Manchester Dogs” Home has reopened, more than a year after it was destroyed in a “sickening” suspected arson attack in which dozens of animals died.
The home has been able to open a temporary adoption facility after a fund set up in the days after the blaze raised more than £2m.
The home”s manager Steve Mapley has said he was overwhelmed by the sum raised.
His first thought was “wow”, he said, adding “it”s because we are a nation of dog lovers”.
“I have said it many, many times but thank you is not enough, we wouldn”t have been able to have this facility without their help, he said.
On the night of 11 September, 2014, residents rushed to save dozens of dogs heard “screaming” in their kennels as the fire raged.
Colin Ballance, the liaison officer for Manchester Dogs” Home, in the Harpurhey area of Manchester – one of the country”s largest kennels – said the scene was “horrendous” with flames up to 20 feet in the air when he arrived.
“You could hear them screaming but the thing was, you couldn”t do anything,” he said.
“It was unbearable, it was like something out of a horror film.
“Something I don”t want to remember if you know what I mean, but I will never forget it.”
A total of 150 dogs were saved during the rescue.
Sixty were found dead in their kennels.
Two boys were arrested over attack, but were later released without charge.
The newly opened temporary facility can house around 100 dogs and has been built in a renovated block with new glass doors and under floor heating.
Mr Mapley said the opening had been “bittersweet”, but staff now wanted to get back to the business of finding permanent homes for their dogs.
“Come see us and come find yourself a new best friend,” he said.
Plans for a permanent block have been submitted to the planners.