Heydon Animal Shelter Animal Awareness Day

We had a wonderful day out today at the Heydon animal shelter in Hertfordshire, England. It was their Animal Awareness day and the sun was shining on what seemed like the first hot sunny weekend of the year - even though it's already getting near to autumn! 

Our regular visitors will already know about Wood Green Animal shelter from reading our report about their open day at another of their sites at Godmanchester in Cambridgeshire. This organisation has been rescuing and re-homing animals for over 80 years and now has homes in London, Cambrigeshire and this one at Heydon. Nestling among the gently rolling hills and lush green landscape of this beautiful part of the country, Heydon Animal Shelter is situated in an idyllic setting. 

It is exclusively for cats and small animals like rabbits and hamsters, which means that there is no constant barking from caged dogs to unsettle the already anxious and traumatised cats. The care that these cats receive appears to be of the highest quality, with an on-site veterinary clinic and highly trained staff. These lucky felines all have large enclosures to roam around in. The smallest of the pens still allow for each cat to have a sizeable little hut for indoor warmth and shelter, and an enclosed pen in which to exercise safely. Every cat has plenty of food and water, a litter tray, comfy cushions and plenty of toys. Cats that come in as a couple or as a family are kept, and re-homed, together. 

The largest enclosures are fantastic! Whole areas are enclosed where cats can mix and socialise with other cats. To allow potential new owners to get to know the cats better, double door systems let people enter and walk amongst them while preventing the cats from escaping. 

On such a warm and sunny day like today, all the cats seemed very chilled-out and friendly - many inviting a nice stroke or a tickle, and only one out of the dozens that we met made it clear that he would much rather be left alone! It occurred to us that many of the cats seemed so content and well cared for that they might actually be sorry to leave this place if they were found a new home! 

But nothing compares to the love and friendship gained from being part of a genuine and caring family, and with this event proving to be so popular - we are sure that Heydon Animal Shelter must have found many new homes for their cats on that day. 

So what of the day itself? Well, for refreshments, there was a tea and cake stall, ice-creams, and a barbeque with veggie burgers and hot dogs. There were lots of stalls providing information and selling animal related products, local organic fruit, a thrift shop, and at one o'clock they held a gift auction, all to raise funds for the shelter. A local dog agility club put on a fun display and there was even a local owl welfare group with a beautiful rescued barn owl, tawny owl and eagle owl on show, all looking majestic and enjoying the day out!

All together it made for a perfect Sunday afternoon, and when we discovered a warm and friendly country pub with a very pleasant beer garden that we stopped off in on the way home, we really wished we could spend more weekends like this one!

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