Dog sculpture allows bereaved pet owners to leave tributes

By Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter

PEOPLE grieving for their pet dogs could soon be able to leave a permanent tribute message to them on a special canine memorial sculpture.Plans have been lodged with Tameside Council by the Dogs Trust charity to erect a wire frame steel sculpture of a dog at its Greater Manchester base in Denton.

The statue, which is designed to resemble its iconic logo, would stand two metres high, and 2.8 metres long on the grass outside the building on Parkway.

The charity says the mesh framework will allow ‘hundreds of personalised memorial tags’ to be attached so that supporters can remember ‘a loved one or much-loved dog for many years to come’.

The Denton site is a dog rehoming centre, which takes in stray and abandoned dogs and finding them new homes within the community.

In her submission, Samantha Davis from the Dogs Trust London office, explained that a significant proportion of funding to the charity is through ‘in memory’ donations and legacies bequeathed in wills.

And each centre receives a large number of plaque requests to acknowledge these donations in the form of benches, stakes, gravestones, trees and ornaments.

But recognition has been carried out in an ‘ad hoc manner’ and there are now around 900 items across their centres.

Some places are close to ‘saturation’ where they have no more space, she added.

The Dogs Trust has now developed a national strategy to provide a single location at each rehoming centre to recognise the supporters who have donated to the charity in memory of a loved one.

The dog sculptures will be ‘something positive and fresh that is in keeping with the charity’s outlook’, while using space ‘more efficiently’.

“Much like the towns of the UK with a designated, central location for a war memorial, our in-tention is to utilise a specific location at our rehoming centres, to erect a wire frame sculpture of the charity’s iconic dog motif, to which ‘in memoriam’ plaques are attached,” Ms Davis added.

“The sculpture will be displayed within the public area of the rehoming centre where support-ers and visitors can engage with the sculpture which is designed to acknowledge and thank ‘in memory’ donations.

“The sculpture once in situ, will house many tags with personalised messages for loved ones or much-loved dogs who have passed away.”

Dogs Trust is the largest dog welfare charity in the UK and has 20 rehoming centres nationwide.
It is intended that the dog memorial will be installed at each of the charity’s centres.

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