2014 has been a busy year for us! Here at the Centre unfortunately there are always animals in need of our help. Every year sees more and more dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and small furries come through our big blue gates, in desperate need of rehabilitation and rehoming. The staff and our wonderful volunteers work hard every day of the year to make sure these animals in need find their happy ending. Here’s a few of the highlights from this year at the Centre:
Adoptions & Arrivals
In 2014 we beat our adoption record, as we rehomed 730 animals! We’re so pleased that we can help more animals than ever. On the other hand however, is also the sad fact that more animals than ever need our help. For example, this year we took in over 460 cats and kittens whereas last year we took in 390. For a small Centre 460 cats and kittens is a huge amount. This just reinforces the need for neutering and microchipping.
One notable success story is that of Cleo the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Cleo was transferred to us from another RSPCA Centre after they struggled to rehome her, and she had been in another Centre before that. We were so confused as to why she seemed unappealing to potential adopters as she was such a loving, friendly little girl. She was an older dog which hindered her chances but we were still convinced she would find her forever home. Sadly after spending two months with us we discovered that she had mammary cancer. We didn't want to give up on her, and we didn't want her last months to have been spent in kennels so we sent out a massive appeal for a home via radio and social media.
A few days later there was a phone call from a lady on the Isle of Man. She'd seen Cleo's appeal via Facebook and felt she had to help - this wonderful lady takes in terminally ill dogs and cares for them until the end of their days. Luckily we had a contact on the Isle of Man who performed the home visit for us and soon after we drove Cleo up to the ferry terminal to meet her new owners. She was so pleased that she didn't even glance back as she headed off on to the ferry. Cleo had 10 fantastic months with her new human and doggy family before she finally passed away earlier this month. Although we were all heart-broken to hear the news, we're so glad that Cleo had the ending to her life that she really deserved. Full of sausages, beaches, play-time and, most of all, love. Farewell sweet girl.
New Branding and Website
As many of you will know, we re-branded the Centre as the Abbey Street Animal Rehoming Centre at the start of 2014. Obviously we are still the Derby RSPCA but this just gives us more of a local focus. We also launched our new website, based on our new branding, in May of this year. Our old website just didn’t allow us all the tools we wanted and so we worked with a local company, Katapult. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the result! We're always happy to hear feedback as well, so please do let us know what you think of the website too.
Cat Intake Room
Earlier this year we undertook a massive refurbishment of our cat intake area, where new cats stay when they arrive at the Centre. Now there are 7 purpose-built uPVC pods and runs with an air-exchanger. This is a much better situation for the cats, as it is much less stressful and they all have far more space available to them. This was only made possible due to legacies left by kind members of the public. This refurbishment signals the beginning of our future plan to upgrade the Centre. At the start of 2015 we will be building a new rabbit area, funded in part by a grant from Support Adoption for Pets - watch this space for more information soon!
All in all it's been a non-stop year for us! As well as all the wonderful successes we've had, there have been some low points, such as the dog with mange who we fought to save but was too far gone. While ever we are needed there will always be heartaches, as well as happy stories, but hearing about our animals settling in to their new homes makes everything we do worthwhile.
Thank you all for your support in 2014 and we hope that we can count on you during 2015 as well. It's set to be a very exciting year with new accommodations and bigger events than ever. We can't wait!
Happy New Year from everybody at the Centre!
Communications & Volunteer Manager