Dogs Trust, Canterbury

The renovations made to this rehoming centre for The Dogs Trust allowed the facility to increase their care numbers to more than sixty dogs.

The new building combines modernistic runs and sleeps for the dogs in glazed stainless steel with a steel framed and insulated clad construction training barn adjacent to the re-homing block.

A rustic barn effect for external fabric gained its inspiration from the wooded surroundings of the property which is brought into the reception area by including a douglas fir feature frame supporting the roof, handmade bricks, and weatherboarding. The roof continues this theme with handmade clay tiling and standing seam single ply.

In addition to the accommodation and training facilities extensive external works were carried out on the six-acre site. These include new parking at the front of the site and roadways to the re-homing block, entrance landscaping and pathways for visitors, external exercise runs and two new ponds to attract more biodiversity.

At the rear of the site excavated material from the new buildings and roads have been landscaped to form mounded walk areas for the dogs. More than half a mile of new fencing provides new boundary security and encloses the exercise run areas to protect the dogs and public from the busy nearby roads.

After working on the construction of the rehoming centre, we were asked to further develop the Canterbury site in 2018 as part of the modernisation programme for The Dogs Trust.

A number of old buildings had been refurbished and extended multiple times that were no longer working effectively for them. High standard facilities were needed to accommodate the new intake and booked dogs to help increase efficiency within the running of the trust.

Abbott were appointed as the main contractors to build a total of twenty-six new runs and kennels for the dogs. Two kennels were designed to accommodate training behaviour assessments; four kennels for long term training; ten kennels for intake dogs that undergo an induction process; and ten kennels for the booked dogs getting ready to leave for their new homes.

In addition to the kennel facilities, the new building provides a fully fitted out vet suite, including vet preparation, theatre and recovery for the dogs needing treatment. Other ancillary rooms were upgraded such as the laundry, food storage, kitchens, grooming rooms, staff showers, changing and break rooms. Above, the offices and staff accommodation sits, allowing a separation from the hands-on work downstairs.

Finally, external pathways were built to access the Astroturf and woodland exercise areas.

Project Location
Chestfield, Kent
The Dogs Trust
Napier & Co/OSG Architecture
Project Value
Year of completion