Category Archives: Success Stories

Flash Finds a Family

Flash ready for action

Earlier this year the SAA took in little Flash, who couldn’t move abroad with her new owners. They were devastated to have to leave her behind but confident the SAA could find her a new and loving home.

She was a real delight to have at the sanctuary, always bouncing around and wanting to make friends with all the volunteers and other animals and it didn’t take long for the right family to come looking for Flash.

The Miley family came to the SAA after deciding to get a rescue dog because they wanted to be able to ask for advice about finding the right pet to fit into their household. Ellie says she’d wanted a dog since she was little and had finally persuaded her parents that it would be a good idea.

Ellie with Flash

“We thought it would be best to get a rescue dog so we could ask about information because we have cats. We wanted to make sure that the animals would all get on with each other.”

On their first visit to the sanctuary the family said they were really impressed with the dedication of the staff and volunteers who were all really friendly. They say it was clear the animals were loved and cared for and were really excited to meet the dogs looking for homes.


Flash in her winter coat

Ellie says: “As soon as we saw Flash we fell in love with her. When Shirley brought out the two little dogs, Flash and Terry, Flash was so quiet and calm. We had a good feeling that her and the cats would get along.”

After a home visit and a lot of good advice from the SAA the Mileys were ready to bring Flash home. Ellie says the cats got a bit of a shock but they have now got used to having Flash around!

“Flash has been a little angel, we couldn’t have asked for a better dog as she has the most wonderful temperament. She has settled in really well and become a very special part of our family.”

Flash settling in at home

Flash does have her amusing moments, particularly when the window cleaner comes and she enjoys barking at him! She’s also made friends with the donkeys on the moors at the back of the family’s house as she thinks they’re big dogs! Closer to home Flash looks really cute chasing her balloons and playing with her squeaky toys. Ellie says she’s trying to teach Flash to dance which is proving to be an amusing task!

Flash fits in to the family

At the SAA we’ve really enjoyed seeing the photos of Flash enjoying her new life with this loving family who’ve given her a second chance at a happy life. The Mileys say their experience with Flash means they’d always recommend that people look at adopting an abandoned animal rather than buying a new pet.

Flash enjoying the sunshine

They were impressed with the way staff at the SAA really got to know the animals and how they were really careful to make sure they would fit in with family life. They say the adoption process was simple and swift and they’ve loved being able to provide such a secure and cat filled home for Flash!


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!

Read All About It! Bruno’s Best Foot Forward.

Animal Care Coordinator Helen Messer, General Manager Bob Gregson and Bruno. (copyright The Messenger Newsgroup)

Our boy Bruno, the 3 legged staffy, is making is mark once again by winning the hearts and minds of readers of our local newspaper the Sale and Altrincham Messenger.

A THREE-legged dog has given a ‘paw-up’ to impressive new kennels at Trafford’s Society for Abandoned Animals – eight months after a Messenger-backed fundraising campaign saved the centre.

Six-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier-cross Bruno was the first canine ‘guest’ to sample the state-of-the-art kennels, which have replaced outmoded ones that closed 18 months ago.

The new facilities have been completed thanks to a Messenger-backed ‘Save our Sanctuary’ (SOS) campaign raised £50,000 to prevent the cash-strapped 45-year-old centre from closure.

But, even though the kennels are superb, Bruno is not staying on there – as he has become the first dog to be rehomed after completion of the £10,000 project.

His new owner is the animal sanctuary’s general manager, Bob Gregson, who couldn’t resist the lovable pooch – who has twice been nursed back to fitness by the sanctuary.

Bruno has cancer which will cut his life short, and no-one knows how long he has left.

Bob said: “I want to make sure that every day is the best day of his life.”

Bruno – who lost his leg at a young age in a road accident – was first taken to the animal sanctuary in December 2009.

The sanctuary eventually found him a new home, but he came back to the sanctuary when the new owner became unable to look after him because of a change in circumstances.

Bruno before being nursed back to health

When he returned he was in a very poor condition, suffering from dehydration, malnutrition and with multiple sores.

