Behind scenes of Dogs Trust flagship Evesham centre - The Evesham Observer

Behind scenes of Dogs Trust flagship Evesham centre

Evesham Editorial 14th May, 2017   0

AFTER opening its state-of-the-art centre in April just weeks before celebrating 50 years of caring for homeless hounds, Dogs Trust Evesham has become the UK’s flagship centre for the protection and rehoming of dogs.

Observer reporter Aaron Wise was invited to the Wickhamford-based centre on its milestone birthday last Wednesday (May 3) to see how far the charity has come since its humble beginnings.</b>

Having officially opened in May 1967 as Heathercoombe Lodge, the National Canine Defence League, as Dogs Trust was then known, took in up to 50 stray dogs per week with the assistance of the Avon Dog Rescue Service.

The centre has been through several stages of transformation since then, with an expansion of 120 kennels in the nineties, before undergoing an £8million revamp in 2014 – completely funded by donations.




The cash injection has seen a revolutionary change, with the newly rebuilt site now boasting 80 spacious kennels with underfloor heating, 23 all-weather exercise paddocks and specialist training and behaviour facilities.

Puppy kennels have also been added to the site so young pooches can have the care and attention they need and new paddocks have been built to offer all weather surfaces and textures such as sand and astro-turf.


The centre has also built glass fronted kennels to prevent the spread of infection and dogs no longer need to be transported off site for operations, as a new veterinary suite provides staff with the everything they need to carry out neutering, dental and routine operations.

As I was given a tour of the new site, I could see first-hand the passion Dogs Trust staff have for dog welfare and was blown away to hear the centre rehomes around 800 dogs per year and can look after up to 120 dogs at any one time.

In the last ten years alone, Dogs Trust Evesham has rehomed more than 10,000 dogs, with more than 250 dogs having been fostered or adopted since the turn of the year.

Chris Slight, Dogs Trust Evesham’s rehoming centre manager, said: “It’s a fantastic centre and is probably the flagship Dogs Trust centre at this current moment in time.

“Before the big rebuild the facilities looked tired. We had to up our game so the dogs could receive the very best welfare. But before we could even start building we had to set up 207 traps to catch rare great crested newts, so we could move them to a new pond away from our site.

“We had brown long-eared bats in the loft of the storage barn we had to sort out too. It’s been a long process and we’ve only been in the new building for a few weeks.

“We’ve had many eventful years as the centre has changed over time and I want to say a very big thank you to the residents of Wickhamford for putting up with the builders and traffic over that time.

“We hope we’ve built a venue everyone can be proud of.”

Visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/our-centres/evesham for more information on adopting or fostering a dog.

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