Week 10 - Animal Rescue Cumbria | NJIB
I arrived late Sunday afternoon into Kendal, a delightfully English village, full of character and old stone houses; a picture perfect postcard town by any account. I woke up early on Monday and took the short drive into the countryside to the Animal Rescue Cumbria site. It's a discreetly hidden sanctuary tucked away off a beaten track. The large stone-laid drive led up to the main reception. As I rushed through the doors I was greeted by 4 barks and a very warm welcome from Laura, one of the staff members here at Animal Rescue Cumbria. It's a wonderfully quaint place with a family feel.
After being introduced to all the doggies in reception I was whisked outside and given the tour. Animal Rescue Cumbria is a small dwelling with around 15 cats and 12 dogs on site. Originally founded by the late Alfred Wainwright, the sanctuary has been running 30 years this year. It was so lovely to see how well looked after each animal was. A warm home for the cats with fresh bedding and toys galore to immaculate kennels with a large filed for the dogs. You could instantly see that the dogs and cats were the priority; as it should be. I didn't escape work however and within half an hour of stepping into my wellies at the front door, I was hosing down kennels and taking the dogs out for a good run around.
With Animal Rescue Cumbria being such a small charity, the majority of the trustees have a large active role in keeping the place running. Later that morning, Kerry, one of the newest trustees popped over to meet me. She is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most passionate and enthusiastic people I have met on my Nicest Job journey so far. Her ideas and ambitions for the rescue centre are incredible. We ended up spending the rest of the day together, along with Pauline, another of the charities trustees.
I must say, being an animal lover and owner myself how shocked I was at the amount of animals at the shelter. There was a lovely little 8 month old Bichon Frise called Barney who had been dropped off a week ago. He was bought for an 18-year-old girl who after a few months decided she no longer wanted him. Dogs are NOT birthday presents, Christmas presents or any kind of 'gift'. If you want a dog, make sure you get the right breed and more importantly, you can look after it. I don't mean to rant but after spending just a week at an animal rescue shelter I was appalled to see the beautiful animals that were either abandoned or even abused that needed rescuing. So far this year Animal Rescue Cumbria have already re-homed 33 cats and 26 dogs. It costs them around £100 per animal from the time they get them to the time they leave. That is of course if there is nothing wrong with them. Lilly, a little Toy Poodle that had been dropped off was in a terrible state. Her back legs were riddled with scars and scabs and its going to cost a good £1,000 if not more to get her right. Guess who foots that bill? The charity. So if you want to donate to a charity. 1. Choose local, and if you love animals. 2. Choose your local animal shelter.
I must admit I did also take a cheeky few hours off late afternoon on Wednesday. I drive a lot and I visit a lot of places with the Nicest Job. There was no way that I was driving 5 hours to the Lake District and not seeing a lake. So I snuck off a little early and headed over to Windermere, one of the most popular lakes in the Lake District. The sun was shining and the place was stunning.
The rest of my week was pretty similar. From more dog walks to bathing a Mastiff dog (one of the biggest dogs I've ever seen). It was pretty much non stop work. When you have that many animals to care for, all with their own individual needs it takes a lot of time out of your day. I can completely appreciate that the staff have no time to do anything else. Fundraising and PR is on the bottom of their priority list.