Whippet Rescue

I recently had the honour of photographing some of Rob and Jackie’s beautiful brood of rescued Whippets, Greyhounds and Lurchers.

I had already met most of the brood at various companion dog shows in Bedfordshire of which Rob and Jackie are regular attendees, often winning prizes for their lovely dogs.

They shared with me some of the heartbreaking stories behind these sweet faces…


BILLY: Age 14

Billy was an older dog when he was adopted from Scruples Whippet Rescue by Rob and Jackie.  He was originally bred to race, but on detection of a heart murmur at the age of two, he was retired and lived happily as a pet in Coalville until 2012. His owners were breaking up and it was agreed that the lady would be responsible for the dogs (Billy was pack leader of three). Knowing that she would have to move to rented accommodation and that finding a lease that allowed dogs is very difficult, she subsequently decided to rehome them taking plenty of time to find the right homes, rather than it becoming a last-minute issue and the dogs possibly lingering in rescue kennels.  She advertised Billy with Scruples Whippet Rescue, and because Rob and Jackie had previously done some volunteering with them, they were able to make adoption arrangements directly with the owner. Billy’s previous owner loves to see his photos and follow his stories on Facebook.  Over the last couple of years, Billy has become completely blind from cataracts, and so he has faced some challenges. At his last check-up, his heart murmur had escalated to mitral valve disease so he is now on lifetime medication.


Whippet - Dog photography Bedfordshire -1

MISTY: Age 14

Misty was only adopted by the couple from Just Whippets, in April last year. Sadly she is an ex-puppy farm brood bitch from Lancashire, advertised as “Free to a Good Home” on Gumtree.  A vet took her from Gumtree and put her into the rescue system, a decision that some people questioned, considering both the poor condition she was in, and her age.  When she arrived with Rob and Jackie, she was four kilos underweight, emotionally shut down and had six mammary tumours as a direct result of over breeding. The first job was to get her to gain weight and confidence so that she would be strong enough to face surgery to remove the tumours and be spayed.  The first operation removed three tumours. She then had to wait six weeks to recover, before facing a second operation to remove the remaining tumours. The tumours were a mixture of benign and cancerous, but her vet notes stated “outlook favourable”. By the time she’d recovered from the second cancer operation, she was too far into her cycle to be spayed, so she had to have a final season before being spayed ten weeks after that. In the meantime she had a dental including six extractions. Four operations in seven months is a lot for any dog, never mind a then 13-year-old, but fortunately she bounced back quickly from each one. She is now quietly confident, if a little aloof at times, but it’s a huge relief for her and everyone involved in her rescue that she will live out her final days in a home and not a shed as she was accustomed to.

Whippet - Dog photography Bedfordshire -1-3

ZOE: Age 13

Zoe was adopted from Accolade Hounds in 2015, age 11.  She was picked up as a stray in Durham along with a brindle lurcher, Sheena. They were found together, kennelled at the pound together and collected by Accolade together, so it made sense to home them together! Because she was a stray, little is know about her, other than being able to age her based on the date of her first microchip registration. Zoe stands, sits, walks and trots well, but when she runs at speed she has a most peculiar gait so she is currently undergoing canine therapeutic massage with Dogzaligned in Broom, to loosen her up.  This has discovered an old injury deep in her chest muscles, although no idea of the nature or cause of the injury is known.

Whippet rescue - dog photographer Bedfordshire


Whippet - Dog photography Bedfordshire -1-5


Rupert was adopted in April 2016, from Northern Greyhound Rescue.  Rupert was also a stray, found in Accrington. The same vet that originally collected Misty knew about him because she volunteers for the charity. Originally the plan was to adopt Misty and her daughter, but unfortunately Just Whippets split them up just before they were due to travel to Rob and Jackie. Because they had agreed to adopt a pair, the vet asked if they would like to take on Rupert instead of Misty’s daughter. One look at a photo clinched the deal!  (who can blame them!)   Rupert does have issues though…. although he is very affectionate with people, he can be reactive to non-sighthound breeds in certain situations. With the help of Theo Stewart (The Dog Lady)  it has been clear that Rupert suffers from sensory overload and anxiety. Rob and Jackie are working firstly to avoid situations that will overstimulate him, and secondly to desensitise him. It’s a long process, and will take much patience – but clearly Rob and Jackie have this in abundance!   Rupert has many funny antics, mostly down to him being so good at jumping. Unfortunately these antics sometimes get him into trouble, so he’s well-know on Facebook as #rupert!

Whippet - Dog photography Bedfordshire -1-2



Whippet - Dog photography Bedfordshire -1-4


I’m sure you will agree that people like Rob and Jackie (and all the other hardworking people who are involved with all stages of animal rescue work) are some of the most amazing, selfless people you could meet.  They have chosen to dedicate their lives to improving the welfare of animals who through no fault of their own have found themselves being neglected or mistreated, and they have given them the chance to live out their twilight years in warmth and comfort, and surrounded with love.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and seeing photos of these lovely dogs….please feel free to share and take a look at some of the fantastic work carried out by some of the Rescue centres mentioned here…