The St Bernard Trust was established in 1975 by Rachel and Richard Beaver. Richard and Rachel established the Trust because the majority of the well established animal rescue organisations were not able to care for the breed and as a consequence St Bernards taken to these Rescue organisations were often euthanized.
The St Bernard Trust does not have any paid staff and all the work is carried out on a voluntary basis by the Secretary, Treasurer and Trustees. It funds the neutering of dogs that are re-homed through the Trust where appropriate and assists with vet care and bills on a case by case basis. All the money raised by the Trust is spent on the dogs accessing the services of the St Bernard Trust.
The Saint Bernard Trust is a national organisation administrated from the West Midlands with Trustees based around the country. It does not have kennels and prefers for animals to be adopted from the home to their new home as this causes less psychological disruption to the dog and allows the old owners to appraise the new owners about the dogs like, dislikes, needs and care routine. On occasion if a dog requires urgent removal or re-homing a handful of approved foster homes and kennels with experience in St Bernard is arranged. This includes providing funding for vets fees, transport costs and food if necessary to ensure that the dog is fit and healthy before being passed onto its new forever home.
The St Bernard Trust is unable to find homes for dogs that are not of good temperament. By this it means that in the rare circumstance that a dog has a history of biting they are unable take responsibility for finding a new home. The Trust has a responsibility where possible to ensure that the dogs they re-home will not pose a risk to its new family & the public.
The Saint Bernard Trust also offers assistance to other larger rescue organisations to help in rehoming St Bernards to suitable homes. These include Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, RSPCA and council dog wardens throughout the country requesting assistance with St Bernards that come into their care. The Trust is also able to facilitate assessment of dogs to ascertain their temperament and general health in certain situations. Films such as Beethoven exacerbate the problem of homeless dogs due to people not thinking seriously about the care needs and impact on family life of owning a giant breed dog. Many responsible breeders will take back their dogs if there are problems or the owner is unable to keep them, most breeders welcome the help of the St. Bernard Trust to help find forever loving homes for the Saints. On occasion when requested the St Bernard Trust also assists in finding other breeds of dog homes.