Huge response to Manchester dog blaze deaths

Dog rescued from fire
Image caption 150 dogs were rescued, with many rehomed at kennels in Warrington, Cheshire

Volunteers and well-wishers have pulled together in a huge effort to raise more than £500,000 in the wake of a fire that killed 60 animals at a dogs' home.

Hundreds of animal lovers arrived at the scene of the blaze, which broke out at Manchester Dogs' Home in Moss Brook Road in Harpurhey on Thursday evening.

They brought blankets, dog food and other supplies to help some 150 dogs that were pulled from the fire alive.

Others visited a JustGiving page, which raised £500,000 in under 17 hours.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Michael Parker, who in the past has homed dogs from the centre, holds Misty the Jack Russell outside Manchester Dogs' Home

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of arson and an investigation into the cause of the fire continues.

'Really overwhelming'

Among those helping with the rescue effort is the Rev Mike McGurk, of nearby Christ Church in Harpurhey, who said: "When any disaster or anything happens in this community, you actually see the true character of the people.

Image caption A church hall was opened as people came from around the region to help and bring supplies
Image copyright john heslop
Image caption A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the blaze

"Hundreds of people have turned out bringing everything from dog leads to food, to water, to finances and it's been really overwhelming.

"We're opening up the church - that's become the centre where people can drop off donations. There'll be staff there throughout the day and night."

Robert Smith travelled from Oldham to help.

He said: "I've got dogs myself and I just want to do what I can. It's tragic. It's seemed like thousands of people have come along - you couldn't move around here."

Tracy Cassidy, from Bury, said: "A friend of mine sent me a message telling me about it and I just instantly burst out crying. I had my daughter on my knee and I just couldn't control it.

Image copyright PA
Image caption A woman is reunited with her cat from a house next to Manchester Dogs' Home

"I've got a big fold-up cage and I thought that could be good if they have bigger dogs. I just said to my boyfriend I'm just going to go and see what I can do."

Meanwhile, a call went out on Facebook for people to post "dog selfies" to help raise funds.

People also left messages of sympathy on the JustGiving website.

Jay McMullen said: "It's heart-warming to know there are so many nice people coming together to help."

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