LAST year Shoreham Dog’s Trust rehomed 323 dogs, most of which had been abandoned by their previous owners, but there are some homeless hounds still waiting for their happy ending.
“We never put a good dog down,” said Tracey Rae, the centre manager.
All dogs are guaranteed a home with the Dog’s Trust, no matter how long it takes for them to find a new owner.
From play areas with mini obstacles, to its own veterinary clinic, the Trust boasts impressive facilities and a caring team.
Tracey said: “We try and give them as much enrichment at the kennels as we can.
“We have some long term dogs and we form a bond with them so they get more out of their kennel life.”
One of the long term residents is Humphrey, an affectionate and excitable brown Staffy.
“He is so friendly with people,” said Tracey. “He gets on well with female dogs, not so much with males dogs, but he’s not confrontational – he’s a very sweet dog.”
The usual time span for a dog to spend at the Trust is two to three weeks; however, the five-year-old canine has been with the team for eight months and is yet to find a home.
“We’re baffled as to why because he’s such a lovely dog,” she added.
When strays like Humphrey come to the centre they are given a ‘full MOT’ – this includes all their injections, de-worming, micro-chipping and neutering. They also get a shower before collection.
Sadly, the majority of dogs that come to the trust have been abandoned by their owners like Humphrey and left to wander the streets.
“We board around 60 to 65 dogs at a time and last year we rehomed 323,” said Tracey.
When asked about the most common reasons for people to give up their dogs, Tracey said there are many.
“There’s economic reasons; some times they have to move house and they’re not allowed to take their dog with them; there’s allergies; new babies; changing working hours,” she said.
The Trust employs full time staff, but also relies heavily on volunteers, and the people of Shoreham are only too happy to help out – the centre is currently at capacity when it comes to extra help.
Residents give up their time to assist with chores like the laundry, taking the dogs out for a walk, and a few simply turn up to give them a cuddle.
“We like to call them kennel cuddlers and they spend a lot of time with them,” said Tracey.
A veterinarian comes in once a week to check on the animals to make sure they are healthy and happy.
There is also a grooming station, where the dogs are showered and have their nails clippered.
If you are looking to welcome a dog into the family unit, Tracey said it is very rare that someone is turned away, but there is still a rigorous process to make sure you are matched with the right companion.
“We get people to fill out a questionnaire so we know about their life situation and what they are looking for, and then we match up the dog to the person so we find the right dog for the right family,” said Tracey.
Whether you live in a small flat or a large family home, Tracey said there is a dog suited to everyone.
“We may not find a dog for them straight away, so we ask people to stay in touch,” she added.
There are also huge health benefits for dog owners, not just physical but mental.
To learn more about the great work the Shoreham Dog’s Trust provides for the area and to see how you can adopt a four legged friend like Humphrey, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk or call 01273 452576.
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