Week 13 - Wood Green | NJIB
The wonderful Wood Green is situated just a stones throw from Cambridge in Godmanchester. Nestled into the countryside they have ample land for the huge range of animals that they keep on site. From Dogs and Cats to chicken, ferrets and even an alpaca, they are the modern day Noah's arc of re-homing.
The first thing that struck me on arrival to the charity was the giant wind turbine right next to the site. There really is no missing this beast of an energy generator and it must stand at least 200ft tall. It must have set them back a pretty penny, but considering the amount of land (50 acres) they have the sheer amount of animals that need looking after, long term it makes perfect sense.
My week began in the cat department. I love cats just as much as I love dogs but I must admit when I had a 3 week old baby kitten thrust into my hands just hours upon arrival for a feed, my allegiance, be it temporary, shifted. Animals, big or small are wondrous creatures that give us so much love and want for nothing in return.
Yet it both baffles and disgusts me that anyone could harm and abuse any living creature. After feeding the kittens and them falling into a soft slumber in my very hands, I headed over to the isolation unit. This unit has been specifically set up by Wood Green for it's cats who's needs are more demanding or specialist than the others.
Molly, a wonderful little tabby was my first introduction and had been mistreated at her previous home. As a result, she had become very reserved and nervous, acting out whenever affection was shown. I spent a little time getting to know her and her other friends in the unit before heading back out to special care. This unit is for cats that have infectious diseases that need to be quarantined. Wood Green actually have their own vet building on site and these little ones were waiting to be seen by the on site vet.
I then got a wonderful tour of the site. Wood Green doesn't open on Mondays because they try and give some rest bite to the animals after a busy weekend. Unfortunately a lot of people treat it like a Zoo and pop up over the weekends for a day out. Now, whereas I'm not condemning the footfall and the money people spend whilst at Wood Green, they also have to remember that by having hundreds of people through the doors can really stress out the animals. Especially, when people come and bang on the cages the cats are living in. So I would urge people to visit, but politely suggest not to be so forward with the animals on site.
I arrived on site at 8.30am sharp and was taken through to get kitted up. I've never worn scrubs before and it was a pretty 'cool' feeling to be honest. Maybe it's a level of self-importance, but when you put those garments on, you know you are there to save somebodies life. I always remember being in the fashion industry using the phrase "but were not saving lives here" and it was so true. No matter how many blue jumpers you did or did not sell, it really was not a life or death situation; but this was. I headed into a room where any tiny mistake could cost a precious life. So understandably, I was anxious, but incredibly excited at the same time. I also decided that I would live tweet my journey through surgery using the #LiveAtAnimalSurgery and from what I hear it went down a storm!
The surgery is a new building that was built of the back of one legacy donation. What an amazing person. It was state of the art and had everything the team could possibly need. From a main operating suite to an x-ray department and dentistry to a recovery bay with build in automatic heat isolation tanks to aid recovery. It's truly marvellous.
Our first operation was a cat castration. Now, I must admit this did make me a little bit squeamish. I did also feel my private parts tingle in anxiety. Eek, what a thing to watch, but at least I was plunged in at the deep end; no better way to learn!
From then we looked at a rabbits teeth who were deformed, another castration, pulled out a cats broken tooth and gave a face peel to a Husky. What amazed me even more was that no expense was spared. Whatever the animal in question needed was given. Because Wood Green doesn't outsource their veterinary needs, they can keep the costs down and do everything in house; thanks to the incredible donation. I saw care that, quite frankly, would be hard to rival. And that is a true testament to the charity in itself. So if you want to know where your donations go when you give to Wood Green, right here. Saving lives.
I don't think I'll ever get the chance to put on some scrubs and witness what I did today and it really is a memory I will cherish for life. I was inspired, humbled and in awe of what not only the staff did, but what the charity allowed me to see. I would of course never compare each charity and say what my best day was, but this may be up there at the top!
It's so refreshing to see that Wood Green has embraced every avenue to generate media, publicity and donations. This new wave thinking could not have been more apparent than on Wednesday when they handed over their whole social media network to me. Little ol' me facebooking to 50,000 followers!