Pet Drugs Online Volunteer Day at the Cotswold Dogs and Cats Home
To celebrate the first anniversary of our partnership with the Cotswold Dogs and Cats Home, we spent a day volunteering at the CDCH, getting a good look into how things work in the world of animal rescue.
Who are the CDCH?
The Cotswold Dogs and Cats Home (CDCH) is an animal rescue in the heart of Gloucestershire that has been providing support and care to vulnerable animals in their community for over 80 years. As well as taking in pets needing a home, they also run some schemes to help pet owners in their local community. This includes their Safe Space Scheme, a pet-fostering service for those fleeing domestic abuse, and their Low-Cost Vet Clinic, which offers those in receipt of benefits appointments to help pets with minor conditions or routine pet healthcare.
How Our Day Went
When we first arrived, we were greeted by a member of the CDCH staff who explained our plan for the day before taking us on a tour of their facility. While walking around the site, their guide explained that the CDCH doesn’t have an open-viewing policy for the animals in their care (especially for the dogs) as it can cause additional stress.
The CDCH’s unwavering dedication to the welfare of their animals even goes so far as ensuring everyone stays in constant contact with one another via walkie-talkie. They do this to notify one another of their location so anyone walking a dog can avoid running into other people or other dogs, preventing unnecessary stress for the dogs.
The staff at the CDCH dedicate so much of their time to caring for the animals in their care, so other jobs about the site can quickly begin to mount up. This is where we came in. Our main task for the day was to clear one of the paddocks of weed and other debris. After putting away some of the things left over from an event, we got to work on de-weeding.
Ella from our customer service team was more than happy to take charge of the wheelbarrow, so all that was left was to dispense the remaining tools and get the paddock cleared!
Meeting Dee Dee
After we’d deposited the weeds on the compost heap, we were lucky enough to meet one of the newest CDCH residents, Dee Dee, the beautiful cocker spaniel. Luckily for us, Dee Dee was exceptionally loving to everyone, and it wasn’t a matter of if you got to cuddle with her than it was when. She made her rounds and let every one of us feel the love.
Sadly, Dee Dee is an exception to some of the dogs the CDCH cares for. Many of the dogs they take in struggle with behaviour issues or become anxious around too many new people, so the staff keep them safely enclosed and offer them time one-to-one instead.
We are thrilled to say that Dee Dee found her forever home not long after our visit to the CDCH.
Into the Cattery
While one job was out of the way, there was still plenty to be getting on with. We split into two groups: one went and carried out some cleaning jobs in the centre, while the others got to go and meet the residents of the cattery. Don’t worry, we swapped over afterwards.
There was a mix of cats in the cattery, some of whom we could spend some time in the pods, while others weren’t used to humans or were anxious around new people, so we left them alone.
Some of the standout stars from our cattery visit were 17-year-old Squeak and 6-year-old Jack, both of whom hadn't had much interest since joining the shelter. Not that we can understand why. They were both lovely kitties full of affection and love, they just needed a human to share it with!
(At the time of writing, both Squeak and Jack have now been happily placed in their forever homes.)
We got especially excited when the staff informed us of a group of kittens in the centre which we could play with, even if we had to wear special suits just to go into their pod. While we may have looked like a group of extras from CSI, it was entirely worth it for the time we spent having kitty cuddles!
We managed to make it through the cattery visit with only one escapee. A cat named Nala made a door dash into the corridor but was easily coaxed back into her bed with a hefty helping of extra treats.
While the last group was in with the cats, the others cleaned up outside the cat isolation room. We swept up the dead leaves and scrubbed up the dirt that had built up on the path before using a pet-safe cleaning chemical to disinfect and clean the area. We also cleared away some of the cobwebs hanging from the front of the building.
Before we knew it, our time was up, and it was time to say goodbye to the Cotswold Dogs and Cats Home and its staff. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the CDCH, and we hope we made things a little easier for the people who work so tirelessly to care for the animals housed there.
What Can You Do to Help Animals in Need?
Doing something is always better than doing nothing when it comes to helping others, and for animal rescues, there are plenty of things you can do to help! If you’re not in the place to adopt a pet, then why not try:
- Volunteering at your local rescue — Rescues will always have jobs available for volunteers to help out with, whether that’s cleaning enclosures or walking dogs.
- Shopping at pet rescue charity shops — The CDCH, in particular, has a number of charity shops across Gloucestershire that sell all sorts of goodies!
- Sponsor a pet — urgent appeals are always looking for people to help contribute to an animal's welfare, and you can follow along to see exactly where your money’s going.
- Donate — Pet rescues are always open for donations, whether you want to give money to help pay for expenses or unwanted beds and toys. Just be sure to ask before you drop anything off. They might need certain items more than others.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our day at the Cotswold Dogs and Cats Home, and since our last visit, members of our team have been begging for another opportunity to go and help out. If you’re interested in helping the CDCH, check out their website for ways to support them in their mission of finding forever homes for pets in need.