Our rescue centre near Ince Blundell first opened its doors in 1986, eleven years after the charity was founded. Thanks to public support and the dedication of regular staff and volunteers the 2.5 acre site has grown and facilities improved greatly over the years.
We currently have three blocks of six kennels and with additional 'rooms' given over to the dogs in our care we have the capacity to comfortably house up to 45 depending upon size, breed and temperament. We are lucky to have a strong band of volunteer dog walkers and also a number of dedicated individuals who are buddied up to help with some of our more troubled rescues.
Our Cattery is home to in the region of 65-80 cats and kittens, numbers will vary according to current re-homing success. To limit stress and to promote good health, all cats admitted go through a period of isolation before they are made available for rehoming. During this time we also ensure that each cat is vaccinated and neutered and that they are all de-fleaed, wormed and microchipped.
We have a small animal unit catering for rabbits, Guinea pigs, chinchilla and other 'small' creatures and staff here also take responsibility for the wild birds and hedgehogs in our aviaries and hedgehog hospital. In the springtime the sheer volume of casualties can be overwhelming and many a defenceless youngster will require hand feeding at regular intervals throughout the night.
Over on our small farm we have resident pigs and sheep along with hens, ducks, turkeys, geese and quail. At the time of writing we have 7 characterful pigs and 7 equally characterful sheep! They each seem to have an opinion on just about everything or perhaps more accurately how 'everything' might affect 'them' or more importantly supply of their favourite foods! Both Freshfields rescue centres and all of our charity shops are meat free zones, there's no logic after all in providing rescue space for farm animals without also implementing such a policy.
The latest addition to our services is our fox rescue and rehabilitation work. This began towards the end of 2013 and includes a fox advisory service offering practical advice relating to just about about any issues with urban foxes.
Our Liverpool centre also operates a number of outreach programmes including our Bull Breed Welfare initiative and Linaker Cats Protection Project. Both programmes aim to help animals and their owners within our local communities and by taking information and thereby 'options' out into those communities we are able to educate and to aid future generations. Projects like these only get off the ground due to the enthusiasm and commitment of the individuals driving them (whether staff or volunteer) and it's generally those same individuals (such as Freshfields very own 'Fox Man') that we are reliant upon to keep these projects going, by sharing their passion, and encouraging others to their cause.
As with everything 'animal rescue' we achieve much more as a team and working towards common goals!