Now though, he has regained his strength and has settled in with Bob and his two other dogs, as a member of the ‘pack’.

Bob added: “On walks with his new pack he is so happy it seems as if he is smiling.”

Bob said the Messenger had played a vital role in saving the sanctuary and ensuring it had the funds to upgrade its facilities.

He said: “The momentum of the SOS campaign has led to us being in a position to improve facilities for all our animals.

“I would like to thank Messenger readers for really caring about animals, and contributing both time and money to help them.

“Financially, things are still difficult, so improvements are being done in phases.”

*If you would like more information on our new kennel facility or about what we are planning for our dogs then feel free to pop down to our site off Dane Road in Sale and have a chat with our members of staff.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses!

Go on, I dare you to rub my belly!

Rose the cat has been featured on this blog before multiple times in an attempt to find her a home and finally in celebrationg of a home accepting her in. This post is a letter from her new owners who are obviously enjoying the rewards of the choice they made so many months ago.


 Last October, my wife Hazel and I decided it was time to give a deserving cat a home. We had 2 cats, Kitty and Ringo, who sadly died during 2010. This was a very sad time for Hazel and I. We had always had cats, so we were missing feline company.

We decided we wanted a cat that really deserved a loving home, as we didn’t want to replace our other two. We were aware of the The Society For Abandoned Animals on the Stretford / Sale Border. We had a look on their website and looked for a cat that had preferably been at the centre for a long time. 

 That’s where we found Rosey. She had been in a pen for 9 months at the centre, waiting for a potential owner to give her a home. Usually cats find a home in days or weeks. She was about 2 years old and the volunteers at the SAA could tell that she at one time did have a home, but for whatever reason had become a stray.

She was found scavenging for scraps of food at the back of the Stretford Arndale Centre by one of the volunteers while shopping. The volunteer said that Rosey wouldn’t allow you to get too near. She was a painfully thin and in a bad state, and the weather in January 2010 was extremely cold. The snow and ice stayed for weeks. After a few days of visiting Rosey, the volunteer managed to grab her and put her in her cat box.

 When we went to visit her, she bit both my wife & I. The staff said that they think she had been mistreated because of her behaviour. She would flinch and cower if you moved your hand too fast. At the same time, she was intelligent and  loving. She would sit on your lap for hours. The volunteers at the SAA became very attached to her, but they knew she couldn’t go to just anyone, and that they thought that she wouldn’t be suitable for a family with children, or one with other cats. She also might have been too much for an elderly person.

 We knew we had to give Rosey a home. She wasn’t suitable for many people, but Hazel and I knew that she was perfect for us. We could give her a chance to have space, patience and freedom to allow her to eventually be happy. After having been locked in a small area of for about 9 months, however loving and caring the staff were at the SAA., she needed a stable calm home with a garden in a quiet traffic free street.

 Today 6 months on she has become much happier. She loves our company. She’s always waiting for us when we come home, even though the cat flap is open always. Now it’s starting to get a bit milder, and we are gardening, she’s always follows us. She climbs trees and many of the neighbours have commented on what a friendly cat she is. She has become friends with many of the cats on our street, which we always wondered what she’d be like. 

Since we gave her a home, she has never bitten us, only pretended to bite us in the first week or so, and she hardly ever scratches us anymore, only when we are too playful with her, or on the odd occasion if we pick her up, though we were never able to at all previously, now she rarely minds.

 She’s come so far in 6 months and we’re sure that as we show her love and affection, and give her space, she’ll continue to become what she should have from the start.


Brilliant Bunnies and Radient Rabbits!

 Last Sunday was the first of this years Rabbit Care Days  here at the Society for Abandoned Animals. We were offering complementary Rabbit health checks for all who attended with rabbits and had a vet performing low cost vaccinations in order to help the pet rabbits of Manchester be as healthy as possible.

The aim of the day was not only to help people who had been kind enough to adopt rabbits from us in the past but to help those who might not have otherwise taken their pets to see a vet. We managed to identify a number of minor health problems in rabbits that had never seen a vet before and potentially prevented those rabbits from developing serious health conditions.

