Category Archives: General

Why a lick on the head made Lorna love cats!

Meet Lorna Quinlan, one of our volunteers.

Lorna with one of our rescue cats

Lorna has been with the SAA for about a year and has been helping us care for the many cats that we look after.

She decided to follow her dream of working with animals after spending several years in the financial sector. She took a job that allowed her to spend a day a week volunteering. Fortunately for us Lorna already knew about the SAA as she’d adopted cats from us before. So she got in touch and offered to volunteer with us.

“Everyone was really friendly when I first started volunteering. It was like joining a big family where we’re all working towards the same goal to care for animals. The training I received was really good and it was even better when they let me get on with the job when they could see I knew what I was doing.”

Lorna dishing out breakfast

Every Thursday Lorna cleans out the cats. Her day starts with cat food for breakfast – not her breakfast of course! Lorna says if you don’t feed the cats before cleaning the pens then they make so much fuss it’s impossible to clean them. When all the cats have been fed they calm down and many of them have a quick cat nap.

When the cats are settled she changes their litter trays and cleans out their pens. Lorna says this is often the most unglamorous part of the job, wiping up spilt food, poos and even the odd spot of cat sick.

“You have to come into volunteering with an open mind. Unfortunately you don’t get to play with cute kittens every day. You do have to deal with some messy cats and then there are the ones that take a violent dislike to you!”

But cleaning the pens isn’t all bad. Lorna recalls the cat that used to sit on its chair licking her head as she brushed out its pen. She was so touched by its affection that she had to adopt it.

Sweeping out the pens

Whilst most days at the SAA are uneventful Lorna does recall one morning when she thought one of the cats had escaped. She had gone to get more food for them and when she returned to the pens one cat had vanished! She went in and checked it wasn’t hiding anywhere, calling out its name and panicking about how it could have got out. Eventually a staff member popped her head round the door and said the cat had been taken to the vets!

Waking up the cats

As most of the cats at the SAA are very friendly Lorna said one of her biggest concerns was being upset when cats she had got close to were adopted. But she says was surprised how delighted she always feels when a reserved sign appears on a cat’s pen as she knows it will be moving on to a better life.

After cleaning out the cats Lorna helps with our donations, picking out items to sell on ebay to raise money for the SAA. She’s also going to be helping out on reception on Saturdays.

Lorna says she feels very honoured to be part of the work the SAA does, caring for abandoned animals and finding loving homes for cats, dogs and rabbits. She finds her work with the charity very rewarding and far more furry than finance! She says anyone thinking of volunteering or looking to work with animals should consider the SAA. Just a few hours a week makes a massive difference to the lives of hundreds of animals.

If you’re interested in volunteering with the SAA then please check out the volunteering page on our website or call the office on 0161 973 5318 between 12 and 16:30. Alternatively you can email our volunteer co-ordinator Aimee at

Charlie and Chaplin asleep in their clean pen


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.

The Five Freedoms – The Animal Owners Code

Animal welfare has really come into its own over the last few decades. People in every walk of life have gone from believing that an animal is a possession or a commodity to being a member of the family and something to be respected. This change in the way of our thinking has been difficult to achieve but it has made a world of difference for the animals we share our lives with.

The question now is how we make this change in thinking a reality for all of animals out there in homes and rehoming centres all around the world.

One way of doing this is by making sure each and every one of us keeps to and respects the 5 freedoms. The 5 freedoms were set out initially by the Farm Animal Welfare Council to protect the lives and welfare of every animal out there. Together they form a code of conduct for owners to live by in order to provide the best level of welfare possible for their animals. If all of us live by these simple rules then no animal would ever have to suffer from neglect or cruelty ever again.

The 5 freedoms include the following:

1) Freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition – This relates to your pets diet, it must be enough that the animal does not lose condition but not so much that it becomes overweight. Read the package of food you are feeding it for feeding recommendations or contact your vet to discuss specific dietary requirements.

2) Freedom from discomfort – This related to discomfort caused by living arrangements. Specifically regarding shelter from the elements and the ability to rest comfortably. A dog living outside with no shelter and only a hard concrete or flagged floor to sleep on would go against this freedom.

3) Freedom from pain, injury and disease – This relates specifically to the health of your pet. Nothing that happens to your pet should cause it any unnecessary pain or suffering. This is the hardest one to live by as there are naturally times when an owner must cause the animal pain for its own benefit. Recovery from surgery can be a very painful time for an animal but it is in the animals best interests. Training using punishment techniques is now generally frowned upon as being barbaric and ineffective, mainly because in the time between the animal performing the undesired behaviour and you punishing them for it they have already done something else like sitting down. The animals would therefore think it was wrong to sit down. (Training behaviours in and out of dogs will be covered in a later article.)

4) Freedom to express normal behaviour – This relates to providing the animal with enough space and resources that it may express itself in its natural way dictated by the animals genetics. In the case of rabbits that would be providing it with another rabbit as company, with things to chew and wear down its teeth on and a bedding that it can dig and burrow in.

