Dog training bid for Felixstowe

BRITAIN is said to be a country of animal lovers - and Felixstowe's Blue Cross centre is today hoping the town's businesses are among them.For the animal welfare and adoption centre in Walton High Street has launched an appeal to build new dog training facilities to vastly improve the lives of unwanted dogs awaiting new homes.

By Richard Cornwell

BRITAIN is said to be a country of animal lovers - and Felixstowe's Blue Cross centre is today hoping the town's businesses are among them.

For the animal welfare and adoption centre in Walton High Street has launched an appeal to build new dog training facilities to vastly improve the lives of unwanted dogs awaiting new homes.

It is now hoping firms in the area will support the appeal – and donate materials or man hours to help create the new facilities.

The new "dog socialisation area" will enable staff to assess dogs' needs, carry out behavioural work, give basic training and allow the animals to mix with people and other animals in a more natural environment.

Because of their backgrounds some dogs given up to the Blue Cross require a great deal of special attention and the area would also enable staff to devote time to these needy dogs away from the kennels.

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Dog behaviour adviser Clare Williamson said: "At the moment all the dogs see are the four walls of their kennels.

"They have no outside runs and the only time they see the outside world is when they are walked.

"For many of them the facilities will just allow them the freedom to play normally, but for others they will provide vital training for life outside the Blue Cross.

"For example, we currently have a nine-year-old dog here that has never been walked and spent his days either inside his previous owner's house or in the back garden so he will need a lot of basic training.

"The end aim with all our dogs is to make sure that when they leave the Blue Cross they go to their new homes as happy, confident pets."

The centre, run by manager Tom Crowley, is appealing to businesses to provide what they can in the way of materials, time and funds for the project. A local college has already been enlisted to help build the facilities.

Items needed include sand, stones, wood bark, paving slabs, concrete, grass seed, plants, benches, large tractor tyres, water feature shallow enough for dogs to paddle in safely, fences and trellis, small gate, and lawn edging.

Anyone able to donate should contact Mr Crowley on 01394 283254.

It will be the second major improvement project to the centre this year following a £35,000 scheme in the summer to remove roofs containing asbestos and install new ones to provide more height and more light for the animals.

WEBLINK: www.bluecross.org.uk

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