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About the Basildon, Brentwood & District Branch
The Basildon, Brentwood & District Branch of Cats Protection was formed nearly 30 years ago, in 1988, when it was known as the Laindon Branch, because most of the original members lived in the Laindon area of Essex. We later changed our name to the Basildon & District Branch as more volunteers from the Basildon area joined us. From 2003, we also officially covered the Brentwood council area, so we changed our name again to reflect the area we now cover (Postcodes SS11 to SS17, CM11 to CM15). From that small beginning of just 12 original members, we now have around 200 members. In common with most Cats Protection branches, the work of the branch is carried out by a smaller group of active members who foster the cats, fund-raise, do home visits and much more besides. We are all volunteers and none of us gets paid to do what we do. Our branch covers a large area which encompasses the whole of the Basildon & District Council area, which includes Wickford and Billericay, plus nearby Stanford-Le-Hope and Corringham in Thurrock, and the Brentwood Council area which includes, Hutton, Shenfield and Brentwood.
In 2017, we helped over 500 needy cats, including finding homes for nearly 300 cats and kittens. The rest were helped with assisted neutering or trapping and neutering ferals. We also reunited a number of lost cats with their owners. Apart from a small annual grant received from Cats Protection Headquarters annually, we have to raise most of our funds locally, so we rely on local fundraising, adoption fees and donations to survive. Cats Protection is quite a unique charity in that money raised in the local area is used in the local area, and is not sent elsewhere, which is why our branch needs the support of local people. With the cost of food and litter, vet bills, fundraising, telephone and a small amount for admin costs, we need to raise raise around £70,000 each year to allow us to continue our rescue service at its current level, which is a hard task as we are all volunteers with homes, families and jobs, as well as volunteering for the branch. Ideally we would like to see our branch grow to help even more local cats, volunteers and funds permitting. Since our branch started, we have taken in over 11,000 cats. We sometimes wonder what would have happened to them if we had not been here to help them.
We do not have a central shelter like some Cats Protection branches. Instead the cats which we take in are cared for by some of our members (we call them our fosterers) in their own homes. Most of our fosterers look after the cats they foster in a spare room in their home. Some of our more experienced fosterers have specially built cat pens in their gardens. These pens have heating in the winter and provide a snug and warm temporary home for our rescued cats.
At any time we usually have over 40 cats in our foster homes which may seem quite a lot, but on a bad week, our Homing Officer can be asked to take in over 50 cats, so we always have a waiting list. At peak times of the year we can have over 100 cats in our care so we really do need more foster homes. If you live in our area, love cats and have a spare room, telephone and transport and would like to find out more about fostering, we'd love to hear from you. The Branch supplies all food, litter and equipment and pays for all vet bills for fostered cats. You supply the love and cuddles. All of our fosterers will tell you that it is so rewarding to see your adopt 1foster cat go off to it's new home.
Many of the cats and kittens we take in are strays, but just as many come in from homes, where the owners have had to give up their cats for a variety of reasons including loss of job, relationship breakdowns, allergies, financial problems etc. Many of the strays we take in are pregnant females, who have been heartlessly dumped when they have become pregnant, when if they had been neutered at the appropriate time, this could have been avoided. Our branch always runs a low cost neutering scheme (and sometimes offers free neutering) to help less well off people to get their cats (both male and female) neutered, so there really is no excuse.
If you live in our area and could give a loving home to a rescued cat or kitten, please contact our CATLINE on 01268 285778, or E-mail us at
If you would like to volunteer to help our branch in any way (Fund-raising, Fostering, Follow-up Visits, transport etc), please contact our CATLINE on 01268 285778 for a chat about what is involved, no obligation , of course.
last updated 3 November 2018