Tribute to founder of Lincolnshire dog rescue charity
Keith Smith found the Keith's Rescue Dogs charity in 2002 - the same year that he was awarded the Community Spirit Award by Skegness Standard readers.
Jim Smith, who is involved in guiding the charity through its transitional stage, said that during Keith's life he had touched the heart of many people by "giving his love and care for the countless dogs".
He said: "It wasn't just a job, it was a way of life; a love and passion that he had for the dogs.
"It is true to say that Keith was married to Pam but he was also married to the Keith's Rescue Dogs Charity - and it didn't always come in that order."
After the charity's formation, it went from strength to strength and has retained a good reputation for rehoming dogs with compatible new owners.. The dog's interest came first and Keith never settled with just finding a 'house' for an animal needing a home.
Among those Keith has helped over the years are local vulnerable people.
"Numerous dogs have been rescued from those in the community who have become vulnerable, including the elderly, those moving into residential care where it is not possible to accommodate dogs or people with disabilities who can no longer care for their pets," said Jim.
"It is perhaps a testimonial to the positive side of human nature that quite often such people are more concerned about their dog's welfare rather than their own."
Keith's Rescue Dogs has a very positive reputation and is well-respected across the county.
"Keith’s leadership within the charity has been inspirational and he is an excellent role model and mentor," said Jim. "He has given talks on the charity’s work in local schools and organisations for example.
"It is important to highlight Keith’s contributions in developing the charity: he was a modest, generous, and unassuming individual who would not expect to be to be acknowledged for the work he has undertaken with such devotion.
"He has been selfless in his sustained determination to rescue a multitude of dogs over the past 20+ years through his personal endeavours, even when funds have been limited.
"The ethos of the charity has made and continues to make an immense difference to the lives of many in this community, as countless testimonies will authenticate, enabling the charity to succeed against the odds, particularly in the challenging era of Covid19.
"As Voltaire said, ‘great things require consistency’. Those of us who have been handed the baton of responsibility to further the aims of the charity hope to promote the legacy provided by Keith."
To support the charity along with fundraisers, a shop was opened at 30 Lumley Road, Skegness, which was made successful by the loyal team of volunteers who are continuing with the invaluable work. It is the only local charity in Lumley Road.
There is a new shop manager, Tracy Gibson, who wears many hats, including responsibilities for Facebook profiling/liaison regarding our website, home-check reserve, van driver and collecting donations.
The charity is keen to attract more volunteers to assist in the shop, drive the vans, carry out home checks and help with collections.
It would also like to relaunch the newsletter and is looking for contributors and someone to edit it.
For more information or to make a donation, visit: http://www.keithsrescuedogs.orgYOUR TRIBUTES TO KEITH
Among the many tributes posted on the Skegness Standard Facebook page are:
Pollyanne Trapmore-Shaw: All dogs go to heaven Keith and so will you my honourable friend
Chris Biggins: Such sad news. Your legacy will live on Keith in the dogs you homed and all those who will continue to find their forever home because of what you started.
June Howard: RIP. The dogs will miss him.
Linda Andrew: RIP Keith - you will not be forgotten, especially by your fur babies
Jane Barker: So very sad to hear about Keith. A lovely man who will be sorely missed.
Jayne Sanders: RIP Keith. I got to know you when my mum cleaned chalets on foreshore all those years ago. Sending sympathy to the family
Wendy McGowan: Such sad news. Hope the charity lives on in his name bless him.
Roy Weatherstone: If he looked after the dogs, he must have been good
Valerie Murch: An amazing individual doing such wonderful work. May your legacy live on. My thoughts are with your family.
Jimmy Hardy: Absolutely gutted you lovely man .We have three of your dogs . The joy your three dogs have given us is priceless. Thank you Keith RIP Lovely man.