Petplan Charitable Trust donates £19,000 to Dogs Trust Cardiff.
The grant is funding a kennel at the charity’s brand new state-of-the-art rehoming centre in South Wales. Dogs Trust reports that the project is making good progress despite inevitable delays owing to the pandemic. The expected completion date for the centre is April 2021.
“Thanks to your wonderful support, we have been able to continue building to original plans, ensuring we include the very best of equipment and facilities for our dogs, including a hydrotherapy suite, variety of exercise areas and a puppy suite,” says Aimee Pitchford, the charity’s Trusts and Foundations Officer.
The booked kennels block (below right) will provide a secure and comfortable facility for dogs ready to go to their forever homes. It will feature 16 standard Dogs Trust kennels, one of which has been funded by PPCT.
More space for dogs with complex needs
There will also be four rehabilitation kennels with individual compounds and runs for dogs that require more space and have more complex needs. The extra space means the charity’s specialist staff will be able to work with those dogs in situ. Dogs staying within the booked kennel block will have exclusive access to their own outdoor exercise compounds. Further facilities will include a laundry room, food preparation area, a grooming room and training rooms.
This positive news comes at an extremely tough time for the charity sector. Dogs Trust were forced to close their rehoming centres to visitors in March 2020 and suspended all adoptions. This situation was echoed at animal rescue centres across the UK.
At the time of writing (January 2021) the charity is caring for 1,210 dogs at their centres across the UK. They were able to resume rehoming for some dogs in May. Strict new measures were put in place to keep staff and adopters safe.
“We’re now matching dogs with their new homes virtually and delivering dogs contact-free,” explains Pitchford.
Huge rise in demand for dogs and puppies during lockdown
Lockdown saw an explosion in the demand for dogs and puppies as many people were furloughed or working from home. The charity has been supporting new owners with a variety of online resources:
“To help them make the right decision, we launched “a dog is for life, not just for lockdown” campaign on our website,” says Pitchford. “Additionally, we have uploaded a wealth of information online, including advice on dog behaviour, training videos and information for dog owners who may need to self-isolate.”
The charity has also been helping to support vulnerable members of the community through two initiatives; the Hope Project and the Freedom Project. The Hope Project provides help and support to homeless dog owners. The Freedom Project supports domestic abuse victims with dogs.
“The wonderful thing about dogs is their ability to provide us with so much joy and unconditional love – something that becomes even more valuable in times like these,” says Pitchford. “We are incredibly pleased and excited to be able to offer a new, modern, state of the art rehoming centre to the dogs in need in Cardiff and the surrounding areas in 2021. We really would not be able to achieve all of this without the kindness of supporters like Petplan Charitable Trust.”