Chance of a Lifetime


In 2003 over 9,000 dogs were being put to sleep in Northern Ireland because there were no homes for them.  In 2013, ten years later, councils put over 1,300 dogs to sleep, not because they are bad councils but because so few owners are being responsible.  Quite often pets are not neutered and new owners do not take advice before taking on the responsibility of a new dog and they then become overwhelmed by the time, care and cost!

Chance of a Lifetime (COAL) was started ten years ago, with the help of other rescues and council pounds in Northern Ireland, saving over 2,000 dogs from potential destruction every year. To date we have saved over 15,000 dogs.

The dogs are identified by the council kennels as rehomable, taken in by local rescues, isolated, vaccinated, checked by a vet and after 10 days are transferred in our specially fitted out van to Dogs Trust centres in England.

Each transfer takes 20 dogs and pups at a cost of £400 per trip for ferry and fuel costs.  These transfers happen twice weekly and are completed and manned by volunteers.






Could you help us with this vital programme – here are some ideas of how you could help. You could:

♦ volunteer as a driver and help collect the dogs and puppies from the local rescues and transport them to England and Scotland?

♦ Organise a fundraising event?

♦ £20 – saves one dog from death row

♦ £400 – saves a full van load of dogs – that is up to 22 dogs and puppies. Each trip to England costs £400, which covers the return boat trip and fuel for the 800 mile trip. Assisi funds these trips twice a week.

If you would like to make a donation to COAL, please Click Here and mark your donation COAL.

If you would like to find out more about the COAL programme or you feel you might be able to help by becoming a volunteer driver, please contact Heather Weatherup, at Assisi on – 028 9181 2622

Here is what some of our volunteers who drive for COAL have to say:

Every time I drive for the COAL programme, I am astonished that the beautiful and healthy dogs would have otherwise been destroyed had it not been for the hard work of Assisi and other rescue shelters in Northern Ireland and the mainland.   Now just knowing that these dogs will finally find the forever loving homes they deserve makes it all worthwhile.  I am so proud that I play a very small part in giving these dogs a second chance of life.”
Lynn Clarke – Volunteer Driver.

“I have been volunteering for Chance of a Lifetime for several years now.   I volunteer 24 hours of my time every 4-6 weeks to drive 20+ dogs usually to Kenilworth.  I feel the best part of this is seeing the dogs getting off and knowing they will be re-homed soon instead of being put to sleep.   Its not always easy as the drive can be long and tiring, but knowing I have helped save the lives of these dogs makes it worthwhile.”
Adrian Lismore – Volunteer Driver



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