Can you save the dogs on death row? MM uncover the Manchester rescue dogs who will die if not rehomed

By Sarah Hodgson

Abandoned and stray dogs have become so common that Greater Manchester pounds and rescue homes are overflowing – and many of the dogs are facing death.

MM’s series of articles over the next few weeks will highlight the plight of Manchester’s forgotten and unwanted dogs.

Rochdale Dog Rescue works every week to find rescue places for dogs from pounds that are put to sleep if not claimed after seven days.

Stray pound dogs have only seven days to be reclaimed by their owners or find a new rescue home, otherwise they face being put down.

Coryn Shields, manager of Rochdale Dog Rescue, said: “Few people realise that many healthy dogs through no fault of their own are being destroyed if not claimed within a week.

“There are so many dogs being abandoned and it costs a fortune to home them.”

She says that usually if someone has lost their dog and wants to find them they will, but often many don’t want to pay to retrieve them or just don’t want them anymore.

Rochdale Dog Rescue save dogs facing uncertainty by paying to house them in emergency boarding kennels, which cost about £8 a day per dog.

They continuously work to find a rehoming centre that can offer a place from which a dog can be assessed and rehomed.

Coryn, who also works full-time as a Business Co-Ordinator, said: “Every day and every week is different, but I dedicate at least two hours a day to the rescue.

“Last week we were lucky and did not have any strays come in so it was an unusual weekend, but we did take a dog in from a pound last Monday as her seven days were up.”

She says that in a normal week they probably get about one a week and on average 80% of the dogs they deal with are Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

At any one time the charity deals with on average 10 dogs, but have dealt with 15 at once in the past.

Coryn says that the problem gets even worse during the summer and they see a spike in dogs needing a new home.

She said: “Dogs get lost easier because it is hot and people leave their doors and gates open but it is also the case that some people want to go on holiday.

“Often someone else will be taking care of their dog whilst they are away and they do not think about closing doors and they go missing.”

The rescue has been saving dogs from uncertain death for many years – the charity was set up in 1975 by Pat Crabtree and Coryn took it over in 1995 after years of volunteering.

Over the years the rescue has been responsible for finding dogs a home, but there are many today that need a home.

One dog in desperate need of a home is Tanzie, a two year old, female Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

She is described as a friendly, steady girl with a lovely demeanour who was moved into emergency boarding on June 17.

She has been spayed and vaccinated and while currently ‘safe’ the charity cannot afford to board her for much longer.

Stella, is a four-year-old sand and white coloured Staffie that is small to medium in size, who is also in need of a new loving home.

She is described as a friendly and happy and is a cheeky, funny girl – who loves to run around the paddock playing with toys.

Stella has also been spayed, fully vaccinated and microchipped – she has been with the charity since May.

Staffie Cross, Judy, is a three-year-old white and black dog who is friendly and well-trained – she has been in emergency boarding since April 9.

She had a poor start to life as her previous owners bred her over and over again – each time taking her puppies away from her.

Her owners threw her away when they did not want her anymore and deserves a caring and loving home.

Coryn says that she hopes they will never have to close the charity’s doors, but they are in need for bedding and food.

She said: “The food bill is ginormous just on its own that comes to about £600 a month.”

The charity are also looking for people to donate toys and leads as well as help with transport, driving dogs to and from vets.

Coryn added: “The best way people can help is to spread the word to people to adopt from rescue centres instead of buying dogs – that way rescue spaces can be freed up and more dogs can be saved.”

If you think you can help or are interested in rehoming a dog please visit

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