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WATCH: Rescue dogs enjoy new adventure area as appeal is launched for animal friends

PUBLISHED: 15:39 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:15 02 October 2018

A dog tries out some of the play equipment at Faith Animal Rescue in Hickling Picture: Faith

A dog tries out some of the play equipment at Faith Animal Rescue in Hickling Picture: Faith

Faith Animal Rescue

It started with a few tentative sniffs but dogs at a Norfolk rescue centre were soon clambering over their new play area and declaring it a huge success.

Hiding away in tunnels and negotiating ramps is helping to keep canine residents happy at Faith in Hickling where up to 60 dogs at a time enjoy a stay while they wait for their ‘forever’ homes.

Among the animals trying out the adventure area were dogs plucked from puppy farms and animals inexplicably taken from a loving home when an owner died.

For some it was a daunting experience, others took to it with wagging tails and obvious joy.

Centre manager Claire Simmance said the equipment - made out of more than 8,000 milk bottles - was a great success.

Rescue dogs are benefiting from a new adventure play area at Faith in Hickliing Picture: Faith Animal RescueRescue dogs are benefiting from a new adventure play area at Faith in Hickliing Picture: Faith Animal Rescue

First to check out the apparatus were two Portuguese street dogs who were used to exploring although some of the animals were “a bit dubious,” she added.

Mainly funded by donations and loving legacies she said plaques would be put up thanking those who remembered the centre in their wills.

She said: “We had talked about having an adventure area for a while.

“There are a couple of centres similar to us and they have play areas, but made out of wood.

“But we came across a company where they make it all out of recycled bottles and it is a British company which is really nice gone.

“We used to have metal benches in the yard and they lasted 15 years and need to be replaced.

“We came across this and because it is not fixed and you can move it around and create long tunnels we could adapt it to what we wanted.

“It came with only one ramp on one side but we had one put at each end so a dog wouldn’t get stuck at the top.

“It is really for enrichment and enjoyment. They absolutely love it. It was like Christmas.”

“Hopefully this is not going to be their forever home but it is nice for them to have while they are here.”

The equipment, made in Faith’s distinctive red and blue livery, is easily accessed by all the kennels in its yard and open all day long.

The centre has up to 60 dogs at any one time and currently has around 30 kittens and 15 adult cats.

Desperate plea for animal friends

As well as donations the rescue centre is desperate for people who can spend some time with the animals.

Some of the rescued animals have come from puppy farms and will not have known human contact.

Others will have lost a loving home and be missing the comfort of having someone close.

Claire Simmance said they were desperate for people who would be prepared to spend time with one animal rather than flit between lots of different dogs.

She said: “Half of these animals have never known any love or comfort and have lost their home.

“We are desperate for people to just sit with the animals and be present.

“They either miss it or they have never known it.”

To help the centre call 01692 598312

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