Animal Rescue with Marion Garnett
Dedicated animal expert MARION GARNETT, founder of the Ealing Animal Charities Fair continues her column
THERE are not many cafés where you can eat your jacket potato surrounded by more than 40 dogs, 90 cats/kittens and a selection of rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters and bearded dragons, but if this is your dream, one such café has just opened at the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) rehoming centre.
All visitors are welcome, including those who just want to have coffee or lunch, as well as those who want to rehome an animal.
So if you are looking for a unique place to meet your friends, do pay the new Cottontails Café a visit – it is open every day from 11am to 3pm.
As well as welcoming visitors to eat there, NAWT also welcome volunteers to help in the café. I helped there last week and one of the best parts was being able to spend the whole day next door to the lurcher Kaleb, a big boy who has managed to bag himself the kennel next to the café.
He has been waiting over two years for a home so he deserves some special consideration. He watched intently as the menu was fixed on the café door. No need to feel guilty here about eating in front of the animals as NAWT implement the Open Paw programme of care so, when you look round the dogs and cats, you can feed them from the pots of kibble outside their pens.
Visitors are encouraged to feed the animals (as long as it’s from their daily allowance).
If you think helping in the café could be your cup of tea, email the centre manager Jackie De Friez on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two of the rabbits currently waiting at the centre for a home are Bailey and Ruby. These neutered mini-lop rabbits came into the care of NAWT as their previous owners were moving and were unable to take them with them.
Just as NAWT has enjoyed creating a café from one of their outbuildings, so hopefully those who own rabbits will enjoy creating safe, comfortable, imaginative living accommodation for them.
Remember the saying of the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) – “A hutch is not enough”. Rabbits need space to run, jump, dig and stand fully upright on their back legs.
You can see creative examples of rabbit accommodation at rabbitwelfare.co.uk.
You can also see ideas there of what rabbits would like on their lunch menu.
If you’re interested in meeting Bailey and Ruby or visiting the centre, you are welcome at Tylers Way, Watford bypass WD25 8WT.
Bailey and Ruby