Liz Haslam has dedicated her life to helping English Bull Terrier from all over the world
But this year she faces the heartache of knowing it will be her last Christmas at Beds for Bullies in her home in Thetford, Norfolk, where she has run the rescue since 2012.
Her landlord is selling the farmhouse which is home to Liz and her 17 dogs and she is frantic with worry that she will be homeless next year.
Liz, 50, said: “I try to be positive but it’s hard. I know this will be my last Christmas here and while everyone is being jolly and excited, I’m fearing for our future.
“I have 17 dogs here. I can’t give up on them so if I can’t find a home, the only thing I can think of doing is squatting somewhere. It's illegal I know but what can I do?”
In spite of this, Liz is still rescuing dogs in need
This week, she took in Lilly, an eight-year-old Bullie whose owners had passed away.
Lilly has a condition named Entrophion in both eyes, a condition where part of the eyelid is inverted.
It means her eyelashes scrape on her eyeballs, which is incredibly painful.
Liz is working with her vet to treat the condition and, as she is good with cats and other dogs, once she has recovered she’ll be able to rehome her.
Another is Billy, two, who came to her for foster care, but his family never returned. Liz now faces a bill for him to be neutered and sessions with a behaviourist.
And in January, she’s saving Automen, two, who is coming from China after being plucked from a meat farm.
New laws in Hangzhou have declared English Bull Terriers as a banned breed along with 33 other types with social media reports of dogs allegedly being seized by officials and battered or drowned.
Automen's case shows how vital it is for her to continue helping dogs
Liz said: “Because I’m breed specific for Bullies I have people from all over the world as well as rescues in the UK ask for help.
“I heard about Automen as a couple from London who have already rescued another meat farm dog stepped in to save him.
“They will take him from China to Paris and then bring him here. He’s said to be a lovely natured dog so I hope we can find him a new family.”
Liz with Eric at the kennels
He will join the long term residents, many who came from overseas
Niamh, four, who was rescued from France. She was about to be put to sleep after being born with disconnected bones in her front leg.
Sheila, three, who arrived with terrible hip injuries and also came from France.
Eric, seven, who was shot in the face in Turkey. Liz raised £2500 for him to travel to her and he’s had countless operations to remove agonising pellets from his face.
Dave, five, came from Italy, and was also shot in the face and had his tail chopped off.
Dotty, nine, is the most well known - he was a helpless ‘bait dog’ used by sick thugs who allowed their fighting dogs to attack him for the taste of blood before fights.
Because of how Liz helped Dotty, police rehomed Etta, four, with her after they rescued her from a dog fighting ring. She’d also been used as bait.
Widget, nine, a Bullie and Jack Russell cross, a stray who came to Liz after he saved a drunk man from drowning in a river.
Betty, four, who lost an eye and was rescued from a stables.
Dodger, ten, who came to Liz as he was deaf, as did mini EBT Enid, three.
Ernie, now four, was four weeks old when he was dumped by the side of a bin. He had a hernia and Liz nursed him back to health.
Boudicca, five, had her leg amputated when she was just ten days old and as it was removed so early, her other leg couldn’t form properly, but thanks to hydrotherapy it’s strong again.
Skye, eight, is Liz’s guard dog and faithful companion and arrived as her owners couldn’t care for her.
Molly, six, is deaf and lost her eye due to an ulcer and came from Manchester Dog’s Home after the devastating fire in 2014.
Ralf, a two-year-old French Bulldog is awaiting surgery to help with his reflux and was handed over after his family struggled to feed him.
Vinnie, two, came to Liz as his young family had to care for their poorly relative, and finally there’s her oldest resident, Pixie, 19, came to her as his owner wanted him putting to sleep.
Niamh and Enid
Liz said: “They can live with me as I understand their needs, whether it’s medical, physical or emotional.
“Many have suffered terribly, but it’s not like I can just hand them to a shelter, that’s not fair, or send them to live with a family.”
Every day well wishers send Liz potential properties but because she boards dogs, she is classed as needing a commercial let.
These are usually too large and expensive and because she has her long term dogs, she can’t live in most residential properties.
“People are wonderful and so kind,” she explains. “But I can only live in a house that is isolated with lots of land, or a static caravan on land that has permission to dwell on.
“For now I’m trying to focus on letting them enjoy their last Christmas here. It’s tinged with sadness as we don’t know where we will be next year.
“We’re desperate for logs and coal to keep warm, plus food for the dogs and thick fleece coats to keep them warm.
“I will do anything to keep my dogs together. They are my world and I just hope someone is able to throw us a lifeline.”
Would you like to help Liz?
Any donation to her Buy A Brick campaign is hugely appreciated.
To help, visit www.gofundme.com/bedsforbullies-buyabrickcamppaign
To buy coats, food and other vital supplies for the dogs, visit their wishlist at www.amazon.co.uk
And you can watch an interview with Liz live on our Facebook page on Monday 17th December 2018 at 7pm at www.facebook.com/ThePawPostUK
To find out more about Liz, you can read Are you able to help Liz and her dogs find a new home?