On 12 November 2014, Peter Hepburn, CEO of Cats Protection, hosted an Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) meeting and gave a talk about our Homing Centre at Gildersome, Leeds.
The ADCH has a membership of all of the large and many smaller rescue charities. The ADCH aims to share good practice and raise standards in rescue and rehoming work.
Cats Protection’s new Homing Centre at Gildersome is a totally new concept in rescue.
The model is as follows:
- The Homing Centre has just 12 pens
- Fosterers initially care for cats in their own homes and when the cats are ready to find new owners they move to the centre
- Volunteers get them ready by vet checking, neutering, chipping, etc
- We do all we can to home our cats. We homed 430 in our first year at Gildersome
- Our new site is on good communications routes and we give it lots of publicity
- We have volunteers to feed cats seven days a week, morning and evening, with three staff posts to manage the centre, including volunteers
- We subsidise the net cost (building, staff and running costs, less adoption fee) from two local shops and fundraised income, especially legacies
- Our nearby shops not only raise funds but also promote the cat work at the centre
It’s very different to our typical centre which has between 35 and 200 pens, and some of our centres are old, legacy sites which can be hidden away (and so require lots of publicity so people know we’re there). We subsidise the net loss (building, staff and running costs, less the adoption fee) from fundraised income, especially legacies.
The development and opening of a small, low net cost homing centre with strong volunteer involvement was seen to be a likely way to increase homing while minimising the extra net cost to the charity. Against these aims the centre has delivered very well!
In its first 12 months, from opening at the end of October 2013 to October 2014 Gildersome Homing Centre homed 421 cats and kittens from 12 homing pens.
To read Peter Hepburn’s full speaking notes – click here.