This weeks volunteering efforts were carried out by our lovely Social Media and Marketing Assistant Caitlin. Caitlin recently took some time out of her social media channels to lend a hand at the Cheltenham Animal Shelter. Below she talks about her volunteering experience and encourages everyone to grab a pair of wellies and get involved.
What do Cheltenham Animal Shelter do?
Based in the heart of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham Animal Shelter have been helping animals since 1926. They rescue and re-home unwanted and abandoned stray cats, dogs and small animals. Each year they care for around 1,000 animals at a cost of £500,000 without the help of any Government funding. They greatly rely on the generosity of animal lovers to ensure that their doors remain firmly open.
They are a member of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes and they adhere to, and exceed, their code of practice. In doing that they are very careful to ensure that each and every animal goes to a home.
So…what did Caitlin get up to over the three days?
Caitlin was at the shelter for 3 full on days lending a hand with the dogs, cats, small animals and even with children! The shelter hold special ‘Animal Days’ on bank holidays giving young people aged 6 – 15 years a chance to attend the shelter to learn about responsible pet ownership and other animal related issues.
Day 1 – “When I arrived on my first day I was given a full safety briefing from James the fundraising organiser, then I was thrown in at the deep end helping Sara out cleaning the dog’s kennels which was quite challenging! After that I was scheduled a specific dog to walk in Pittville park. As it turned out I was given Harry the Jack Russell Terrier – a very cute and very well behaved little man.”
Day 2 – “This day was a very busy day – I was put to help with the Animal Days Scheme with Debbie (who was very lovely), this involved showing 12 children around the centre and letting them help out for the day. The day started with cleaning out the small animal cages then on to fussing the cats and finally walking the dogs. There was a creative part of the day where the children could make something for the cats. (But I think I may have got too into it, here’s my creation! ——->)
Day 3 – “On my final day I had some time with the cats, cleaning out their kennel homes with Ian and giving them a lot of fuss at the same time. After this I was asked if I wanted to accompany a member of staff on a home visit with a deaf collie dog called Blue. It was a very interesting experience and I enjoyed seeing how they let Blue bond with his potential owners and how they analyse the environment he will soon be living in.”
“My experience in the animal shelter was such an interesting and varied opportunity! This charity needs people like you to raise money so it can stay open, just by shopping online via Give as you Live can make a huge difference to them. Also just to finish – I did leave with a firm favourite, her name was Angus a SBT (Staffy Bull Terrier) who just wanted cuddles and lots of kisses, I hope she is enjoying her new home and being treated like a queen.”