Killing stations take in stray dogs off the streets and euthanise those who are not rescued.
So Paul decided to use his spare time to rescue some of these dogs from an ill fate.
Now Paul has rescued three dogs; Shane, Sheba, and Sky, who had all suffered brutal cruelty at the hands of humans. Paul says saving them has helped improve his mental health after his daughters Kealy, 33, Gemma, 31, and Leah, 28, flew the nest. While the two elder daughters live together, Leah, the youngest left home two years ago. His wife Toni has also felt the emptiness and has since joined Paul in his rescuing efforts.Paul from Old Harlow, said: ‘I was really unhappy. My daughters had left and I developed empty nest syndrome. I didn’t really know who I was.
‘A lot of men go through a mid-life crisis so I knew friends who were buying Harley Davidsons and sports cars.
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‘I couldn’t do any of that but I was looking to feel needed again.’Paul, who works as a street trading enforcement officer, read up on the treatment of stray dogs and wanted to take action. His first rescue was Shane who was beaten and dumped in a ditch. So the Viners took Shane in but sadly the doggo passed away after troubles with his vertebrae left him paralysed.
The heartbreak didn’t stop them from caring for other dogs though.
‘We said we could never put ourselves through that again but we both said it was selfish to put our emotions before giving these dogs that needed homes a home,’ added Paul.Just eight days later, Paul heard about another dog in need, Sheba, a severely disabled Bulgarian street dog who was scared of other mutts.
Sheba needed months of therapy when the family got her and in total she had five operations, going through months of recuperation to try and straighten her legs.
Paul said: ‘From day one she was an extremely loving little dog but living on the mean streets of Sofia, Bulgaria had left her terrified of any other dog she encountered.’
Apparently, dogs can be trained to use a scratching post just like cats! Get the directions for how to build a giant dog nail file here.
But when Paul found out about another dog in need called Sky he knew he would be the one to help Sheba come out of her shell.Sky was found along with his brother Sun tied to the gates of a killing station in Spain awaiting their horrific fate until a woman from a local charity rescued them.
Sky was brought to the UK and after four weeks of intense socialisation, he had moved in with his new family in January 2019.
Paul has since said all three dogs have completely transformed his life and his mental health helping him feel needed again.And to help other dogs in need he now regularly volunteers at Mutts in Distress in Hertfordshire.
Paul continued: ‘These killing stations appal me, the level of cruelty is horrific. But where there is evil there is good too.
‘I can talk to [my dogs] about issues I would be far too embarrassed to talk to a human about, dogs are non-judgemental.
Wow, check out those choppers! Puppies have 28 teeth and normal adult dogs have 42.
‘I’ll give them each a cuddle, then, believe me, life suddenly feels better.’
Dogs certainly make life better.