Tributes to ‘dog whisperer’ who rescued countless canines

Peter Vigo di Gallidoro on Pakefield Cliffs with some of the countless dogs he rescued. PHOTO: Court

Peter Vigo di Gallidoro on Pakefield Cliffs with some of the countless dogs he rescued. PHOTO: Courtesy of Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro. - Credit: Archant

A popular taxi driver who transformed the lives of countless rescue dogs has been fondly remembered after his death.

Peter Vigo di Gallidoro had been diagnosed with leukaemia just two weeks before his death on August 30, aged 60.

The Pakefield taxi driver and former fisherman was instantly recognisable in the area after rescuing dozens of dogs in more than a decade.

His son David Vigo di Gallidoro said: "He was the softest and kindest bloke you could ever meet.

"He decided to start rescuing dogs about 15 years ago. It was always hectic at his house but most of them were always well behaved despite coming from different backgrounds.

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"They made him happy and it was nice to see the changes he was having."

After arriving in Lowestoft from Cornwall with his four brothers and two sisters, Mr Vigo di Gallidoro began working as a fisherman, before turning to the taxi trade.

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His sister-in-law Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro said: "His passion was for dogs. He loved them and he wanted to take care of them. He worked all the hours God gave to provide for his children and the dogs.

"About a year-and-a-half ago he had 14 dogs. He would take them from people who couldn't look after them anymore, rather than seeing them lonely and neglected or put down.

"Very recently, he had a dog who used to bark and bark and bark until the owner wired his mouth shut. The dog couldn't eat properly when he was rescued but Peter took him on.

"It took months, but he cried when the dog barked again.

"He just had a way with them. He seemed to be able to get their confidence back."

Mrs Vigo di Gallidoro said the diagnosis came as a shock to the whole family.

She said: "He was diagnosed with leukaemia two weeks before he died. He went to the doctor because he had a rash on his arm that he couldn't get rid of.

"He thought he probably had been bitten by something while walking the dogs through the woods, but it was the leukaemia that wouldn't let it heal.

"They took him to hospital to give him blood tests and discovered it.

"It was really frightening and awful."

The popular former taxi driver was honoured with a parade of taxis following the funeral procession, while a number of former fishing colleagues also attended.

A request for donations was also made to Meadowgreen Dog Rescue Centre.

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