Our kennels were fully refurbished in 2018 to meet with high modern standards. They are separated into a number of different blocks, most with large outside runs. The inside spaces have underfloor heating for the winter, a sound system to play soothing music, as well as comfortable bedding and toys. Dogs are walked on our grounds through the beautiful Freedom Field and relaxing Woodland Walk, as well as getting time to run around off-lead in our secure fenced arenas. Routines of training and enrichment ensure that all dogs have the best possible quality of life here, while they recover from their past troubles and wait for their new forever homes. In 2021 we also added an isolation block for disease control (for example, if dogs come to us from the pound with kennel cough), and an indoor arena space for rainy days. In 2023 we turned our special care unit into a maternity ward, to deal with the increasing number of pregnant dogs we have to look after. Dogs due to give birth are monitored through remote camera by our site manager, who is always on hand to help if needed, day or night.
In 2021 our cattery received a much-needed refurbishment, with luxurious new pens. Our main cattery houses most of the residents, some in large indoor-only pens, and some with secure outdoor runs. Our kittens and seniors room offers a separate calmer space for oldies who don’t want to be surrounded by too many others, or mums with litters who are old enough for adoption (mums with very young kittens are looked after by our network of trusted foster homes). We also have a special care/isolation unit, where new arrivals can stay until they’re neutered/vaccinated and ready for a main cattery space, or for anyone who needs TLC and cage rest. Besides this, we have a sheltered feral unit, for our resident colony of cats who don’t want to be domesticated – they are all neutered, receive daily meals, and are free to wander the site as they please. We normally have between 30 and 40 cats on site, with another 10 to 20 in foster.
Our farmyard currently houses a flock of ex-battery chickens, a handful of ducks, a pair of geese and turkeys, and three sheep. We also have a rabbit unit. This area is next in line for refurbishment, since some of the buildings are quite old, particularly our main stable block. The birds and sheep have access to a set of paddocks where they can wander about and graze as nature intended, with semi-wild areas to encourage native insects. We collect fresh eggs from the chickens, which are used to bake some of the delicious home-made cakes on sale at our fundraising events!
We are constantly looking for ways to improve our grounds and facilities, to make this a place of safety and comfort for the animals, a pleasant workplace for our staff and a welcome sight for our visitors.