The Ark Rescue & Rehoming Centre, Ashbourne, Derbyshire
Pets at Home are running a competition throughout May and we could win one of the prizes
We have been awarded two grants from the Mars Pedigree and Whiskas Feeding Brighter Futures Fund and were presented with our cheques at the annual Association of Cats and Dogs Homes Conference. We have £500 to purchase three Feline Forts for use in our outdoor cat gardens. Most cats enjoy a break from their pen and relax more in the garden environment and the forts allow them to feel safe and secure. Our elderly cats can also enjoy time in the gardens as the Forts enable them to still easily climb high - something cats like to do. Happier, more relaxed cats are easier to rehome as they behave more confidently with potential adopters.
Our second grant is for £5000 towards improvements we will be making to our outdoor compounds. We need to increase the height of the fencing in compound 2 as well as having a solid section of fence to reduce the visual contact between dogs being exercised or trained inside the compound and dogs being walked past outside. This will provide a safer, calmer environment to aid training and behavioural work and off lead training can be safely carried out. We would also like to provide more benches in our compounds for dogs and handlers to enjoy 'cuddle' times and a quiet time together. The benches will be recycled plastic requiring no maintenance. We also want to buy further dog agility equipment for our residents to enjoy.
So a big thank you to Pedigree and Whiskas for once again supporting our charity and the work we do with our cats and dogs.
Many of our supporters know of the support and encouragement we receive from Alex and Erik of Alex Clark Art based in County Durham and are admirers of Alex's art. They enjoy buying items of stock from our shop designed by Alex and, of course, her Christmas cards. We are delighted and so grateful to receive from Alex and Erik a wonderful donation of £4000 raised from a percentage of the sales of their Christmas cards worldwide as well as a personal contribution. We are proud to be associated with Alex Clark Art and to stock their range of goods in our shop and, when a customer buys an item, we love telling them that Alex and Erik are big supporters of our work, not only making very generous donations to our charity but that they are our friends.
This was a resounding success, thanks to your generosity. We raised an amazing £4,837 for our general funds and all our residents got lots of extra food and treats over the festive period. Sponsor cat Scala loves this time of year as she really enjoys her chicken treats, whilst ginger cat Smithy wishes it was Christmas every day as he just loves eating !
In January our dogs walk off any extra pounds, but some of our cats are still a bit chubby!
The cat gardens at The Ark have always been very popular with our residents and are a feature we are really proud of, so we have always been pleased that we decided to build them. It started with the creation of Roger's Room and Garden, then came the Garden Room Cattery, followed by two small individual cat gardens. These two then became four and this summer became five, as we have used some money left to us in a legacy from Maggie, one of our supporters, who was a big cat lover, to create a new garden in her memory. As you can see, Kako, one of our residents, is already putting 'Maggie's Garden' to good use!
We thought you would like to see Sponsor dogs Cassie and Skye enjoying a day out on the Sponsored Walk held at Ilam Country Park.
Fruitie our Office Cat seen here enjoying her lunch break! She loves to visit the Dog Adventure playground and try her paw at agility! She also then enjoys a snooze in the sunshine!
Here's a 'happy ending' with a difference! Last year we sold a ladies bicycle from our Bric a Brac shed. Little did we know that it would go on to raise us even more money! As a result of her purchase, new owner Lisa decided to join a Cycling Club and, as a result, went on a 'little outing' with members of the Club....the outing involved cycling from Birmingham to Sidmouth in Devon, a total of 180 miles! Lisa's friends were so proud of her that they secretly decided to sponsor her and raised £115 for The Ark.
Thank you to everyone who supported this either by buying or selling tickets or by donating some of the super prizes. With your help we raised a wonderful £3,297 with a further £1,352 in donations!
Spring chickens will be coming out of their cages and into people’s back gardens in Derbyshire this month. After three months of restrictions due to avian flu, hen re-homing in Ashbourne will get into full swing again on Saturday, 25 March.
Ashbourne Animal Welfare, at The Ark on Wyaston Road, will once again be the centre of activity as hundreds of ex-caged hens find new homes with families in the area. The local charity acts as a pick-up point for the British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT), the leading national charity committed to improving the welfare of hens in the UK.
“It will certainly be a day to celebrate”, said local BHWT Co-ordinator and Ark Volunteer, Jane Wain. “We have been extremely saddened by the restrictions over recent months, as we have been unable to rehome any hens. So this will be an ‘eggstra’ special day as we hand over hundreds of happy hens to their new owners.”
The BHWT has so far ensured that over 554,000 hens have been offered a new life once their commercial egg-laying days were over. But the precautions that were imposed due to avian flu at the end of last year meant hens had to be kept inside. This has meant around 12,000 hens which were due to be re-homed by the charity in December, January and February had to go to slaughter.
Jane Howorth MBE, charity founder, said: “The decision to postpone our re-homings was not taken lightly, but it was vital we adhered to the restrictions set by DEFRA. Everything we do as a charity comes back to hen welfare so of course we were extremely saddened that we lost so many hens. However, in the last few weeks the restrictions have been lifted and thousands of hens across the country will once again be coming out of their cages and able to bathe in the spring sun for the first time.”
All the hens being rehomed on 25 March need to be booked in advanced. If you could provide a home for some ex-caged hens, or would like to find out more about the work of BHWT, visit www.bhwt.org.uk or call 01884 860084.