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Dog Trust Darlington reopens after major refurbishment

A DOG rehoming center has unveiled its new facilities after a huge refurbishment to give it the latest advances to ensure the welfare of its animals.

Dogs Trust Darlington, which finds homes for abandoned and stray dogs, has undergone a major transformation and the center near Sadberge now has the latest facilities, including a hydrotherapy pool and underwater treadmill, rehabilitation center and its own on-site vet clinic.

It also has specialist training and behavioral facilities, as well as spaces to run training classes for dog owners in need of some guidance and multiple outdoor play areas to help dogs live as good a life as they can before finding a long-term home.

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The Northern Echo:

Catherine Gillie, regional manager, said: “The new facilities are fabulous. They are really world class. You would have to go along way to find facilities which are as good for the welfare of dogs as these. It’s just really exciting to see how great these facilities are. But the most important thing is that we have fantastic staff as well.

“Facilities are only one part of the jigsaw puzzle of making somewhere a success. The team is hugely dedicated and want to help both people and dogs. We don’t like to judge people, it’s about trying to help people.”

She added: “These facilities are absolutely needed now. Covid came in the middle of this project and during it there was little demand from people to take dogs in, But we did predict that as we returned to normal there would be a lot of people who had dogs and needed help with training or looking after them.

The Northern Echo:

The Northern Echo:

Many of the dogs which enter the care of the charity have behavioral issues or have been injured and need rehabilitation before they can find new homes.

The center in Darlington has rehomed more than 18,000 dogs since it opened in 1994 but its facilities had become dated and in need of a refresh.

The project, which took place between 2018 and 2021, was funded through £900,000 from the People’s Postcode Lottery, as well as donations from Petplan Charitable Trust and WG Harvey’s Discretionary Settlement.

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Chief executive Owen Sharp said the new facilities would improve the lives of dogs being cared for by the trust.

He said: “We try to give the best possible experience but we always believe the best home is another home outside of kennels. But their time with us should be the best possible time.”

The Northern Echo:

The center is the charity’s only one to have both a hydrotherapy pool and underwater treadmill and is one of only four to have a dedicated specialist training and rehabilitation block, where staff can help dogs overcome their fears and anxieties, making it more likely they will find to permanent home.

The kennels are also equipped with the latest developments in dog welfare – with underfloor hearing and noise-reducing panels so the animals do not disturb each other if they become agitated.

Mr Sharp added: “There are dogs we have been able to rehome that we wouldn’t have been able to do with the facilities we have.”

The Northern Echo:

The Northern Echo:

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