Category Archives: Event Days

Rise in Rehoming Despite Recession

The number of animals being offered new homes is increasing at the Society for Abandoned Animals despite the tough economic times.

The rehoming figures for dogs, cats and rabbits are up by around 25% compared to this time last year, which is good news as more animals are being admitted to the sanctuary on a daily basis.

So far this year 13 dogs, 162 cats and 36 rabbits have found new homes after coming into the SAA’s care for a variety of reasons. This time last year, just 111 cats had been offered new homes.

Natasha with two new kittens

The Sanctuary Manager, Natasha Woest, is delighted with the figures: “We’re really pleased that more people across South Manchester are choosing to adopt abandoned animals. Our priority is to ensure the animal will fit in with a new owner’s lifestyle and we can also offer a wealth of advice about caring for a new pet.”

Earlier this year the sanctuary opened its newly refurbished kennels which has boosted the number of dogs the charity can care for.

Natasha says: “We’re delighted that we can offer sanctuary to more dogs as there are so many animals that need our care. We take in animals for all sorts of reasons and with more people needing to downsize or rent we’re taking in pets at an increasing rate. It’s good news for all our supporters and hardworking volunteers that these unwanted animals are finding good homes.”

The support of volunteers has been vital to the SAA’s rehoming success. A big rise in kittens has put pressure on the foster carers as many of the young animals need to be fed by hand several times a day. So far this year 177 cats have been admitted to the SAA, alongside 11 dogs and 49 rabbits.

Caring for that many animals takes time and costs a lot of money. The SAA has been finding new ways to raise money through selling items on Ebay and sponsored challenges. On the 1st September volunteer Darren Richardson walked 60 miles from the sanctuary to Blackpool dressed as a giant dog! Seven volunteers will also be taking on the London to Brighton cycle ride in aid of the SAA on the 16th September.

Closer to home there are always opportunities to donate or pop in to see the charity and take a look at the animals. Our next event is a party to celebrate what would have been the 99th birthday of the charity’s founder Peggy Henderson on the 8th September at the Chorlton Irish Club from 8pm.

Tickets for Peggy’s Birthday Bash cost £10 in advance and £12 on the door. People should email to buy them in advance.


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.

Hopping into Spring at the SAA

Danny the Lionhead

If you’re bonkers about bunnies or just want to get close up to some lovely long eared rabbits then mark April 1st in your diary. We’re not pulling your leg! We really are having a Rabbit Care Day!

Doors open at 11am and there’ll be a chance to tour our new rabbit units in a special “behind the scenes” tour. You’ll get a chance to see where our rabbits live whilst they’re waiting for homes and learn more about how we care for them.

You’ll get to meet some of our fluffy favourites like Danny the Lionhead, our band of brothers who we’ve affectionately named Alvin, Simon and Theodore and Houdini who is a real character. You can hear all about the rabbits and why they were brought to the centre. All of them have great personalities and get up to all sorts of mischief when their units are being cleaned!

Alvin and Simon

If you already have a rabbit then you can book it in for a health check and vaccination anytime between 11am and 4pm. You must ring before April 1st so we can give you an appointment as the health checks are very popular.

There will be animal advisers on hand throughout the day on our education stall. They can offer tips on caring for your rabbit and some of the vital signs to look out for to ensure your bunny stays in good health. They know a lot about rabbits so please ask anything you like.

Another of our “behind the scenes” tours will take you to our new bunny boarding units which have been doubled in size. So if you’ve ever wondered what a 5* rabbit hotel looks like come down and see for yourself!

There will be refreshments as well as stalls selling all sorts of bargains. Pet toys and accessories will be on sale so even if you’re not a rabbit fan you can pick up a treat for your cat or dog.

Jasper the Rabbit

Jasper the Rabbit

So pop Rabbit Care Day in your diary for Sunday April 1st and hop down to Moseley Acre Farm to meet the team at the SAA and of course all our gorgeous bunnies. Even if you’re not raving about rabbits we’d love to see you, there’s something for every animal lover at the SAA.

One of our many bunnies looking for a new home

Every Dog Has It’s Day!

And Sunday the 26th of June is no exception! This year’s all Trophy Dog Show and Family Fun Day promises to be a fantastic success with new, never before seen games, a brilliant barbecue (with stuff for the veggies among us too), stalls and prize games galore and not to mention the Dog Show in all its glory!

This year sees a very busy schedule with 7 (yes, 7) classes including Cutest Puppy, Most Amazing Trick and (my personal favorite) Best 6 Legs where our panel of expert judges will look ast not only mans best friend but also his human handler! So ladies, time to get your glad rags on and fellas, well we never could say no to a touch of designer stubble.

