Fostering a Bright Culture - Dogs 4 Rescue

Dogs 4 Rescue is an independent dog rescue in a semi-rural part of Manchester where the dogs live together in a kennel-free environment run by Emma Billington and her team. The dogs spend their days getting all the exercise, socialisation, stimulation, love and care that they need whilst waiting for their forever homes. They are free, happy and sleep in warm beds at night, completely unaware they are even homeless.

Unlike typical rescue kennels, which are loud, busy, stressful places that are not conducive to a happy re-homing experience, Dogs 4 Rescue lets the dogs shine.

They have seen huge success, having rescued and rehomed over 1000 dogs since they began. 

It’s a sad fact that many dogs have been abandoned as people return to the office after the pandemic. As a result of this, Dogs 4 Rescue needed to quickly expand its team which caused the challenges within the culture of the shelter. Therefore, Dogs 4 Rescue asked GAIN LINE to help facilitate how to maintain their passionate culture and improve staff communication across a larger team.

“Historically we were a small team but as we’ve grown we’ve experienced some problems, some of which are probably due to gaps in skills or experience. Although I’m at the top, my first passion is - and always will be - the dogs and their well-being, rather than being a manager.

The disruption of the pandemic, purchasing a second location and the loss of a key senior member of staff all contributed to huge business challenges. Now, as a result of disparate management styles and poor recruitment, there are clear communication and trust issues that we hope GAIN LINE can address.“

Emma Billington - Founder, Dogs 4 Rescue

Why use our Growth Sprints…?

Our focussed, fast sprints helped Dogs 4 Rescue see the problems, and action solutions. We facilitate innovation from within, after all, you never know where the next great idea will come from…

GAIN LINE. Challenge the ordinary.

We helped the whole team to pull together, understand each other and get creative with the solutions.

We are NOT your ordinary business consultancy. 

GAIN LINE’s team interviewed Dogs 4 Rescue’s senior staff to establish the areas of focus. The main obstacles were: a lack of skills in some areas, poor recruitment, a lack of experience/confidence in ‘non-kennel’ rescue and issues balancing discipline and ‘hand holding’

By understanding the organisational processes the areas needing attention were identified and conclusions were made on how to increase efficiency, improve the culture and achieve their aims.

“Because much of the process takes place in silence or anonymously, it encourages people to offer their views on an equal footing. This is especially important in a situation where certain team members may feel reluctant to speak freely or frankly about their work.

And with Dogs 4 Rescue, we saw what often happens, which is the removal of barriers leading to less negativity and more valuable positive outputs.”

Kevin Williams GAIN LINE Technical Director


As a result of our Growth Sprints, GAIN LINE delivered recommendations:

  • Identify team members’ individual strengths and structure work to take advantage of these
  • Improve recruitment by advertising positions via social media, where brand personality and culture are strongest
  • Performance management programmes to encourage more open and honest communication

“It’s really useful to have something that we can start with straight away and I appreciate how the sprint pulled the ideas from us as a team. Often it’s the simplest things that make a big difference and you helped us to identify those.”

Emma Billington - Founder, Dogs 4 Rescue

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