Make a new furry friend on World Animal Day

Published: Wednesday 4th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Today is World Animal Day. We spoke with Leah Elvidge, Trustee of Hull Animal Welfare Trust, to discover more about their dedicated work.

Hull Animal Welfare Trust (HAWT) has been re-homing vulnerable animals for over 35 years. First set up in 1982 in the homes of a group of women who wanted to rescue wildlife and abandoned pets, HAWT is now a registered charity that opens its doors to any animal in need, 365 days a year.

“It quickly got out of hand; there were more and more animals that needed rescuing,” Leah explains. “Eventually we rented some land and the organisation grew.”

Nowadays, the Trust takes in dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs – anything that they have the facilities for.

“Goats, snakes, chinchillas – you name it, we’ve had it through our doors,” Leah tells us, “but, if we don’t have the correct provisions to look after an animal, we will move them onto the right people or organisation.”

There are many reasons why an animal may end up at HAWT: “Sometimes pets have been abandoned or mistreated, which is quite upsetting. Often, it could be down to people having different circumstances to what they first expected; splits in marriages, moving abroad or their kids having allergies.”

They also run a hedgehog hospital, just off Anlaby Road. This is where volunteers treat around 100 hogs per year, healing cuts, looking after orphaned babies, removing ticks and then, when they are better, releasing them back into the wild.

“I’ve always had a passion for animals. I think, if we can’t look after the vulnerable in society, what can we do? This, of course, includes animals. They don’t have a voice and someone has to shout up for them,” says Leah. “That’s what HAWT does. We stand up for the pets and injured wildlife.”

HAWT is also heavily involved with the local community and works closely with schools to teach the next generation about animal care and cruelty.

“A lot of what we do is education. Many people don’t understand what a huge responsibility it is to adopt a pet. We frequently send volunteers to schools, and classes come and visit us too. If we can make kids see what happens when a pet is abandoned, there will be much less cruelty in the future.”

As well as adopting a pet, you can help the Trust out by fundraising.

“The bottom line of every charity is they need money to run, so fundraising is a biggie for us. We frequently host a bag-pack at supermarkets, as well as organising sponsored walks and Christmas and Easter fairs,” adds Leah. “We are also always looking for volunteers to help us out at the shelter, so if you can donate any of your time, it would be much appreciated.”

More information is available on the Hull Animal Welfare Trust website, where a list of current animals in need of a home can also be found.

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Published: Wednesday 4th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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