Animal Rescue with Marion Garnett
MIND the gap, as you climb up onto the sleigh, we’re flying tonight. It’s the last column of the year and we’re visiting local animal rehoming centres to find out how the animals spend Christmas Day.
Hold on tight, there’s no seat belts up here. First stop is the animal centre Mayhew at Kensal Green where, on Christmas Day, each dog has their own stocking which they open with a member of staff before enjoying a Christmas dinner.
The cats have presents given to them by local children and the staff lunch together, each wearing a Christmas jumper.
Now, back on the sleigh, over Wormwood Scrubs (who suspect the sleigh could be a drone) to the RSPCA Cat Adoption Centre at Southall.
To help set the scene for Christmas Day, the centre is hosting its first carol service and Christmas evening on Thursday December 20 (5.30pm-7.30pm).
On Christmas Day, all the cats have a stocking and a Christmas lunch. The cats’ stockings are already hanging, expectantly, on the outside of their cabins.
The sleigh is now soaring high up into the sky on our way to Dogs Trust at Harefield.
Here, Richard, the manager, and his children are planning a surprise for the dogs.
On Christmas Eve, they will creep round the centre leaving a present in front of each kennel.
The centre is closed to the public on Christmas Day (but not to Father Christmas, of course) so the whole day can be focused on exercising the dogs and giving them a happy time.
We’re heading north now to Tylers Way, Watford by pass, to the National Animal Welfare Trust rehoming centre where the sleigh slides to a halt in the yard.
The dogs there have had a meeting (chaired by Zen) and elected Toby, Tessie, Bonzo and Kaleb to show us the sort of presents on their Christmas list.
The cats, rabbits and guinea pigs haven’t been so organised but they know Father Christmas won’t leave them out.
Climbing back onto the sleigh, we circle back to London. Our final stop is Battersea Dogs and Cats Home where, over their three centres, Battersea will care for 400 to 500 animals on Christmas Day.
Games will be played and carols will be sung.
Finally, thank you to all readers for your care about animals throughout the year.
Zen at the National Animal Welfare Trust
Dedicated animal expert MARION GARNETT, founder of the Ealing Animal Charities Fair, continues her column