WildLives Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre
Who we are
Wildlives was set up by Rosie Catford in September 1995. Always interested in the welfare of animals, and an active campaigner against hunting, vivisection and live exports, Rosie realised that when people found sick, injured or orphaned wildlife locally, they had nowhere to take it. Vets often do not have the time or the money to care for animals that have no 'owner' to foot the bill. Wild animals that needed care were simply put to sleep. With no rescue centres in the area, the RSPCA were in a similar predicament.
Rosie had a wide experience with many different animals and, at that time, was already homing a number of unwanted or ill-treated domestic animals.
From its humble beginnings as a collection of boxes and pet carriers in Rosie's conservatory, the Wildlives Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre now comprises over six acres of land (most of which is planted as a nature reserve), a wide range of purpose-built pens and enclosures and, since 2003, an animal hospital.
Wildlives takes in animals from the RSPCA, from local vets, and from members of the public. As more people have found out about the Centre, admission figures have increased. In 1995, the year of Wildlives' founding, there were just 163 admissions; in 2004, 1,395 animals were admitted.
With such high admission levels, it became impossible for Rosie to run the Centre alone, and she is assisted by many people who live locally and volunteer their time to help look after the area's wildlife casualties.
However, like many wildlife rescue centres, Wildlives is always short of volunteers - and always short of funds. Hitherto, Wildlives has depended upon unsolicited donations from members of the public - the remainder being made up from Rosie's own savings. In the past few years however, particularly with the increased numbers of animals admitted, it has become clear that a more concerted fundraising effort is required. In 2004 therefore, Wildlives applied for and achieved charitable status, primarily with a view to setting up some formal fundraising initiatives so that Wildlives can continue its work.
Wildlives produces a monthly newsletter, which is printed in the Thorrington and Great Bentley magazines, and can also be found on this website. The Centre was also one of the rescue centres featured in the Anglia TV series, 'Animal Tales'.
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