We only went and did it! Our OWN kennels!!
Here is what Lisa had to say when we made the big and wonderful announcement in October 2015:
OKAY... brief history. Everyone knows we are paying £7,000 a month in boarding fees currently. That is literally for just the dogs to be housed in kennels and fed and watered. Everything else we still have to travel to do. With the number of dogs we now have and the size we have grown to as a rescue it is sadly no longer financially viable and more importantly it is no longer giving us enough the time we need to meet the ongoing needs of our dogs to the degree we would like to. We need a property of our own end of. It is a no brainer and the only sensible way forward for us as a charity. We also need to remain in Stoke on Trent to service our main pound dogs and because we have a wonderful and solid volunteer data base.
I heard a *rumour* on the grapevine that a Stoke on Trent kennels *may* be coming on the market in the near future, panic set in. We are around £40,000 below the necessary purchase price deposit of around £185,000 in the ringfenced deposit account we have accrued through generous one off donations, legacies and one off fundraisers people specified was to serve only as savings for this long term goal. Still me being me I *had* to chance my arm and ask the question hoping beyond hope the property may remain off the market long enough for us to attain that fundraising goal. The owners answer was simply they did not know. I kind of scuttled off a little crestfallen hoping beyond hope that it would remain off the market long enough for us to raise the money or at least stay on the market long enough for us to say lookkkkkk at this and push and push for us to raise the funds. So imagine my suprise when the owner rung me and asked the daft question............
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE A 10 YEAR LEASE WITH FULL RIGHT TO BUY!
The obvious answer should immediately have been YES! However, with everything with Gap it was'nt.
What it was was the start of hard work investigating everything and again as is the point in question doing everything *properly*. I will not bore you with the full details but everything has been handled as it shoud...... do you know just how boring 50 plus pages of legal speak is? I sure do now and the lease rental has been handled appropriately. Moreso all searches on the propery have been carried out in exactly the same way as we would have were we purchasing and a full RICS survey was instructed. There is no way we would walk the charity into a 10 year lease we were not 100 per cent sure would not cause us problems and did not as always remain with the charities and the most important thing the dogs long term security at heart.
Now for the finer details...... The property is a purpose built, long established and long term respected fully endorsed boarding establishment. In fact it is still a going concern until we take over. IF we were going to do this as said we have always said we would do it properly.
What does the property yield?
6 isolation kennels held within a secure and properly segregated isolation block
14 block purpose built brick structured cattery that can be turned into inside accomodation for dogs
20 wooden cattery pens (not licensed) Do not ask as of yet we have no clue
1/3 acre secure paddock for our dogs to run in
Literally outside of the property which has no near neighbours miles and miles of open walking land and beautiful countryside
It also has a 4 bedroomed house that means one or the other of us can be on hand at all times 24/7 and overnight. Our dogs can benefit from US as a team there with them. The volunteers can access the property at all times day and night! People can come and stay with their own dogs. This property yields a BLOODY GOOD LIFE FOR OUR DOGS. Our rehoming potential increases also as homing can be undertaken any day of the week.
I can all hear the question you are currently asking! WOW! How much? The property rental will be £5,000 per month on a rolling rent. Currently £2000 less than we are paying with little or no prospect. We will of course have sensible running costs on top of that...... However.......
We plan once re licensed into our name to do a small amount of boarding for OUR OWN DOGS ONLY that have been rehomed.
The property already has a client base for food sales
The paddock is already hired out for safe off lead running and training classes
We have a large double garage that will be turned into a shop
We can hold our own smaller intimate open days, curry nights, BBQ afternoons
We aim to turn one of the bedrooms into a self contained area so that for an exceptional good rate people can pay to stay for a week.
We also have the option to consider renting the 20 wooden cattery block to another rescue.
For £5000 a month we get a property that not only works better for the dogs it works better for us as a charity where income is concerned and it works better for itself. This is also why we incorporated the charity and why we VAT registered. Every single move along the way has been done and planned sensibly and thoroughly and trouble shot.
NOW EVEN BETTER NEWS and the news that means we really CAN NOT rest on our laurels...... We have full right to buy on the house for the next 10 years. However for the first 12 months that right to buy price is being offered at a very generous purchase amount. IF we can raise the remaining £40,000 over the next 12 months not only will this fully seal the longevity of Greyhound Gap as a rescue beyond the lifespan we hope of the current trustees and volunteers it will reduce that £5,000 once again outgoing a month to £3,000. The lease is a mere stepping stone to make sure we did not miss out on a once in a lifetime oppurtunity. It was this or bust for us and accepting that the chances of being in this position in the right area again was slim. Had we not worked our socks off this last few months to negotiate ourselves and our dogs into this position we would have good as had to accept that private boarding was the best we could aim for for good.
What do we need from you?
As always and most importantly your continued support, love and faith in us and our dogs. Running a good rescue is never easy and as I have said over and over without you our supporters and those who have faith in us we are nothing.
Volunteers! We need people in or around Stoke on Trent who have hours to spare a week to join us. This is the most important bit
Long term we need you all to keep being there for us, supporting us and our dogs and continuing with your wonderful fundraising efforts. Not many new rescues stay the length and certainly not many manover forward as we have and today. We have so many emotions right now.
We also need ideas, we need if possible people willing to undertake one off fundraisers along the way over the next 12 months to help us attain that £40,000 purchase goal... however that can not and never will be to the detriment of the dogs in our care. Their needs being met and costs covered will always remain at the very baseline.
For those who want to make a one off donation to enable us to attempt to recoup some of the relocation costs then we have set up a Just Giving page below. If you would prefer an alternative method of making a donation please let us know: www.justgiving.com/Lisa-Cartwright19
We collected the keys on 1st October and the dogs moved into the kennels over the weekend. So far so good... now we need to concentrate on getting cracking with fundraising and taking the next step.
Thank you all for your continued support, exciting times are ahead!
Here are a couple of pictures of the kennels: