This year marks the start of a new era in the history of Manchester Dogs’ Home after they unveiled impressive new building plans at the 125th anniversary of Crufts.
The home was devastated by a fire that killed 60 dogs in September 2014, but after tireless work from staff and numerous volunteers, the centre reopened its doors last month.
Plans have recently been submitted for the rebuild of the centre, including new state-of-the-art kennels for the home’s many canine friends, and the staff are confident work can begin shortly.
Speaking at the show, the home’s manager Anna Stansfield (above, back middle) spoke of her delight to be at Birmingham’s NEC for the world’s largest dog show for the second year on the trot.
“We’ve recently had some exciting news and it’s so great to be able to share them with everyone at Crufts,” she said.
“The kennels will be in a triangular shape and we’re really hopeful they get approved. They are going to be very different to what they were before the fire as we’ve gone for a completely new design.
“We’ve been visiting lots of other animal charities including Birmingham Dogs’ Home as they’ve recently gone through a rebuild themselves, and we wanted to get some ideas for our own development.
“We want to make sure the new kennels will be environmentally friendly, so we’re going to be looking into harvesting water to do our bit for the world.
“Everything we’re doing is for the benefit of the dogs, and with us going environmentally friendly, it means we can save money that we will reinvest in the animals in our care.”
The home have brought seven dogs along to Crufts this year, all of whom have been adopted from the centre and have flourished with their new owners.
The pooches will be showing off their agility in the Good Citizen Dog Scheme training ring over the next few days until the show, which will feature nearly 22,000 happy, healthy dogs in total, draws to a close on Sunday.
And after battling through the greatest of challenges over the last 18 months, Anna admits her pride at being able to show the strength of Manchester Dogs’ Home on the biggest stage of the canine world.
“Crufts is just absolutely amazing,” she continued. “We came for the first time last year and the atmosphere was just unbelievable, you just don’t get it anywhere else.
“We really hope this is one of many visits to Crufts we’ll make over the coming years.
“We are so grateful to the Kennel Club for inviting us along again and giving us this opportunity because we get to meet so many different people.
“This is the biggest show for doggy people so we’re really keen for people to come down and say hello.
“The show has only been open for a couple of hours but I’m exhausted already.
“But you know what, I just can’t believe how many people are like us and are obsessed with dogs, and it’s great to spend time with so many likeminded people.”