And so to the last day of this blog, we hope it has given you a better insight to what we do on a daily basis and how our charity works.
World Animal Week takes place from 4th of October to the 10th, and our next in-store Petmania day will be on the 5th so we have lots planned for then. It also coincides with Positive Aging Action Week so we have plenty going on, with some exciting plans. Keep an eye on our facebook page for more details.
Why choose to volunteer with a charity like us? Working with animals can be so rewarding, seeing an animal come to us that seems to have lost all hope, giving them a second chance and seeing them change day by day, allowing us to love them is incredibly rewarding. It is an emotional rollercoaster and there are certainly difficult times when it is beyond us to help an animal and we think "is it worth the heartache?" But when we look at the overall picture, yes we can make a difference and yes we are making a difference and we pick ourselves up and keep going. The animals need us.
So to finish off I've asked our volunteers what the best and hardest parts of working with animals is and why they volunteer with Last Hope, here is some of what they had to say
Andrea "Reasons why I volunteer - its incredibly rewarding to make a difference in one animals life and to see them and their owners when they find each other. Its also a great way to meet a whole new group of lovely friends"
Ann "The reason I continue to volunteer is I want to try and make a difference and because every animal we can help deserves to be helped all the dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs etc are in these situations through no fault of their own, its simply because of humans, since joining Last Hope I have found that theres a hell of a lot of really good active people who really do care and manage everyday to include animal rescue in their lives and who I know will continue to do so.
What makes me very sad is when an owner comes to the kennels to collect their dog (which does not happen very often) I see the huge immediate change in that dog, tail wagging, their eyes light up, you just see a happy happy dog. Then I look at the others and I know how they must be feeling after being dumped and left alone and nobody comes for them THAT kills me AND that is why the work we do in finding good secure homes for these dogs is so important, to give them their right to a safe and loving home where they will have the respect they deserve"
Rachel "God there's so many good & bad parts! A hard lesson to learn is that saving just one dog won't change the world, but a good lesson to learn is it will surely change the world for that one dog!
High point for me was watching Amber the dog I rescued and adopted finally allowing my dad to pet her after almost two years! But sometimes the lowest point is, still after two years seeing the terror in her eyes when a stranger bends down to her. It's difficult not to think how awful she was treated to still think this way!"
Elaine "Why I volunteer? I'm a bit of a softie when it comes to animals, my family laugh that our two dogs are more like kids. When I see abandoned and unclaimed animals it is so hard to see the sadness and confusion in their eyes. To find those animals a wonderful home is so rewarding, I love seeing the updates from their forever homes and how happy they are and the joy they bring their new families. The volunteers are amazing and have taught me so much and I'm always amazed how much they do for so many animals in need. The hardest part is seeing neglected animals, I find it very difficult and can't and won't ever understand how people can be so cruel and cold hearted to mistreat any animal."
Bex (graphic designer) "The best part for me is being able to put my skills into something truly worthwhile. Before I could foster rabbits I didn't know that there was any way to help, so when I learnt that I could use the skills that consume my everyday life for Last Hope it made me feel wonderful. When I hear about people having found out about Last Hope due to seeing an advertisement that I've created it's a feeling like none other and I'm overjoyed by it.
When it comes to fostering bunnies, there's a whole new reward! To see an animal that has lived all it's live in a small cage or in a garden with little human contact in their day-to-day life come out of its shell is truly rewarding. There's so many little moments along the way, like their first binky and when they first run over to greet you, all this make up the best moments, every one a little better than the last. Then when you teach someone about rabbits as house animals and animals with strong personalities like dogs and cats and seeing people actually converting to this way of thinking, there's nothing better.
The hardest thing is seeing animals that have been abandoned and unwanted all around us. When we get to know these animals and see how amazing they are it's too upsetting to think that there are people out there that are so cold to give up on them, to abandon them or sentence them to a life of loneliness."
So what could you offer to an animal charity? What is it that made our volunteers reach out, make contact and give up a little of their free time to help out? Some can open their homes to take in an animal, whether it was a donkey or one of the kittens, all are loved and cared for in our foster homes. Some people can give up an hour or two to do a kennel shift once a week or every second week. Some can offer to transport animals to the vets, to our Petmania days or collect donations from the public. Some can carry out home visits in their area. Others use their skills as photographers, designers, organisers or writers to help. Some are there for advice others answer a call to shake a bucket or pack bags at our fundraisers. We are grateful to all of them, as without us working as a team, the charity would not exist and we are always happy to see new faces join the team.
Thanks for reading this blog, we hope you enjoyed finding out a little more about us and what we do and the people who make it all happen. We are very grateful to all those that support us and allow us to continue to do what we do.