More than $2 million floods in for British dogs' home after blaze

LONDON (AFP) - A dogs' home in northern England on Friday said it was "overwhelmed" after an online appeal launched following a horrific blaze, which claimed the lives of 53 animals, raised 1 million pounds (S$2 million) in 24 hours.

Police have arrested a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of arson over the devastating fire at Manchester Dogs' Home, which broke out around 7.00 pm (2.00 am Singapore time, Friday) on Thursday.

Hundreds of volunteers immediately flocked to the scene bearing blankets and dog food, while a JustGiving site was immediately launched by the Manchester Evening News.

Less than a day later, the amount raised had already topped 1 million pounds with more than 110,000 people donating.

On its Twitter page, the home said: "Words are not enough. Thank you everyone, you have touched our hearts and surrounded us with love and we are truly grateful.

"We are overwhelmed with the offers of help, support and money.

"A million. A million good hearts, a million amazing people thank you thank you thank you." Around 150 dogs were rescued from the sanctuary in Harpurhey, north Manchester.

Speaking at a press conference at the scene, police officer Neil Jones explained: "Last night a local neighbourhood officer was passing and saw a plume of smoke coming up from the dogs home and responded really quickly, as did a vast number of the local community and the fire service.

Lisa Graham, from the home, added: "To think that for the length of time we've served this community and the many generations we've been serving this community and that one of them would come and do this to us is sickening.

"We had staff here last night that were coming out of the kennels in tears with dogs they knew. There were dogs in there that they cared for that they lost."

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