Winners help build gym and herb garden for ‘retired’ hounds

It may be hard to teach old dogs new tricks, but you can get them active by building them a new doggy gym and soothing them by planting a garden full of canine-friendly herbs.

That’s what happened at The Cinnamon Trust’s dog ‘retirement home’ in Devon recently when a team of National Lottery winners rolled up their sleeves to treat the four-legged residents to some new facilities.

The 20 winners – with a combined wealth of around £27Million – answered the call when The National Lottery-funded Cinnamon Trust decided to build a gym and herb garden for dogs who have lost their owners. Thanks to their efforts, older dogs are now able to amble and snooze among 20 varieties of herbs, whilst those with a bit more spring in their step can work out on ramps, in sand pits and a one-of-a-kind National Lottery ball pit.

The canine care team was led by National Lottery millionaires Ruth and Peter Doyle, the owners of a beloved dog called Lily. Since their win, the couple have also fostered stray dogs from Romania and volunteered at a dog rescue centre in Spain.

Ruth said, “It’s been wonderful working as a team today in the beautiful Devon countryside. Hopefully our efforts will make life for the dogs who live in the care of the amazing Cinnamon Trust family just that little bit more enjoyable in their twilight years.

“Our win meant that we could help dogs that had been mistreated while also spending more time with ours. From the moment the win was confirmed they benefitted, we even treated them to their own specially adapted dog van so they would be more comfortable when we went on holidays! Sadly, we lost Bailey earlier this year but, once again, the win helped us as we were always able to give him absolutely the best care and treatment, even in those last sad weeks.”

The Cinnamon Trust runs a nationwide volunteer programme for pet fosterers and dog walkers which helps older people keep their pets at home with them. Meanwhile, its 2 pet ‘retirement homes’ accept creatures great and small – from ponies and sheep, to cats and canaries, tortoises and chickens – when their owners are no longer able to care for them.

Residents at the Devon home include the Corgi sisters, Becky and Bonnie, feisty Vanja the Swedish Vallhund and Nina the doting golden retriever. They enjoy a bungalow with plenty of comfy sofas and attentive staff who dispense plenty of pats and cuddles.

And now, thanks to the help of National Lottery winners from across the South West of England, they can also enjoy their own gym and herb garden.

Julie White, Centre Manager, was astounded at what the team of National Lottery winners achieved. She said, “So much of what we do is making sure that the pets that arrive here enjoy the same level of care, love and attention that they would have received with their owners. Many of our dogs, like their owners before, are a little elderly, so keeping them active is paramount for their good health, which is where the National Lottery Winner Volunteer Workforce came in today, building us a doggy herb garden and gym which will keep their senses, and limbs, in good order. 

“The herb garden isn’t as crazy as it sounds, there’s quite a bit of evidence that allowing dogs to self-select from a range of herbs not only keeps them entertained, but also helps the dogs to self-treat common ailments like tummy ache or stiff joints."

Winners who gave up their time to help the Cinnamon Trust included Neil and Sue Smart, Jenn Burston, Andy and Natalie Symes, Nick and Zoe Hoare, Ruth and Peter Doyle, Karen and Paul Gilmore, Joe and Debbie Goolding, Trayn and Grant Hawkes, Julie and Chris Jeffrey, Lesley Herbert, Andrea Holmes and Viv Moss.

4th July 2023

The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK since 1994. In that time, there have been more than 7,000 new millionaires created and by playing The National Lottery you raise over £4 million for Good Causes every dayΔ.

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