RESCUE puppy Silver was the star of the show when Dogs Trust Shoreham celebrated its 25th anniversary last week.
It was a case of ‘hi ho silver lurcher’ as rescue dogs and staff got in a party mood for the celebration at the Brighton Road dog rescue centre.
There was a bone-shaped cake for the adults, as well as bone-shaped cakes for the rescue dogs.
Tracey Rae, rehoming centre manager at Shoreham, said: “From the first day we opened our doors, we were overwhelmed by support from the local community, who offered to adopt our rescue dogs, volunteer to walk the dogs, fundraise for us and spread the word.
“This support has continued to grow over the years and we have only been able to help save so many dogs because of this.
“We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us. On behalf of all the 8,000 dogs we have rescued, thank you so much.”
The centre opened its doors in December 1988, with seven members of staff, a handful of kennels and an army of volunteers.
Over the last quarter of a century, the centre has rehomed dogs of all shapes and sizes, the first being a black and tan collie cross called Uno, who went home with a local family.
The centre grew over time and was rebuilt in 2003, then officially reopened by TV star Dermot O’Leary.
This paved the way for a new era in dog welfare, with better kennels and facilities, which increased rehoming.
There are now 25 members of staff, including managers, maintenance staff, canine carers, training and behavioural advisers, fundraisers and veterinary staff. There are also 50 volunteers helping out.
The staff range in age from 21-year-old Zoe Elkins to 62-year-old Angela Barnett, and assistant manager Vicky Grylls has been at the centre the whole 25 years.
Back in 2008, two canine carers, Ryan Hawkins and Beckie Brightwell, met and fell in love at the rehoming centre and eventually got married.
The centre cares for 75 dogs at any one time and an average of 400 are rehomed each year.
The smallest dog to have been rehomed was a chihuahua and the largest was a great dane called Elsa, which was rehomed with her best friend, Trixie, a standard poodle.