A dedicated ambulance service has been launched by Stray Aid Rescue Kennels, a Coxhoe, County Durham, based animal charity. Just two weeks after it first hit the roads, the response unit has already come to the rescue of dozens of stray dogs.

A dedicated ambulance service has been launched by Stray Aid Rescue Kennels, a Coxhoe, County Durham, based animal charity. Just two weeks after it first hit the roads, the response unit has already come to the rescue of dozens of stray dogs.

Animal ambulanceRescue efforts have included transporting a dangerous and out of control dog to a police dog pound, ferrying a pregnant Boxer cross to a Darlington whelping centre, taking four Lurchers from Stray Aid to a Bristol based sanctuary and helping out an RSPCA team and their canine charges after a vehicle break down.

The Mercedes Sprinter van, a converted Durham Constabulary dogs section vehicle, which will be the first of two ambulances for the charity – the second will be used to promote the work of the charity across the region – has been launched with support from the Pet Plan Charitable Trust.

Durham County Council chairman Cllr Bryan Myers also donated £500 on behalf of the authority to fund part of the start up costs for the vehicle. Additional support comes from charitable donations, which the charity is continually seeking for the upkeep of its sanctuary that is temporary home to dozens of abandoned dogs. The centre has a no-destruction policy and photos of the dogs and more details can be found at http://www.strayaid.co.uk.

The charity’s chief executive John Bielby, who is also the main ambulance driver, explained: “We are delighted to have launched this new service which has already been a life-line to dozens of abandoned animals throughout the region. We are using the new vehicle to transfer dogs to other rescue charities, which we regularly network with across the country.

“This is an important step in our expansion plans which will see additional kennel facilities and a specialist ambulance room. This will be an emergency control centre staffed by volunteers and will run alongside our welfare centre and operating theatre staffed by our own vet, Sue Bielby.”

He added: “Aside from now actively recruiting volunteer drivers for the ambulance service, we are constantly seeking funds for the upkeep of the kennels, welfare centre, the ambulance service and other vital costs.

“In the coming weeks and months we will be holding a variety of fundraising events, including an Open Day on Sunday May 23rd, from 11am, at our Coxhoe Welfare Centre. This promises to be a great day out for all the family and their dogs as it will feature a fun dog show, tombola, face painting and falconry display. Please come along and help us with this vital work.”

The ambulance service will also provide a free micro-chipping service for dogs which will be available every Saturday between 10 am and 2pm at venues across County Durham for the next two months. Free micro-chipping is also available (with support from the Dogs Trust and Durham County Council) from Monday to Friday at 2pm at Stray Aid’s animal welfare centre, East Pasture Farm, Cornforth Lane, Coxhoe DH6 4EJ. The scheme is open to residents of County Durham on production of a recent utility bill statement.

Anyone wanting to donate to the charity can do so by sending a cheque marked ‘Stray Aid’ to the above address, call in to the centre, or come to one of the many events – more details at http://www.strayaid.co.uk.

 

Image courtesy Stray Aid Rescue Kennels
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