Wood Green animal charity launches appeal for new cattery
- Credit: WOOD GREEN
Animal charity Wood Green has unveiled plans for a £2 million appeal to fund a state of the art new cattery at its Godmanchester headquarters, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Cat Care and Rehabilitation Centre, which will boost the quality of care for cats, is on course to be completed in 2021 and has already attracted a major legacy donation from one of Wood Green’s supporters - but the charity is appealing for more financial support to complete the project.
It said the cattery was a “key milestone” in the future of the 52 acre centre which last year rehabilitated and rehomed more than 3,500 animals whose owners could no longer look after them or were strays.
More than half the rescued pets were cats and Wood Green needs to update its present facilities which are no longer fit for purpose.
Vanessa Cunningham, director of care and veterinary services at Wood Green, said: “Since we opened our doors as a charity 1924, two things have remained true - the UK is a nation of pet lovers, and there have always been pets in need of our help.
“However, we now have a much greater understanding of their needs and we must continually adapt to provide the right care, and the right services, in order to fulfil our purpose as a charity.”
She said: “The new Cat Care and Rehabilitation Centre has been a part of our plans for a number of years, and I couldn’t be happier that – despite the financial impact of COVID-19 on Wood Green – we are able to go ahead with minimum disruption.
“This project is incredibly close to my heart and I can’t wait to see it come to life. Planning is well underway and the build is expected to begin early next year, completing in autumn 2021.”
Wood Green can have up to 500 dogs, cats and small pets in its care at any one time and the charity is often required to respond quickly to emergencies, with pets in critical conditions requiring life-saving treatment.
The Cat Care and Rehabilitation Centre will have 60 units, which will increase on-site capacity by a half. It will be built from seamless PVC with solid walls, separate sleeping areas and climate control in order to give cats a private and comfortable stay, all year round.
Its large, adaptable units will have sliding doors in order to create double and triple units for pairs of cats, and a number of secure areas called ‘catios’ will allow vital outdoor access for cats to exercise and display their natural behaviour.
The present cattery has enabled the successful care of thousands of cats since it was built in 2004 but was difficult to keep clean and to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Wood Green said improved amenities in the new cattery would improve the quality of care it could offer, tailored to each cat’s medical and behavioural needs. It believes improved care will decrease the average stay by an estimated 10 per cent, allowing it to look after more homeless cats.
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The estimated cost of cattery is £2 million and the charity is now looking for support from local residents and pet lovers to play a part in the development. It has also secured support by partnering with suppliers, including the Cambridgeshire-based pet technology company Sure Petcare, which is offering gifts in kind towards the cattery.
Information about supporting the project is available from Wood Green on: 0300 303 9333 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Local businesses interested becoming a partner on the project, please email email@example.com.