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Manchester and Cheshire dogs home??

(12 Posts)
Boobicca Mon 29-Aug-11 15:51:03

Does anyone have any experience with these?

We went to the Cheshire branch to have a look round and make enquiries about adopting a dog. We were fully expecting home checks etc but they don't do them. Nor they ask any questions about us or our home. We enquired about one dog and was told we could take her straight away even though she had only come in that day.

We came away really confused. We really want to get a rescue dog but felt like they were really irresponsible in how they go about rehoming. Are our expectations too high? Don't know wether to go back or not. ?

minsmum Mon 29-Aug-11 15:57:47

I think they may be a pound not a rescue. If you take a look at dog rescue pages they should be able to point you towards rescues in your area

DooinMeCleanin Mon 29-Aug-11 17:01:02

Yup that is a pound. I would strongly advise against a pound dog. They are completely unassessed.

Have a peep here

Vallhala Mon 29-Aug-11 17:03:24

Manchester and Cheshire "Dogs Homes" are, as minsmum says, dog pounds and not rescues. So's Battersea "Dogs Home" in London come to that.

Battersea rehome responsibly, with homechecks, although they also kill far too many healthy dogs.

Manchester is a pound which I have experience of, as a rescuer rather than a potential owner. With respect to that I have nothing good to say about their management or policies.

I would never advise that a member of the public homes direct from the pound unless they have exceptional dog experience and the backing of a rescue. I certainly wouldn't recommend that you take an unassessed dog into the family home. Given that the dog you took to is available to leave MDH having only been there a day he will be a hand-in and not a stray so there will almost certainly be history on him... but you only have the former owner's word for it that what they say about the dog is true and IME people often lie in order to get rid of their dogs.

I'd feel far safer and happier with you adopting a former stray from a rescue which assesses, homechecks, offers a lifetime's support and advice, neuters, vaccinates and which will take the dog back at any time, rather than see you take on a dog from MDH with no such support. Of course rescue will also have dogs which have been handed in from family homes and which were not strays, and a reputable rescue will assess these dogs with just as much care as they assess their former strays. By taking on a dog without any support, direct from the pound, you could be taking on all manner of problems... and if you returned an unwanted dog to MDH because something went badly wrong, he will, I can guarantee this, leave their "Dogs Home" in a black plastic bag.

It breaks my heart to say all this as Manchester, despite its claims on its website and literature is not a no-kill pound and has, to my personal knowledge, killed without reason so its dogs need all the help they can get. However the best way to do this is for the public to leave the taking on of pound dogs to the professionals in rescue and to adopt through rescue instead.

By taking on an assessed dog from a reputable rescue you will not only be safeguarding yourself, family and dog far more but you will also free up a space which the rescue can then offer to a pound dog. They will then assess, neuter, vaccinate, rehabilitate if necessary and offer to him a good home following a successful homecheck, then offer his space to another pound dog... sadly there are always scores of dogs waiting at rescues' gate. sad

Vallhala Mon 29-Aug-11 17:07:24

Ah! I see Dooin said it too. smile

Dooin, it's a damn good job I don't live in your neck of the woods any longer. It would be a hell of a squeeze with my 3 boys and Toby, and Kevin. grin

DooinMeCleanin Mon 29-Aug-11 17:13:30

I'm liking the looks of Larry. DH would string me up grin

lurcherlover Mon 29-Aug-11 22:38:33

We got our current dog from MDH and I must say I was surprised that there was no homecheck involved...we went and looked round on the Saturday, saw our boy and fell in love, got a 24 hour reserve on him (so we could think about it, but our mind was made up - and they would have let us take him that day if we'd wanted) and then got him the next day. We had to fill in a very brief questionnaire, but that was it - no homecheck or anything. We are experienced dog owners, but I would worry about novices getting a dog that way. Am sad to learn they kill dogs - I thought they had a no-kill policy? Some of the dogs had been there for months and months, and there were some very elderly ones up for rehoming. If they have a kill policy, what is it? How come they don't kill the really old ones or the ones that no-one wants? Poor dogs sad

Vallhala Mon 29-Aug-11 23:23:23

LL, re MDH and no kill, I thought I could locate the whole story I have to tell but I can't find it tonight. I HOPE I have Bryn's story saved somewhere on a disk. I'm in a meeting tomorrow but please remind me tomorrow night and I'll search it out for you.