An alarming percentage of the rabbits we saw were not neutered and were living alone. Their owners believed that as they were single rabbits that they did not have to be neutered as the risk of breeding was nonexistent. Many of these owners were shocked to hear about the health risks to domestic rabbits that have not been neutered, particularly with the high percentage of an unneutered female rabbit developing uterine cancer and unneutered males developing territorial aggression. We hope that by giving good advice endorsed by the Rabbit Welfare Association that we were able to help provide these rabbits with a better future and higher levels of welfare.

Other aspects of responsible rabbit ownership we were promoting included adequate accommodation size, rabbits as social animals and the possibility of keeping a rabbit as an indoor pet. Rabbits are still commonly seen as ‘disposable’ children’s pets with owners still believing that rabbits are cheap to keep and only live naturally for a few years.

The truth is that rabbits have been known to live into their teens and are notoriously expensive to keep, especially if they are taken twice yearly to a rabbits specialist vet. Rabbits are a big commitment and parents of children who want to adopt a rabbit should be fully prepared to take on the responsibility themselves when the children become bored of the commitment.

Hopefully last weekend we went some way to dispelling the myths surrounding domesticated rabbits and managed to improve the standard of welfare for a great number of local pet rabbits.

We also held games, stalls and even pony rides with our partner charity Urban Riderz to entertain all of our visitors, not just those with rabbits. One lucky visitor even won the grand prize of £25 of ‘Pet Life’ Vouchers!

The day was a fantastic success and as soon as we have the official figures in we will be letting you know via this blog our facebook and our twitter pages just how successful it really was!

A massive thank you goes out to all of the staff and volunteers who helped to make this day a fantastically enjoyable one for everyone!

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!!

Josephine’s Christmas Miracle

 Meet Josephine.

She may look a little rough around the edges but she’s such an adorable little cat. She was brought in to the Society for Abandoned Animals because her owners were moving house and couldn’t take her with them. She soon settled in here though and became a fast favorite among staff and volunteers alike.

Like many of the animals brought into us, Josephine soon began to show behaviours that we feared could hinder the homing process. It became apparent that she was not fully litter trained and for an elderly cat, toileting troubles are difficult to correct. We tried providing her with a covered litter tray, with multiple types of litter, we even tried giving her earth in her litter tray to see if she was wishing she could go outside. Nothing worked. We were sure at that point she was in for a long stint.

Then, christmas eve came and along with it a very special christmas miracle that reminds us all of the magic of this time of year.

A couple arrived at the sanctuary with a fantastic haul of food treats and toys to share amongst our cats for christmas. They were so generous, we were incredibly grateful. It’s not every day that people will go out and spend their hard-earned cash on animals that they have no responsibility over. To say thank you not only for the gifts but for taking the time to make their way down our treacherously icy access road we took them on a tour of our cat unit to show them some of the cats that would be benefiting from their generosity.

The moment they saw Josephine it was love at first sight.

They were fully briefed on her difficulties by one of our cat volunteers and when asked if they thought they could cope with a cat like her they simply smiled knowingly. It turned out that they were repeat visitors and had previously adopted cats from us, one of which had exactly the same kinds of difficulties as our lovely Josephine! As they were currently without any feline housemates, their previously adopted companions having passed of old age safe in the knowledge that they had a fantastic life, they decided there and then that they would give little old Josephine the best christmas present any pet could ever ask for. A safe and loving home.

This is one story with a very happy ending but unfortunately it does not always turn out like this. The animals that make it into the nations rehoming shelters are the lucky ones. A vast majority of unwanted animals are left to fend for themselves even in such harsh conditions as these. The only ay of helping these animals is to support your local rehoming shelters and help them to help as many animals as they possibly can.

With your help we can save the lives of cats like Josephine and many more besides. Please click through to our donations page and give as much as you can this christmas to help the cold and hungry unwanted and unloved animals of the north west and beyond.