BIRMINGHAM Dogs’ Home’s new £6m Dog Rescue and Animal Welfare Centre at Catherine-de-Barnes opened its doors to the public on Friday (October 23).
The opening marks the culmination of a 13-month-long building project to provide ‘unparalleled standards of animal care’ for up to 128 stray and abandoned dogs.
The state-of-the-art Centre offers innovative design and enhanced user-friendly accommodation for dogs, staff and visitors alike with the latest glass-fronted kennels, complete with underfloor heating, all of which are situated in long, bright corridors.
The move to Catherine de Barnes is a significant one for the charity, which had been based at its Digbeth city centre location since it was launched in 1892.
Lack of exercise space and a dated building that could no longer provide the necessary animal welfare needs forced the home to seek new premises – and the new complex has totally fulfilled these requirements.
There is also a veterinary suite, maternity unit and isolation block for sick dogs, as well as high-tech community facilities that will help expand the centre’s outreach programme and its links with local businesses, organisations, groups, schools and colleges.
Simon Price, Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to be at last opening this wonderful new centre after many years of consultations and over a year of construction work.
“This new centre offers the very best in 21st century animal welfare facilities which gives our dogs the opportunity of a new start and a happier future in a new home.
“The whole project has been designed with focus firmly set on its environmental impact, creating a centre that blends harmoniously with its Green Belt surroundings, helping create a welcoming atmosphere not only for those who visit but also for those who take the opportunity to choose a rescue dog to become the newest member of their family.
“We look forward to welcoming people to guide them round this showpiece centre and introduce them to our many dogs that do seem so much happier in their super new kennels.”
Observer editor Chris Willmott visited the new home on its opening day – and was impressed with the fantastic facilities and attention to detail to make sure every dog’s stay is as comfortable and enjoyable as it can be.
The new home offers warm, clean kennels with an outside space for every dog, secure walking areas for the canine carers and a secure area for the dogs to run and play – something they never had in the Digbeth home.
There are also private areas for prospective new owners to get to know the dogs, interact with them and try walking them.
Areika Bickerton, manager of the Birmingham Dogs’ Home told the paper: “It is absolutely fantastic here – for both the staff and the dogs.
“The difference in the dogs is amazing – they are so much happier and so much more chilled here with all the outside space and vastly improved kennels.
“It has been amazing to see the dogs running around for the first time – it has warmed all of our hearts and we couldn’t be happier.”
Opening times are Monday to Saturday, 11am to 4.45pm and the centre will be closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Anyone wanting to volunteer to help out in any way, get involved with fundraising or to donate goods or money can do so at: www.birminghamdogshome.org.uk.