Meet Lorna Quinlan, one of our volunteers.
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.”
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.
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!
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 www.saarescue.co.uk or call the office on 0161 973 5318 between 12 and 16:30. Alternatively you can email our volunteer co-ordinator Aimee at firstname.lastname@example.org