It’s been an exciting journey for the past few months! After years of dreaming we opened our animal centre in July 2019 in Salford. Our branch has always used private boarders and foster homes to care for it’s animals and the move to our very own, brand spanking new animal centre was an amazing feeling! I popped along last week to visit all the current residents 6 months on!
As any visitors will know when they arrive at the centre you have to don some very attractive foot covers and if you are handling animals some scrubs (it’s great to pretend you are in Casualty!). The staff in the centre have to take biosecurity very seriously now as all the animals are in one place which is a big change from when we used mainly foster homes to care for animals. When I visited my job was to feed and care for the animals in the ‘smalls’ room. This is where we keep guinea pigs, rats and rabbits that can’t fit in the main rabbit pens. I donned my gear and went up to meet my wards for the morning….
The first animal I meet is Boris the guinea pig. He’s very vocal and clearly wants his breakfast. He’s also amazingly friendly and enjoyed a headrub whilst I was cleaning him out. Piggy wise we also have an adorable trio (mum and 2 sons) mooching around. If you haven’t seen baby guinea pigs before they are the most adorable baby animal in the world (that’s a fact).
Then it’s the bunnies turn! Today in the smalls room we have 2 single rabbits and 3 babies. The babies are so lively and it proves to be quite a challenge feeding them all and keeping them distracted whilst I clean their pen!
Rachel (bunny above with white stripe on her nose) is particularly nosey whilst I’m brushing out her pen. Her next door neighbour has a more chilled out approach to the activities!
Next it’s time to go and visit the cattery team and try not to get in the way of their morning cleaning routine!
The cattery is full as usual and the morning feeding and cleaning is in full force. We have a great team of volunteers that help us with all the animals and we couldn’t do it without them! Today Catherine asks if I could visit Linus as he’s making such a racket…. As soon as he gets a lap to sit on and a human being to dote on he’s much happier! Thankfully we have a great team of cat cuddlers who visit to give much needed attention to cats and kittens like Linus.
I can’t leave without saying hello to the rabbits in the main rabbit pens. There’s only 1 pen empty today and that’s ready for a new resident who will be arriving soon!
The rabbit squad are nearly done cleaning and feeding but I manage to still get in the way!
We have lots of litters of rabbits at the moment. The previous day a gang of particularly cheeky babies arrived and they are very interested in what’s going on….
Before I leave I pop to the office to grab some paperwork and I walk straight into a new arrival, just dropped off following an operation to have her tail amputated. She’s in a bit of a mess sadly but is going to a foster home shortly. In the meantime she’s set up in the office with food and a place to hide. She enjoys a stroke before continuing to survey the room!
The centre is a hive of activity with volunteers and staff and it’s at times like this we really appreciate how far we’ve come and how many animals we will be able to help. This Christmas if you’d like to get involved and give one of our animals a gift we have wishlists!
Buy online and donations will be sent straight to us! Click each list below:
We are particularly in need of:
Wet/dry cat and kitten food / cardboard boxes / paper bags / heavy duty black bin bags / hay racks / fleecey blankets / cardboard cat scratchers / supermarket vouchers for vegetables / timothy hay
Donations are also welcome at all of our charity shops and at the animal centre in Salford. We have shops in Chorlton, Didsbury, Urmston, Northern Quarter (city centre) and Withington.
Thank you again to everyone that made our animal centre possible and continues to make it so! Here’s to 2020!