Cats Protection, Preston Branch is a registered charity that rescues and rehomes stray and abandoned cats and kittens in the UK. Founded in 1985, the Preston Branch was started by a small group of volunteers as part of the national charity Cats Protection.
As stated on their website, the aims of their group include:
- To rescue stray and unwanted cats and kittens and rehabilitate and rehome them where possible
- To encourage the neutering of cats and kittens
- To inform the public on the care of cats and kittens
In 2015, Cats Protection, Preston Branch neutered over 2,000 cats.
Laura, PR and Media Consultant for the group, has been with the Preston Branch for just over a year and shares more about their charity.
A conversation with Laura
What is your role with the group?
I’m a volunteer PR and Media Consultant. I take some of the cats’ photos, edit images for the website and Facebook, and create short videos for our YouTube channel. I also set up and manage the Instagram account. Every ‘like’ and share means our cats are seen by another person, and this could mean another potential forever home for the cats in our care.
Why did you join the rescue?
My own cat Friedel was knocked down by a car shortly before I joined and losing him hit me really hard. I wanted to give something back by volunteering in my spare time for a local animal charity.
What region/area do you cover?
Preston, Lancashire, UK. We cover the PR1-PR7 and PR25/PR26 postcodes.
Do you have a mission statement?
Our vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
Does your rescue have a shelter or is it foster-based or both?
We have a network of fosterers in and around Preston that look after the cats and kittens at their homes. We don’t have a central shelter.
Approximately how many cats do you adopt out each year?
We rehomed 234 cats in 2014 and 199 in 2015.
What is the hardest part about running a rescue?
Funding and space. We need donations to keep the cats warm, safe, healthy and well-fed. Until we have homed the cats in our care, we don’t have room to bring in pregnant or nursing mother cats. Adopting an adult cat could free up a pen and help us save the lives of half a dozen kittens.
What is the best part about running a rescue?
Seeing the results of our work every day, as cats are taken in and saved from cold and hunger, and eventually adopted out to loving new homes.
What would you say is the most common misconception about running a rescue?
That there is always room at the inn, and that most of the volunteering work involves cuddling the animals.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a rescue?
Get a great team around you of dedicated people who put the animals before their egos, and affiliate to a respected national charity.
In your experience, what has been the best way to collect donations for your rescue?
Every possible route – we spend over £1100 every week and it comes in from dozens of different fundraising sources, every one of them is important. Our newsletter to our mailing list is important, but so are social media and fundraising events.
Thank you to Laura for sharing with us Cats Protection, Preston Branch. It’s wonderful to learn about rescues outside of the United States and to know that cats are loved and cared for everywhere! If you would like to connect with the Preston Branch, you can do so via their website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. You can also learn about donating and volunteering at their website.