Dame Penelope Keith officially re-opens Cats Protection's Haslemere Adoption Centre
12 October 2016
Actress and cat lover Dame Penelope Keith helped celebrate the re-opening of Cats Protection’s Haslemere Adoption Centre at a family fun day on Saturday 8 October.
The British screen icon cut a ribbon to officially mark the new look of the centre, in Upper Hammer Lane, which has re-opened following a major refurbishment.
Dame Penelope spent time meeting cats currently being cared for by the charity before chatting to staff, volunteers and well-wishers.
Hundreds of visitors joined in the fun, with activities including children’s crafts and games, live music and animal displays.
Dame Penelope said: "I'm a great supporter of Cats Protection's work in rehoming unwanted cats and helping improve the understanding of feline welfare, so it was a privilege to help celebrate the re-opening of its Haslemere Adoption Centre. I had a wonderful visit meeting staff, volunteers and the cat-loving public, and of course meeting some of the lovely cats currently in the charity's care."
Cats Protection’s Haslemere Adoption Centre Manager Suzie Zyta said: “The day was a huge success and we were privileged that Dame Penelope joined on this very special occasion.
“The community of Haslemere has always been so supportive of our work and we were thrilled so many people turned out to help us celebrate the re-opening.
“Our Haslemere Adoption Centre is particularly important to Cats Protection, as it helped change the way the whole country thinks about feline welfare. Back in 1950, the opening of a new centre dedicated to helping unwanted cats was a bold step, but the success of our Haslemere site proved there was a real desire to help cats in need.
“For nearly 70 years, our Haslemere Adoption Centre has helped give countless cats and kittens a second chance in life, as well as helping thousands of people find a much loved family pet.”
Now the UK’s largest cat charity, helping around 200,000 cats every year, Cats Protection had just begun to expand when it opened its Haslemere Adoption Centre in 1950 as its first cat shelter.
Having been bequeathed to Cats Protection by a wealthy cat lover, the site – a former manor house – was developed to provide 40 cat pens to care for unwanted and abandoned cats while they waited to find a new owner.
The centre proved to be vital in providing a blueprint for 31 other centres which have since opened and now work alongside the charity’s 250 volunteer-run branches to form the UK’s biggest cat charity.
But having been largely untouched since the 1950s, the Surrey centre – which rehomes around 600 cats every year – was in urgent need of modernisation.
Following a nine-month long programme of work, the centre has now reopened with modern new facilities including improved cat pens and viewing areas, upgraded veterinary facilities and better car parking and public areas.
To find out more about the work of Cats Protection, please visit www.cats.org.uk
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1. Photo credit: The Remarkable Company
2. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps 500 cats a day – or around 200,000 cats each year - through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.
3. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
4. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland).Founded as the Cats Protection League in 1927, the charity adopted the name Cats Protection in 1998. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity in all published material.
5. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk