It is with great sadness that we have to tell you that one of very special sponsor dogs, Twirl, has left us.

Today we lost a living legend one of our supported hounds and one of the main reasons we do what we do.....Twirl Harrison. Twirl landed with us at 5 years of age what seemed at first a relatively straight forward little black greyhound bitch. Instead what we soon realised she was was a fiery, fiesty, running, shouting and redirecting head the ball but with it all as sweet and loving as you can imagine. Funnily enough nobody wanted to offer this little ball of lightening a forever home and she kept get over looked. We decided it was in Twirls best interests to remain under our umbrella for life and find a permanent foster home willing to treasure her with all her odd quirks and see the girl beneath and that is exactly what she found with Jo Harrison, Steve and Joanna' s lovely Mum who sadly also left us last year. We can not thank them enough for opening up their heart and home to this wonderful and most special of girls and giving her the shelter of the family she deserved. Our hearts very much go out to them all at this most sad times.

Sleep tight Whirly, Twirly girlie you were loved beyond belief by your family and your extended Gap family and it's hard to believe your bright, wonderful light has left the world. Loved always Princess..

Just in case you'd not noticed we have launched our brand new, sparkly, shiny, new website! We are all excited to see our old site dragged kicking and screaming into a more up to date, funky layout and above all... mobile device friendly!! It's been a while in the making and we are absolutely delighted with the results.

A huge heart felt thank you goes to Proweb.net for giving us an amazing design to work from and for their patience and hand holding every step of the way as we found our way around all the background bits and bobs. Proweb have been incredibly supportive and extremely generous, the whole team are utterly fabulous and are to be highly recommended.

We hope you like the new site as much as we do.

We have just received some very very exciting news for Greyhound Gap as a rescue. Ground breaking news we are extremely proud of and with it comes many many thank yous.

We have been successful in getting funds, with our community partner, Newcastle Borough Council from the Proceeds of Crime Fund run by the Police and Crime commissioner Matthew Ellis. Many thanks to Robin Wiles Partnerships locality officer who has worked with us to secure this funding.

The money nearly £14,000 will fund Greyhound Gaps work on a project called DAASH-IN (Dog Awareness Agility and Handling) - Improving Social Inclusion project. The money will allow us to purchase state of the art agility and dog rehabilitation equipment for Greyhound Gap; secure the fencing and create a new paddock area and also to replace the rotting roof on the storage lock up. We will also be receiving full staff training for all members of staff from suitably qualified persons.  It will be the first scheme of its kind in the community we believe UK wide that will enable us to enhance our work with the community payback offenders to improve the welfare of the dogs, whilst giving valuable training and skills to our service users. The equipment will ultimately become an integral part of the growing facilities offered by Greyhound Gap to its dogs and the wider community.

Last year we applied and were turned down based on the fact not enough evidence was available to prove that the scheme would be beneficial to those we already welcome into the premises via the community payback scheme. That was because there was simply nothing else like it! Not to be out off we reapplied once the already in place programme started to see results. We whole heartedly believe that through agility we will build a better relationship between the dogs and handlers (community payback service users) and in the longrun this will have a positive impact on their impulse control and confidence through patient handling alongside the dogs. Once in place we aim to look to other ways to expand the scheme over the next 2 years, hopefully by inclusion of younger people in the surrounding areas who would also benefit from these skills.

Greyhound Gap aims to continue to build on community relationships and other exciting projects are already being discussed that we hope to implement in future times. We also need to offer thanks to the probation services for their continued support and input during our application, the local community dog wardens for their support and also our local PCSO who agreed to come on board.

The biggest thanks has to go to Marilyn James who handled the completion of the application on our behalf and for being able to understand and articulate our vision. Thank you Marilyn.

We hope to undertake the necessary work to the premises to allow the scheme to come to fruition throughout August and then order equipment and start staff training throughout September before staring to implement the scheme in stages.  We are pretty damn proud and team Gap really DO rock!  Exciting times ahead!

 

Back in the spring work began to tidy an overgrown, ex-vegetable patch behind the kennels house into something quite special. As always the Gap team rose to challenge of turning this mini jungle into something beautiful...

 

The patch has been transformed to a most beautiful memorial garden; a tranquil and peaceful place where we can remember our hounds and loved ones. Shrubs. plants and flowers have replaced the rotten old raised veg beds, hound garden sculptures and pawprint pavers feature throughout, hanging baskets bring colour to the fencing, coloured lanterns are dotted around and there are some seating areas in place. In the centre a small pond gives safe haven to newts and a metal bridge over provides the focal point of the garden.

It is from this bridge sponsored memory tags will be hung as a permanent and fitting tribute to to anyone (four or two legged!) who we miss and want to remember. Absolutely anyone can sponsor a memory tag and know that it'll remain a permanent feature in our memory garden. This also creates a way for others, who are too far away to visit, to be a part of our kennels and community. We hope our garden will grow and flourish and become a very special place for us all.

 

Sponsored memory tags come in a variety of sparkling coloured pawprints and can be engraved with your chosen message. More details on how you can sponsor a tag can be found here.

It is with great sadness that we have to tell you Leo, our sanctuary dog, has left us.

This is what Lisa has heartbreakingly written about him...

"Today has been the hardest day ever in 14 years of Greyhound Gap being in existence. Today we lost a legend. Our beautiful sanctuary dog Leo has left us. Leo landed with us just over 9 years ago a very scared and abused boy who never ever learnt to trust anyone other than his chosen few.

Leo hated change, he hated things he did not understand and for the last 9 years we have all always done our best by him. We have created a *safe* and *loved* environment where Leo remained secure and happy dancing with his waggy bum at the sight of those he loved and trusted. For over 9 years after landing in rescue at just over 2 years of age Leo lived. I am not sure in many other places he would have been given the dignity and respect he received with us here and I am not sure anywhere else the trust bonds he formed would have been built.

I could not be prouder of the team here today, I could not be prouder of our vets and I could not be prouder of Leo. I would defy anyone anywhere to tell me that this team we have is not the most epic and that our dogs are not the luckiest, best loved, best understood well loved pets. I would be lying if this day has not caused me sleepless nights over the years, the worry of how to not distress our boy, how to release him safely and how to make sure everything was kept as calm and as stress free as possible when the time came. Leo left us at just after 8.30pm tonight on *HIS* sofa surrounded by all the people he loved, he left peacefully and with dignity and in the best way possible we could have ever hoped for for a dog of his calibre.

We are all heartbroken, there are not enough words that I could ever find to express just how loved this boy was and I know its going to take a long time for hearts to heal if they ever do but I also know that tomorrow we will wake up with our heads held high and we will carry on. We will carry on for Leo and all those like him who need the love and care and cherished safety net that we here at Gap offer. I have lived and breathed this team for years but seeing today how everybody held everybody else up when we all needed it took Gap magic to a whole other level, it was something quite unique and something more special than anyone could ever begin to imagine. I need to say special thanks to Jane, Liv and Tara who were Leos most treasured carers, he adored them.



The whole kennels team literally were here, nobody left and nobody went home till we knew our boy had safely taken his last journey. Special thanks to our vets yet again and especially Cynthia who came after hours and not only helped us to make everything much easier but was happily guided by those of us who knew him and allowed us to handle it how it in the best way for our boy. Having vets like that who you can trust and who in turn trust you makes all the world of difference at times like this.

Rest easy my boy, sleep tight little calf. Loved and missed always".