Staff at an animal shelter at Tilton-on-the-Hill are celebrating its 20th birthday and its work in saving thousands of dogs, cats and kittens.
Based on the B6047, the Fairwinds Shelter was opened in November 1999 to look after homeless animals and re-home them.
Tracy Bennett, under-manager at the Leicester Animal Rescue organisation, said: “We are thrilled to reach 20 years.
“We’ve gone from strength to strength and are bigger and better than ever.
“We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the people in this area who support us.
“Your generosity is incredible and we wouldn’t be here without you.”
Inspired by life-long animal lover, Ann McNeill, Tracy said the charity bought the kennels and two acres of land at Fairwinds in 1997.
“We built a second block here in 2011,” explained Tracy, who has worked there for a decade.
“We rescue and re-home about 100 dogs a year and over 200 cats and kittens.
“It’s so rewarding and fulfilling to help save so many beautiful pets and give them a new life.”
The animals end up there for a wide variety of different reasons.
Tracy said: “We take them in from people who’ve lost their jobs or their homes as well as from owners who are in declining health or have died.
“These dogs and cats would all have been put to sleep if we hadn’t stepped in and given them a new chance.”
She said they generate cash to run their powerhouse animal rescue headquarters from their charity shop in Leicester, as well as other sources.
“We rely on donations, sponsored events, Christmas raffles, food contributions and coffee mornings,” added Tracy.
“And kind supporters also leave us money in their wills which helps pay our substantial vets’ bills.
“That enables us to employ six staff, including four full-time workers, and volunteers also come along to walk our dogs as well as operate our shop.
“We’ll always do our best to rescue a pet, but owners have to bring them to us – we haven’t got the means to go to them.”
She’s very positive about the important work they do at Tilton and grateful for the support of donations by members of the public and businesses.
“We’ve got a fantastic team here at Fairwinds and we are backed up by generous, supportive people all over the area,” added Tracy.
“Here’s to the next 20 years rescuing and re-homing dogs and cats in need.”
Go online to the charity’s website at www.leicesteranimalrescue.co.uk for detauls or to pledge money to help keep the rescue shelter going.