Maureen Lee is one of our long-serving Voluntary Area Coordinators (VACs), for the South-West of England where she lives. She was also one of the original founders of the Wales and West Pug Rescue. This is Maureen’s life’s story with Pugs!

“It all started as a child. Pugs have always been in the family, where my late Uncle bred pugs and bulldogs and was well-known for it, as well as in the Show world in the 1950’s.

But the family’s history goes way back to my late Grandfather who was a veterinary practitioner before the days even of the formation of Royal college of veterinary surgeons! Sadly, I never knew him but he left us all with various inherited animal interests in life!

I owned my first pug some 56 years ago! Lucy, was born on Easter Sunday 1968, known as ‘Demelza’s Easter Nimbell’, pictured here. She was actually sired by Nimrod, the first pug to ever win the Toy Group at Crufts (1967)!

I have been lucky to be able to breed a bit, ten generations over the years. I’ve shown them with good success, and I am also a Championship show judge for the pug breed. ​ ​

I have shown and achieved a 1st prize at Crufts plus several other placings with various pugs over the years. Also, a friend of mine has achieved the title of International Champion with one of mine’s litter sister! We used a Champion Sire from Norway.

Back in 1987, a small group of us got together to form the Wales & West of England Pug Dog Club. In 1988 we also formed our rescue group of which I served for 30yrs.

By 2018 sadly our volunteers were ageing, and we were also very short of numbers. It ended up with just me and one other really elderly lady trying to run the whole of Wales with a relative doing a lot of driving for us. It wasn’t sustainable.

We weren’t a registered charity, so we couldn’t inherit large donations so I got in touch with the PDWRA and suggested that we merged. We transferred all our funds over, though we weren’t rich and I was the only one then that stayed on to join PDWRA.

I live with my (five) pugs, three fawn pugs of my own breeding, I also have a black pug that I rescued, about ten years ago now. She came through Wales and the West while I was part of that, and is 13 years-old now. Ruby, another rescue arrived six years ago. Unfortunately, I lost one about six weeks ago. She was 12. They’re all getting to an age now.

Heidi, is my long-term PDWRA foster who I’ve just celebrated 1 year with. She is 14 years-old now and was deaf and blind and unfortunately quite neglected when she came into my care. Plus, I have one Pekinese. I’ve always had that sort of number at home.

Being quite a lot older now, I don’t go dashing off all over the country, but I do help where I can with home-checking new applicants and giving general advice. I give lots of advice for people over the phone. I keep in touch with people who have adopted elderly pugs because they get worried when anything goes wrong. I’m always here to give anyone advice on their pugs.

I have also always been involved with fundraising events locally or fostering pugs. Lots of friendships have been made over the years with my involvement with Pug Rescue and I have found it so rewarding.”

To read more about Maureen’s long-term foster pug, Heidi, please see:

Long-term foster, Heidi.

If you would like to volunteer for PDWRA, please see the opportunities to, at:

Volunteering for PDWRA | The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association (
Volunteer Vacancies at PDWRA! | The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association (

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