Expanding Doncaster animal rescue seeks helpers

Shire horses at the Tia centre

Shire horses at the Tia centre

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Animal lovers and fundraisers have the chance to get involved with a greyhound rescue and Shire horse centre situated near Wroot.

The Tia charity moved to Mill Race Farm almost two years ago from Sowerby Bridge.

At any one time the rescue cares for about 100 greyhounds and the approved Shire Horse Visitor Centre is one of only four in the country.

Donkeys, ponies, goats and chickens are additional residents on the 70-acre farm that boasts a dog-friendly five-star cafe with free wi-fi, charity shop and pet shop.

There is also a children’s play area, and a six-acre orchard walk for visitors to explore.

Charity worker Julie Cleary, 40, of Belton said: “We have just undergone some major building and refurbishment work to a new kennel block.

“It will increase our capacity for rehoming greyhounds, and will provide much needed accommodation for our animals.”

She added: “We do urgently need volunteers now to help out with walking the dogs, mucking out horses and helping at fundraising events.

“Any kind of help would be great. We get no financial help from the greyhound industry or other bodies and so are reliant on fundraising to run the rescue.”

Not all greyhounds at the rescue are to be rehomed. Some are sponsor dogs that will stay on the site, but sponsors can pay towards their keep there and visit them.

Social Sunday walks are a new activity for any dogs and owners. And a Spring Fair takes place at the site on April 9 from 11am to 3pm, with a demonstration by Hatfield Flyball Team.

Flyball is a relay race between two teams of four dogs and handlers racing against each other in separate lanes. It tends to involve collies but any dog can technically take part.

There will be many stalls and attractions at the event. Any donations of prizes for the raffle, tombola or bottle stall for the fair would be welcomed. Contact Janice at thesimmonds@yahoo.com site.

General dog walking takes place from 9.30am to 1pm, seven days a week, and the cafe is open from 8.30am to 3pm each day.

Since it first came in to being 20 years ago, Tia has rehomed around 4,000 greyhounds and is the largest greyhound rescue in the north of England.

Its existence is all down to its founder Debra Rothery, who is committed to providing help to animals who need a home due to a whole variety of circumstances.

The charity has shops, mainly in West Yorkshire, but is to open one in Armthorpe in the near future, and another in Ashby.

The site shop stocks a large range of new dog leads, collars and bedding as well as Tia Rescue sweatshirts, bags and T-Shirts, alongside ‘pre-loved’ items.

It wasn’t until 2004 that Tia became a registered charity.

It has grown dramatically and up-sized from a few stables in its field in Sowerby Bridge, to the 70-acre farm in Finningley where it now operates.

Dogs are acquired from all over the region, in all kinds of condition and from many different backgrounds. Many greyhounds that are no longer good for racing are still put to sleep.

Dogs at the Tia Rescue are either looked after until they are re-homed, or are kept by the rescue to spend their retirement there.

Visit www.facebook.com/TiaVisitorCentre