Give Back: Animal Shelter Volunteering.

July 26, 2012

Because not every cat’s as spoiled as Choupette.

Across the UK, thousands upon thousands of generally domesticated animals are left as strays or abused in their own homes – meaning that, hidden away in animal shelters, there are huge numbers of potential pets that are forgotten about. I’ve always been a sucker for these places – from the age of around 10 I used to beg my mum to take me to our local shelter and ended up nagging her to bring home kittens.

Now, I live away from home and I decided to volunteer at the Lancaster Animal Care shelter, where they take care of cats, dogs, rabbits and ferrets – along with an isolation care unit for sick wildlife. I visited the premises for a look around, unsurprisingly fell in love with every single cat and signed my name on their volunteer form before you could say ‘Meow!”. At the time, I was horribly disheartened to find that they didn’t have any vacancies, but they would give me a call if anything came up.

And it did.

Within two weeks or so, I received a call asking me to attend a health & safety induction, where I was taught all the proper ways of handling the cats and dogs, along with general safety advice on the site. After the induction, I was granted with the coveted ‘cat key’ that I’d been desperate for ever since laying eyes on the cattery. The main part of my volunteering is, literally, cat-cuddling. I let myself in to one of their little rooms, give them some love, attention and, if they don’t mind the mauling – a quick brush, then repeat for as long as I can. The cats are absolute sweethearts. If you’re dubious of the feline variety and think they’re a bitĀ inattentive; you’ve clearly never been to one of these places. These cats want attention and they will fight for it – I’ve had full-sized mogs trying to climb up onto my shoulders for a cuddle! And, if that isn’t enough to sway you, it’s Summer: there are kittens EVERYWHERE.

If you have a bit of free time this Summer, why don’t you find your local shelter and sign up? It’s a great little pastime that can be such a help to a frightened, abandoned animal – and you can go whenever you choose. You can take the dogs for a walk, which is what my boyfriend and I have started to do on Sunday afternoons – last week we took out a little dog called ‘Dave’ who could literally jump about 4 times his height – he was adorable, and I’m slightly scared of dogs!

Here are some pictures I’ve snapped of my new furry friends:

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Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.
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