Special bonds: animal care assistants and long-stay animals

The bonds formed between animal care assistants and long-stay animals can be incredible. We asked staff at South Godstone Animal Centre to tell us about the friendships they’ve made with animals through their dedicated, one-to-one care.


lily_bunnyBunny and Lily (pictured right) have a very special bond which has been built up through lots of cuddles, grooming sessions and positive reinforcement. Bunny can be timid, due to a life of neglect and uncertainty, but she’s coming on leaps and bounds through lots of one-to-one love and care.

Lily made it her mission to help Bunny trust people again:

I have spent a lot of time with Bunny, grooming her and helping her to feel relaxed around people. When she first came in, she would just sit there shaking with fear. She has needed a lot more cuddles and fuss than other dogs due to her troubled past, but she’s really coming around now. She is enjoying lots of walks and quality time and seems much calmer.

Now I’ve got to know her it’s great to see her cheeky character coming through. I really look forward to helping find a forever home for Bunny – she’s ready for a lovely life with someone in a normal home. She deserves it so much.



Maverick and Emily (pictured right) have also become best of friends. Maverick is a super-smart cat who has been at the centre since March, having come in as a stray. Emily has been one of his main carers during his time at South Godstone and has learned all of his unique ways:

Maverick is a quirky and characterful cat! We noticed he could get a little startled when we first opened his cat pod, so I would spend time sitting with him in his run to get him used to me.

Soon he was letting me take him on walks outside in a harness in the sun and he’s now happy to give me a big hug and let me groom and stroke him.

He’s a really affectionate boy. I would take him home myself but I’ve got two cats already!



Digger the three year-old patterdale terrier is inquisitive and has a tonne of energy. Meg (pictured right, with Digger) has been helping him burn some of it off through daily agility training.

Digger is very intelligent – he thrives on mental stimulation. Doing lots of physical exercise is also essential for him as he used to be a working dog.

I’ve been taking him out into the yard to work on his training and to keep him entertained. He’s responding really well to the extra attention.

I really hope Digger can go to a home where he can continue with his training, with a big private garden to run around. I’ll miss him though – he’s been with us for almost a year!


Tinkerbelle (pictured right) is a gorgeous five year-old long haired cat. She came in to us after being abandoned at a property. When she arrived she was very timid and didn’t seem to enjoy being groomed – but Kirsty has helped her overcome her fears:


Tinkerbelle was very nervous when she first arrived and would hide outside. Slowly her confidence grew as she began to trust us and she would spend longer periods inside. She was worried about being groomed to begin with and would not stop moving around but now she lays down and enjoys the fuss!

Tinkerbelle is such a sweet natured girl. She’s a firm favourite with staff and volunteers. We can’t understand why she is still waiting for her forever home but we’re sure her time will come!


Our animal care assistants always go the extra mile for animals who need a little more care and attention – but we can only do this through the generosity of our supporters. To help us help animals in need – please give what you can today.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the fantastic animals in today’s post, please contact our South Godstone Animal Centre.


One Response to “Special bonds: animal care assistants and long-stay animals”

  • Lynn Maskell

    Reading the blog from South Godstone brought back so many memories – mostly good! I used to be a volunteer there, when I lived in Surrey about thirty years ago. I loved working with the animals, but as I still lived at home, I wasn’t able to adopt any. Since then I have made up for it and adopted several dogs and many cats – I still support the RSPCA by donating financially.

    If anyone is thinking about volunteering, don’t delay. It was so much fun, loved the animals, made lots of friends – what’s not to like!

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