The owner of Greater Manchester‘s leading dog rescue centre has called it the “most depressing place on earth” at the moment after being overwhelmed with abandoned pets due to the rising cost of living crisis.
Dogs 4 Rescue – a semi-rural independent dog sanctuary based on Barton Moss Road – is known for its unique “cage free” approach to animal welfare, and carries out vital work across Greater Manchester to ensure all rescued dogs are socialised in a healthy, relaxed and happy foster home environment, while waiting for their forever families.
But recently, the shelter says its phone line has been ringing all day every day with people trying to leave their dogs due to worries about the cost of living.
Owner Emma Sheraton has called the current situation in the rescue world “unprecedented”.
Because of the rescue centre’s current capacity, Emma admits she ends most of her days in tears because she is having to turn so away dogs knowing their fate when she puts down the phone.
“In the last month, we have seen six dogs returned after we have homed them as people are worrying more about the cost following the puppy boom during COVID, but previously, this level of return would only have happened across two or three years,” Emma explained.
“It has never been like this.”
She continued: “I love my job but this is the most depressing place on earth at the moment.
“It is utterly soul-destroying because we know that we are having to turn away dogs that are going to be killed because there is nowhere for them to go, and I have to be honest, I broke the other day as we had to turn away a four-month-old puppy who I know would ordinarily be picked up soon.
“The reality is, I know that little boys’ fate – and I feel like I am failing them.”
Dogs 4 Rescue currently has 50 places at its original state-of-the-art centre, but sadly, all of these are full, and despite the charity soon to open a new site – which followed a successful public fundraiser back in mid-2021 – with an additional 80 places for pups, staff are struggling to find time to set this up due to the main centre over-capacity.
This is why they are now pleading with local Greater Manchester residents to lend a hand and foster their dogs – with all costs and vet bills covered.
Emma continued: “Because nobody is taking any of our current dogs, we haven’t got the capacity to get in and make [the new site] ready, so we are pleading with everyone in the area to consider fostering our dogs.”
Emma says that dogs are social creatures which are better fostered in twos or threes to help keep each other busy, and she explained that all dogs come with leads saying “adopt me”, as well as information packs to help them “find their forever homes in communities more easily”.
The charity hopes the foster scheme will prove successful enough to allow the staff to get into the new site and open up more spaces for more dogs.
Find more information about fostering on the Dogs 4 Rescue website here.
Asda praised for launching £1 cafe meal deal for over 60s to help with cost of living
People have been heaping praise on Asda for launching a £1 meal deal for over 60s at all in-store cafes to help with the cost of living.
With the cost of living crisis continuing to make its impact felt nationwide, and inflation now at a 40-year record high of 10.1%, one of the UK’s largest supermarket retailers has announced a range of new ‘winter warmer’ initiatives to support its customers and community groups who are struggling with the rising costs.
The supermarket is offering all over 60s the chance to enjoy soup, a roll, and unlimited tea and coffees for just £1 in any of its 205 cafes.
The offer will be running all day and every day throughout November and December.
Asda says it is “stepping up its support for older customers” as they continue to be “disproportionately affected” by spiralling living costs – with the supermarket’s latest Income Tracker showing those aged 65 to 74 experienced a £163 drop in disposable income in August, compared to last year.
Age UK also estimates that 2.8 million older households will still be living in fuel poverty this winter, despite the Government freezing the energy price cap.
The new £1 meal deal initiative for over 60s will also run alongside the supermarket’s current ‘kids eat for £1’ offer – which the retailer says continues to be hugely popular.
“We know that this winter is set to be incredibly hard for thousands of pensioners as they worry about how to keep themselves warm in the face of rising living costs and a fixed income,” Asda co-owner Mohsin Issa said on the launch of the meal deal initiative.
“We’ve already been able to serve over half a million meals through our Kids Eat for £1 initiative in our cafes and we’re hoping our new offer of soup and hot drinks for over 60s will prove just as impactful for those who need it most.”
Other initiatives announced by Asda during economic uncertainty include the supermarket’s charity, the Asda Foundation, providing funding worth £500,000 in the form of grants to support community groups that are struggling with rising operating costs or increased demand for their vital services.
Priority for grants of up to £2,000 will be given to groups and charities that need financial help to cover increased energy costs, or to those who want to use their facilities to create ‘warm banks’ – which are spaces where people can keep warm this winter if they are unable to afford to heat their homes.
The supermarket is also running a ‘Community Cuppa’ campaign in its cafes.
This will be done by creating spaces for community groups who “may otherwise struggle to meet due to rising energy costs”, with spaces available on weekdays in November and December from 2pm – 6pm and all those visiting receiving unlimited free tea or coffee.
Man City star Ilkay Gundogan’s wife blasted after calling Manchester’s restaurants ‘horrible’
The wife of one of Manchester City‘s star players has come under fire after taking a hit at the city’s restaurants and branding them “horrible”.
Sara Arfaoui – who is the wife of Manchester City midfielder and club captain, İlkay Gündoğan – took to social media this week to give her opinion on Manchester‘s thriving, ever-expanding, and much-loved hospitality community in response to a fan who asked her to list some of her favourite places to grab a bite to eat in the city.
The model and TV presenter is known for being a keen foodie herself, so it’s no surprise that fans want to hear what she has to say about the food and drink scene in her new home city.
What does seem to have shocked people, though, is that she’s not really a fan of what’s on offer here.
In response to a question during a Q&A on her Instagram Stories yesterday, Sara explained: “Sorry… I’m sad to be honest but nothing.
“I tried so bad to find a good restaurant but… horrible food everywhere.
“Can’t find a real Italian or good sushi or just fresh food… everything frozen. Restaurants here are just focus on making money with drinks and shot like night clubs not quality food.
“Maybe in London but in Manchester nothing. I’m sorry.”
Given the fact that us Mancs don’t take too kindly to those hitting out our beloved city, Sara’s comments have been met with a wave of backlash from Manchester’s restaurant owners, leading industry figures, and legion of dedicated foodies – who have all hit back online with their own views throughout today, and have urged the public figure to reconsider what she said.
Not only that, but renowned food critic Jay Rayner has even waded into the argument.
“This is a ludicrous point of view,” Rayner said.
“Manchester’s packed full of brilliant, independent restaurants. It’s an absolute gem of a place to eat and comments like this during difficult economic times are not helpful to businesses struggling to make ends meet.”
One local un-named restaurant owner apparently even contacted Sara herself to ask her to clarify some of the comments she made, according to reports in The Sun, saying: “There’s so many great restaurants in Manchester. I suggest you do research before you speak. And only because your husband is a footballer and you have money and you have everything probably paid for and a great life given to you here in Manchester.
“You should be grateful for that, instead of slagging off restaurants.”
At this challenge though, the 27-year-old model – who married the footballer earlier this year in May – likely didn’t give the response the restaurant owner was looking for, and deciding to double down on her comments, explaining: “So because we are successful people we can’t give an honest opinion?
“I tried all the best restaurants here but for me it’s a no. I can’t lie. Unfortunately I’m used to Italy so you can imagine it’s hard to compare.”
She did, however, add that Manchester is “a great city” with “great people” – but “not for restaurants.”