Caring Times readers save scores of abandoned pets

PUBLISHED: 09:40 30 December 2010

Julie Leversedge with Dottie

Julie Leversedge with Dottie


This year scores of kind-hearted readers have opened their homes to the unwanted animals after being moved by their photographs in the Help a Pet appeal in the Times.

Leo and Dottie

Help a Pet has now been running for five years and hundreds of generous readers have taken in pets which they could not bear to see homeless.

The charity rescues unwanted domestic animals including cats, both domestic and feral, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs.

Cat lovers Gil and Julie Leversedge, of Broxbourne Road, Orpington, vowed not to get another cat after their 14-year-old tabby Arthur died, because they could not bear saying goodbye to another pet.

But after seeing the pictures of kittens Leo and Dottie in the Bromley Times in September, they both could not resist them.

Mr Kipling and Lauren Penny from Gravesend

Mrs Leversedge said: “I was absolutely smitten when I saw the picture. They are settling in well and getting up to a lot of mischief.

“They like climbing up the Christmas tree and knocking off the baubles as well as hiding in a bucket. My grandchildren have made them a sort of play arena out of cardboard boxes full of toys.

“The kittens are now very affectionate with us and Dottie will sit on my lap but they are still a little weary of other people. They have not been outdoors yet but they will once this bad weather has cleared.”

Many unwanted animals go to the charity in a bad condition but they will only put an animal down if a vet advises them to. All the animals that come into their care are given a thorough health check by the charity’s vets.

Before being re-homed the animals are neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. The charity’s biggest costs are vets bills which last year was close to £40,000.

Sue Baum of Rowley Avenue, Sidcup, adopted Sonny and Summer, two Cavalier Spaniels, she said: “I adore them. They are the friendliest dogs I have ever had. They love everyone they meet and everybody adores them too, especially my young grandchildren.”

Andrea Penny of Lower Higham Road, Gravesend, gave a home to Mr Kipling, a young cat. He gets lots of love and hugs from her nine-year-old daughter Lauren Penny.

Anim-Mates has 102 animals that are spending the rest of their life with the charity, which include cats, dogs, rabbits, goats, ducks and ponies, who cannot be re-homed because of age, infirmity or care needs.

These animals live permanently in the homes of fosterers and are treated and cared for as their own pets. Most of these animals are in a sanctuary in St Mary Hoo, which is the home of volunteers Teresa Bloomfield and Steve Pierce.

Co-founder of the charity Ms Bloomfield said: “We are so grateful to the many hundreds of Kentish Times readers who, over the years, have given loving, caring homes to so many unwanted animals.

“Without the support of the Kentish Times newspapers there would be a lot more homeless animals out there. Thank you.”

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