A KEIGHLEY dog rescue charity is celebrating a milestone.

Aireworth Dogs in Need is marking its tenth anniversary.

The charity was founded by a group of dog lovers which had identified a lack of help locally for needy canines and their owners.

Over the years, Aireworth Dogs in Need has seen demand for its services grow and it has expanded to take in the whole of Bradford district and Craven, including the Aire, Worth and Wharfe valleys.

Run entirely by volunteers, it has no kennels or physical base, but the foster-based rescue has been responsible for helping over 1,000 dogs during the past decade.

Common reasons for dogs coming into the rescue include homelessness, and factors such as owner ill-health, relationship breakdowns or financial pressures.

It has not all been plain sailing for the charity, which has faced a number of challenges – including the prospect of closure.

Nicola Garner, a trustee and founder member, says: "There have been some really tough times.

"The rescue nearly folded in 2016, then we had the fallout from the pandemic, with thousands of dogs that people wanted to rehome as they returned to work. Most recently there's been the ban on XL bullies. This left us feeling completely hopeless. We were being approached left, right and centre to rehome the dogs but as our hands were tied, having to refuse, knowing that these dogs were on borrowed time and that many innocent animals were going to be put to sleep.

"However, we are united as a team, and this enables us to function and work our way through, supporting each other."

To celebrate the anniversary, a 'birthday party' is being staged at Cliffe Castle Park on Saturday, June 1, from 11am to 3pm.

Attractions at the event – being held in partnership with Bradford Council – will include a fun dog show, wellbeing walks, a children’s activity area and treasure trail.

And on Wednesday, July 17, from 7pm, dog walkers are invited to join in a sunset stroll around Roberts Park, Saltaire. There will also be a children's treasure trail.

Aireworth Dogs in Need chair, Caroline Porter, says: "2024 is such a special year for us and we wanted to provide opportunities for our supporters and army of amazing volunteers to celebrate with us. We have achieved so much, but there is always more to do."

For more about the charity, visit aireworthdogsinneed.co.uk