Freedom4dogs came about in December 2020 when Mike Chatha, a 50-something entrepreneur raffling dream houses, was looking for a new charity to donate to. A small operation doing something life-changing that really needed the money.
His partner Patricia said she had been following Rushton Dog Rescue on Instagram and the incredible work that mother Cindi & daughter Zoe do, and got onto Mike about giving them a call. A few weeks later he did (Mike doesn’t like being nagged but seriously needs it..)
Mike was SO amazed by what Rushton did that he immediately gave them £15,000 over the phone to bring 10 dogs home from China that weekend! These dogs were due to be beaten to death and/or eaten in the meat markets. “It was an easy decision” said Mike.
People don’t know this, but any dog over 45cm shoulder height is marked for death – usually by beaten in a very horrible and inhumane way, or just left to starve in a pit piled up with 20+ other dogs. Unbelievably in China it is lucky to eat dog or drink dog soup.
But thanks to Mike’s donation, two weeks later these 10 guys were out of their cages, half way across the world, and in Somerset at “Freedom Farm” (Rushton’s part-rescue, part-sanctuary) waiting to find their forever homes.
Mike then had a surreal conversation with Cindi about her partner the lateTimothy Rushton who was homeless on the street when she stopped for a chat and offered him a bath. And both Mike and Timothy had suffered through addiction issues, with Mike once being out on the street and later having help addicts recover.
Mike then read about Furry Angels Haven in Wuhan (where Covid-19 started) run by another two amazing women, rescuing the many Chinese pets that had been abandoned on the streets by their owners due to Covid panic. He had no idea at the time that Cindi from Rushton was good friends with them. One of the Furry Angels volunteers had over 60 dogs (yes SIXTY) in her modest apartment. But she just couldn’t leave abandoned pets on the street, depsite the threat of imprisonment if the authorities knew. This kind of passion won Furry Angels a Time Magazine’s “Dog Rescuer of the Year” award. Amazing dedication and love of dogs.
And last but not least, Mike was told about Dog Bus that helped transport rescued dogs for both Rushton and Furry Angels, run by yet another amazing lady.
So Mike being Mike (and obviously a HUGE dog lover) said “Right – these three organisations need our help, NOW!” and pledged to give 100% of profits from his Winyourdream.com raffles to them, whereby every ticket sold goes to help rescue a dog in need.
Mike didn’t stop there, he also:
- Published a petition to change the law in China and start putting the pressure on the authorities. A recent petition in Korea brought about the closure of the largest meat market in the region, so it’s got to be worth a try.
- Setup a funding page for people to donate directly to these three organisations
- Start to engage the Press in order to raise the profile of the incredible work these organisations do and highlight the huge difference they make to dogs and family life.
Could YOU help save a dog’s life today?
If you are a dog lover like us and the answer to the question is “YES!” then please stand up and be counted!
On behalf of the dogs, We Thank You SO Very Much