Over 800 cats and dogs rehomed at The Blue Cross one year after Wherstead move
- Credit: Archant
It is a sight which never gets old for Andy Gillon, happy and fresh-faced owners turning up to rehome a beloved new pet.
A year has passed since The Blue Cross moved into its new £3.5 million home in Wherstead, near Ipswich.
The transfer from its 40-year old Felixstowe base has allowed the charity to double the number of cats and dogs, as well as rabbits and other small animals, which it can rehome.
It has topped 800 in the last 12 months.
“It’s been amazing,” centre manager Mr Gillon said. “We have helped a phenomenal amount of animals.”
The modern facilities boasts puppy and kitten areas, an on-site veterinary clinic for centre pets, maternity unit, clinical suite for operations and dedicated exercise areas, including 20 acres of neighbouring woodland where staff and volunteers can walk dogs.
It has the capacity to keep 15 dogs and 35 cats at any one time. The usual wait for an animal is 25 days.
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“We receive pets for all sorts of different reasons,” Mr Gillon said.
“Some people find themselves in unfortunately positions in which they can no longer look after pets.”
Elderly people moving into care homes and financial situations forcing people to downgrade houses and move into rental properties are examples.
Mr Gillon said: “It can be heartbreaking because they are members of the family.
“We are lucky enough to have a fantastic team who are sympathetic and very good with dealing with these emotional situations.”
He also praised their Home Direct service, which allows pets to remain at home until a new owner is found, sometimes within a few days.
Each animal is given a comprehensive ‘MOT’ health check worth £400 before they leave. Cats can be rehomed for a £65 donation and dogs £160.
Donations and fundraising for the charity is “unbelievably important”, Mr Gillon added.
For more information about The Blue Cross Suffolk branch, click here.