Tag Archives: Pet Rescue Centres

Meet the Team – Laura Messenger

Laura MessengerHi, my name is Laura and I’m the fundraiser for Support Adoption For Pets. I joined the team in January 2015; before that I spent a year working as a community fundraiser for a small animal rescue in Manchester.

At the moment I don’t have any pets; my partner and I would like to get a dog, but at the moment we’re just too busy! My family have always been cat owners and they’ve all been rescue pets. My sister was even a ‘failed fosterer’ – she cared for a mum cat and a litter of five kittens, and three ended up as permanent additions to the family!

My job is to organise all the different fundraising activities that Support Adoption For Pets does to bring in the money which we then give out to rescue centres. The first big activity of the year was our #MakesMeSmile fundraising drive and raffle. This year we sold over 400,000 raffle tickets which is an incredible amount! There aren’t many jobs which involve phoning a complete stranger to tell them they’ve won a brand new car – but mine does, and it’s brilliant!

For me the most important part of my job is seeing the effect that the donations have on local rescues. I know first-hand how hard rescues work for the animals in their care. The sad fact is that there are far too many homeless and abandoned animals out there, and not enough spaces in rescues. There are very few organisations that they can turn to for financial aid, so I’m thrilled to be working for the biggest grant giving organisation for animal rescues in the UK.

After our #MakesMeSmile campaign I sent out over 430 cheques to all sorts and sizes of rescues (writing out that many cheques is hard work!), and many responded to tell me how they would be spending the money. A lot of the donations went towards paying vet bills. Some rescues used the money to pay for repairs, or to buy equipment. One rescue used their donation to pay for a fire alarm system – it’s not something that first comes to mind when you think about rescues, but it’s essential for protecting the animals!

The job is very busy, very varied – and it wouldn’t be possible without our supporters. Every raffle ticket, lottery entry, sponsored event– or a good old-fashioned cash donation! – it all goes to such fantastic causes. It’s great to know that when I do finally adopt a dog, I’ll also be working ‘behind the scenes’ to help so many other animals find their forever home.

What’s a “typical” week?

I often get asked what it’s like working for Support Adoption For Pets is like and what a “typical” week looks like. Well, the answer to that is that there is never a typical week here! My role is so varied; I regularly wonder where my week has gone!

This week started with a really productive meeting with our PR agency, Smoking Gun, we discussed the action plan for the coming months which included some super ideas for a very special milestone for the charity……….all will be revealed very soon!

One of the many dogs looking for a new home at North Clwyd Animal Rescue

On Wednesday, Emily and I visited North Clwyd Animal Rescue to discuss their grant application which has been submitted to help fund their on-site veterinary clinic which will benefit the centre and help reduce their ever increasing vet bills. While we were there, we took the opportunity to meet some of the animals currently in their care including several cats and their kittens.

We called into the maternity unit and met a family who had brought in their daughter to view the kitten they had adopted which was still a little too young to leave his mum yet. I am sure little kitten, Mikey, will soon be off to settle into his new home.

We then met the dogs and I personally fell for Teddy, a 7 month cocker spaniel who had been brought into the centre the day before! It’s a little bit of an occupational hazard with our roles! He is definitely one that I will be getting back in touch with Nicky about…. just to see how he is getting on ( I promise)….. whilst I work on my hubby and persuade him that our house can accommodate another family member.

Thursday was a little different again! The entire Support Adoption For Pets team spent the day at Society For Abandoned Animals in Sale, Manchester so that we could film a “How to Guide” for completing our Grant Application form and the process.

The idea being that the charity team appear in a short film to explain how easily UK based pet rescue and rehoming centres can apply for a grant from Support Adoption For Pets. We wanted to feature Society For Abandoned Animals as they have recently been awarded £30,000 following a grant application – so who better to explain to other rescues how easy the process is and once awarded how a grant can benefit a rescue?

In between my action packed days I have been processing the latest batch of free rabbit neuter vouchers. Did you know that in the last year we have neutered over 5,300 rabbits that have come through our adoption centres? I am sure that this will only increase as we are in the process of rolling out the scheme to allow new adoption families to redeem our vouchers at local Vets 4 Pets surgeries.

Lynn Stoddard

Meet the Team – Emily

EmilyHello, I’m Emily and I am the Rehoming Centre & VIP Coordinator for both Support Adoption For Pets and Pets at Home. Being 23 I’m the baby of the team and do like to remind the team of this every once in a while. I moved over to Manchester in the summer of 2013 after spending 4 years in Huddersfield for university but I’m originally from Llandudno, North Wales which I’m very proud to say – my desk is decorated in an array of Welsh memorabilia! Being Welsh, naturally I’m an avid rugby fan but I also have a passion for athletics and skiing – the team will tell you I’m a little competitive.

Before moving to work in the Support Office I used to work for Pets at Home as a store colleague for just over 5 years and have been working within the Charity Team for nearly 12 months and I love it!

My job has two sides to it, a green and a pink one! The green side of me (the Pets at Home side) looks after the charities that are on the Pets at Home VIP club and make sure that all the charities get their Lifelines to spend in store each quarter. The pink side of me (the Support Adoption For Pets side) manages the grant applications that rescues submit for funding from the charity. Rescues can apply for grants for various purposes including help towards vet bills, kennel fees, towards the purchase of a vehicle and capital projects – we’ve recently given away our largest grant ever!

We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of grant applications that we are receiving every week, especially since rescues can now easily apply on our website – whilst this keeps me very busy it just shows much help all the rescue and rehoming centres out there still need!

I love going out to visit all the different rescues that apply for funding, I think it really helps me develop my role and have a better understand of the rescues and what their needs are. Without a doubt, the best bit has got to be calling the rescues that have been granted funding by the Trustees and telling them the good news!

As well as this I love our team and how we’ll give pretty much give anything a go to and we are not afraid to get our hands dirty! This includes me organising a team of 100+ colleagues to run in the BUPA Manchester 10k in aid of Support Adoption For Pets in May – I’ll keep you posted with how the training is going!

I’m the odd one out in this team as I actually don’t have any pets! This isn’t because I don’t want one, I’ve always wanted a dog but I live in a rented flat and it just wouldn’t be fair – this is a huge part of why I enjoy visiting rescue centres so much. Whilst I don’t have a pet I do have a boyfriend who goes out running with me as part of our training for the 10k so I’d say that’s pretty close! He’ll kill me for saying that…

For anyone who is looking to get a pet I would definitely recommend adopting from a rescue as there are so many fantastic pets that are looking for their forever home and just need to be given the chance. Having been to a small number of rescue centres I was amazed by the number of such beautiful and varied pets and breeds that just want someone to take them home and show them a little bit of love and attention. Taking on a new pet is a massive responsibility and every aspect of it should be thought through before bringing home your new family member but I would always pay a visit to your local rescue and rehoming centre as you never know who you’ll meet and fall in love with!