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Bulldog Spirit Lifts Manchester Dogs Home

Watching vets treat injured pooches on reality TV shows is tough, but news of the huge fire at Manchester Dogs' Home upset us all here at Town and Country Petfoods.

Any loss of life, especially on such a large scale is tragic (more than 60 animals perished in the blaze) but there is a positive side to what started out as the darkest of tales. Within 24 hours more than £1m was raised to help the 150 survivors and that gift has since risen to £1.45m.

So why have the masses rallied to the aid of a little-known pet rescue centre in Northern England? Why would thousands of people want to pledge so much money to a place they’d no previous knowledge of?

Some people might be shocked at the huge amount of public support for an event that hasn’t encompassed the loss of human life, but many of us will be pleasantly reassured and comforted by the scale of the giving.

We read something recently by Cary Cooper CBE, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University, and he attempted to explain the bond between people and pets that has lead to so much heartfelt support.

“I think it’s a part and parcel of the British culture (keeping pets), it’s in the British DNA, having something to love and having something that will love you unconditionally,” said Prof. Cooper.

“It’s unbelievable. If you look at British families, dogs and cats are part of the extended family. They always have been. Where I come from in California they don’t have the same affiliation with animals. They have dogs and they have pets but it’s not like Britain. In Britain it’s really, very powerful (the emotional bond between a dog and it’s owner).

“These animals (at Manchester Dogs Home) have been rejected, treated badly, so there’s that emotional element as well, which might explain why so much money has been donated to them. The speed (with which donations came in) even surprised me. It shows something about the good parts in our society. If that happened in California, I’d be surprised if 10 people turned up and more than several hundred dollars were given.”

As word of the fire spread quickly via social media, police had to turn hundreds of volunteer helpers away from the Manchester Dogs Home, but they are now being invited back to a special open-house cleaning party. No doubt more of the Bulldog spirit will be present.

We would also like to take this opportunity to extend a big THANK YOU to Boughey Distribution who arranged the delivery of our donation, free of charge.  Bless you!

1 October 2014

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