its Ballymena Rehoming Centre can boast almost 215 years of service to the charity.

The centre, at Teeshan on the outskirts of the town, has been caring for and rehoming dogs across Northern Ireland since 1970.

In that time, strong relationships have been built up with the public and the centre is well-known across the country.

Since it was first established, Dogs Trust Ballymena has rehomed more than 13,800 dogs.

Oonagh Phillips, Rehoming Centre Manager for Dogs Trust Ballymena, said: “I’m very lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing team.

“There have been so many highlights for us over the years but the best experience has to be when one of our residents finds its forever home. 215 years is a long time but I think this is a testament to how well everyone gets on and their passion for the wellbeing of dogs.

“The centre has gone from strength-to-strength over the last 46 years. Our barn was recently converted and modernised to provide more space for staff to work and train dogs.

“We’ve had celebrity visits too, including a visit from Eamonn Holmes who is a big supporter of the work Dogs Trust do.

The longest serving member of staff at the Rehoming Centre is Assistant Manager Marbeth Gilmour, who has been part of the team since 1988. Most of her teammates refer to her as the historian of Dogs Trust Ballymena, as she knows everything there is to know about the Rehoming Centre.

Dogs Trust Ballymena has found forever homes for thousands of dogs over the years and has also been a loving home for dogs that have been overlooked by potential owners. They currently have two sponsor dogs who live at the rehoming centre, 12-year-old Spot and eight-year-old Eric, both having been residents of the centre for most of their lives.

Oonagh says: “Spot and Eric have such amazing characters and are very much part of our extended Dogs Trust family. Eric even has a best friend, one of our doggy residents and the two are practically inseparable.”

If you are interested in finding out more information about Dogs Trust Ballymena or would like to rehome a dog, please get in touch on 0300 303 0292 or visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/our-centres/ballymena/