Pets at Home store donates £25k to wildlife rescue charity

Charity presentation at Pets at Home, Bradley Stoke

Somerset wildlife rescue charity Secret World has received a donation of £25,000 from the Bradley Stoke Pets at Home store.

Secret World founder Pauline Kidner was at the Bradley Stoke store yesterday (Friday 9th) to receive the cheque, accompanied by two rescue animals from the centre – ‘Hope’ a four-week-old badger cub and ‘Star’ a tawny owl.

The grant will boost Secret World’s recently launched Call of the Wild Appeal, which aims to raise £4.4m to build the region’s first wildlife teaching hospital and children’s wildlife education centre.

Speaking after receiving the cheque from Store Manager Russell Hardyman-Richards, Pauline said:

“This wonderful grant takes us one big step closer to raising the last £300,000 needed before we can start the £1.3 million hospital phase of the project.”

Pauline was also thrilled to hear that as well as the grant, Pets at Home staff would now be showing their enthusiastic support by launching a series of charity fundraisers including sponsored walks and bike rides.

They also plan to get involved by giving their time to helping maintain the wildlife habitats and carrying out other tasks at the Secret World sanctuary in East Huntspill, near Highbridge.

Handing over the cheque, Russell said he had been bowled over by seeing an otter cub being cared for at Secret World, which was something he had never been able to do before.

Pauline said much of Britain’s wildlife was in decline and the South West had been particularly hard hit because while being the largest rural region, it had also been the fastest developing over the past 20 years.

“We will receive around 5,000 injured or orphaned animals and birds over the coming year, yet when wildlife needs people’s support most, the nation is increasingly losing touch with nature.”

“While vets receive virtually no wildlife training, children now spend half the time outdoors that they did 40 years ago and many cannot even identify an oak tree.”

“The launching of our new hospital and education centre project is a positive move to redress the balance and we are appealing for everyone in the region to give us their support so that we can open on schedule in 2013.”

It costs £135 to rescue an animal or bird and £15 to inspire another child so as well as working towards the new developments all funds raised will help to keep Secret World going and boost the hospital and education centre project.

Hope the Badger cub (4 weeks old) at Pets at Home, Bradley Stoke

Photo 1: Russell Hardyman-Richards (Store Manager) and Charlotte Bradley (Store Assistant) present Pauline Kidner of animal sanctuary Secret World with a cheque for £25,000.

Photo 2: Hope the Badger cub (4 weeks old) in the care of Pauline Kidner of Secret World – pictured at the Pets at Home store, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

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