We are a group of Spinone owners who have co-ordinated informally over the years to help rescue and rehome Spinoni in mainland Europe. We are Registered UK Charity Nº 1179864.

Meet the team

Sarah-Jane Newton, Trustee (UK)

“We always had rescue dogs as part of my family growing up, and as soon as we got married in 1999, Phil, my husband, and I got our first dog, a Wynsett Spinone called Frankie. My interest in helping dogs less fortunate than my own find their “happy endings”  developed throughout my adulthood, starting in the UK and developing in to International rescue as I became aware of the plight of dogs overseas through social media.” Read more of how SOFA started here.

Sarah-Jane meets Italian Jewel Fer
Sarah-Jane meets Italian Jewel Fer, rescued in 2016.

Vanessa Chapman,  Trustee (UK)

“Having never been allowed a dog as a child, the first thing I did when my husband and I got our own home, 24 years ago, was to get Murphy our beloved golden retriever. Getting a dog was a much higher priority than getting married! Since then we’ve always had dogs in our home.

Since spending my 40th birthday (quite a long time ago!) walking dogs at a rescue charity and meeting dogs who had almost given up hope, I have been involved in fostering and supporting rescue activities in the UK and overseas to give these poor souls another chance of happiness – the most rewarding thing I have ever done.”

Martha Tullberg, Trustee (France)

“Having grown up with rescue dogs, I’ve always wanted to help them more, and my own Spinone Daphne loves to welcome a foster friend!”

Martha with SOFA rescue Baloo

Tracey Ceaton, Trustee (UK)

“I started fundraising for S.O.F.A in 2017 when S.O.F.A needed urgent funds for the ‘Italian Jewels’. Since then, I have raised money every year (with the help of my Wingman Lynn Leach) holding an online auction (with over 1,550 amazing members) to help these gorgeous dogs get the homes they so deserve. In 2023 I began helping with the adoption process and was asked to become a Trustee for the charity, I was thrilled to accept.

I am known as the “mad dog lady” in our town. I have 2 Italian Spinone males, father and son (Gustavo and Lando), I can always be found in the fields, on the beach, or in the woods enjoying the wonderful Cornish countryside – best tonic ever!


Astrid Schutte (Netherlands)

“More than 20 years ago, my husband and I wanted a dog. At the time we had two long-haired dachshunds, and we wanted a bigger dog. We adopted a Lucerne Hound – 6 months old, very neglected and with severe hip dysplasia. We wanted to give this dog a chance to enjoy life. He didn’t ask to be put in this world. With patience, love, security and trust he eventually became happy again. We have never regretted it.

From that moment on we always had several dogs in our house, who deserve a second (or third) chance. We believe that every dog must have love in his life.

When we’ve looked in the eyes of an unwanted dog, we want to erase all their hurt and pain”

Astrid with three of her rescue Spinoni
Astrid with Accio, Fer and Isotta, all rescues from Italy.

Jacky Burgess (UK)

As a family we have always had dogs, and recently we became more aware of the plight of dogs from overseas when my daughter heard of the Jewels and the desperate situation which they were found in. She offered to adopt, and Massimo the Jewel joined her and our extended family.
Next to arrive was Rocco the Jewel who through no fault of his own was back in Kennels, and last year Baldo, a Spinone x Bracco pup, joined us from rescue.
All had come from dreadful circumstances. Now with lots of love and kindness they are all doing really well, it is the one of the most rewarding things we have ever done. We have also met some wonderful caring people along the way.
We feel very fortunate to be able to give such gentle souls a new and happy life.

Jacky with Rocco on his arrival from Italy
Jacky with Italian Jewel Rocco on his arrival.

We also owe huge thanks to:

  • The Italian Spinone Dog Lovers Club group on Facebook, who have helped fundraise tirelessly.
  • The ENPA in Treviso and all their staff who work so hard to rescue dogs in Italy and to help coordinate for us.
  • Julie Ridl of Spinone Love for her generous permission to use her wonderful drawings.
  • The many many volunteers, fosters, home checkers, drivers, organisers…the list is endless and the gratitude of the dogs is boundless.
Mary says: “Thank You!”