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Brand New State-of-the-Art Cattery Opens at Woodlands Animal Sanctuary

Thanks to a £176,422 grant from Support Adoption for Pets, Woodlands Animal Sanctuary built a state-of-the-art new cat shelter to improve care for rescued cats and kittens.

Supporting Animals in Need: Woodlands Animal Sanctuary UK's New Cattery Success Story.

Woodlands Animal Sanctuary in Ormskirk, Lancashire, has undergone a significant transformation thanks to the generous support of a benefactor. A new state-of-the-art cattery has been built, providing a much-needed improvement for the rescued cats in their care. This new facility boasts features designed to enhance the well-being of the animals, including a dedicated maternity wing and improved infection control measures.

The hard-working team at Woodlands Animal Sanctuary UK provide a helping hand to almost any animal in need, including hundreds of cats. And thanks to Support Adoption For Pets, they now have a state-of-the-art new cattery.

The timing wasn’t good. After spending months designing a fantastic new cattery, complete with a custom-built maternity wing, Woodlands Animal Sanctuary in Ormskirk, Lancashire, was ready to get the builders in. Then, in March 2020, a lockdown happened.

Everything stopped, and Woodlands founder and trustee Vickie Maude wasn’t even sure they could keep the sanctuary running, let alone construct the new cattery. Ten days before the cattery was due to be delivered, we went into lockdown and were left looking at ample space!

The volunteers couldn’t come in to help, either, but enquiry levels for cats and kittens were still going through the roof.

Project funded by a benefactor

It was a blow for Vickie and her team because they had worked hard to make the cattery happen. “They took everyone’s view on board.” She says, “We sat down and worked out exactly what we needed to improve.”

Then, we evaluated our budget, the space available and the possibility of obtaining the building permit. We also visited other successful catteries and discovered what works well and why.

For Vickie, getting the cattery design right the first time was crucial, mainly as the project was funded by a generous grant worth £176,422 from Support Adoption for Pets, the largest grant ever awarded by the charity.

We’ve always had a fantastic relationship with Support Adoption, and we’re lucky to have the support of in-store colleagues at Pets at Home in Preston.

So I was determined to spend the Support Adoption funding as effectively as possible.” Unfortunately, the Woodlands staff cracked when building restrictions eased in early summer.”

Where do the grants come from at Woodlands?

Woodlands Animal Sanctuary UK new cattery Support Adoption for Pets.
Source: https://www.charltonminicoaches.co.uk/

The Support Adoption grant covered the structure of the cattery, the groundwork, the plumbing, and the electrical work. Everything else came from Woodlands’ public donations and some additional grant funding. When Woodlands’ volunteers were finally able to return, a brand-new cattery was waiting.

I can honestly say the new cattery is an absolute pleasure now that it’s finished. It’s easier to keep clean, and our staff and volunteers can socially distance themselves without compromising on the jobs being done. I can’t describe how proud I am when I show people around. It’s a charming place to work.

The cattery is outstanding. It will make an incredible difference to the quality of life for these animals.

The cattery is also much more efficient, as Vickie is the first to admit. “Our new isolation area means we have better infection control; cats initially go there for the first seven days, which stops infections from spreading, which means we can rehome cats faster.

We also have a great new maternity wing, which allows us to discreetly keep an eye on pregnant mums without them feeling intimidated.

Our old cattery couldn’t have coped with the volume of pregnant cats and kittens this summer, so the timing was perfect.

Support Adoption for Pets is equally thrilled with the final build: Woodlands Animal Sanctuary is a worthy recipient of our largest-ever grant. The new cattery is outstanding and will make an incredible difference to the quality of life for these rescue pets.

The animals have more room to roam, and there is also a beautiful duck pond to look out over. Nowadays, Woodlands focuses mainly on rescuing and rehoming cats, guinea pigs and hedgehogs, but many other creatures hang out there, too.

The Woodlands story began in 2005

We began in 2005 with a couple of farm animals and a few cats, and we’ve grown and grown since then. In our original business plan, we needed £5,000 a year to run Woodlands; now, we have around 165 animals at a time and almost need £5,000 a week.

As well as cats, guinea pigs and hedgehogs, we currently have four ponies and two donkeys, pygmy goats, a 14-year-old sheep, ducks, chickens and a peacock.

We even take in foxes, badgers and baby owls. Since we began, we’ve helped half of Noah’s Ark!
But Vickie and the permanent staff couldn’t achieve so much great work without the support of volunteers and local people.

She says that we now have about 70 big-hearted volunteers, and they form a proper little community. We’ve also partnered with Pets at Home on the docks at Preston; typically, we would be in the store regularly, raising awareness and fundraising.

But they’re still very kind about collecting donations until we can return them.
We also benefit from Lifelines from local VIP members, which are used to purchase specialist food, treats, and toys. Those small luxuries make life memorable for the animals in our care.

In the future, Vickie hopes to throw open Woodlands UK doors again and let the charity’s local supporters see the beautiful new cattery.

Historically, we’ve visited schools in the autumn with hedgehogs to run education workshops, and we’re about to launch a new scheme that will enable schools to bring small groups of children here instead. “Recently, we’ve also been doing low-key ‘Tea and Tours’ to replace our big events; it’s a lovely opportunity for visitors to get hands-on with the animals.

Work continues unabated at Woodlands.

For now, though, the work continues as Vickie and her team find new forever homes for the cats and guinea pigs in their care. “We always try to match the right pet with the right home. We’re stringent about our rehoming process, and we don’t apologise. We also do follow-ups by phone – it’s all part of our rehoming agreement.

Pets are a luxury, and you have to be able to look after them properly because, let’s face it, we’re all ‘victims’ of the animals we love! Woodlands Animal Sanctuary rescues up to 700 hedgehogs yearly, and it has the only dedicated hedgehog unit in Lancashire and Merseyside.

Most arrive with horrendous injuries, and we’ve had many more strimmer-related superior injuries than usual because people were gardening so much during the lockdown. Extreme weather, hefty rain or too much sun can also affect hedgehog health.

Woodlands UK operates seven days a week and will even take in injured hedgehogs after 5 p.m. Some baby hedgehogs (hoglets) are only a few days old and require feeding every two hours, day and night. The aim is always to return hedgehogs to the wild once they are fit enough and have put on enough weight to give them a good chance of survival, especially during winter hibernation.

Conclusion

Completing the state-of-the-art cattery marks a significant milestone for Woodlands Animal Sanctuary. Not only does it provide a more comfortable and enriching environment for the rescued cats, but it also allows the staff to work more efficiently. With features like a dedicated isolation area and a spacious design, the cattery ensures the health and safety of the felines while streamlining the adoption process. This new addition will undoubtedly have a lasting positive impact on the lives of countless cats.

Lend a Hand

You can help Woodlands Animal Sanctuary by donating and raising funds for an animal at www.woodlandsanimalsanctuary.org.uk.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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