The Big Bark Fundraising Appeal
The staff at Animals in Distress are passionate about the dogs in their care, they are determined to make the time they spend at the rescue centre as comfortable as possible. This includes making the transition from rescue centre to a home life as smooth as possible.
The Big Bark fundraising appeal aims to raise £1 million over the next 2 years for a new kennel block.
Dogs build homes – help to build theirs
The love of a dog is special. It is completely unconditional and knows no bounds! Dogs are always pleased to see you when you get home, they know when you are feeling low, they are faithful, loyal and devoted. When we moved into our first home, my husband and I lasted only of a couple of weeks without a dog in our house. We all know that… dogs help to make a house a home!
We adopted our first dog Polly when she was around 18 months old, we had heard about her through a friend. The elderly gentleman she lived with had recently lost his wife and Polly was a strong boisterous Labrador who needed a lot of exercise and was wrecking his home. It was a massive decision for him to re-home her but we were incredibly grateful that he gave us the opportunity. Polly is now almost 13 and has seen all three of our girls born, had a litter of her own puppies and moved home with us. She’s having a lovely family life, Animals in Distress want that for all the dogs in their care also.
The existing kennels at Animals in Distress are clean and serve a purpose, however they are old, difficult to keep warm in the winter or cool in the summer and the charity want to be able to give the dogs in their care spacious and comfortable kennels. The plans for the new kennels include underfloor heating, an air cooling system, quiet spaces for the more nervous dogs and each kennel will be a ‘room with a view’ over the garden area.
Many of the dogs in their care have never even been in a home environment, the new building will include a lounge area where these dogs can become accustomed to sounds and noises found in a normal home or just experience the comfort of a sofa. The new facilities will have space for around 30 kennels with the possibility of expanding in the future to accommodate more dogs as and when needed.
The shell of the existing kennel block won’t go to waste either and will be utilised for an indoor sand school training and agility area with a classroom. The area can also be hired out to generate income for the charity in the future.
In July 2018, Animals in Distress also launched a new training programme for the dogs in their care known as ‘Open Paw’. In a kennel environment some dogs can become stressed and this can lead to unsociable behaviour. The average stay for a dog at the centre is between 2 – 3 months, so without the ongoing training given by the staff at the centre it could mean that anxious or nervous dogs are overlooked by a potential new family and could be at the centre longer than is necessary. The Open Paw programme promotes positive reinforcement and enrichment, with the new training techniques in place the staff at the centre quickly saw a difference with the dogs, they were noticeably quieter, calmer and happier. They hope that having happier, calmer dogs they will be able to take in and care for up to 30% more dogs – so new kennel facilities are of the utmost importance!
The Big Bark Ball
The fundraising appeal was launched on Friday 12th October 2018 at The Big Bark Ball. The event was held at the Imperial Hotel Torquay and was sponsored by Complete Estate Agents. There was a red carpet welcome with some special guests, a live band and an auction. The launch was a massive success and they raised a whopping £10,401.33 - giving the campaign a great kick start. The charity have two years to raise the funds and with some pledges already made they are well on their way.
How can you help?
There are lots of different ways that you can help raise money for this wonderful appeal:
- To donate online via the Animals In Distress website
- Buy a brick (suggested donation of £100) create a legacy for yourself or a loved one
- Hold you own fundraising event – Bike ride, cake sale, quiz night, dog walk… the list is endless!
- Become a corporate partner – You could donate goods or services, donate raffle prizes, sponsor part of the new kennels or fundraise as part of a team.
- Join in on the Muddy Mutts event on February 24, 2019 11:00 am – 1:30 pm at River Dart Country Park