Love strikes for former MP Ann on sanctuary visit
ANIMAL lover The Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe opened the new £18,000 kitten room at Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary – but fell in love with a rabbit called Brandon.
The former MP, who has appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity Big Brother, had a tour around the Edenfield sanctuary on a trip to the north west.
Ann is a patron of the Cats Protection League, has held the role of vice president of the RSPCA and has had a number of rescue cats herself.
The kitten room has been fully refitted with new units, a skylight and better lighting to help mothers and their youngsters settle in.
It was funded by money from the Bolton Guild of Help, which donated £3,000, and some proceeds from the sanctuary bookshop which has been run for three years by volunteer Kath Dowthwaite and has raised a staggering £20,000 in that time.
Ann was impressed by the sanctuary, which aims to rehome cats, dogs and small animals but has donkeys, horses, goats and pigs which live out their lives there.
She said: “It’s a lot bigger than I expected and it’s wonderful. I have always had black cats and I would take some home if I wasn’t away so often.”
However, Ann did take a liking to two-year-old male Dutch cross rabbit Brandon, found as a stray six months ago. She said: “Brandon captured my heart, he just sat there thinking with his big brown eyes. I am desperate for him to find a home as he looked like he needed one. I hope someone can help.”
Stuart Murray, operations manager, said: “Ann’s visit was a real boost for the sanctuary. We are so pleased she took time out of her schedule to visit us.
“She was so enthusiastic and grateful for the care given to all the animals here. She especially wants to be kept informed on Brandon’s bid for rehoming.”
Sixteen kitten units are available for sponsorship at £250 each and sponsors will have their names on the plastic cages. Email email@example.com. uk.
The cat section, which can hold up to 200 felines, is also on the hunt for foster homes for the kittens, especially with a busy time expected over the next few months. Email cats@ bleakholt.org.uk.
Anyone interested in adopting Brandon, or any other rabbits should visit the sanctuary.
Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe with Brandon the rabbit, held by Pete Hesketh who works with the small animals at Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary, and opening the kitten unit with animal carer Hayley Collins