A SAUCHIE woman is calling on people in the Wee County to become foster parents for dogs in need of a family.

Vanessa Wilson began volunteering with Springer Rescue for Scotland (SRS), to ensure rescue dogs end with "the lives they deserve"

Little did she imagine that just five years later the charity would have around 100 volunteers, all dedicated to rescuing and rehoming Springer Spaniels the length and breadth of Scotland.

The charity’s first Springer was rehomed in December 2008, just in time for Christmas and since then the charity has rescued and rehomed 975 dogs.

At first, Vanessa became a foster carer for dogs in need, before becoming the area co-ordinator for Clackmannanshire, Stirling and Falkirk, and subsequently taking up her role as national families co-ordinator for SRS.

She said: “I have a genuine passion for making sure that the rescue dogs end up with the lives they deserve with the right adoptive family, where the dogs can also bring joy and happiness into their lives.

“As well as celebrating the successes from the past 10 years of the charity, we are also looking ahead to how we can continue our vital role into the next decade and beyond."

Vanessa currently has four Springers in her home, one of whom is a rescue dog.

She added: "We need more people who are willing to become foster carers, looking after Springers while they are waiting to make the transition to their new home.

"We would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to become foster carers, or indeed volunteer with us in any capacity.”

The rehoming process normally involves a number of stages, including placing the dogs with foster carers initially.

Vanessa puts a great deal of time and effort into trying to establish the best match between the dog being rehomed, and the family concerned.

Two of the dogs Vanessa fostered over the years went on to become permanent additions to her household: Ben and Finley, both of whom had experienced some trauma in their lives.

Vanessa is joined by an army of around 100 volunteers across the country who work tirelessly in roles as varied as administration and publicity, to transportation and foster caring.

Colette Cohen, volunteer and trustee of Springer Rescue for Scotland, is passionate about their work.

She added: “I find it absolutely incredible that a charity that was set up by a small group of people a decade ago, has flourished and grown into one of national reach and importance.

"Vanessa and her fellow volunteers continue to run SRS in their spare time, working around families and jobs to ensure that every Springer Spaniel in Scotland should have the chance of a happy, fulfilled life in an appropriate home. Their achievement is truly inspirational.”

Those looking to support the work of SRS can visit springerrescuescotland.org for more information.