Bid for husky racing track

A rescue husky
A rescue husky
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Plans to build Britain’s first ever racing track for Huskies could be given the go-ahead to help fund a rehoming centre for dogs.

The plans, put forward by charity Sibes and Sled Dogs Husky Welfare, is to build a 1000m “exhilarating” training track for Huskies - to allow owners to ride rigs or scooters pulled at speeds exceeding 25mph.

John Duxbury, co-owner of the soon-to-be charity, said the experience would be the “first of its kind” and would help drive up funds to build #500,000 kennels.

Mr Duxbury, 54, from Nelson, who owns three Huskies himself, said: “I can’t see why it won’t be passed - there is nothing down there that is going to get in the way.

“It would mean a lot to the area and would be the first of its kind.

“It would put us on the map in the husky world, and to say that is a huge thing.

“It will be like an Alice In Wonderland trail, as it will be under undergrowth,

“We don’t want to take it out of the area. If we open up for an event, it would mean caravan sites would fill up and it would create job opportunities.”

The proposals include plans to build an off-lead dog area and a circular trail at the site in Pendle, Lancs., which would be secured by 6.5ft fencing.

The area would be open between 9am and 4pm, but not used continuously, and it is expected there would be between eight and 10 dogs per visit.

If given the green light, Mr Duxbury would need to apply for planning permission for fencing.

The former builder, who gave up his job to launch the welfare two years ago, has also reassured critics that once dogs are running about noise will be minimal as huskies do not tend to bark much.

Sibes and Sled Dogs Husky Rescue has been going from strength to strength since it launched in 2012.

It has so far rehomed around 150 dogs, and has 3,690 members from all across the globe.

There is an admin team of around 12, approximately 500 volunteers, and various sponsors including The Alma Inn, XCLR Vehicle Management and Pets at Home.

Walks are held every Sunday in Burnley and Nelson, and Warrington and Bolton in Greater Manc.

Mr Duxbury added: “It has been very rewarding.

“At one time you couldn’t get me out of bed at 7am and now I am up at 5-30am.

We have a very talented team, and I couldn’t do it on my own.”

In Liverpool, one dogs’ home says programmes such as Game of Thrones are leading to soaring numbers of wolf-like dogs being abandoned.

Dogs Trust Merseyside has seen a rise in breeds like huskies needing help in the last year.

Georgina Lowery, centre manager for the trust, said: “In recent years TV shows and films such as Twilight and Game of Thrones have popularised large wolf look-alike dogs, including Alaskan Malamutes, Greenland dogs and Siberian Huskies, but new owners are often simply unprepared and ill-equipped to cope with the specific requirements of these breeds and a significant number are ending up in rescue centres.”