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Carla Lane Animals in Need


3 Spurriers Lane, Melling, Liverpool, L31 1BA.  Tel: 0151 549 0959


Frequently Asked Questions

Before contacting us with a question, you can check this list to see if the answer is already here. If not, then you can reach us by email, phone, or Facebook messaging. Please note that if you try to phone us and leave a voicemail, it’s best to mention some details for what your query is, to make sure you get a call back from the right person who can answer it. If you want to ask about adoptions, then you might find the information on our ‘How to Adopt’ page instead.


What sort of animals do you deal with?

We primarily deal with dogs and cats, and to a lesser extent rabbits and poultry on our farm area.

We don’t have facilities for wildlife, reptiles, or other types of animals, so unfortunately cannot assist with them.


I’ve found a stray cat, what do I do?

Before taking in a stray cat, there are certain procedures which need to be followed, to confirm the cat is definitely homeless and doesn’t have an owner out there. First they should be scanned for a microchip, to see if any registered details can be found. If the cat is friendly, you might also be able to try the ‘paper collar’ method – get a small strip of paper and write a short message on, for example ‘if this is your cat, call me on this phone number’. Fix this into a collar around the cat’s neck, making sure it’s not too tight, and then if it wanders back to a home then the owner should be able to contact you, and put your mind at ease.

You can also take photographs of the cat, and share them on social media, especially groups dedicated to lost/found pets. You may receive comments from other local people who know more about the cat’s situation, or you might even be able to help reunite a lost pet. If none of these methods succeed in finding an owner, we know the cat needs a rescue space.

If a cat appears sick or injured and needs immediate care, you can call the RSPCA to receive a vet code, which should help towards some initial treatment costs. Vets can help to scan for chips as well, but they cannot take in healthy stray cats.

If a stray cat has given birth outside, please contact us immediately, since this is a special case and newborn kittens are very vulnerable.


I’ve found a stray dog, what do I do?

If you bring the dog to us then we can scan for a microchip, and try to find the owner’s details, as well as posting on social media. If this fails, the dog will be sent to the warden. Legally, all unclaimed stray dogs must be sent to the warden and wait a period of seven days, to give an owner time to collect them.


My cat has gone missing, was it handed in to you?

It’s very unlikely, since as explained above, we have a multiple-stage process which we ask people to try, before bringing us a cat which has been found on the streets. This is to make sure that any animals we take in are genuinely needing a new home, and don’t already belong to somebody who’s missing them.

If your cat is lost, then the first steps are to leave their litter tray and bedding outside, so the familiar scent can help them navigate back home. Ask neighbours to check in their sheds and garages, in case your cat is hiding locally. Put up posters around the neighbourhood, and also post on social media (for example, Facebook groups like Scouse Pets 2 or Moggies and Doggies). If your cat is microchipped, log into your account with the company that registered their chip, and mark them as missing.


Can you look after my pet temporarily?

No, we can only take in animals who have been permanently surrendered for rehoming. We cannot look after them for a while and then give them back, as we don’t have the space or resources for this. Our foster homes are for the rescue’s most delicate animals, who need additional care and comfort. We do not offer any fostering services for privately owned animals.

If you’re interested in boarding your dog, then we have a site called Moss Cottage which offers this service. We’re also in the process of opening a boarding cattery. These are paid services only, to help fund our rescue work.


Can you help get my animal neutered?

We’re not able to offer assistance for cats, but can recommend the low-cost neutering schemes run by the Cats Protection and Rescue Me.

For dogs, please contact the rescue to discuss individual circumstances. We may be able to assist with bull breeds in particular.

We cannot help with fees for other veterinary procedures, these are the responsibility of the owner. We cannot share any private fundraisers for veterinary treatment, as this takes attention away from our charity fundraising appeals.


My dog looks like a banned breed, what do I do?

Please call or email the rescue, and ask to speak with one of the senior kennel staff for advice. If your dog has been seized under Breed Specific Legislation, we can inform you on what steps to take next, how to work towards an exemption in court, and try to help get your pet back home safely. We are aware that the recent ban on XL bullies, which in our belief is absurd and utterly inappropriate, will be causing many responsible owners sleepless nights, and are publicising our strong disapproval. We have set up a special email to assist responsible owners:


Can I come and visit the animals?

We are appointment only, for people who wish to adopt. For health and safety reasons, as well as to preserve the time of our busy staff, we cannot allow members of the public access to the animals without a specific cause and proper supervision.


How do I get into the rescue?

When you reach our premises, you should see a tall metal gate, bearing a sign with our name on. If you don’t see metal gates, you’re at a different place! Our gates won’t be locked during the daytime, but we keep them closed for security. You can open them, drive through, and close them behind you. Follow the path around to the left to reach our reception building. We try to keep the reception manned, but sometimes all staff are needed to look after the animals, in which case the reception doors may be temporarily locked.


Can I bring donations to you/can you collect donations from me?

Yes, donations are always welcome, particularly of pet food, cleaning supplies, bedding, and items in new or very good condition which we can sell in our charity shop. Currently we cannot accept bric-a-brac, books/CDs/DVDs, electrical goods, or large furniture items as we have nowhere to store them. You can bring donations either to our rescue in Melling, or our charity shop in Formby.

Unfortunately we cannot collect donations from people’s homes, as we don’t have staff available to do this.


I don’t live locally to you, could I still adopt one of your animals?

This depends on how far away you are, the type of animal, and your previous experience. All our dogs are delivered out to their new homes by the kennel staff, so if you’re beyond a certain driving distance, then we would recommend trying rescues more local to you instead.