Food bank for rescue dogs set up to help feed Manchester pups in need

Montpellier: Heartwarming moment dog reunites with owner

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Wags Doggy Day Care Centre based in Worsley, Greater Manchester, takes care of around 50 pet dogs a day in a 6,200 square foot arena. Owner Colin Owen, became aware of Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary financial difficulties after chatting to their staff.

Bleakholt Animal Sanctury has been a registered charity in 1968, located on 55 acre site dedicated to looking after dogs, cats, horses and farm animals.

Both animal businesses are located near the Wardley Industrial Estate, but the rescue centre revealed that they were just about scraping enough money to afford food and basic items.

Speaking to Manchester Evening News, Colin said: “I live in Edenfield, near Ramsbottom, not far from Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary.

“I was out walking recently and bumped into some of their staff who were out walking dogs they are looking after.

“They told me how they were struggling to get enough food to feed their animals with the impact of COVID affecting donations to charities.”

Despite the numerous reports of the huge surge of Brits adopting dogs since lockdown hit last year, several owners have also been forced to let go of their beloved pets.

Job losses due to the coronavirus pandemic have led to less income or people returning to work unable to find or afford suitable sitters for their canines are just some of the main reasons why.

Thanks to Colin’s generosity, he and his eight full time workers and volunteers successfully created a food bank to help their doggy neighbours.

Colin said: “We have had donations of food, leads, and beds. We will deliver them to Bleakholt but plan to keep the bank going and perhaps give stuff to other animal charities too, that’s the idea.”

Wags Doggy Day Care Centre consists of three separate dog-friendly classrooms for students to enjoy several activities throughout the day.

Describing itself as an ‘independent school for dogs’, free play, scent work, one-on-one and group training are just some of the classes hounds take part in to improve their social skills.

It also has a training centre, puppy creche, and grooming salon and a huge space run through tunnels and see-saws to keep them healthy and stimulated.

There is even a ‘cinema’ where dog blockbusters such as Marley and Me are played.

Colin said: “We only show doggy films and the dogs love it. It is a calming influence after they have done exercise.

“The experts tell us it is mentally stimulating for the dogs as the movements and noises they hear and see cause them to work out what is going on and it is socially stimulating for them watching with ‘classmates’.”

He added: “About 70 per cent of our owners come from the Worsley, and Swinton area. I just want the dogs to be happy.

“I have been accused of being awkward by taking certain breeds – but I just want the dogs to be happy and if that means excluding aggressive types so be it.”

If you would like to adopt an animal from Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary or make a donation to the charity, visit their website.

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