Alfie the dog’s work is ground-breaking as he takes part in start of new Blue Cross centre opposite ski slope at Wherstead

Felixstowe Blue Cross animal rehoming centre manager Andy Gillon and Staffordshire Bull Terrier Alfi

Felixstowe Blue Cross animal rehoming centre manager Andy Gillon and Staffordshire Bull Terrier Alfie officially break ground on the organisation's new £3 million rehoming centre in Ipswich. - Credit: Su Anderson

Alfie, a dog hoping for a new home soon, gave future pets seeking owners a helping paw as he took part in the ground-breaking ceremony for a £3m animal centre.

Felixstowe Blue Cross animal rehoming centre manager Andy Gillon and Staffordshire Bull Terrier Alfi

Felixstowe Blue Cross animal rehoming centre manager Andy Gillon and Staffordshire Bull Terrier Alfie officially break ground on the organisation's new £3 million rehoming centre in Ipswich. - Credit: Su Anderson

Accompanied by Blue Cross Felixstowe manager Andrew Gillon, Alfie dug up the first patch of earth to officially start the project.

The charity’s new rehoming centre on a four-acre site at Clock Fields, opposite the Suffolk Ski Centre at Bourne Hill, Wherstead, on the outskirts of Ipswich, will replace its current rescue centre in Walton High Street, Felixstowe.

The new centre, which will be built by contractors Elliston Steady and Hawes (ESH), will enable the charity to double the number of pets it currently helps in Suffolk.

A public appeal has been launched to fund the project – and volunteers are hard at work raising cash from a wide variety of events and activities.


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They have already raised more than £125,000.

Mr Gillon said: “This is a very exciting day for everyone involved and means we’re one step closer to opening our centre.

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“Our new facilities will allow us to reach the area’s most needy pets and help even more animals find loving families, but we’re still looking for donations to help fund the project. If anyone can help we’d love to hear from them.”

The centre has been based in Felixstowe since the 1950s and helps more than 400 cats and dogs in need every year. However, its current premises are outdated and now too small. It is hoped the site, when vacated, can be sold for housing.

The new rehoming centre will be able to cater for double the number of pets, with puppy and kitten units, on-site veterinary facilities, a maternity unit, on-site clinical suite for operations, and dedicated dog exercise areas, including 20 acres of neighbouring woodland.

The Blue Cross hopes the new centre will open in summer next year.

To donate towards the new rehoming centre or to find out more about the project visit www.bluecross.org.uk/felixstowe, email fundraisingteam@bluecross.org.uk or call 0300 777 1897.

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