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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Renovation works continue at Dogs Trust Ballymena with revised planning approval

Dogs trust facilities ballymena

A renovation plan at the Dogs Trust charity in Ballymena has been approved by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

The charity based at Teeshan Road is planning to extend its puppy facilities.

An original proposal for a separate puppy block has had to be revised “to bring project on budget” as a result of the rising cost of materials and labour, an application to council planners says.

The application also notes that changes have been made in line with a review by Dogs Trust behavioural specialists.

A spokesperson for the Dogs Trust says:

“The centre rebuild is taking place in two phases.  Phase one is now complete. Phase two started in May and is expected to take 12 months.”

The Ballymena centre is one of 22 operated by the charity in the UK and Ireland. Currently, there are 37 dogs available for re-homing. Some are in kennels in the centre. Others are in foster homes.

The charity has reported it is receiving a record number of calls from dog owners asking for help  as a result of the cost of living crisis and has issued an appeal for more foster carers to help care for more dogs.

There are currently 18 such foster carers in Northern Ireland that receive support from the charity’s ‘Home from Home’ team at Dogs Trust Ballymena.

“The team at Dogs Trust Ballymena is appealing to dog lovers in Northern Ireland to help care for more dogs in need by becoming a volunteer foster carer,” the spokesperson continued.

“Volunteer foster carers are needed to provide a temporary home for dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes. Foster carers open their homes to dogs on a temporary basis until matched with their forever families. All costs are covered by Dogs Trust, including food, bedding and vet treatment.”

Meanwhile Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is tendering for dog kennelling services.

The council says it requires the provision of suitable kennelling for stray/impounded and unwanted dogs in Mid Antrim and East Antrim due to the size of the borough.

In March, the council agreed the sale of a former disused council-owned dog pound at Sullatober, Marshallstown Road, in Carrickfergus. The site had been on the market for £100k.

In addition, the local authority is seeking a provider of veterinary services to provide and manage the veterinary care of animals identified in the course of investigations and related activities under the Welfare of Animals (NI) Act 2011.

Recently, 10 puppies were seized at the Port of Larne during a multi-agency operation involving the council’s animal welfare officers, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) portal staff and PSNI to target illegal movements of dogs.


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