I'm Katie and these littles ones are called Wilbur, Hope, Lottie, Bessie, and you can’t really see him but their brother Dennis is in that first picture with them too. They are my babies.
I arrived at NAWT in early January, when I was five weeks pregnant, because my previous owner could no longer care for me. I brought Kitty with me to NAWT, my six week old kitten from a previous litter, and I was pleased when she very quickly found a new home.
But now it’s the people who are frightened. The human world has been transformed by this thing they call the Coronavirus, and it’s making things very difficult at the charity. Fundraising events for the year have all been cancelled and you friendly people who brought us food and equipment and toys can’t come here anymore. The future of rescue centres like this one is uncertain. What happens to animals like us if it closes permanently? I know that’s the question keeping our carers awake at night.
All the NAWT rescue centres have had to close temporarily, which means me and my kittens will be waiting for a family a little longer than expected and we no longer have any visitors, just the animal care team. That’s okay, we’ll pull through. We like it here and we have each other. For some of our neighbours though, life has become tough.
I guess it’s no surprise that the human world worries Grace. She doesn’t understand it and the confined space of a kennel is completely alien to her after spending approximately two years living outside.
It took a long while for her to understand everyone here is kind and wants to help, but she got there in the end. Time outside of her kennel in the company of the care team and visitors is the only time Grace is really happy. Adaptations were made for her to spend longer outside of her kennel with volunteers and staff, but the lockdown changed the way of life at the centre and left Grace facing a situation she would never cope with; prolonged time in kennels with far fewer visitors.
Thankfully for Grace, one animal carer Laura is able to offer her a temporary foster home for now. Laura already has two dogs of her own who Grace is a little wary of so she’s having to learn to get along with them, but she prefers that to the alternative.
It’s not just my friends here at the centre I worry for, but those who will desperately need this rescue facility in the coming months, just as I did at the start of the year. As this virus starts to affect the health and the financial circumstances of pet owners in our local community, pets will sadly become a luxury that some households simply cannot sustain. Without a rescue centre to turn to, where will they go?
With Government support only stretching as far as supporting those charities on the frontline fighting Coronavirus, there is little official help for us animals. Therefore, it’s only with your kind support that NAWT rescue centres like mine will make it through this pandemic.
When all this is over, we’ll still be here waiting to thank you, and hoping to offer you the friendly companionship that’s been sorely missing from so many lives during this awful time of social distancing. Please don’t forget we’re here, and please come to see us as soon as you can.
I hope you and your families are staying safe and well, and I hope we’ll meet again soon.
NAWT Clacton Resident