Ever since I can remember, I have been surrounded by animals. My parents have always had cats – my first memories being with Treacle and Nimbus, then Dotty, Fifi and now my little rascal Beau.
My grandparents have had a mixture of cats and dogs, but my one true love was their King Charles Dog, ironically named Charlie – memories of both Charlie and my Grandad snoring from the kitchen will remain a life-long memory for me.
Since coming to Uni, I have been deeply saddened by the prospect of no animals! And it was only towards the end of my first year I discovered Animal Care, an animal rescue centre based in Lancaster. Coming back towards the end of Summer, I convinced Kieran it would be a great idea to sign up to become volunteers – I have to say it is one of the best things I have ever done. It only costs £10 a year, and a Sunday morning introductory talk/ basic training and you’re ready to go!
Being a volunteer means you can walk dogs both on and off the premises, visit the other smaller animals, including rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and most importantly for me, cuddle cats for hours!
The site itself is based in Scotforth (between Lancaster University and Bowerham) and is close to bus routes, plus a five minute walk. Onsite is a really cute cafe, also ran by volunteers offering freshly baked cakes, sandwiches, coffees and a few treats for doggies. There is also a small charity shop and a very friendly welcome desk! En route, there are two Dog paddocks so they can have a round around without a lead, some very friendly Chickens, an assortment of Goats, and a Turkey.
I can’t recommend Animal Care enough – the dogs, cats, rabbits and all their other animals are lovely and are all looking for a loving home – trust me if I wasn’t in student housing I would’ve adopted all the cats and dogs (especially Oscar and Jessie who are partly blind and deaf!) – if you can spare a couple of hours a week – a month – or even a year, the shelter are always looking for volunteers! Shoutout to my kitties Back and Forth (yes they are there actual names) who have since been adopted, and made me so happy one Wednesday morning in April.