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Dogs' home ravaged by fire rebuilt thanks to donations from celebs & dog lovers

Dogs' home rebuilt after ravaged by fire dog-happy
© Paul Gallagher and Cal Thomson - YouTube

Devastated dog lovers donated over £2 million to rebuild Manchester Dog’s Home after it was burnt to the ground, killing 60 of its doggie residents, in 2014.

By Zoe Monk

Published on the 19/09/2019, 09:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:40

Manchester Dogs’ Home was a well-known kennel that rescued and re-homed hundreds of abandoned dogs every year. But five years ago it was completely destroyed in a horrific inferno that killed 60 of its canine residents.

Horrified onlookers could only look on as the blaze tore through the dogs' home.

Local heroes

Staff and local people risked their own lives trying desperately to save the dogs that were trapped in the blaze. After hearing dogs barking in panic, local residents Jason Dyer and Dean Rostock courageously jumped over the fence into the dogs home and kicked open the kennel doors. The hero dog lovers were able to rescue 20 dogs as the blaze took hold.

Despite everyone's brave efforts, they weren’t able to save all of the dogs.


LATEST FROM THE MANCHESTER DOGS HOME FIRE: Two hero dog lovers risked their lives to run into the blaze and rescue 20...

Posted by The Manc on Thursday, September 11, 2014

Celebrity donation

Distressed dog lovers from around the country dug deep and between them donated over £2 million to help rebuild the dogs’ home. The horrific story even touched dog lover and X-Factor boss Simon Cowell who donated £25,000.

X-Factor boss and dog lover Simon Cowell donated to Manchester Dogs' Home© Cal Thomson - Youtube

Meanwhile, Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has also shown his support for the dogs' home by being taken on a special VIP tour of the newly built facilities. 

Chris Smalling visits Manchester Dogs Home

Four years on from the tragedy of the Manchester & Cheshire Dogs' Home fire, Manchester United defender Chris Smalling tours their newly opened facility and spends some quality time with his four-legged friends.

Posted by Manchester United Foundation on Friday, October 12, 2018

While it may have taken years, thanks to generous donations, Manchester Dogs' Home can now reopen. It now offers five state-of-the-art kennel blocks and a new adoption centre where families and dog lovers can visit and meet the dogs.

Memorial garden

A very special part of the rebuild has been the memorial garden on the site. Situated on the site of kennel block that was completely burnt to the ground in the fire, a special garden has been created to remember and pay tribute to those dogs who were tragically killed in the fire.

“Overwhelmed with generosity”

The dogs’ home staff were left grief-stricken after the fire but were touched by the enormous generosity shown by the public.

Dogs’ home manager Steve Mapley told The Mirror: “The words thank you just aren’t enough. In the days after the fire, we were just totally overwhelmed by the generosity of the public who gave their hard-earned cash so we would have the funds to rebuild and continue to help.

“The first couple of weeks after the fire were just like being in a bubble. We were concentrating on the dogs and the staff and trying to make sure we were operating the best we could.”

Manchester Dogs' Home showed their gratitude for the city's support© Cal Thomson - YouTube

State-of-the-art facilities

The fire-ravaged Victorian-style kennels are gone and have been replaced with a modern and state of the art kennel block that can provide shelter for over 100 abandoned or stray dogs.

Dogs at Manchester Dogs' Home can now enjoy state-of-the-art facillities© Cal Thomson - YouTube

Steve added: "Now to have come out of the other side of it we realise the support was amazing. “It is funny how over time, both myself and Colin who was the first responder on the night, choke up more about it now than we did then.

"Now we have had time to sit back and think about it, it gets you a bit more the emotion of it.”

Dedicated sleeping and grooming areas

Each dog that comes to the Dog’s Home will be able to have it’s very own kennel with its own dedicated play and sleeping area. It even has under-floor heating, so the rescued canines will be lovely and cosy during their stay. The kennels have a kitchen so staff can prepare food on-site and there’s even a special grooming area to pamper the pooches and ensure they are always looking their best for visitors.

Purpose-built adoption centre

But the highlight of the newly built dogs’ home has to be the fantastic new adoption centre. Here, dogs who are ready to be-rehomed will be able to meet their new families. With a glass-fronted kennel for each dog, visitors can have a good look at the dogs ready for rehoming. There’s even a play area where potential new owners can meet and get to know their new canine companion.

Ongoing support needed

But although generous donations have enabled the dogs’ home to reopen, it still needs support to complete the build and fund its ongoing daily running costs. And running a state-of-the-art dogs’ home doesn’t come cheap. As Steve explains: “It costs between £1.5million to £2million a year to keep the centre running, our vet bills alone are astronomical.

"Our drug bill is at least £10,000 per month, and if we have dogs here with complex medical issues like cancer or broken limbs that can be much higher.”