Summertime and the livin’ is easy – well that’s what Ella Fitzgelald sang to us, but if you ask any of the team at Woodlands Animal Sanctuary you may get a slightly different answer.
It is not uncommon for us to take over 10 a day about unwanted and abandoned cats and kittens per week. Meaning we often work from a waiting list as soon as we re-home a cat we have in and so a pen to out the newbie. We can also become almost inundated with hedgehogs; in 2015 we admitted over 200 hedgehogs between March and July, it during this time that hogs start to emerge from hibernation. Woodlands operate a seven days a week service and are the only rescue in the North West that admit hedgehogs after five pm. This can sometimes add an extra hour onto the night checks that our animal carers carry out, meaning it may well be nearing midnight when they finally get home. Holly our longest standing Animal Care Assistant says:
We have such a dedicated team here, that the animals we rescue really do want for nothing - whether that be expert knowledge and care, medication or even simply a cuddle – the team here really do cater for all our animals’ needs.
Summertime, time to sit back and unwind promises Will Smith in his hit summer anthem, again I think a slightly different perception maybe held by the Woodlands Animal Care Assistants. Summer gives us our highest number of admittances. They can include mother hedgehogs with their hoglets as well as hoglets that have been abandoned or whose nests have been disturbed. During this period, we can admit anything between 1 and 10 hedgehogs every day. Generally, these animals will need intensive care, and so any abandoned hoglets will often go to one of our fosterers as they need feeding every 2 hours, throughout the day and night. Once they are old enough and strong enough, they will come back to our dedicated hog unit until they are a sufficient weight for us to be able to release from one of our soft release sites.
With both hogs and cats often requiring time intensive care and medication; all cats over 6 months old, that leave us for their loving forever home will have been checked by our Veterinary surgeon, been wormed, microchipped, tested for Feline Aids and Leukemia if necessary, spayed/neutered and vaccinations started. This all obviously comes at a cost to Woodlands, of about £170 per cat and up to £100 per hedgehog. If you do re-home a cat from us however, we only ask for an £80 donation to go towards the care they have received.
From this I think you can see why Woodlands Animal Sanctuary has such a busy and diverse fundraising calendar. Since we are funded solely from donations and contributions from our supporters we cannot afford to miss an opportunity to raise much needed funds. With running costs in the region of £3000 per week, this is no simple task, and without any reliable and consistent funding grants to keep us going any donations we do receive are very much appreciated, and needed!