Animals looking for new homes at Woodside Animal Centre
A little bit of a different post today, but it’s something I’m incredibly passionate about & I feel like it’d be a great shame if I couldn’t use the blog to talk about & highlight causes like this. Last week we headed down to Woodside Animal Centre, Leicester’s branch of the RSPCA, to see the animals & to talk with Gary, the branches manager, about all the good work they do & their latest fundraising appeal to raise £1M for a much needed on-site veterinary facility.
If you’ve ever spoken to me for any length of time, I’m sure you’ll quickly realise that I’m a massive animal lover. I’m not the greatest people person, but show me a dog, cat, ferret, rat or even a snake & I’ll suddenly have the hugest smile. I’ve always said that if I ever could afford to, I’d like to get a big house with a good sized garden so that I could help foster & re-home all of those animals that struggle in shelters or that they won’t take. Nothing makes me sadder, or angrier than seeing animals confused & distressed from neglect or abandonment. It’s so unfair.
Woodside Animal Centre is Leicester’s main re-homing centre, taking in over 75 animals every week & although they are part of the RSPCA, they are a separate self-funding charity that relies entirely on donations from the public, they receive none from the RSPCA or the government. Woodside prides themselves on being one of the top performing centres in the UK & having one of the lowest return animal rates in the UK. Their staff and volunteers work tirelessly to treat & rehabilitate even the most difficult of cases, providing medical treatment, behavioural training & finding them the right homes. Currently they are really struggling to meet the increasing cost in vets bills as they have to take all of their animals to outside surgeries & if prices keep rising, they will simply not be able to afford to provide this much needed care for the hundreds of animals that arrive each month. To combat this they aim to build an on-site veterinary surgery at the centre, cutting their costs massively & saving animals the distress of having to be driven elsewhere too.
They are currently just over halfway towards their funding goal, and have set themselves a challenge in hopes of boosting the money raised & reaching that target – On the 29th of March 2015, a team of seven staff from Woodside Animal Centre & a pack of Huskies will sled across the Arctic Circle for six days. Braving temperatures as low as -30°C, they will cover 25 miles a day, sleep in flimsy tents and live on basic rations. I’m a little jealous, though I know it’s going to be incredibly tough. They’re hoping to raise £25,000 in sponsorship towards their target, and you can help them reach their goal (and hopefully smash it!) by donating via JustGiving here, or in the UK text ARCTIC to 70500 (to make a £5 donation). I honestly couldn’t think of a better cause, and every pound counts!
As we walked around the kennels it saddened me to see just how many bull breeds were in the centre, mainly Staffordshire Bull Terriers & crosses, the stereotype of them being vicious or aggressive is obviously still prominent in peoples minds, but it’s completely untrue. I’ve known a lot of them, and I honestly don’t think you’d find a sweeter or soppier dog! They are soft & playful, and extremely loyal, so please don’t let the news stories put you off. Just look at little Max in the first photo, I’ve never met a bigger sweetheart, he was so affectionate & would have been happy to let me stroke him for hours!
There was also a large amount of Siberian Huskies & crosses, all around 1-2 years old, so just out of the cute puppy stage and of course this made me very upset to see. If you are considering a Husky, please do your research first, there are too many in shelters because people don’t bother to & it angers me. They are not a breed for everyone, they are needy, highly intelligent, stubborn, vocal & have specific requirements that need to be met to keep them happy & engaged, otherwise you’ll have an out of control ball of fur destroying your house & sanity out of boredom! It seems a lot of people don’t realise this, and as soon as they grow they quickly tire of their antics & give them up. It’s a huge shame, yes they are hard work, but they are totally worth it & so rewarding too if you have the time & patience! Gus the Husky x Collie cross with the cone completely stole my heart with his sad eyes & sweet personality, as well as Chase the GSD x Husky who I had a little chat with (it’s funny how talkative they are once they know you ‘speak husky’… Awooo!) Eskie the Husky was very down & clearly not enjoying kennel life, he made me want to just give him a big hug & take him home. They are all incredibly well looked after with multiple walks & play every day, but sadly some dogs just don’t cope with this kind of environment & it made me think of Nico, as I know he’d be the same, they are a very people orientated breed & most can’t bear to be alone.
All of the dogs & cats in this post are currently available for re-homing along with many others, plus small animals & birds too, so if you are based in Leicester & are looking for a pet, please consider paying them a visit & giving one of these guys a forever home!