Shropshire Star

Pictures: It really is a dog's life as Cheryl spends a day in Telford kennels

[gallery] Dog lovers turned up to a kennels expecting to see puppy eyes and wagging tails – but instead found Cheryl Gibson.


The 27-year-old confined herself to the kennels for a 12-hour stint at Hilbrae Kennels in Cold Hatton, Telford, in a unique fundraising idea that saw her live the life of a dog.

With just Nala the Mastiff for company, Cheryl, from The Humbers, spent the time in the kennels to see how it was through the eyes of the dogs.

She said: "I did 12 hours lock in, with only another stray dog for company. I was allowed one toilet break and one meal during my time there, and there was another time that visitors could come in and give the dogs treats – so I was treated to some chocolate then.

"Where I was, at the end of the kennels, it was at the back of it all, so i couldn't see anything except the back of another kennel block.

"I couldn't see what was happening if the dogs were barking, and I couldn't see visitors coming in – it was interesting seeing how Nala sees it all."

Cheryl decided to take up the challenge to try and raise money for the kennels, which houses dogs, cats, small animals, birds and reptiles.

And while she still ate and acted like a human throughout her stay, she said it was tough knowing how much time the animals spent without being able to go anywhere else.

The money raised will help care for dogs that are brought to Hilbrae, and for staff to continue looking after them.

She said: "Sitting still was really difficult, not being able to get out of the kennel and knowing there was nowhere I could go.

"A lot of people would just stand in front of the kennels, and that was weird, because I couldn't do anything.

"I stayed into the night with Nala, and it does get quite cold, so it was interesting to see how it felt."

Cheryl said she had been inspired to take on the challenge having heard about another kennels doing it before.

During the challenge she was able to nip out of the kennels at one point to visit the toilet, and was treated to one microwave meal throughout the 12 hours.

She said: "A few people handed me cakes and chocolates, and Nala had some treats too. It was mainly about raising money for Hilbrae. I have ended up with about £1,800 which is great.

"I really enjoyed it actually, everyone said it must not have been nice, but it was so quiet and I enjoyed just being with Nala.

"But the problem is for the dogs it is more than 12 hours, dogs are kept in kennels all the time.

"People shouldn't judge dogs when they are in kennels, they should take them out, take them for a walk and get to know them.

"You can't judge a dog by how it is inside a kennel."

For more information about Hilbrae and the work they do, visit

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