Scuttlebutter Mon 29-Aug-11 23:40:19

Many Councils have policies which say things like " we only put dogs to sleep in exceptional circumstances" - this from a Council that was killing around 20% of dogs that hadn't been reclaimed in seven days. Other weasel words include "PTS for behavioural reasons" - many dogs will not be at their best in a kennel environment - it's noisy, stressful and confusing. Unless they are docile and compliant with all kennel staff, they will face the needle, even though they may actually be fine. On top of this, many Councils will automatically kill any dog believed to be a "pit bull" or similar, usually on the say so of a policeman who has been on a course, and is therefore supposedly an expert. hmm

You can find out about what your Council does by putting in a FOI request - it's free, easy to do and they are obliged to tell you how many they kill and why. I have a website which does a lot of analysis on stray figures in Wales and am currently researching this particular issue in the worst offending Welsh councils. It's quite depressing.

Vallhala Mon 29-Aug-11 23:43:51

Found it! This is what I wrote on a rescue forum:

I saw the picture and it captured my heart. Bryn immediately became MY dog. There was never any question that he wouldn't be mine. Not in the real sense – I never got to meet him, never got to bury my face in his fur. He became mine from a distance, and I tried to help him from my computer at my home far away whilst he lay in a pound kennel in the outskirts of Manchester. They all become mine, you see. Whilst I fight to save their lives from the warmth of my sitting room, with my own two rescued dogs on the sofa beside me I view them as I do my own.

When I got the email that cold, wet Friday night I knew I had to work fast. Bryn was on the PTS list for Monday morning. PTS is a term that strikes cold, hard pain and fear into the heart of everyone involved in dog rescue. To you it means “Put to sleep”… to us it means kill. PTS is a deceiving euphemism, a comforting term, but there is nothing comforting in the idea of killing a healthy dog to me.

Bryn was just five years old, a cross between a Boxer and Heaven knows what. He had a comical look, and his picture showed him on his back legs, playing games, with almost a grin on his brindle face. He had already seen the inside of Manchester Dogs Home, but he’d been one of the lucky ones. One of the kennel hands had worked with him for six months, teaching him commands and tricks and assessing his suitability for re-homing. Not surprisingly she fell in love with Bryn and couldn’t have been happier when the day came for her to hand him over to his new family. At last Bryn had a real home, a basket of his own, a sofa to lie on and people to love him.

The kennel hand had left Manchester Dogs Home when the call came which shattered her hopes. Bryn had been returned to the pound – he’d escaped from his garden and chased, and to her horror, killed a pair of sheep. The farmer threatened Police action and the family felt they could do nothing but take Bryn back to the austere kennel from which they’d earlier saved him. That’s when I got the picture and he became mine for a while.

I sat up into the early hours of Saturday morning, emailing furiously, posting Bryn’s desperate situation onto websites. I had already been promised the fee to get Bryn out of the pound by the kennel hand – but I needed somewhere for him to go and I needed someone to collect him. I couldn’t take him as I already had my own two dogs plus a stray I’d found in the street a couple of days before… was there anyone out there at that time of night who could?

As always I was breathtaken and humbled by the response, which was almost immediate. The first was from a lady who said she was sorry she couldn’t take Bryn, but would offer £25 towards petrol costs for anyone who could. I waited. Before long another message came up – a lady who is an established dog fosterer could take Bryn, but she would need back up from a rescue so that if he didn’t get on with her dogs or if he needed vets treatment she was covered… and she could only offer to have him for two weeks before her next rescue case came along. It was then I started panicking. What owner of a dog rescue was going to be on the internet at that time of night? Who would be able to offer him a space in their rescue and willing to pick up the bills if necessary? All the rescues I had approached were full, as they so often are. And who on earth was going to take Bryn after 2 weeks? I could if my stray’s owners were located… but if they weren’t…?

