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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Bethan Shufflebotham

'So many big dogs' are without owners in Manchester that a rescue centre is appealing for help

A Greater Manchester animal charity is appealing to dog lovers to ‘think big’ when it comes to welcoming a four-legged friend into their home. Dogs Trust Manchester, in Denton, are appealing to find homes for some of their larger-than-life residents after finding themselves with the greatest number of big breeds they’ve ever cared for.

More than one-third of the dogs currently ready to find new homes - 15 out of 37 - are large dogs. These bigger breeds include the likes of Rottweilers, bull breeds, mastiffs and Great Danes. They're generally classified as dogs weighing over 22kg.

Staff at the kennels have highlighted some of the gentle giants in need of a new home, and want to encourage potential adopters to keep an open mind when it comes to choosing a pet to take home.

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Lisa Eardley, Manager of Dogs Trust Manchester, said: “We always have dogs of all sizes, but this is the most large dogs that we’ve cared for at any one time for some time.

“Size isn’t necessarily the most important thing when it comes to finding your ideal furry friend, so given we’ve got so many large dogs now, we’d love people to have an open mind and think about what dog suits their lifestyle rather than the size or breed.

“Some time ago a family that were intent on adopting a Rottweiler went home with a Chihuahua as what he needed was exactly what they were able to provide, so you just never know!”

Many of the larger dogs currently at the centre can live with children and one such dog is Bruno, an eight-year-old Presa Canario. Bruno had lived with his owner from being a puppy, but last summer he had to leave behind everything he’d ever known due to a change in his owner’s circumstances.

Big Bruno pictured with canine carer Stephanie Wood (Dogs Trust Manchester)

It took Bruno a little time to adjust, but he is now ready to find a new home and would love to settle in with a quiet family who will take him on gentle walks after which he’d love to chill out on the sofa or in the garden.

In 2022, Dogs Trust reported 'a record number of calls' amid the cost of living crisis. Inquiries to give up a dog have increased to the highest level since its records began, with 4,370 inquiries received in July 2022.

There was a notable increase in the number of people calling in for financial reasons, citing problems such as huge increases in their regular monthly bills, such as energy and mortgage payments, as the reason why they can no longer afford pet basics such as food, which has also itself increased in price.

The charity say that some dogs are more difficult to find forever homes, with un-housetrained dogs, dogs with challenging behaviour, and big dogs - amid concerns about their size and the cost of upkeep - facing challenges.

In Manchester, other larger residents include one-year-old Rottweiler cross, Roger, who was found as a stray earlier this year. He would also be happy to share his home with children aged eleven and over.

Meanwhile, Great Dane Humphrey, likes to think of himself as a lap dog but is the largest Dogs Trust Manchester resident. He would like an adult-only home but would enjoy the company of another dog.

Great Dane Humphrey is the biggest dog at Dogs Trust Manchester currently waiting for his forever home (Dogs Trust)

There's also one-year-old, Zeus, an American Bulldog cross who arrived at the centre last month. He loves to be with people so the team wants to find him a home where he won’t be left home alone and where he can play and relax in a secure garden to burn off some of his youthful energy.

Lisa added: “All of our dogs have very different personalities and want different things out of life. Bruno is definitely ready to take life easier than he might have been in his younger years whilst Roger and Humphrey are larger than life.

“However, Humphrey is a sensitive soul who needs to be given time to get to know people whereas Roger never hesitates to say hello to everyone he meets and Zeus is also really friendly but being so young and big his owners will need to help him learn how to curb his enthusiasm a little!

One-year-old Zeus showing off with DT worker Alana Ord (Dogs Trust Manchester)

“Whatever their differences, all of these dogs have one thing in common - they are all more than ready to find their spot on a large sofa at the heart of their families. We really hope that people considering welcoming a dog into their life have room in their heart and their home for one of our big beauties.”

If you would like to find out about these or any of the dogs waiting at Dogs Trust Manchester to find their forever homes, or how you can volunteer for the charity, please go to


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