New ‘meet and greet’ facility for Ard Jerkyll

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The Manx SPCA plans to be using its new multi-purpose building at Ard Jerkyll in a month’s time.

It is hoped the indoor training and play barn will lead to more dogs being rehomed, as well as enabling training and fundraisers to take place whatever the weather.

Becky Sansom, WIll Hindley and Glock

Becky Sansom, WIll Hindley and Glock

The building work was completed earlier this month and it is now being decorated – and the charity is looking for donations of office and living room furniture to help kit it out.

ManxSPCA chairman Bill Cubbon said the building would enable a ‘fundamental change’ in how the charity rehomes its dogs. Instead of meeting dogs for the first time in the kennels, which can be noisy and stressful for the animals, people interested in adopting a dog will do so in a quiet meet and greet room, with a homely feel.

He said: ‘The dogs aren’t being seen in the best light if they are barking at strangers walking past the place. People can’t get a proper judgement of the dog’s temperament.’

A large area, with a viewing gallery above, will be used by staff to train and play with the dogs in a quiet, controlled environment. It will also accommodate fundraising events and trips from schools and organisations interested in finding out more about the charity’s work.

There is also a multi-purpose room which Mr Cubbon said would be perfect for staff to be able to assess dogs when they arrive at Ard Jerkyll, to see what sort of training programme they would need.

Mr Cubbon said: ‘In a month or so we should be at the stage to start using the building while the opening will be a month later.’

He added: ‘We’re very grateful to the Manx public for their support with this project and others. If anyone has any office or living room furniture they don’t need we would be interested in hearing from them.’

The project has been funded by an anonymous £150,000 donation, a £22,000 grant from the Scholl Foundation and money raised by the Friends of the ManxSPCA and staff.

There are currently 18 dogs waiting to be rehomed.

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