Members of Wakefield’s roller derby league have been providing a vital service at an animal shelter in Tingley.
The Wakey Wheeled Cats, offered its services to the RSPCA’s Leeds, Wakefield and District branch as cat socialisers and dog walkers.
The branch relies on its squad of around 20 regular volunteers to supplement its small team of staff. Not only do they provide the animals with love, affection and exercise, but play a key role in helping the team assess each animal so it can find its perfect home.
The league got involved after head of training, Venetia Beba, started volunteering at the branch, which is based at a private boarding kennel in Tingley.
Venetia, 35, said: “Since starting as a volunteer in November I have seen what a difference it makes to both the animals and the branch to have an extra pair of hands. The more I spoke to my teammates about it, the more people said they wanted to help. We’re a team of animal lovers so it made perfect sense to get involved
“We made sure that all the cats got some attention - even the quiet ones, as socialising with the animals in this way will help the branch to find them their forever homes.”
The Cats have been volunteering at the branch since the beginning of March and several members of the team have offered to volunteer more permanently.
Lauren Moore, branch fundraiser at RSPCA Leeds, Wakefield and District said: “We are a small branch with a small number of staff so volunteers are absolutely vital. Cat socialisers help us to monitor the animals’ behaviour so we can assess what type of home they need in future.
“It’s been fantastic to have the help of the team. We’re always interested in hearing from people who want to volunteer - whether it’s as dog walkers, cat socialisers or even to provide a foster home for an animal. Some of the animals we have come to us have been through a lot and are not always suitable for a kennel environment, so we rely on foster carers to give them a home short term.”
If you would like to volunteer at the branch, or are looking to foster or adopt an animal, check out their website www.rspcaleedsandwakefield.org.uk.
Wakey Wheeled Cats have already raised money for several local charities, including the Rosalie Ryrie Foundation and Levi’s Star. The Cats helped in the fight to keep Lightwaves Leisure Centre, where they train, open and have picked its Trust as it’s charity of the year for 2014, as it aims to raise £10,000 to keep the centre open for the community.
For more information on Wakey Wheeled Cats visit www.facebook.com/WakeyWheeledCats or email firstname.lastname@example.org to about joining.