On Friday 27th October, Savoo’s senior user experience designer Luke and head of international SEO Marion gave a much-needed helping hand to one of our charity partners, National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT).
Both being self-confessed animal lovers, they were both looking forward to helping out at the shelter and learning more about their work caring for and re-homing abandoned animals. National Animal Welfare Trust is one of the UK’s leading animal welfare charities operating five re-homing centres across the south of the country.
Luke and Marion visited the Hertfordshire centre – their first established rescue and re-homing centre which was previously used as a safe place for people to evacuate their pets during the Second World War.
A bit more about National Animal Welfare Trust
Founded in 1971, the charity now cares for and rehomes over 1200 animals every year, as well as having an active presence in the local community too. As well as their five animal centres, they’ve also opened four charity shops in the last 18 months to further promote their work and raise crucial funds.
There are cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, and field animals that are cared for by NAWT in the hopes that they will be re-homed with a loving family. Before arriving at the centre, the animals may have come from a variety of different backgrounds, including being stray or handed in by owners who felt they couldn’t provide the care needed.
Meeting the animals
After arriving at the Watford animal centre bright and early, Luke and Marion discovered they’d be helping to set up a Halloween-themed event. Before getting stuck in with the spooky set up, the NAWT staff gave them a tour of the centre.
There were around 100 dogs, and cats, rabbits and guinea pigs in the shelter and around 20 employees there. Alongside the animal cages and offices, there was also a huge free-run and agility area to ensure the animals get a good amount of exercise, as well as six large paddocks where the animals can run free without being tied to a leash.
Luke and Marion enjoyed getting to know each and every animal and hearing a little story about each of them. Luckily, NAWT Animal Care team leader Chris was on hand to answer their millions of questions. It was quite hard to see the animals in a cage, but most of them are only there for a few months before they get re-homed.
They learnt that the charity relies on the help of over 500 volunteers and employs two animal behaviour experts. Each animal is micro-chipped, medically checked, vaccinated, neutered and wormed before they go off to their new homes. They spend on average £137 per animal on vet fees to make sure they’re in tip top condition for their new owners.
What did they get up to?
With Halloween just around the corner, their main task for the day was to set up a spooky room ready for some fun Halloween action. The ‘Witch’s House’ was made up of a fright-filled bedroom, an eerie graveyard garden, and another fun-packed room full of plastic creepy crawlies, pumpkins and not-so-friendly looking skeletons.
As well as plastic spiders there were also quite a few real ones hiding there too – much to the surprise and horror of Marion, who doesn’t like spiders quite as much as dogs! The Witch’s House was a fun way to get children and their parents to learn about their animals, as well as giving tips and advice about how to care for an animal and information about their re-homing process.
How can you support the National Animal Welfare Trust?
Around 78% of their income comes from legacies, which isn’t a regular source of income. This just highlights the importance of regular fundraising for them, one of which ways is to National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) for free.
What about if you want to re-home an animal?
As for re-homing an animal, every animal being cared for in a NAWT animal centre is up for re-homing and is looking for a new owner. For more information on re-homing an animal, visit their website. The Watford centre is open from 11am-4pm every day, or find out the opening hours of a centre near you.