Introduction:   Re-homing Animal Telephone Service – We have been a registered charity which helps to re-home dogs, cats and small mammals, for over 20 years. The charity is run entirely by volunteers and we are proud to say that R.A.T.S. has grown into one of the area’s leading animal rescue charities.  At the end of 2010, we achieved one of our long-standing ambitions to have our own premises in which we could look after our animals until we could find them new, loving homes.   This we found just outside of Buntingford, in the village of Hare Street.  The property had been used for Boarding Kennels and although in need of repair was ideal for our use; it is run for us by Walter and Mandy, our on-site managers, who run Highfields for us.  They are supported by a team of volunteers that walk our dogs, work with them on improving their behaviour, and generally help with the maintenance of the premises and help to keep it in good order, but there is so much more to do. Since taking over the kennels we have started a refurbishment programme, upgrading the kennel blocks with new floors and lighting as well as improving the outside space that the dogs use.  We have now homed 116 dogs since 2010, but there are many more that require our help.

  • Aims of the charity – We aim to offer education, guidance and assistance to people who are unable to keep their pets anymore.  We take their pets in and look after them, whilst our teams actively search for new loving homes.  We have the facility at Highfields where our dogs are cared for.  In our Cat & Small Mammals sections, we have volunteer fosterers within the Bedford area who look after the animals at their homes until we can find them permanent homes.
  • The Importance of our volunteers – We cannot stress how important volunteers are to us, without them our charity would not exist and we appreciate in these very busy times every one of them is a very important member of our dedicated team.  We recognise that we all have our different strengths & skills to bring to the charity.  It gives us a warm feeling to see a once unwanted animal coming back to see us with their new owners at our Open Days or Dog Shows looking so well and happy, we then know why we volunteerDo you have some time or a skill or craft that could help us raise some funds and would like to meet like minded people please contact me, my contact details are mentioned below.
  • Raising awareness in local area & Fundraising – We continue to raise our profile in Hertfordshire, and in 2011, held a very successful sponsored walk with over 50 dogs and their owners participating we raised just under £2,500 for the charity.  This year we are holding a Friends of Highfield Reunion where we are inviting all of the 116 dogs homed from Highfields, as well as any R.A.T.S. dogs past and present, as well as our supporters and volunteers to come and enjoy an informal afternoon, of classes & fun for all the family on Sunday 10th June, beginning at 1.00 pm.  There will be stalls and a BBQ.  We would also like to welcome members of the public to come and enjoy the festivities and to see our facility where we care for the dogs until we can find them happy every after homes.  We are also holding a Dog Show as part of the Lions Fun Day at the Kennedy Gardens in Letchworth on Saturday 21st July starting at 12 noon.

All our income comes from our membership, donations, funds raised in our shops and open days.  We hold open days and events monthly in the local area. If anyone would like more details of the Reunion or the Dog Show please contact Sue Greaves on 01767-222545 or email on geoffgreaves56@hotmail.com

If you are looking for new pet, full details of the animals looking for a home can be found on our website as well as a full programme of events for 2012, or come to one of our local Open Days and full information will be available.

Lost & Found Linda: 01234822877,  Cat & Kitten Team – Liz: 01767681157,

Dog Team Pauline 01462 834458   Small Mammal Team – Zoe: 01234 342150/Hazel on 01234 357788

 Thank you for reading our article and we look forward to welcoming you to one of our events

Sue Greaves (Editor of the RATS Newsletter and Committee Member)