Visit us in Cornwall
Giving Tuesday and the Fabulous Clay County Cat Care
This weekend has rather sadly been another large dose of commercialism in the form of Black Friday. However, it has also marked another Green Friday and Giving Tuesday, the moral alternatives for those of us who prefer to do a little good in the world instead of being involved in the shopping madness that is encouraged over the fourth weekend in November. Green Friday encourages us to shop local, support charities and spend some time in the great outdoors with our loved ones. And the wonderful Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for all of us to donate to charities that are in need.
At Natural Cornish Pet, the charities that are closest to our hearts are the ones that support animals in need, especially those based in the South West. This week we were lucky enough to catch up with Clay County Cat Care which is an amazing cat charity based in St Austell.
Firstly, could you tell us a bit about how Clay County Cat Care (CCCC) came into existence and a bit about the amazing work you do?
Our founder and owner, Leanne Kent, always took an avid interest in animals from a young age. She was involved with Cats Protection and other cat rescues before branching out 10 years ago into starting her very own cat rescue from her home and it has since grown into an independent non-profit rescue with around 30 volunteers and the capacity for around 60 cats. We have also grown a small fostering community as well to help even more cats and kittens. The ethos has always been that we never say no to an animal, no matter its age or medical situation. We will help any animal in need within our means, we are also a no-kill rescue, which means that unless it is deemed medically necessary under the advice and guidance of our vet team, we will not put any animal down, we will always strive to give every animal who comes to us the chance of their forever home.
What is the most rewarding thing about being involved with CCCC?
Seeing the change and progress in cats that were once stray and feral into becoming loving family pets. The progress a lot of the cats make in our care to allow them to go to their forever homes is the most rewarding thing.
How many animals do you help each year and is this limited by the resources you have at CCCC?
In 2021 we saw:
215 cats and kittens rehomed
2 dogs rehomed
1 rabbit rehomed
1 Cockatiel rehomed
We were also able to reunite 12 cats with their owners.
We don't normally venture out of cats and kittens but if we are able to help in emergency situations we will!
So far this year (as of 23rd Nov 2022) we have helped 226 cats and kittens, we currently have our doors closed as we are at capacity and we need to focus on caring for the cats in our care before we can help any more animals, it was a very difficult decision but one that was sadly very necessary, we just don't have the space, the volunteer help or the funds to take any more in currently.
There are some reasons for cats and kittens needing to be rehomed and cared for that are unavoidable, such as bereavement, but, what is the most common preventable reason for animals needing your help and how is it best prevented?
We see a lot of people surrendering animals because they have so many due to not neutering them and they overbreed making it impossible for them to care for the animals. Similarly, pregnant queens and kittens can become deformed due to inbreeding. This could very easily be avoided if people got their pets neutered before allowing them out of the home. We also have calls regarding cats in the same household fighting and that being a reason to need to rehome. Typically it is because the cats are, again, not neutered. Neutering could solve a lot of problems. There are neutering schemes in place to help people with low incomes, and we are always happy to signpost people if they need help with this.
Back in 1978, when the Dogs Trust was called the National Canine Defence League, Clarissa Baldwin (who became chief executive in 1986) came up with the now-famous slogan “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”, does the festive period affect your charity and, if so, how?
Every year we see a lot of people approaching us to adopt a kitten for Christmas. We had to make the decision to halt adoptions around the Christmas period to prevent this situation. Christmas is a very busy time and can be very stressful for animals, especially when they're in a new environment. So we refuse adoptions around Christmas for the cat's welfare, but also because adopting an animal is a lifetime commitment and should never be seen as a present.
Many of us have had a particularly difficult year with rising energy bills, economic downturns and the cost of living crisis, how has this affected your charity?
We've seen the cost of food and supplies increase and unfortunately a drop in donations, as well as a reduction in our volunteers as they need to, understandably, prioritise paid work over voluntary commitments. This has been a big reason for us needing to close our doors at the present time. We have also been seeing many animals coming into us whose owners have not been able to afford veterinary care, often allowing the situation to get to a dire state before surrendering them. So, we are facing lots more vet bills than normal and seeing a lot more animals really suffering just because people can't afford treatment in the current economic climate.
How much does your charity rely on donations and funding from the general public?
We are a non-profit organisation that is run solely by volunteers and we rely entirely on donations and funding from the general public.
What is your opinion on Green Friday and Giving Tuesday as an alternative to Cyber Monday, Black Friday etc.?
Black Friday is such a horrible consumerist "holiday" and it's nice to see something different. We are always happy to support any initiative that encourages people to invest in worthwhile causes rather than inflating the profits of the big corporate giants who really don't need it.
How best can people help to support your charity and what are the most useful things for people to donate?
Financial donations are always welcome, you can donate directly to us at the rescue in the following ways:
Clay County Cat Care,
Or you can donate directly to our veterinary bill, we are currently a client of Vets4Pets in Bodmin and they would be happy to accept donations over the phone. We are always in need of adult wet food, wood pellet litter, blue roll, disposable gloves and aprons, and towels and blankets! We have an amazon wishlist: Here> from which people can buy from, or, you can buy from other places and have things sent directly to us. Alternatively, if you're having a clear-out we always welcome donations at the rescue!
And finally, if people are struggling with finances and aren't able to donate is there anything else they can do to help?
Engaging and sharing our posts on social media is always helpful as it helps us reach a wider audience. If you have some free time during the week or weekends, we always need volunteers to help us with feeding the cats and cleaning the cat rooms and litter trays! It's hard work but very rewarding, and lots of cute cat cuddles as well!
Nestled on the rugged cliffs of West Cornwall's stunning coastline lies Geevor Tin Mine, a site steeped in history and industrial heritage. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Geevor Tin Mine offers visitors the unique opportunity to delve into the...