Like many people, I have been a supporter of Dogs Trust for many years through their sponsor a dog, taking heart in their motto of never putting a healthy dog down. Along with their wonderful trademark tag line, “A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas” So, you can imagine my delight when I had the opportunity to be the Photographer for the PR Photo Shoot for their new Rescue Centre in Manchester. As an animal lover and a photographer it was a privilege to be able to do the photography and to tour the new Rescue Centre in Denton prior to the opening.
It was a further privilege to be asked to shoot the Team Photo for their Reception area Noticeboard. The team have been working extremely hard behind the scenes getting the centre ready for opening and taking care of the dogs that arrived prior to the opening, helping them to feel calm and relaxed in their new surroundings. Here is the photo of the hard working team at Dogs Trust Manchester such a lovely bunch of people who make you feel extremely welcome as soon as you walk through the door. They aren’t just employees of Dogs Trust, they really do genuinely love each and every dog that enters the premises. It can be seen so clearly not only in their interactions with the dogs, but also by how happy the dogs are to run up to them for cuddles.
The doors to this amazing new rescue centre in Denton, Manchester opened to the public today, 23rd October. As you approach the centre you are greeted by two massive signs welcoming you to Dogs Trust in their trademark yellow and black colours; and photos of dogs. You already get an excited feeling about the place and what is in store for you. Below is a photo of two of the managers of the centre, Lesley and Rebecca, under one of the signs.
As you can see they stay open until late for people who work during the week to allow everyone the opportunity to visit the centre increasing the dogs chances of getting their forever home. Like this sweet little pup below.
The centre has 95 car parking spaces opposite this stunning building. When I first arrived for the PR shoot I knew that the centre would be impressive, as it’s part of the Dogs Trust Charity. However, I wasn’t expecting it to be as impressive as it is, the size of the place alone is just amazing, not just for visitors, but for the most important part, the dogs. It’s design is to make the dogs stay as comfortable as possible with lovely kennels which have heated flooring and lovely beds, to the extremely impressive playground areas for them to exercise in complete with sandpits, water features and giant staircases to run up and down.
The reception area has a lovely front desk which is shaped like a paw, allowing lots of space for visitors to fill in questionnaires on rehoming a dog, to help the staff match them with the right dog for them. If you see a dog you are interested in, the staff will bring the dog out for a meet and greet as seen below. You can also walk around the grounds with the staff member and dog to see how the dog interacts in the grounds and with you, ensuring that it is a perfect or should I say Pawfect match.
The Deputy Manager Lesley with one of the little residents posing outside the entrance.
A major part of life at Dogs Trust is ensuring that the dogs get lots of interaction with people and exercise, stimulation is a key part in both the physical and mental health of the dogs as they wait patiently for a family. Below are Melanie and Bud, spending time with two adorable Jack Russells, Maggie and Jill. I have seen tonight that Jill has already been reserved, so let’s hope that little Maggie, the smaller of the two gets her change sometime this week.
Little Jill waiting for a treat.
You can see in the background behind this smiling greyhound, who is such a sweet affectionate boy who gave me lots of kisses while I was photographing him, the staircases I mentioned that they can exercise on for the dogs with lots of energy.
Above is Zara with Bud reaching for the treat that is on part of the exercise/agility equipment that they have. Isn’t she cute? And here she is below, peeping out from under the little walkway house. Doesn’t that face say what a happy girl she is while she awaits her forever family.
The sandpit is a great place for them to race through as the gorgeous Sultan demonstrates here, running straight at me. I have to say I love this shot because of the sheer happiness it conveys and really shows how wonderful these dogs are. Yes, that is Zara in the background as they do interact with other dogs and many like these two are kennelled together.
Alice the cute little Yorkshire Terrier looking at the camera while Maxi is licking Bud like crazy in the background with Melanie looking on. Just another photo that for me and I hope shows you, just how caring the carers are with the dogs. Don’t you think that is the perfect name for them too, as I have been calling them staff, but they are actually called carers and that really does sum up what they do. They care 100% for the dogs and with genuine love and affectionate, which is clearly reciprocated by the little canine residents.
Indoors there is a training barn area where dogs are trained using clicker and positive training methods, seen by this agility training session this lovely Border Collie is undertaking. Another of the many forms of stimulation that is offered to the dogs at the rescue centre. They also learn basic commands like Aurora is demonstrating below.
And what about when the dog isn’t feeling well or just needs a check up? You guessed it, Dogs Trust has thought of that too. They have their own vet office on site with all the equipment needed and a vet who visits, but that’s not all, they have a vet nurse who is employed and based at the centre. You can see the excellent vet nurse below and doesn’t she make visiting the vet look like fun, as how happy does this little one look.
They also have their own grooming parlour which has a sign that says Barber Shop. Shall we have a quick wash and dry. Towel dry please, as means I get extra cuddles, as this little pooch and carer as showing. They have a lot of dogs to wash and dry, so if you ever have any spare towels then please consider dropping them off at your local rescue centre whether that be a Dogs Trust or any other as I am sure they will be extremely grateful.
Sometimes it’s nice to sit and relax on the benches outside. Valerie is certainly enjoying sitting there. This bench is for visitors, but for the photo shoot she got to try it out for size. She is a sweet gentle dog, although big, really is a soft girl and hopes someone will look into her eyes and fall in love with her, so she has a nice comfy bed in a home of her own.
In the middle of the centre is the Village Green, which allows visitors to sit and look through the information on dogs and chat to the many carers on hand about the dogs. It’s a very relaxed place to sit and talk ensuring that the whole experience isn’t rushed and in a welcoming environment. It’s such a lovely relaxed atmosphere that there is even a cafe upstairs serving drinks and cake. The cake is scrumptious too and made fresh by Lily and Dilly for the centre. See no rush, have a brew, a piece of cake and a think. Stand on the balcony outside the cafe and watch the dogs playing in the play areas. A dog is for life, it’s not something to be rushed and Dogs Trust Manchester allow you to take your time and enjoy the experience of finding your new best friend.
Last but not least, in the above photograph is Dawn the Centre Manager with Maxi. Like everyone else, she loves the dogs and wants you to feel welcome. You might see her on your visit as she doesn’t hide away in an office, she’s out there with everyone else making sure visitors and the canines are well looked after.
The rescue centre has so many breeds of dogs to choose from including many Pedigree breeds, who for whatever reason have found themselves needing to be rehomed. Whether you are looking for a pedigree or not, there are also lots of mixed breeds that are sure to capture your heart because after all, don’t they all deserve that chance of a home. To be loved and cuddled and show how much they are grateful for the chance you have given them by greeting you with such excitement as you come home from work or just from shopping if you are retired or work from home or any other reason.
If you are considering getting a dog then please consider adopting and if you visit Dogs Trust Manchester, I am sure that you will love the place, the dogs and the people who work there just as much as I do. They truly make it an amazing place and this is just day one. They have lots more planned for you including talks on all things dogs. I nearly forgot to mention, they even offer FREE dog training for all their adopted dogs, how amazing is that!
One final thing…don’t forget to mark your calendar 7th December is their Christmas Craft Fair where they will have lots of lovely stalls, Santa Paws will be making an appearance and yours truly will be in attendance, so please pop by and say hello.