Birmingham Dogs Home Birmingham, UK
Corstorphine & Wright was appointed by Birmingham Dogs Home to develop a masterplan to provide additional facilities to the site to support and improve the existing building and work of the charity.
The aim of the charity is to care for and support the welfare of dogs in the area. The charity takes in, rehabilitates and rehomes animals as its main purpose.
Birmingham Dogs Home relocated from their home in central Birmingham to the larger site in Catherine-de-Barnes in 2015 to aid in achieving their strategic objectives and help with the greater demand for kennel facilities.
The various elements of the proposed masterplan will allow the charity to offer additional services and improve the care they are able to provide, as well as increase efficiency of processes and donations.
The masterplan included an enhanced Veterinary Services offering, developed by reconfiguring the layout within the existing building and providing a new access point. This service would enable the charity to undertake services on site and reduce the outgoings on external providers.
The various elements of the proposed masterplan will contribute to the viability and longevity of the charity, enhancing the visitor experience and improving the quality of care and welfare of the dogs, to ultimately ensure as many dogs are given the opportunity to be rehomed as possible.
Other elements of the masterplan included a separate Behaviour Unit and training paddock, new entrance atrium, dedicated training barn, remembrance gardens and improved landscaping plus additional parking, storage and upgraded office and staff facilities. Planning permission was granted by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in November 2019 / February 2021.
The veterinary works formed the first phase of works and were completed in November 2021.
The current facility had a vet consult room, service area and isolation ward with service point. However for those dogs requiring additional care, many cases need to be taken off site to use external services. The desire was to be able to accommodate these cases within the on-site facility, to provide more immediate care and consolidated services on site, thus making a more efficient process and reducing charity outgoings.
The additional facilities were provided by reconfiguring the internal spaces within the existing footprint. This development provides three vet consultation rooms, separate wards, prep area, isolation units, a theatre with separate dental and x-ray rooms, and a vet team office. A new entrance point provides a dedicated waiting area and keeps the unwell dogs separate from the main entrance.
The site is located within a greenbelt, so any proposed development or amendments were subject to planning permission and needed to be sensitive to the area. As such, a consistent material palette is utilised throughout, replicating that of the existing scheme with a brickwork plinth below cedar board clad or brickwork walls, sinusoidal profile metal roofs, and close boarded fencing.
These facilities underpin the viability of the dog’s home to support the dogs in care, aftercare, and in providing support for the adopter.
The next phase is currently underway on site to develop a separate Behavioural Unit providing 8 kennels with associated outdoor runs and an external training paddock. Having a separate positive holding space to work with the dogs, and more individual outdoor space for each of the kennels, has been shown to improve the welfare of the dogs and allows increased outdoor time without the need for one on one supervision.
Completion is due end of July 2023 and will further aid the charity in improving the quality of care they can provide, to ultimately ensure as many dogs are given the opportunity to be rehomed as possible.