Christmas has come early for a Northumberland dog rescue charity.
Alexa’s Animals Dog Rescue, which is based just north of Alnwick, has received a £63,000 grant from Support Adoption for Pets, the charity arm of Pets at Home.
And the funding couldn’t have come at a better time.
It will be used to create first-class facilities at the charity’s base, on the A1 at Charlton Mires, to create warm, insulated kennels for the dogs that are cared for by the charity before they are adopted.
Carole Green, trustee and secretary at Alexa’s Animals, said: “When we found out we couldn’t believe it. We are absolutely ecstatic because we know how much this is going to help these dogs coming in to us. Especially when they have already been through a traumatic time, the facilities are the first stage in getting them back to where they need to be and they are going to be first class.”
The funds will also go towards ground works across the whole site, which is also home to Pattersons Boarding Kennels, to make the area less boggy and provide better drainage.
And the improvements will mean that dogs coming into the charity are cared for in fantastic facilities as soon as they arrive.
It will also create an isolation room to be used by dogs who may have illnesses and diseases which could be harmful to other animals.
David Francis, chairman of trustees at the charity, said: “It’s just brilliant news.
“We stuck our necks out in our application to Support Adoption for Pets, which is the charity linked to Pets at Home, and asked for the full amount that we needed.
“You never know with funders what they will decide on, but we have done exceptionally well.
“We have a good relationship with the Pets at Home branches in the area as well.
“The funding means that we can be sure that the dogs that we take in for rehoming can live a comfortable life while they are with us, even if it’s just for a few weeks.
“Most of the kennels we have got are not insulated, aren’t heated and don’t have any lights, so they are going to have everything they really need.
“It gives them the best restart they need to go on and live a good life.
“I think it will also improve the working conditions for our volunteers.”
The funding will also be put towards upgrading the electrical supply in the Charlton Mires area.
David added that Alexa’s Animals has only been at its current home since February and no sooner had they moved in than the Beast from the East struck.
It has been running for almost 30 years and was set up by local woman Alexa Nisbet in 1991 to give dogs a second chance and works closely with local vets, the county council dog control team, social services and other organisations.
The organisation was formally registered as a charity in 2016 with a board of trustees, including Alexa, who was honoured with an MBE for services to animal rescue last year, and a team of 25 volunteers.