The new centre has a different feel from the charity’s 20 other rehoming centres around the country, primarily as there is more indoor than outdoor space, and it’s located next to a gym and a supermarket in a large urban area, making it more accessible.
Fitch says it has worked with the Dogs Trust to develop ideas around making the centre “more impactful, engaging and efficient” while showing what the charity does in the wider community and throughout the rehoming network.
The space has been designed so that it can foster a “warm atmosphere” with a “village feel” which “brings the outside in” according to Fitch.
There is space for training sessions and demonstrations of how to improve your pet’s behaviour.
Visitors will also be able to learn more about different breeds and their responsibilities as dog owners.
A staffed visitor’s centre is situated at the front of the centre so visitors can be greeted and provided with information and advice. This gives way to a yellow path, heading first to the “village green” where visitors can have consultations with Dogs Trust team members.
The “village hall” and “park” are designated for training and interaction, divisible by an adjustable fence used for training demonstrations. A “village shop” sells merchandise, food and “doggy presents”.
“The language of a village” imbues the space, which Fitch says will entertain, inform and educate and provide visitors with a joyful experience.
Fitch design director Gemma McDonnell says: “With the animals’ welfare front of mind, we have helped create something truly different that not only challenges the negative perceptions associated with the dog rehoming process, but also helps create happy and memorable experiences for both visitors and resident dogs.”