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Could you give Ziggy and friends a new lease of life?; LOVELY: Isobel; PET S.O.S.

THERE are 230 dogs at Honiley's Canine Defence Centre - from puppies and pedigrees to sad and bewildered strays who watch expectantly for a family face to come around the corner.

Row upon row of lost and unwanted dogs, who although are being well cared for, fed and exercised, still crave to belong once more in a home of their own.

The NCDL is the UK's largest dog welfare charity with 15 rescue centres around the country.

They receive no state funding and are financed solely through the generous support of animal lovers.

Since its beginnings in 1891, it has saved the lives of many thousands of dogs through its firm belief that no healthy dog will ever be destroyed.

At any one time the NCDL has about 2,000 dogs awaiting new homes nationwide - About a third of them are greyhounds or lurchers. Once known as the king of breeds, the greyhound is the 18th fastest land mammal. As such they have created a lucrative industry of greyhound racing.

But sadly every year around 10,000 racing greyhounds are "retired" before the age of four. Tragically retirement can range from shooting to drowning, but fortunately many are given over to animal welfare centres to be rehomed.

At Honiley there is an area specially designated for unwanted greyhounds and lurchers. Contrary to common belief, these dogs do not require great amounts of exercise and make excellent pets.

Understandably, it's the young, cute, tail-wagging dogs which are easily rehomed. The older, less-attractive dogs, are often passed by time after time.

For those dogs who will require treatment for ailments, which although not life-threatening, are costly and possibly for life, the NCDL will pay for their care to ease the burden on prospective owners. Talk to staff about this fostering scheme.

Additionally, the Honiley centre has seven young German shepherd dogs rescued from unsuitable conditions.

If you have the experience, time and dedication needed for such a dog, talk to a member of staff.

KING A four-year-old bull terrier cross, King came to the centre two years ago. He has been re-homed twice but unfortunately returned both times as he does not get on with other dogs. In the home he is very quiet and is happy to sleep curled up on the sofa. King is housetrained, does not chew and is happy to be left alone for a couple of hours.

His new home would need a secure garden and preferably owners with experience of owning a similar breed.

Although too boisterous to live with young children, King has lived happily with those aged 11 and above. He is a clever dog and learns quickly. He loves training sessions and with a little patience and the help of the NCDL animal welfare advisor, he should become a dog to be proud of.

GRACE A Jack russell terrier, which has been at the NCDL for seven months. Like many terriers Grace has an insatiable appetite for exercise and play and just wants to run around all day. She would need a very active owner who will be happy to give her strenuous exercise every day whatever the weather. Grace's favourite game is tug-of-war and many of her walks around the centre involve her suspended in mid air - teeth firmly clamped onto a toy!

Unfortunately Grace does not like other dogs and would need to be kept on a lead when out in public. She also needs a secure garden. Grace is house trained and can happily be left on her own for several hours without chewing. She would need a home without children as she needs a lot of attention and can be very excitable.

ISOBEL This is a really lovely dog which came into the centre three weeks ago as a stray. She is a 12-year-old lurcher who loves cuddles. She is an excellent dog, very loving and affectionate, is very good with other dogs, is house trained and does not chew.

She would suit a quiet home where she could curl up on a nice comfy armchair. Because of her age and the fact that she has a heart murmur, she is a foster dog.

STAR A 10-11-year-old cross breed who has been at the centre since the beginning of August when his owner went into hospital. Star's leg has had to be re-set and he has been swimming to encourage the use of it - something he enjoys! Star gets on well with other dogs and cats and would suit a quiet life with lots of play and cuddles.

HONILEY NCDL at Kenilworth can be contacted on 01926 484398. Opening times are Saturday to Thursday noon to 4pm.

ZIGGY A two-year-old staffie-cross, Ziggy has been at the centre for six months. He is deaf and a new owner would need to train him in hand signals. An animal welfare advisor at the NCDL will be able to offer help and advice on this. Ziggy needs an active home with a secure garden, no young children and someone at home most of the day as he gets bored easily.

NCDL FACTFILE

THE NCDL was founded in 1891 to protect dogs from "torture and ill usage of every kind". It began with a "small party of gentlemen" brought together by Lady Gertrude Stock in a room off the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington during the first ever Crufts Dog Show.

UNTIL dog licenses were abolished in 1987 the NCDL paid for over 20,000 licenses, many paid for during World War I and the depression years. They firmly believed that no one who clearly cared for and looked after their dog should be deprived of keeping it just because they were poor.

THE first NCDL clinic offering free treatment opened in Bethnal Green in 1926. By 1939 there were nine across London dealing with over 80,000 animal patients a year (the service was not confined to dogs). The last clinic closed in 1980.

IN 1998 the NCDL cared for a total of 10,428 dogs during the whole year. Of these 6,358 were rehomed, 1,798 were returned to their owners and 542 were found foster homes.

PATRON of the NCDL is Her Majesty the Queen.

IT costs the NCDL pounds 14 million per year to run their network of rescue centres throughout the UK.

A NON-DESTRUCTION policy was adopted by the NCDL in 1963 and today dogs that cannot for some reason be rehomed, can be sponsored and become permanent residents.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Coventry Newpapers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Evans, Ann
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 28, 1999
Words:1081
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