Injured, unwanted and neglected animals have been given a boost thanks to a revamp which has transformed the Isle of Wight’s RSPCA animal rescue centre.
Rebuilding work has now been completed and the animal shelter’s team are looking forward to offering the best possible care for animals needing rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming for many years to come.
An increased demand was the driving force behind the project, as the centre faced a rise in the number of animals in desperate need of help.
Last year the centre rehomed 485 animals, compared to 282 in 2018, with a total of 191 cats, 140 dogs, 48 rabbits, and 106 other animals being found their forever homes in 2019.
Officially opened today (Wednesday 29 January) with a special ribbon cutting ceremony, the revamp has seen the creation of 41 new cat pens which have been built alongside three new maternity pens and four isolation pens.
And it’s not just pets! The centre is now providing help for injured wildlife brought in from across the Isle of Wight with a dedicated wildlife centre which allows casualties the chance to receive vital care and space for recovery ready for release. During 2019, 288 wild animals were helped by the charity in the dedicated centre with even more expected to be cared for before release this year.
The much-needed transformation also includes a new education and training centre, which the charity’s team hope will be used by the wider community, and a new reception area where people can find out more about the many ways to help the charity continue to help as many animals as possible.
The centre was created in the 1950s and since then it’s been run and funded by the RSPCA Isle of Wight Branch, which is an independent charity separate to the national RSPCA.
The majority of the funding for the special project has come from legacies which were gifted by residents to help animals. This has complemented the efforts of dedicated staff and volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the year to raise money to cover the day-to-day running costs.
From charity shops and fundraising events, to private boarding facilities located within the centre, every penny raised goes directly towards helping the island’s animals.
Branch manager Suzanne Pugh said: “The facilities at Godshill Animal Centre were in desperate need of an upgrade to enable us to offer the best possible care for animals in the most desperate need for many years to come.
“Thanks to the kindness and support shown by local people the much-needed modernisation project has finally become a reality.
“Many animals come into the centre after being rescued by RSPCA inspectors from unimaginable levels of cruelty, neglect or abuse.
“Teams at the rescue centre then go to extraordinary lengths to rehabilitate and rehome the animals in our care but this can sadly take time, and money, with some animals facing extensive veterinary treatment and long-term care.
“Every individual animal’s life matters to us and, as animal lovers, we do everything we can to help, and hope you will too.
“We always welcome support and would love to hear from those who value the lives of animals like we do and want to help us help to change the lives of animals in need on the Island.
“It costs more than £2,000 a day to keep RSPCA Godshill Animal Centre running, and the branch is responsible for raising all the money needed to keep open – and to do this we need the support of animal-lovers on the Isle of Wight.”