More than 40 dogs rescued after kennel roof torn clean off in Storm Arwen chaos


Greyhound trainer Tom Heilbron, 30, discovered the shocking scene at 6.30am on Saturday at Link Kennels in Trimdon, Co. Durham. The roof landed in a nearby farmer’s field

Link Kennels in Trimdon, County Durham
The roof of the kennel was ripped off

More than 40 dogs were rescued after the roof of their kennels was torn off during Storm Arwen – with just one suffering a cut nail in the chaos.

Greyhound trainer Tom Heilbron, 30, discovered the shocking scene at 6.30am on Saturday at Link Kennels in Trimdon, Co. Durham after gusts of nearly 100mph.

The dogs largely managed to escape injury and were quickly taken into other nearby kennels to keep them safe until repairs are made.

The roof, which is about 35m by 7m in size, landed in a nearby farmer’s field – but Tom admits it’s beyond the state of repair.

He said: “The storm has actually ripped the entire ceiling off and moved it into a farmer’s field 30 metres away.

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Just one dog out of 40 suffered a very minor injury
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FACEBOOK/LINK KENNELS)

“It took with it all of the electrics, all of the water mains and the majority of my equipment, it’s basically tore the place to bits.

“At first we assumed someone had broken into the kennel but as I opened the door water sprayed everywhere.

“We looked down first to grab the dogs but as we looked up we realised the roof had gone.

“The roof is not fixable, the storm has ripped everything off.”

Tom and his kennel hands’s first priority was to ensure the dogs were safe and well.

He added: “I think it blew off just before we came down because there was no noise overnight and they weren’t in a state of distress.

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“Out of all the 37 dogs there was one with a tiny cut nail.

“The kennel was a foot-and-a-half under water because of the burst water main but we have raised metal beds so the dogs were alright.

“We put them in vans and we got them to alternative locations within about an hour of finding out what had happened.

“They’ve all gone to different dog trainers who have taken them in for me and we’ll visit them every day and work from there.

“We’re supposed to be at a major race on Tuesday night at Towcester which might be a disaster but the main thing is that they’re safe.”

No timescale has been set for securing a new roof
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North News & Pictures Ltd northnews.co.uk)

The owner has been quoted £20,000 for a new roof
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Image:

North News & Pictures Ltd northnews.co.uk)

No timescale has been set for securing a new roof for the kennels which are a short walk away from Tom’s home, but he doesn’t think it will be cheap.

He added: “I’ve had quotes of £20,000 plus to put a roof back on and that’s before taking into account the equipment which has been lost.

“We’ve put brand new stuff in the last couple of weeks and they’re all smashed to bits, the damage is unbelievable.

“Without any shadow of a doubt this is the worst damage I’ve seen. You expect a fence to blow down or bits and pieces of damage but not this.

“I’m trying to repair bits and pieces but until I get a roofer in it’s hard, I just want to get my dogs back.

“Unfortunately for the farmer it’s landed in his field but I will be rectifying that. The god send is no one was walking by.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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