Monthly Archives: April 2012

Wet and Wild Spring Fair

Preparations in the rain

Despite the wild weather this weekend and the devastating burglary last week  we’ve had an amazing Spring Fair. We can’t thank everyone enough who braved the lashing rain and howling winds to pop down and help us to raise a whopping £2,437.75!!!

We’re so thrilled at how much was raised and it will go a very long way to helping the many dogs, cats and rabbits that we care for at the sanctuary.

Checking out the rabbits

 

We’re also delighted that several of our bunnies have been reserved alongside some of our gorgeous cats. We’re going to busy this week with home inspections.

 

Our resident Jack Russell, Terry, was quite the star of the day making friends all over the place.

Our bric a brac sale in the barn was a busy place from the start of the day to the end, with people queuing to pick up a bargain!

Hunting for a bargain

Some savvy shoppers rummaged for that ultimate find and we know a few children must have felt like Christmas had come early!

A frightening sight by the toys!

Our dedicated volunteers were on hand to help throughout the day and in some ways the weather helped as we sold a lot of umbrellas!

Shopping for bags and cards

Hand made items also proved popular with specially printed bags, greetings cards and framed photos all flying off the stands. Our raffle was also a hit and we know many of you had a go at some of the games on offer too.

Flame grilled burger anyone?

Not unsurprisingly the barbecue went down very well! It was worth getting a veggie hot dog just to warm your hands up! Of course everything was expertly cooked by our flaming fab volunteers! Complimenting the hot dogs and burgers were an array of amazingly decorated cakes that in some cases looked too good to eat.

Yummy cup cakes

Fortunately lots of you got stuck in to that icing!

Tucking in to cup cakes

We also had our resident face painter on hand, turning children into pretty cats and handsome hounds.

A princess cat

It was a fantastic day with the whole sanctuary filled with people.

Making new friends

Our volunteers put in a massive effort with many coming down first thing to help set up and make us storm proof! We must also say a huge thank you to everyone who donated items to us following last week’s terrible burglary. We were overwhelmed with people’s generosity and support for the SAA. More than anything else the Spring Fair has really raised our spirits as well as pounds.

Having a go on the games

We’re more committed than ever to helping the abandoned animals of Manchester and we’re really excited to be working with even more volunteers as today’s event encouraged several people to offer their services. The SAA’s Fundraising Coordinator Aimee Diz Ennis explains how important the Spring Fair is for the charity.

Now let’s just hope the weather can be as bright as our future!

Vital donations stolen just days before our Spring Fair

It’s been a devastating start to the week at the Society for Abandoned Animals as we’ve been broken into. Over the weekend thieves attacked one of the buildings at the farm where we were storing goods to be sold at the Spring Fair this Sunday. They must have used tools to force their way in and take our vital stock. They also destroyed what they couldn’t take. Fortunately they didn’t attempt to break into any of the buildings housing the animals but it’s still very distressing for all.

What’s even worse is the fact that this is the second time in a year that the charity has been targeted by thieves. We were broken into in 2011, again just before a big fund raising event. Reinforced bars had been placed on our bungalow to try to prevent it happening again but it seems the thieves were determined to break in.

We would like to thank the lovely officers from Greater Manchester Police who came to the sanctuary today to look at the damage and take statements. The Police Community Support Officers in Sale have said they will increase their patrols around the sanctuary to try to stop this happening again. They’re also bringing locks to help us secure the site a bit better and we can’t thank them enough for their support.

Everyone is devastated by this attack on our sanctuary, particularly given the timing. The Spring Fair is one of the key fund raising dates in the diary and we had collected a lot of items specifically for the event. Our volunteers have already rallied round and we know people are putting in a massive effort to try to gather more items in time for Sunday. We’re really hoping a security firm may donate their time and expertise to helping us improve security so this really will never happen again.

But as one of our volunteers put it, “we are not done and we are not beaten.” The Spring Fair will go ahead and we can’t thank people enough for their support. The lengths our volunteers go to and their dedication far out way the awful nature of the vandals and thieves who think they can steal from charities and get away with it.

A Rescue and Reunion at Easter

We’ve had a busy Easter at the Society for Abandoned Animals but the holidays have ended with a happy story.

On Easter Saturday we took in four tiny kittens that were just three weeks old.

Taking a nap!

They were brought to the sanctuary by Pam who had spent the past few days looking after the cats on a building site in Eccles.

Pam first learned of the little family from her husband who was working on the site. Despite the noise of the heavy machinery and the busy nature of the site the mother cat had settled into a metal container to give birth and tend her young.

After a lot of persuading from Pam the builders allowed her onto the site so she could bring food for the mother cat. This was a potentially lifesaving action as it’s vital the mother has enough strength to care for the kittens and produce enough milk for them.

However the building site was being closed down for Easter and the builders were threatening to evict the cats. Pam realised how distressing this could be for the mother, something that could prove fatal to the kittens. Concerned about their welfare Pam brought the kittens to the SAA but she hadn’t been able to catch the mother.

Can you guess why this kitten is named after Freddy Mercury?

The kittens were in a very healthy condition and were very friendly with the staff. All they wanted to do was play. We syringe and bottle fed them milk to keep up their strength and they seemed to be thriving. But we were all concerned about the mum who would be wondering the building site looking for her kittens, devastated at their loss. We gave Pam a trap for catching the mother cat and hoped she would be able to find her. I don’t think any of us at that stage were hopeful of ever reuniting this feline family.

Whilst Pam was on the lookout for mum, we sent the kittens to two foster homes. Fortunately two of our fosterers had cats that had recently given birth. The kittens initially took milk from these “foster” mums although we had to go back to bottle feeding to ensure everyone got their fair share of mum’s milk.

To our amazement Pam arrived at the sanctuary on Tuesday with the mother cat. We can’t thank her enough for her tenacity and determination. By sheer coincidence one of our fosterers who had two of the kittens was also at the sanctuary. She immediately called the other fosterer and dashed home to get the kittens.

The happy family reunited.

When they arrived everyone was apprehensive as to what would happen. We held our breath as the basket with the kittens was brought into the room. It’s very common for mother’s to reject their young after a period of separation and it had now been four days. The kittens also smelt of another cat. Fortunately we needn’t have worried. We were thrilled to see the mother come straight over to the basket before the kittens were even released. When they were she was overjoyed, licking the kittens all over. It was like a mother kissing her children. They were equally excited to have their mum back and were climbing all over her, although two of them were more interested in mum’s milk than her kisses!

Mum gives a reassuring hug

After such an emotional reunion the kittens were exhausted and literally fell asleep in mum’s paws. It was really moving to watch her hugging the kittens, reassuring them that she was there to protect them.

All five of this lucky feline family are now living with one of our fosterers. When the kittens are old enough and mum is satisfied that her job is done we’ll be looking for permanent homes for the cats.

It’s clear the mother cat isn’t a stray. She has a collar and is very friendly with people, but unfortunately she isn’t micro chipped. Pam tried her best to locate the owner but had no joy. This story is a really clear example of why owners must microchip their pets. We would also implore all owners to neuter their animals so they don’t end up with a litter of kittens on a building site relying on strangers for their survival.

We can’t thank Pam enough for her dedication to this cat family’s welfare. In recognition of her efforts we’ve named the mother cat after her. So if you’re interested in adopting Pam or any of the kittens (including Freddy, named after Freddie Mercury!) please contact the SAA on 0161 973 5318.

A real happy ending!