A TWO-YEAR rebuild of a popular rehoming centre for dogs is set to get under way, with animal lovers in the region being asked to play a vital part in the process.

The Dogs Trust Darlington site is being expanded to create more facilities and kennels for its canine residents, including a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool.

The expansion at the Sadberge-based centre is due to be completed in 2020, however kennel space is likely to become limited during the building works.

Staff at the charity are currently recruiting more foster carers able to take in dogs on a temporary basis.

Sue Embleton, rehoming centre manager, said: “Dogs Trust Darlington will remain open during the rebuild process, however we ask that anyone visiting the rehoming centre be patient with us as there will be limited parking facilities.

“We will continue to do the best we can to help everyone in their search for a new companion.

“This is an exciting time for staff and dogs here at the rehoming centre because the new facilities will ensure the lives of our dogs are enriched further and new kennels will provide an even more homely environment.”

Ten new kennels will be built, increasing capacity to 75 dogs, with a pool for pups who have undergone surgery or have long-term mobility problems.

There will also be a new training and play area where dogs can spend time with their canine carers.

Natalie Waller, foster coordinator, said: “Our ideal foster carers are required to be adult-only families, who have a bit more time on their hands to spend with a canine companion.

“They don’t have to have a lot of experience of caring for dogs, however we would like them to be open minded to all different shapes, sizes and breeds.

“We currently have lots of greyhounds staying at the rehoming centre which would benefit from foster care.

“We are not sure why there has been an influx in the number of greyhounds, however this may be in part due to a preconception that greyhounds require a lot of exercise, yet despite this common belief, they are often real couch potatoes who love nothing more than cuddling up in their bed for a nap.”

For more information, call 01325-333114 or visit dogstrust.org.uk