It’s a busy time for us here at the Shelter!
We have over 100 animals with us at the moment, looking for their new forever homes. While things for the cats remain pretty much unchanged – their individual, heated pods are quite cosy during the winter – for the dogs and small animals it is all change. With the dark mornings and early evenings we are forced to condense the dog walking in to fewer hours over the next few months, so it’s all hands on deck to get the kennels cleaned early and start the dog walking duties as soon as possible. With around 60 dogs to exercise every day, in order to give each one a decent walk we need at least 5 hours of daylight, reasonable weather and also the help of our invaluable volunteers. When you factor in that often dogs will need drying when they come back and before they go back to their kennels, plus the extra warm bedding we put in for them which increases the amount of laundry, winter is usually our busiest time as a kennel team!
It is similar for the small animals, the rabbits especially. Usually as winter comes and the temperature drops they are moved from their outdoor enclosures to spend the nights in our small animals shed. This moving back and forth and doubling up hutches means a busy time for Sam, our smalls rehomer. This year we have the added complication of building work taking place as our new Young Animals Building takes shape. Due to its proximity to the small animals if it is going to be a particularly noisy day of building work the animals need to be relocated elsewhere on site, so you can see the staff walking around with rabbits morning and evening to keep them safe and calm.
The added costs of heating and lighting the site means work increases for the Fundraising team here at the Shelter too. Events such as the Festive Evening earlier this month as well as many Christmas collections help, and we are lucky to receive the generous support of our donors at this time. It is a busy time for everyone and this is where our volunteers really come in to their own and without them we couldn’t hope to achieve the things we do.
So there’s a little insight in to life at the Shelter during these darker months. If you want to know more, are looking for a new family pet, or could assist us as a volunteer come down and see us…we’re never too busy to stop for a chat!