The full range of classes will be announced shortly on this blog and on our official website so stay tuned! There will be rosettes and certificates awarded to everyone placing 1st 2nd or 3rd in each class with a trophy being awarded to those placing 1st! Your dog will then have its photo taken by one of our brilliant photographers to be included in your winner’s package.

In addition to this the winner of each class will then be entered into the last category of the day, BEST IN SHOW! To win a fantastic huge trophy aswell as a hamper of doggylicious prizes including a voucher for £25 redeemable at Petlife, the UK’s leading supplier of pet bedding and health care.

Gates open at 12PM with the first class (Handsomest Dog) starting at 12:30PM so get here early, we are expecting a fantastic turn out. registration will end 30 minutes before the start of the final class.

For Every ‘Peter Rabbit’ and ‘Benjamin Bunny’

Beatrix Potter, 'Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny collecting onions' © Frederick Warne & Co. 2006

The wonderful children’s stories by Beatrix Potter began with the Tale of Peter Rabbit, a mischievous little rabbit who went against his mothers wishes and ended up making himself sick by eating the wrong things and putting himself in danger by venturing too near the wrong people. These stories are often the catalyst behind a child’s declaration that they want to own a pet bunny! While the stories are simply that, the wonderous imaginings of a truly gifted children’s author, they have indirectly elicited an endemic of rabbits being kept as children’s pets.

For decades now, rabbits have been kept in hutches which in itself is not a bad way of keeping rabbits. This practice however dates back to times when rabbit was a cheap source of meat. Families would buy two live rabbits and allow them to breed creating a sustainable source of meat for the whole family. In these times, conditions in which rabbits were kept didn’t matter much. Thankfully, the idea of animal welfare has come on in leaps and bounds in the past few years and, thanks to some forward thinking people, so has rabbit awareness.

Rabbits are now no longer promoted as the disposable children’s pets which they have previously been though of as. Hutch sizes have increased dramatically and now, any pet retailer who knows his stuff will tell a potential rabbit owner which hutch is intended as a home and which is intended as a den. Rabbits are now known as social animals that need to interact with their own species in order to remain psychologically healthy. And, as Peter Rabbit found out, rabbits cannot survive on carrots alone and need a balanced diet high in fibre in order to remain physically healthy.

The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund is the leading advocate for rabbit welfare in the UK and this Monday (23rd may) marks the beginning of their campaign Rabbit Awareness Week 2011. During this week, veterinary practices, animal charities, pet shops and animal welfare organisations will all join forces to bring home the message of rabbit welfare and hopefully improves the lives of the millions of pet rabbit being kept in the UK.

Many vets practices are holding complimentary rabbit health checks during Rabbit Awareness Week which is well worth taking advantage off. Hundreds of rabbit charities around the country will be holding their own events too, and the Society for Abandoned Animals is no exception.

We will be holding a Rabbit Awareness event at Jolleys Petfood Superstore in Fallowfield on Saturday 28th May,  during which we will be helping new and prospective rabbit owners to set their pet rabbits off on the right track. We will also be on hand to help existing rabbit owners with any questions they have about their own rabbits.

As children are still so closely linked to rabbits and rabbit ownership we will be offering lots for kids to do during the day including face painting, colouring contests and a Name the Rabbit competition.

Even if you do not own a rabbit you will be able to do your bit for rabbit welfare by taking part in our ‘Buy a Bunny a Breakfast’ competition. For this competition you can feed one of the rabbits at our rehoming centre for just £1 and be entered into our free prize draw to win a fantastic rabbit hamper!

For further information feel free to contact us at the Society for Abandoned Animals on 01619735318 or by email direct to our animal care coodinator on

Paws for Thought

“Why was I so afraid of that vet?”

Last sunday (15th may) was the day of our first ever Cat Care Day here at the Society for Abandoned Animals and boy did the cats come out to play! We saw big ones, skinny ones, fluffy ones (but no bald ones) – all different shapes and sizes came to have a visit with our vets who donated their time from the Chorltom Animal Medical Centre Referral Services.

The whole event was geared around cats, something we have not attempted before at one of our event days. We were let down by the damp and dingy British weather but our army of volunteers still marched out to bring the words of cat welfare to the visiting public!
possibly the most rewarding part of the day was the fact that we microchiped 8 cats who may otherwise have gone un-chipped, risking being separated from their owners forever if they ever went missing. Microchiping is one of the most important things a cat owner can do, it ensures that no matter what someone else does to the cat, it can still be identified.
Collars can be removed, identity microchips can’t!
If you would like more information on how microchip implantation affects your cat then please feel free to contact us on 0161 973 5318.
When all of the monies from the event have been counted we will be announcing the grand total so watch this space!