Meet the dog-lover who runs a pug ‘retirement home’ from her bungalow!


A woman who rescues old and disabled pugs is appealing for donations to help keep the sanctuary going after a difficult year.

Rebecca Drake runs Bubblebecca Pugs, and is currently looking after 34 rescue pugs, among a handful of other dogs, at her bungalow in Sandbach.

The 44-year-old has dedicated the past 14 years of her life to rescuing poorly, injured, elderly and special needs pugs and giving them retirement in her own home.

And whilst around 20 of her pugs are permanent residents living out their golden years, some of the dogs will be up for rehoming in the new year.

Rebecca said: “I’ve always loved dogs and I started Bubblebecca Pugs 14 years ago. I took in a whole batch of ex show dogs no longer wanted, which quite often happens after they’re bred and reach the age of five or six.

“They were my first rescues and from there I got a name for myself as the lady that took in unwanted pugs.”

Rebecca Drank and her pugs

Rebecca started an Instagram account where she posted pictures of the rescued dogs dressed up in costumes and being silly. Now, she has over 420,000 Instagram followers.

Bubblebecca Pugs is run from Rebecca’s home, where the dogs lounge in the living room, run around the garden, and all sleep together at night.

The 44-year-old said: “We don’t have any neighbours, so the dogs can just amble around and be themselves in this little retirement home where they are loved, comfortable and happy.

“We only have the odd grumble at dinner time, as its like an army maneuver trying to get them all fed!

“We get some strays, some dogs that have been mistreated living outside without shelter, or dumped on the streets and dogs just used for breeding.

“We’ve had four female pugs arrive who all still had milk and well over the age of six, so shouldn’t have been bred at all. It’s heartbreaking to see them treated like that.

One of the pugs Rebecca is looking after at Bubble Becca Pugs

“Some people surrender their dogs when their circumstances change, and I’d rather people do that because I won’t judge – all that matters to me is making sure the dog is safe.”

But the pug sanctuary hasn’t been easy to run during lockdown, since Rebecca has been unable to run local fundraisers during the pandemic.

The vet bills cost around £25,000 per year, with food costing around £6,000 a year.

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Rebecca said: “It’s an expensive thing to run and I rely on people sending donations from the Amazon wish list or pre-loved stuff.

“Food and vet bills are our biggest expenses. I spend £500 a month on food, it’s like having another mortgage.

“I never have a day off. We had another seven ex-breeding pugs coming in at the weekend, all of which will cost around £250 to neuter, this is after I’ve just cleared a £3,000 vet bill.”

Bedtime at Bubble Becca Pugs

Over the years, Rebecca has cared for around 300 pugs, but one of her biggest miracles was rescuing Hugo from Cyprus during lockdown.

She said: “He was dumped in Cyprus with a put to sleep order – purely because he is old. He was flown to Belgium where a courier took him across the Channel Tunnel, and another courier brought him from London to us! There’s nothing wrong with him, he’s just old and loves to snuggle in front of the log burner.”

Some of the pugs in Rebecca’s care are called Farrah, Crinkle, Pandora, Uncle Max, Pixie, Poppy and Penny.

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In a bid to raise more cash to secure funds for 2021, Rebecca is selling calendars, T-shirts and keyrings on the Bubblebecca Pugs website.

She added: “People have been really generous with donations and that’s the reason we are still standing. Giving up isn’t an option, but this year has been very unnerving.

“I can’t save every dog, but I’ll save as many as I can. They can get into the wrong hands at this time of year, and in February, they’ll end up back in rescue.”





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