5) Freedom from fear and distress – This is another difficult one, how do you ensure that your animal is not scared? The answer is you can’t, not all the time, but you can take every opportunity to ensure that your animal is as safe and secure as it could be. Again, using rabbits as an example, they should be provided with a shelter that protects them from the sight and sounds of foxes or other natural predators. For example a hutch should have a solid wood door on at least one section where the rabbits can hide.

In many ways it is difficult to love by all of these rules all of the time but it should not be. These rules are designed to provide guideline that will stop an animal from suffering. If all of us lived by these freedoms and applied them to our daily lives then no animal would suffer needlessly ever again.

Now wouldnt that be a fantastic world to live in.

Happy New Year

Everyone at the Society for Abandoned Animals would like to wish all of its past and present animals, friends followers, volunteers and supporters a happy new year! We hope that you can share this new year with us and become a part of the exciting new developments that wil come the the sanctuary in 2011.

A New Year message from the pets of the world

Happy New Year to you all!!

All I Want For Christmas….

Christmas time is busy time of year for everyone (whether you believe in Santa or not). A time of hope for the future, good will and (as any self respecting 7 year old will tell you) presents!! Topping almost every childs christmas list at some point in their lives is the inevitable “I want a pony/puppy/kitten/bunny” quickly followed by the equally inevitable grimace from the adults. The giving of pets at christmas has been a socially acceptable thing for many years which has resulted in a lot of animals being bought on a whim without proper consideration beforehand.

Some animals do find themselves in loving homes from this situation, however most animals end up being viewed as a nuisance after the novelty has worn off. When buying a pet on a whim or as a present people don’t often consider the amount of care an animal will need in the future. Cats will need a litter tray cleaning out every day, a dog will need training and walking and rabbits need their hutches cleaning out every day despite the weather. Not to mention that cute little ball of fuzz you carefully put in a bow and unveil on christmas morning will soon grow to be quite a large animal that will not be so cute and cuddly for very long.

It is these animals that end up in our care a few months down the line, needing behavioural or health issues sorting out before they can go to their new forever homes. Tis situation can be stopped once and for all if people would only think twice before buying a pet as a present.

The Society for Abandoned Animals does not rehome pets as presents no mater what time of year it is unless we are confident that the family have considered adopting very seriously and are all committed to the animals care. We always ask that it is the adults in the family that take on the daily care of the animal as it is often too big of a responsibility for a child to manage on their own.

A pet can make a wonderful addition to any family and we would not stand in the way of any of our animals going to a fantastic new home over the christmas season. If you are or were considering giving a pet as a gift to a member of you family this year then please contact us on any of the methods provided below to discuss the options and precisely what each of our animals requires by way of daily care.

You can e-mail us on,

phone us on 01619735318

or visit us at The Society for Abandoned Animals off Dane Road, Sale, Manchester.

Time To Celebrate!

Three months ago, the Society for Abandoned Animals faced closure due to a lack of funds. Recent years have been difficult for everyone and so with people finding it harder and harder to make ends meet, it’s not surprising that people have little to give to charities. To fight back against this we launched our ‘Save Our Sanctuary’ campaign (previous posts here and here). This campaign featured appeal, events, newspaper reports, radio slots and even a tv interview on the regional BBC news.our target was to raise £50’000 in 3 months.

It is with great pleasure that we can no announce that we have not only reached our target but we have smashed through it!!!

We owe everyone who has donated to us in this time a massive thankyou as you have helped to safeguard the futures of all of our animals and the animals that are still out there waiting for new homes. Without you we wouldnt be here right now.

The fight is far from ever however. We still need people to give as much as they can to ensure our future and therefore the futures of all of our animals. If you are in any way able to help, be it with a financial donation, donation of goods, your time as a volunteer or with any offers of work from tradespeople, we will be very grateful to hear from you. Also, if you have any ideas for fundraising events then please call in and speak to our general manager.

Take a look at our contact page for ways of getting in touch or click on our logo at the top of this page for further information from our website.

Walkies By The Water

Well, who would have believed that the sun could shine so bright on an october day in Manchester? But shine it did, all day long over the fantastic people taking part in the sponsored walk at the Society for Abandoned Animals.

The day went fantastically with so many people turning up to take part. The 2nd hand sale and refreshment stand did well with the first sale of the day being an 80’s style floral sun lounger!! The day kicked off at 10:30 with the first groups leaving on their 5k journey, many with dogs of all shapes and sizes in tow!

Rocky, the sanctuary dog also took part, setting out after the main group of people left.

“I decided to spend the morning meeting and greeting my fellow walkers,” Rocky told us before he set out on his walkies, “Afterall, I have become an internet celebrity!”

Everyone taking part was obviously trying to raise as much money as possible for the SAA and we have a fantastic way of saying ‘thank you’. The prize for the top fundraiser comes in the shape of an experience day for two with choices ranging from indoor skydiving to a luxury pamper session.

The winner will be announced when all sponsorship money is collected in a few days. The total donations made on the day will also be announced once all the monies are counted and verified.

Stay tuned for the final result!