By this time the tears were running down my face. It was the early hours of Saturday morning and the pound only opened between 1 and 5 that afternoon, and 1 and 4 on Sunday. I had to find not only rescue backup but also someone who could get to Manchester Dogs Home between those hours to collect Bryn… or he’d be dead on the cold concrete floor of the pound by Monday morning. Again I waited, hardly daring to look at my computer screen. Nothing. Messages of hope, of good wishes, but no help to save Bryn’s life. Minutes passed. It felt like hours.There was surely no chance of anyone answering now.

Then a miracle happened. I received a message from a rescue – they would give the necessary back-up and whilst Bryn was with his foster carer they would search for another. Not only that but should they not find one they would take Bryn into their rescue where he would be safe until he found his forever home and give that home back-up for the rest of Bryn’s life. They asked if I could tell them what Bryn was like, was he ok with children, was he healthy, did he like children, was he house-trained, neutered, did he obey commands, was he friendly. Yes! Yes! He was all of those things! I sent them the original appeal for help from the kennel hand and the website details on him from Manchester Dogs Home. Both of these described Bryn as intelligent, loving, friendly and well-behaved. His only problem was sheep and naturally we wouldn’t place him in a home with cats… but in a cat-free family and a town home he would be perfect! That was settled. Bryn had a place of safety to go to. We could do this, we could! Manchester Dogs Home knew we were going to do our utmost to get him out to safety before they could put into place their plans to kill him – all we needed was to get someone to collect him and to take him from Manchester to Tyneside.

There must be a lot of insomniacs in the world of dog rescue because amazingly there were still people coming through to me. Offers to do parts of the journey were made, offers of contributions towards fuel expenses came forward. Between us we could get Bryn out of the pound and gradually move him up to Newcastle. I was still crying, but these were tears of relief. I knew we could do it, and I knew just the man to contact in the morning who could pick Bryn up and start him on his way to freedom… to life. I turned my computer off and my dogs and I went up to bed for a few precious hours sleep.

It seemed just minutes later that I was awake again and my first task was to contact that man in Manchester and ask him if he could help with Bryn’s journey. Would he… could he? Of course he would! All thoughts of tiredness disappeared – we’d done it again! Bryn would be safe, we could move on to the next dog in need, the joy of knowing what we had achieved always tinged with the sadness of knowing that there is another dog like him just around the corner.

Then it happened

.
The phone rang. I could hardly recognise the voice – it was the kennel hand who had alerted us to Bryn’s plight. She could barely hold back the tears when she told me what she had just discovered… Bryn had been killed by Manchester Dogs Home on Saturday night.

He wasn’t “put to sleep”. He isn’t asleep. He’s dead.

Manchester Dogs Home killed Bryn, a healthy, friendly five year old dog, despite knowing that by 4pm last Sunday he would have a home to go to. they killed him and before the date they had advised us that he would be killed, in secret, when the staff had all gone home. They killed MY dog.

It was then that the kennel hand told me that Bryn was not the first dog to be killed in such circumstances. She emailed me the stories of some of them and sent me pictures of some of these dogs. Dogs which were healthy, dogs which were young, dogs which were friendly, dogs like your dogs and mine… dogs which are now dead. Manchester Dogs Home is a charity – it takes YOUR money. It’s website leads you to believe that it is a no-kill organisation. It shows pictures of many dogs – Bryn was one of them- and sings their praises.

Then it kills them.

My contacts in rescue tell me there is a lot of secrecy surrounding Manchester Dogs Home. It takes dogs from many, many councils in the area, yet it only has room for a certain amount of residents. Its kennel space is not finite. A scientist contact amongst the many I have in rescue puts it this way – “If there are more coming in than are going out, something has to give. Manchester Dogs Home is under contract with these councils – it HAS to take in the dogs they bring in. So what happens when it is full? It can only be, to the logical brain, a case of “first in, first out”.

When I told a good friend who owns a no kill rescue what Manchester Dogs Home had done to Bryn, his response was more blunt…

“B******s! Post this around the world, Vallhala! Tell the world what they have done!”

And so I have.

Vallhala Tue 30-Aug-11 18:53:39

Bumping FTAO LurcherLover.

lurcherlover Tue 30-Aug-11 20:44:45

sad sad sad

That poor dog.

I didn't realise they were a pound not a proper rescue...I'm very glad I got my dog from there as he is perfect, but I will go to a real rescue next time.

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