Three-legged Wakefield rescue dog Beautie raises £100K to help fellow pooches in need
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Lisette Van Riel discovered how much dog rescue centres were struggling after adopting her dog Beautie and set up DoggyLottery during lockdown.
It all started in 2014 when Lisette rescued Beautie whilst helping out at a dog rescue centre whilst living in Dubai.
Lisette, from Ackworth, said she felt an ‘instant connection’ with her and that she was the ‘happiest dog, despite having three legs.’
Bringing Beautie back to the UK, Lisette started looking into rescue centres and in 2020 charity lottery, DoggyLottery, began.
It operates like a regular lottery with tickets costing £1.50 and every month, members of the public nominate five different dog rescue centres for 60 per cent of the sales to be shared between.
This month, they are celebrating raising over six figures, which has been distributed to over 100 dog charities.
Lisette said: “Beautie has been my lifeline. Only weeks after adopting Beautie, I lost my dad and she helped me through the grief.
"She rescued me as much as I adopted her. This inspired me to do more for rescue dogs and led to the creation of DoggyLottery.
“This impactful initiative has touched the lives of numerous furry friends, including those at Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary and Geordie Bullies Springboard Rescue.”
Over the last three years, Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary has received over £2,000 from DoggyLottery.
Nicky Leeson, a volunteer at Holly Hedge, said: "The donation has made a huge difference in our ability to provide quality care, including surgeries, to our dogs.
"Hazel, a very loving Lurcher, has been one of the dogs to have benefitted from the donation. She was saved from a dog pound and underwent surgery to have a lump removed from her side.
"She's now in a wonderful foster home where she really is so blissfully happy.
"We are deeply grateful to Lisette and all those who have contributed to this initiative."
Geordie Bullies Springboard Rescue, another loved participant, has received over £3,000.
Karen Dixon, from the charity, said: "We have featured DoggyLottery four times over the past three years, and it has been an effective form of fundraising for us.
"Thanks to the most recent donation, we were able to help Storm, a four-year-old bulldog who needed surgery on a ruptured cruciate ligament due to a failed previous surgery.
“She has undergone the complicated surgery and her ligament has been reconstructed to support her leg.
“She is now on the mend receiving lots of love and cuddles.”
Sadly, there are over 1,000 rescues in the UK and most are at breaking point.
Covid had a massive impact on rescue centres but the recent cost of living crisis has put even more pressure on.
More dogs than ever are being surrendered and fewer people are applying to adopt them.
Lisette said: "Rescues really need our help. Most are run by volunteers and rely on donations to survive.
“We're really proud of what we've accomplished, but there's still much work to be done. Every pound raised makes a difference in the lives of these dogs, and we are set to continue our mission, one paw at a time.”