A DOG rescuer from Warwick has scooped an international award recognising her work saving lost and abandoned dogs.
Mum-of-three Trisha Shaw was given the volunteer of the year accolade from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) at the ceremony in the House of Lords.
The 50-year-old began reuniting lost dogs with their owners in 2013 after she helped find a hound called Elvis who escaped just weeks after being rehomed by Dogs Trust. The pup was eventually found and Trisha caught the rescue bug.
She signed up to volunteer with DogLost – an organisation which helps to reunite lost dogs with their families. During this time, Trisha became the Warwickshire and Northampton coordinator for the group and helped to reunite more than 100 pets with their owners.
A year later she started working with Pawprints Dog Rescue in Rugby and now fosters stray dogs, carries out home care visits and is on the board of trustees.
She also raises money for Pawprints, and in 2016 was the recipient of the Britain Has Spirit award, receiving £25,000 which she gave to the charity.
And after being diagnosed with breast cancer last year, Trisha shaved her head to help raise money for a seriously ill abandoned puppy. Trisha raised more than £2,500 for the dog’s care at Pawprints and has continued to volunteer there since her diagnosis.
Trisha said: “It all started with a dog called Elvis that went missing in my local area – I volunteered to help find him and it really snowballed from there.
“I then began helping with DogLost before Pawprints – which I’m so proud of. We work extremely hard to make sure we can rescue and care for as many abandoned and lost dogs as possible, and we’re so proud of the work we’ve done so far.
“It’s overwhelming to even have been nominated for this award from IFAW, let alone win it. I’m pleased to have been able to raise much-needed funds for Pawprints and support the work they do in finding loving, forever homes for these dogs. It was amazing to bring the award back to the team.”
UK director of animal welfare and conservation charity IFAW, Philip Mansbrige, said he hopes more people are inspired by Trisha’s hard work.
He said: “Trisha’s many years of volunteering to help dogs in need is admirable. We were particularly impressed by her dedication to go above and beyond to raise funds that are needed to help care for rescued dogs.
“We hope her efforts will inspire the next generation of animal welfare campaigners and carers. She is a very deserving winner of IFAW’s Volunteer of the Year Award.”