A Derby paralegal who has helped victims of modern slavery is seeking to set up a dog daycare, staffed by survivors, to provide support for their trauma. Sheralyn Pattison worked at anti-trafficking charity helping survivors of modern day slavery and she is hoping to continue providing support through a new venture called Woofterful.
In a planning application to Amber Valley Borough Council, Ms Pattison describes how animals can provide great support to people who have suffered some form of trauma. She also hopes the daycare, which could sit in the countryside off Flagshaw Lane, in Kirk Langley, close to the junction with Lodge Lane, will help more anxious dogs too.
If approved, the daycare facility could cater for up to 32 dogs. The borough council will make a decision on the application in the next few months.
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Ms Pattison, who owns two cockapoos, Dottie and Doris, was commuting from Derby to Birmingham for her work and had been leaving Dottie – a puppy at the time – with friends during the day. However, Dottie proved to be too much of a handful and would be anxious if left home alone, so in 2016 Ms Pattison started the process of setting up her own business.
She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Woofterful Doggy Daycare is a culmination of this vision, providing a practical way to give dogs attention throughout the day, but also allow dogs to provide natural companionship and emotional support to those who have experienced trauma. “The Woofterful vision is to offer doggy day care differently, delivering a positive impact to the lives of people recovering from trauma.”
Ms Pattison says in her planning application: “Our purpose is to provide high quality doggy day care solutions for pet owners who aren’t at home for dogs who experience anxiety or need more stimulation. “Pet owners know how comforting their animal is to them. Imagine if your four-legged friend was a comfort to a survivor of the trauma of modern day slavery whilst you were at work. “That is our mission at Woofterful, to provide excellent animal care whilst also helping in the wider community.”
A report written by Planning Design, submitted with the application says: “The centre’s purpose is to provide high-quality day-care provision for dogs and create employment and training opportunities for survivors of modern slavery. “Sheralyn is passionate about helping survivors of modern slavery and her long-term goal is for this center to be first of many.”
It says the business would have three full-time roles and five part-time roles, with staff to undertake animal welfare qualifications. Access to the site would be created through two new gaps in the hedges alongside Flagshaw Lane, one for vehicles and the other for pedestrians, with 11 parking spaces provided on porous materials.
The daycare would include two polythene tunnels – measuring around 11 meters by seven meters – a toilet block, fenced pens, a waiting and reception area, and spaces for agility, isolation and games. A “wooden garden building” would form the reception area, office space and storage room.
The main source of power for the facility would be 20 solar panels and the site would also have a “dog waste wormery” to make compost out of animal waste. Strips of wildflowers would be planted around the perimeter of the site. Planning Design says that due to the potential noise impact of the business, its location on the fringes of Kirk Langley, as opposed to within the village, is a better spot.