Hitchin dog trainer hopes to fulfil dream of rescue centre in Spain

PUBLISHED: 16:01 13 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:37 14 September 2020

After being diagnosed with cancer, Nicky wanted to refocus on her life long dream of helping stray animals. Picture: Courtesy of Nicky Visser

After being diagnosed with cancer, Nicky wanted to refocus on her life long dream of helping stray animals. Picture: Courtesy of Nicky Visser

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A Hitchin-based dog trainer and behaviourist is determined to fulfil her dream of opening a rescue and training centre in Spain after her ambitions were put on hold by a cancer diagnosis.

Nicky has a life long passion for caring for dogs, and hopes to open a rescue centre in Spain. Picture: Courtesy of Nicky VisserNicky has a life long passion for caring for dogs, and hopes to open a rescue centre in Spain. Picture: Courtesy of Nicky Visser

Nicky Visser has always had a passion for dogs. Her passion was heightened during a visit to Santorini, where she realised that there were many strays who were treated poorly.

She embarked on the challenge to open up a rescue centre in Greece. As a visitor in the country, it was difficult for her to establish herself.

Luckily, a rescue centre was set up by locals – however, the issue is still ongoing in other countries.

Nicky said: “When I returned to England, I felt lost but still decided to cling onto that dream, in the hope that one day I can make it happen. I then decided to turn my hobby into a business and became a successful dog trainer and behaviourist.

After being diagnosed with cancer, Nicky wanted to refocus on her life long dream of helping stray animals. Picture: Courtesy of Nicky VisserAfter being diagnosed with cancer, Nicky wanted to refocus on her life long dream of helping stray animals. Picture: Courtesy of Nicky Visser

“While I was doing this, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. My world came crashing down and I felt alone and vulnerable. I decided that I had to fight and had a lumpectomy done.

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“In 2018, hoping I might have beaten this, I was diagnosed again for a second time with the same cancer, this time it took so much from me – a second diagnosis totally floored me. I had to have a mastectomy but I kept telling myself that I needed to stand strong and not be defeated, but slowly saw my dream disappearing in front of my eyes.

“When COVID-19 hit the world, it made me think about my life and work here in the UK. I really feel that I can be far more valuable setting up a rescue and help these poor animals, as well as setting up my dog training school as I have here.

Nicky runs a dog training service in Hitchin. Picture: Courtesy of Nicky VisserNicky runs a dog training service in Hitchin. Picture: Courtesy of Nicky Visser

“I decided that I do not want to give up on my dream of helping the animals in Spain. I need it to prove to myself that I can still have a life that is giving, rewarding, and selfless.

“I will be travelling as far as I can to help the neediest dogs to provide them with veterinary care and a safe place to call home.”

Nicky has set up a Go Fund Me page to help get her venture started.

Money would go towards securing a suitable property to run the shelter from, with adequate living spaces for the animals through summer and winter.

To support Nicky, go to https://gf.me/u/ysptg8.


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