The public have rallied around after yesterday evening’s tragic fire at Manchester Dogs Home in Harpurhey.

We take a look at the history of the institution in Manchester born out of the miseries of Cottonopolis.

It was the unhappy fate of so many dogs in Manchester that led two councillors back in 1893 to start a home for lost dogs in Stretford.

A.H Megson and Herbert Philips had been appalled at the needless suffering of dogs in the increasingly overcrowded environment of the city at the height if its industrial renaissance.

The evils, it was said of the city are not confined to the human being but also our friend the dog, with said the Manchester Guardian ‘ with an unemployed and residuum problem amongst its dogs as well as its workers’.

It moved to its current home in Harpurhey four years later when its lease in Stretford ran out. Its premises, its premises and grounds formerly known as the Crofter’s House, owned by the Taylor’s of Moston, then still surrounded by countryside and by the Outbreak of the First World War could be considered by the Manchester Guardian as being the best dogs home in the country.

In 1906, the stray Dogs Act came into force, the regulations of the Watch Committee of the Manchester Corporation required that every dog on the public highway or in a public place be required to wear a collar with its owners name and address. Those not would be destined for the dogs home

Injured dogs and strays were often collected at night from police stations and people wanting to acquire dogs were made to state their purpose and that hey would not be used for experimentation or performance.

There was accommodation for over one hundred and fifty dogs and at peak times more than one hundred could be brought in on a weekly basis.

Stray animals were kept for a week and if no one claimed them, they would be painlessly destroyed after a week.Though those of better breed would be cared for longer in the hope of re homing.

Today under the banner of the Manchester and Cheshire dog Home with an additional eleven and half acres out in the Cheshire countryside, it cares for over seven thousand dogs per year and is entirely reliant on donations from the general public.


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