On Wednesday the 15th of February, our Foundation Degree in Canine Behaviour and Training students visited Manchester and Cheshire Dogs Home. The students were given a guided tour of the centre, including an exclusive look at their onsite vet suite and newly built adoption blocks. The students were also shown the site of a devastating fire, which took place on the 11th of September 2014. The staff and volunteers very kindly discussed how the night unfolded, including the traumatic loss of around 50 of their dogs. Although it is now over 2 years since the fire, the staff still struggle on a daily basis walking past the site of the fire, and are still trying to decide what to do with the ashes of the dogs which sadly did not survive the blaze.

Following the fire, a charity fundraising account was created online by local residents and raised over £1 million thanks to support from the general public and some celebrities such as Simon Cowell and Paul O’Grady. The staff members explained to our students that although this appeal raised enough money for the rebuild of a block of the rehoming centre, further fundraising is still needed to aid with continued running costs of the centre and supplying food and toys for the dogs. Students have been supporting Manchester and Cheshire Dogs Home with a range of fundraising efforts including the Canine Society’s ‘Wags and Walks’ event and will continue to donate to the centre for the remainder of the year.

Manchester and Cheshire Dogs Home opened in 1893 and has rehomed more than a million dogs. The registered charity is said to care for more than 7,000 stray and unwanted dogs each year and manages to rehome 95% of them. If like our students you’d like to support the work of Manchester Dogs Home you can donate here.

This visit formed part of our students’ Level 4 module ‘The Dog in Society’. The module is designed to give our first year students an overview of many different aspects of the canine world including dog competitions, dog training and dog rescue/rehabilitation centres. It’s all aimed to help students select a placement for in their second year, which will really suit their individual interests. Find out more about our canine degree course here.

The canine students’ next trip will be to Crufts, the world’s largest dog show, where the Canine team will also be manning a promotional stand. If you’re attending Crufts,  please pop over to see us or drop us an email at canine@reaseheath.ac.uk to get your dog booked in for grooming or training.

Rachel Rodgers

Course Manager FdSc/BSc Canine Behaviour and Training