Who are SHUA ?
SHUA is an acronym for Safe House for Unwanted Animals. Started in September 2001, we are a small animal welfare charity staffed by volunteers. We operate a 24 hour emergency helpline where possible, a website for advice & also an emergency rescue and rehabilitation service for stray, sick, injured & unidentified cats & kittens, providing any necessary vet treatment until each animal can be successfully rehomed.
Due to our geographical position, our hands-on rescue work is restricted to the Barry and Vale of Glamorgan area.
In 2011/12, it cost £52,700 to run SHUA. On a monthly basis, vet bills are approx. £1,600; food bills approx. £750; litter & waste disposal approx. £500; transportation approx. £200;. (Then there are utilities bills, cleaning/maintenance, fundraising costs, bedding etc.…)
So how is SHUA funded? In 2011/12, adoption donations only covered 8% of these costs. Our charity shop on Barry High Street covered a further 38% (this figure is net i.e. after the cost of running the shop); donations from our core base of loyal SHUA supporters plus our trustees and volunteers 15%; fundraising and recycling 18%; legacies, charitable donations and a backlog of Gift Aid claims made up the remaining 21%.
Who do SHUA help ?
We help all members of the community - cat lovers and haters, but especially cats.
Unfortunately, not every pet owner is responsible enough to have their animal neutered. Inevitably, this leads to the birth of unwanted kittens. This in turn results in an ever-increasing population of stray cats, and the number of feral colonies.
Strays and ferals are a nuisance to gardeners, wild bird lovers, and cat lovers alike. An unchecked feral colony can cause high levels of overcrowding, inbreeding, ill health and disease to the colony, other strays and domestic cats in the neighbourhood.
SHUA helps unwanted pets, strays and ferals alike. A feral cat is a cat that has been born and lives in the wild. Adult feral cats will never be tamed. Young feral kittens can be tamed with intensive hand-rearing but the chance of success decreases as the age of the kitten increases.
How does SHUA help ?
- SHUA actively neuters, spays and microchips all adult cats that come through our doors. The Cats' Protection provide SHUA with financial assistance for neutering and spaying.
- We trap, blood-test then neuter all feral cats before either relocating or returning to their territory. We liaise with neighbours in the area to ensure that the feral colony is kept healthy and will be monitored. Sick feral cats are often nursed back to health and returned back to the colony; the ever increasing number of terminally sick and infected feral cats are put to sleep.
- Tame stray cats are health-checked, neutered, microchipped, wormed, de-fleaed and put up for re-homing.
- We NEVER allow a healthy cat to be put to sleep. We have had several cats over the years at SHUA who have blood-tested positive for FIV; although these cats have a terminal illness, they lead normal, happy, healthy lives here at SHUA and will be cared for as long as they need to be.
- We have a careful selection process for finding each cat or kitten a new home and have a strict neuter/spay policy.
- In several cases we have been successful in reuniting lost owners with missing loved ones - we advertise all strays brought to us in local papers, shops, vets etc.
- Kittens from stray and feral cats (hand-reared where necessary) are tamed, health-checked, wormed, de-fleaed, and then rehomed (a strict condition of rehoming is that the kitten will be neutered).
- We cannot afford to vaccinate, however we have been able to purchase a microchip kit with the grant from the VCVS. SHUA can microchip any kitten weighing > 2 kg and for those rehomed younger than this, we strongly recommend that the new owners have the young cat microchipped before they start letting him or her outside.
- On average, we rehome approximately 250 kittens and cats per year! Then there are the numerous ferals and strays who are neutered, treated and returned. And of course those who sadly didn't survive or had to be put to sleep on medical grounds.