THE new Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary kennels have been officially opened after months of construction work.

The block was named the Margaret Gray Kennel Block, after the founder who passed away in March 2017.

The works were largely funded by the enormous £300,000 donation which was let to the sanctuary in her will.

The team used the gift as a springboard and hoped to raise a further £150,000 to fund 17 new kennels, and refurb old facilities where they help train difficult dogs to get ready for rehoming. The completion follows the sanctuary’s open day in August, which was hailed as the most successful open days ever after they raised lots of cash ahead of the major revamp.

More than 700 people were welcomed through the doors of the Stadhampton Centre –children went to cuddle some cats and stroke bouncy bunnies, and grown–ups tucked into a barbecue before taking a sneak-peak at the line up of animal-themed goodies on offer in the raffle – which raised £3,000 on ticket sales alone.

The sanctuary has been running since 1967, and recently celebrated turning 50.

Since opening, it now cares for and helps re-home more than 500 animals a year.

Abbi Howe – who was good friends with Ms Gray – and a supporter herself of the sanctuary through help with administration and adopting pets, unveiled the plaque on Tuesday.

She stood alongside the OAS president and former Oxfordshire MP Andrew Smith.

The plaque says: “This kennel block is dedicated t the memory of Miss Margaret Gray, the founder of the sanctuary whose generous bequest enabled us to erect this building.”