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Charity 'running out of space' for memorials gets go-ahead for sculpture

PUBLISHED: 11:35 19 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:02 19 November 2019

Kennel mates Allie, right, and Diesel, German Shepherd dogs, and an example of the sculpture. Picture: Archant/Dogs Trust

Kennel mates Allie, right, and Diesel, German Shepherd dogs, and an example of the sculpture. Picture: Archant/Dogs Trust

Archant

A four-legged friend of a different kind will be arriving at a Norfolk charity to stop the centre becoming overwhelmed by memorials.

The Dogs Trust at Snetterton which is celebrating their 21st anniversary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Dogs Trust at Snetterton which is celebrating their 21st anniversary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Dogs Trust rehoming centre, in Snetterton, applied to Breckland Council to install a new memorial where people can remember their pets and where donors who leave amounts in their will to the charity can be honoured.

The 1.8-metre tall dog sculpture, in the shape of the centre's logo, has gaps that can hold "in memory" donation plaques.

Planning documents said: "Each centre receives high volumes of plaque requests to acknowledge these donations in the form of benches, stakes, gravestones, trees and ornaments.

"Soon our centres will reach saturation and any additional plaques and associated furniture will be impossible."

An example of the sculpture. Picture: Dogs TrustAn example of the sculpture. Picture: Dogs Trust

It is estimated that there are almost 900 plaques already in centres across the country.

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Paige Pope, support relations officer at Dogs Trust Snetterton, said: "We are really pleased at the centre to know we will can have this sculpture.

"We receive about 5,000 requests from people who want to leave a memorial to a loved one or their dogs. We receive requests for plaques, benches or to name a kennel and we are just running out of space.

The area the sculpture would be located in at Snetterton Dogs Trust. Picture: Dogs TrustThe area the sculpture would be located in at Snetterton Dogs Trust. Picture: Dogs Trust

"Because of the sensitive nature of these requests it's important to cater for them. With the sculpture, donors will be able to create a personalised message which we can then attach.

"Then they can come to the centre to pay their respects to their loved ones."

The frame of the dog is made out of steel rods in a mesh design standing at 1.8 metres tall and 2.5 metres long, sitting on a concrete base.

It can hold more than 100 personalised memorial tags that are welded to the frame. The sculpture will be put in an area of green space near its car park, which the charity said would give visitors space in which to reflect.

German Shepherd dog Allie in the exercise paddock at the Dogs Trust at Snetterton as they celebrate their 21st anniversary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYGerman Shepherd dog Allie in the exercise paddock at the Dogs Trust at Snetterton as they celebrate their 21st anniversary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The memorial is part of a scheme which will be rolled out across the country to all of the charity's 20 centres.

Dogs Trust, which was founded in 1891, currently has a sculpture at its Basildon rehoming centre in Essex.

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