A dog trainer in Warwickshire has set up a food bank service for owners of animals in financial difficulty after the cost of living soared in the area.
Andy O’Brien, who runs the K9 Club, said he wants to support dog owners who are struggling to provide for their pooches.
Locals can get in touch with Andy to collect food for their pets or simply drop by his shop in Little Alne.
Read more Warwickshire news here
Andy, who currently donates food from his own stock, welcomes donations of wet and dry dog food and treats that can be dropped off at his store.
Before opening his shop, Andy already ran a dog walking and training business near his home in Hatton, which he shares with his partner Georgie and daughter Harper.
He previously worked as a police dog handler in the Royal Air Force, where he traveled to Afghanistan to work with various breeds of dogs that were used to detect drugs and explosives.
Andy told CoventryLive: “In 2010 I worked in the Royal Air Force as a police dog handler, I did that for eight years. I’ve always worked with police dogs in the army for my whole career.
“Then I got out in 2018 and started a dog walking and training business, but when the lockdown happened I had no job so I started selling natural treats for dogs and healthy dog food.”
Andy said his shop and the food bank have been extremely well received and the store has been much busier since the launch of the dog food bank.
He said: “It’s been busy – we’ve given so much. There are all sorts of people who have lost their jobs due to Covid or people whose benefits have been stopped or changed or whose working hours changed because of stuff so we just have to try to get it out to more places so more people can use it.”
Andy also works with former professional rugby player James Haskell who has described the Warwickshire dog trainer as ‘fantastic’ and ‘compassionate’.
Haskell said: “Andy from the K9 Club is absolutely fantastic – from all the advice he gave me before I got my Red Fox Labrador to making sure the dog was all I was paying for, for me helping to set it up and providing all the goodies, training, knowledge and advice was amazing.
“His generosity, his straightforwardness in explaining how to take care of the dog, he pointed me in the right direction for good food. It’s also an amazing shop, so all the treats, the safety of everything you give to the dog.
“He’s compassionate, the dog loves him too, which is great. He’s helped me and Chloe, who’ve never really had a dog, to figure out how best to do it, he’s a guy fantastic.”
Andy told us that James Haskell is still receiving services from K9 Club and has been very impressed so far.
He said: “James is one of our clients, he spoke to me and said he wanted a dog so we ended up going through the process of getting a dog for him and we helped him train the dog and sort him out with a nutrition plan.
“We’ve been with James since he got the dog until now.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with our email alerts straight to your inbox. Register here.