Party time for pooches as charity marks anniversary

It was a reunion of sorts for one canine companion, who returned to her former home to celebrate a special anniversary.

Bonnie, a 10-year-old Jack Russell, was re-homed as a puppy from the Dogs Trust at Snetterton.

Some 10 years later and Bonnie arrived back at the centre to help celebrate the anniversary of the Trust's new building, opened in 2001 by the Princess Royal.

Bonnie tucked into a cake made of dog food alongside current Dogs Trust tenant Milo, a 10-month-old cocker spaniel, in a bid to highlight dogs in need of a home and celebrate those who had successfully found new owners.

Supporter relations officer, Kate Brewster, said: 'Before the new building was here they just had the old-fashioned kennels with bars which didn't really show off the dogs to their best.

'It could be a tense environment and cause friction between the dogs.

'Now, the kennels are all at 45 degree angles, and the dogs can't see the others around them apart from the other dog in their kennel.

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'We sometimes double up to give them company. We have a much better re-homing situation now.'

Bonnie, who donned a pearl necklace for the special event yesterday, was re-homed in the Attleborough area after arriving at the Dogs Trust as a puppy.

A total of 5,347 dogs have been rehomed since the current building opened. It was built some 10 years after the Dogs Trust in Snetterton was established, to provide new kennels and updated facilities.

The centre now has a vet room, recovery unit, training and behaviour room, bathing and grooming suite and a nursery, as well as 46 kennels.

Between 30 and 40 dogs are currently in need of new homes and there is a list of others waiting to come to the centre.

Receptionist at the trust in Snetterton for seven years, Nikki Fear, said she had seen some changes over the years, although the number of dogs needing new homes had always been high.

'I think the reasons for re-homing have changed a little, especially in the past couple of years,' she said.

'We've had more contact from people struggling with vet bills, for example.

'I think we've always had a strong demand and a waiting list though.

'I suppose we've also had an increase in the number of people whose relationships have broken down and they've had to move into separate rented accommodation. Of course some landlords don't allow pets.'

Assistant manager James Hewitt added: 'You can get some dogs who are rehomed the day they arrive, but others will wait longer if they've got a history or if they're not suitable for a home with children.'

To find out more about the Dogs Trust or re-homing a dog visit the website at www.dogstrust.org.uk.

rebecca.gough@archant.co.uk

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