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updated 8/10/01
Help needed to keep Scottish rescue centre open

VOLUNTEERS ARE needed to keep a canine rescue centre's shop open, following the decision by a national charity to close the centre later this year. The Dumfries & Galloway Canine Rescue charity has been set up by local dog lovers in order to keep the centre open and help stray and abandoned dogs to find new homes.

The rescue centre was opened by the National Canine Defence League in 1978, but the charity has taken the decision to close the centre in February 2003, in favour of moving operations to a larger rescue centre in Scotland. The Dumfries rescue centre's charity shop is due to close on November 10th this year, but the newly formed Dumfries & Galloway Canine Rescue charity aim to re-open it on November 11th.

Local dog lover David Marshall, who owns a rescued Jack Russell, which he obtained from the NCDL, is calling for volunteers to help run the charity shop and, in due course, the rescue centre itself.

"The local Council have to keep stray dogs for seven days by law, but with no NCDL rescue centre operating in the area, it is likely that these dogs would be put to sleep," says Mr Marshall, "So it is up to local rescue to save the dogs, which is where our charity comes in. To help fund that charity, we need to keep the rescue centre's shop open."

Mr Marshall is quick to point out that the NCDL have been extremely helpful during the past few months since their plans to close the centre were announced. "They've been very supportive and have offered lots of help and advice. They are leaving all existing stock and fittings in the shop for us and have given us their blessing to keep up their excellent work," he adds.

The charity was made public last month and is now an official Registered Scottish Charity, (Under Scottish law, charities are authorised by the Inland Revenue, rather than a charities commission, as in England and Wales) and already has 100 members including MPs, MSPs and a number of celebrities, all of whom are keen to support the venture.

Local businesses have become involved as sponsors, supplying stationary and equipment free of charge, whilst another local company has provided signs. Microsoft donated 200 worth of equipment and provided free software. Businesses and members have also donated raffle prizes and stock for sale.

Prominent

A number of prominent people have formed a committee. Officers so far include: -David Marshall (Secretary). Mr Marshall used to be Sales & Quality Control Manager, and owns a rescued dog & a rescued cat. -Ron Macgregor (Chairperson) is involved with a local agility club and is the area representative for the Wheaten Terrier Club. -Honorine Murray, (President) runs local dog training classes, free of charge. She was instrumental in bringing the NCDL to the area originally. She has 10 dogs, some of which are rescues. -Brian Williams, (Property Manager) is an ex-police officer and also owns 10 dogs, 7 of which are rescues. Mr Williams is currently the volunteer manager of the NCDL shop. Mr Williams and all the existing volunteer staff will remain when the shop changes hands. - Mr Sam McVie, also a former police officer, works as divisional manager for Ladbrokes group stadia. Mr Mc Vie is an experienced charity worker and helped the new charity to access funds. He drew up a five-year year business plan and is currently negotiating to take over the whole site from private landlords. - Margaret Jones runs a rescue dogs charity in Greece and is involved with the NCDL & Cats Protection -Mrs Isobelle McManaman worked in a local nursing home and has always been a volunteer. Her daughter worked for NCDL centre until last year. -Retired Lieutenant Colonel Dyett, whose wife is a member of the Royal College of veterinary surgeons. Lt.Col Dyett and his wife are honorary members of the new charity. "We still have positions vacant for out of 11 committee members," says David Marshall. "We'd be happy to hear from anybody who feels they can make a contribution by becoming a committee member, we need as many talents as we can get to make the shop and, ultimately the rescue centre function smoothly. We'd also be pleased to hear from companies and individuals who can make donations, or anybody who would like to help fund us by joining the Dumfries & Galloway Canine Rescue charity. We want to continue the NCDL's work with rescue dogs which need to be cared for and to find new homes, so please, do get in touch if you feel you can help in any way." * Membership fees for the charity are as follows: Life: 50 Family: 10 Individual: 5 OAPs & Children under 16: 2.50 To make a donation or volunteer, please contact David Marshall on: phone/fax 01848-330825, email dgcrc@ic24.net.