Manchester

Manchester Dogs' Home fire: Helpers 'gridlock M6' in Cheshire

People at Cheshire Dogs' Home
Image caption Hundreds of people turned up at Cheshire Dogs' Home to offer places for the animals

Cheshire Dogs' Home has been forced to tell people to stay away after hundreds of people travelled to the site to foster dogs and donate animal supplies.

It follows a fire at sister site Manchester Dogs' Home, which killed about 60 animals according to police.

The charity said 51 dogs rescued from the fire had been fostered, with more than 400 visitors to the Cheshire site.

It added the number of people coming to the site, near Warrington, caused tailbacks on the M6 motorway.

The charity tweeted: "We've gridlocked the M6 & Warrington can donations now be done next w/end police concerned with H&S [health and safety] wow, we've stopped the M6."

The outpouring of support from the public has already seen more than £1.2m donated in less than 48 hours.

A 15-year-old boy has been bailed after the blaze in Moss Brook Road, Harpurhey on Thursday night.

The fire was tackled by more than 30 firefighters and more than 150 dogs were rescued. Many of the dogs were brought to the Cheshire site.

'Significant traffic congestion'

Volunteers have been collecting dog food, bedding and other items donated by the public.

Image caption Public donations to Cheshire Dogs' Home have included dog food, bedding and bowls

The centre earlier requested people to provide temporary foster care for dogs owing to the number of animals on site.

Insp Sarah Heath, from Cheshire Police, said: "The offers of help and support to the Cheshire Dogs' Home has literally been overwhelming.

"However, the sheer volume of people coming to the home has caused significant traffic congestion tailing back to the motorway.

"Officers are working hard to get traffic flowing, but the clear advice is - if you want to help, please check online to find a drop off point near to you."

Police used nearby fields as overspill parking and a makeshift drop-off point for supplies was created at Sandbach services on the M6.

Sue Jones, a helper at Cheshire Dogs' Home, said the phones had "not stopped ringing" at the centre.

She said: "I'm astounded by the reaction of the public and the support provided by community volunteers today."

Following the fire, a special service is due to be held at Christchurch, Harpurhey, at 18:00 BST on Sunday.

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