Before I became a trustee I had read about the great work that Support Adoption For Pets does, but as with so many things, it’s not until you see for yourself that you really get to understand the value of our work. So I was really looking forward to spending the day with Amy who had arranged for us to visit three of the rehoming centres we support.
First stop was the new Manchester rehoming centre run by the Dogs Trust – WOW! What an amazing place and what fantastic people! This is a purpose built facility so the public areas are all light and airy and designed to provide as much access to and information about the dogs as possible. But, impressive as this is, it is the facilities for the dogs that really stand out – the reception facilities, the multiple exercise grounds providing sensory and physical enrichment, the care taken with individual diets and the rehoming itself; nothing is left to chance.
After a cup of tea which gave us time to chat with the team, we headed over to the RSPCA centre in Accrington. Physically the contrast was quite stark. Here was an assembly of older buildings with no obvious ‘identity’ but inside the devotion to the care of their pets was obvious. They care for an array of dogs and cats seeking new homes as well as those being housed longer term. We also found a pair of ferrets who were enjoying play time with one of the volunteers. One of the key aspects of our visit was to discuss their plans for a new rabbit unit to replace the rather dilapidated unit which now cannot be used.
Final stop of the day, after a quick stop for a burger at the Motorway services, was a visit to Carla Lane Animals in Need near Liverpool. We have funded an intensive care unit for cats as part of a major redevelopment at the site so it was a huge pleasure to hand over one of our plaques for their wall. Three passionate trustees showed us around the centre, the open spaces they use to rehabilitate the dogs in their care and the other facilities. They were rightly proud of what they have achieved, yet very humble about the hill that’s still to climb to provide homes for the pets that so desperately need one.
I returned home inspired. Seeing really is believing.
Brian Hudspith joined the Support Adoption For Pets board of Trustees in 2015