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Small animal rescue centre
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The history of STARescue

My early days working with rescue animals began back in 1985 when a lost, uncastrated, ginger tom cat found me. I made every effort to find his owner but all was in vain. I reported my stray cat to all the veterinary practices, local rescues, the lost pets' register and advertised in the local newspapers but no owner was ever found.

A couple of weeks later, I rang my local branch of a national animal charity to help find a new home for this handsome fellow, having got three cats already myself. They asked me to take care of him until a space became available as they were full up. It was three months later when they rang to say that they had a space available, but by this time Timmy, as he was now called, was well settled into the family and I couldn't possible part with him.

How little did I ever suspect what path in life my handsome ginger boy had led me. I worked on a voluntary basis with the charity for a number of years, rehoming hundreds of unclaimed stray and unwanted animals.

In October 1998, Tricia Field and myself decided to set up our own animal charity. We decided to call it STARescue (Shirley and Tricia's animal rescue), and in June 1999 the charities commission granted us charity status. Myself and the committee work on a voluntary basis and all monies raised, either through fundraising or donations, goes towards the welfare of the animals. None of us gets paid a salary and all funds raised go direct towards the welfare of our animals.

The rescue works alongside the Le-Bret Dog Rescue in Newbury, and takes dogs from a Dog Pound in Wales.

All animals are vaccinated and neutered before leaving the rescue and we conduct home checks to make sure the new homes are suitable. If animals are too young for neutering, we follow up with the new owners to make sure the operation has been performed. In cases, where this operation is not appropriate, for example, with mice, gerbils or hamsters we rehome as single sexed animals.

As well as having animals up for adoption, we also have a number of longer term residents for whom we look for sponsorship. We never destroy a healthy animal.

So what for the future? We would like to raise money for specific projects, for example, a low cost clinic for neutering which would address the problem of unwanted pets at its root.

Shirley King