Pennine Pen Animal Rescue celebrates 20 years in Oldham

Date published: 01 November 2021

It was 2001 when animal lover Michael Waugh decided to establish a safe space for abandoned pets in Oldham.

Michael had been brought up around animals and was concerned about the rising number of unwanted pets or animals that were uncared for, and became unwell.

Twenty years later and Pennine Pen Animal Rescue has helped over 4000 animals in the Oldham area.  

From humble beginnings at the rear of a charity shop, housing just a few animals, the charity now has a team of 13 staff and volunteers who can tend to up to half a dozen dogs, and 20 cats at any one time.

Pennine Pen, based in Hathershaw, costs around £235,000 each year to run, and is supported solely by generous donations, supporters and volunteers.

Unsurprisingly, it's been a difficult 18-months for Pennine Pen.  Like other charities, the Covid pandemic has affected both donations and fund-raisers.

Michael says Covid has had both positive and negative effects at the rescue centre.  

"Currently, we have 13 members of staff, a mixture of full and part time and only a small amount of volunteers because at the start of the pandemic, we had to limit people coming in.

"Since opening up after the lockdowns, we have been managing with staff and 1 volunteer some days.  

"Rehoming was paused and then reintroduced with limitations, which reduced the number of potential rehomings. It's is back to normal now, but we do request a lot of information from interested parties beforehand to make sure it is worth attending the centre.

"Unfortunately, we've been unable to hold fundraisers, which we used to hold 4 times a year and has meant a loss of income of about £10,000 a year. We were eligible for government grants and support which hugely helped us otherwise it would've been very dire.

Patrick the 4-year-old Patterdale Terrier is looking for a new home

The limited amount of visitors to the centre has, however,  meant there has been more time for staff to spend time with the resident animals.

The organisation, which recently changed from a charity to a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation, is regulated by the Charity Commission. This means a reduction in administration, which can then be spent on animal care.

There are 5 trustees with a range of skills and experience who also contribute towards the running of the charity.

Lincoln the 2-year-old cat was brought in with severe flea allergy and missing fur. He's looking for a new forever home

Michael says there is always a demand for services and is full of praise for the current supporters.

"We have an incredible amount of growing and valued supporters, who all help support us through sharing appeals and information on social media, use our shops and send in donations.

"We continue on the path to provide as best care as possible to all animals who come through our doors and hope to spend the coming months creating a plan for more online fundraising options to increase income for the ever-growing expenses."

Supporters can help through donating or visiting the charity shops:

There is also a dedicated Ebay page online with products available to buy.

To discover more about how you can help Pennine Pen and see the animals available for adoption, please click here

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