23 October 2018   |  Last Updated 04-01-2015 11:56

      Manchester Dogs' Home appeal for witnesses three months after blaze

      TODAY marks the three-month anniversary since the arson attack which destroyed Manchester Dogs’ Home and staff are still urging witnesses to come forward.

      The two teenagers arrested over the blaze which killed 60 dogs on Thursday, September 11 were released without charge last week.

      Manager of the home, Steve Mapley, says news that the pair, aged 15 and 17 were let free is ‘disappointing to say the least.’

      He said: “ We were really hoping to get a prosecution to start to help everybody not just myself but every team member here to move on and get some closure and the fact that hasn’t been able to happen for whatever reason is disappointing.

      “The only thing we can hope for at this stage is fresh evidence being brought forward. I know a couple of weeks before the decision was made the police put out an appeal for more information so I know they were struggling to get information at one point so I’m going to assume that’s why they made the decision they did.”

      Steve took over from Lisa Graham as manager of the home in November and hopes to open the rebuilt facility on Moss Bank Road, Harpurhey by the first anniversary of the devastating blaze.

      “The intention is that we are going to stay on site. The people of Harpurhey have been absolutely amazing to us since the fire and it was never a consideration that we would move.

      “The demolition of the affected building has taken place now and we are just in the final stages of negotiating with the insurance company. Once all that is completed it will be full steam ahead for getting the architects and builders in to start rebuilding a new adoption centre.”

      Donations from the public reached a staggering £2m in under a month after the fire, helping to cater for the 150 dogs rescued from the blaze.

      Despite the overwhelming worldwide response, Steve says the new adoption centre is ‘a long way off’ the site they want to build.

      He said: “The initial support was amazing. Truly amazing and we are incredibly grateful for everything we have received and thank you really isn’t enough to say to people.

      “It’s slowed down a little bit now but we always get great support from the public over Christmas and we’re expecting that again this year.

      “We still need the help and support, but we are a long way getting the place back up and running. We would ask people to bear with us during this difficult time and any support they can give us will be most gratefully received.”

      You can still donate to Manchester Dogs' Home here.

      By Eleanor Thomason