Charity of the month: Animal Rescue Charity

PUBLISHED: 11:14 15 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:14 15 May 2017

Volunteer Nicola Norris with rescue dog Dodo (Alex Seinet Photography.

Volunteer Nicola Norris with rescue dog Dodo (Alex Seinet Photography.

Alex Seinet Photography

Hearing the distress of dogs in a nearby pound, a mother and daughter first opened up their Bishop’s Stortford home and then a dedicated centre to rehabilitate and rehome unwanted animals

Centre manager Vicki Youens with rescue horse Doodle (Alex Seinet Photography. manager Vicki Youens with rescue horse Doodle (Alex Seinet Photography.

Since 1990 Animal Rescue Charity has been providing a safe haven for neglected, unwanted and abandoned animals.

Literally reacting to the call of abandoned dogs, mother and daughter team Jan Rose and Fiona Piggott opened their Bishop’s Stortford home to strays. Explaining how the charity came into being Jan said, ‘We lived near the police station and were concerned by the howling coming for the rear of the station. We discovered stray dogs were placed in a shed, which had the minimum of comforts and lacked heating. Unable to bear their predicament we suggested the strays could share our basement, which was warm and we could provide human contact. It wasn’t long before any stray, whether dog, cat or rabbit was re-routed to our front door.

‘We hadn’t chosen this unexpected path in our lives but the need was obvious.’

Soon their home and basement was bursting at the seams and it was clear somewhere new had to be found. Just after securing charity status in 1992 ARC moved into a near-derelict farm called Foxdells in Bishop’s Stortford.

‘There was hardly any roof, no windows or facilities, leaving very little to work with,’ Jan recalls. ‘Even though we had nowhere to put them, the stray animals kept coming. Thankfully people soon learned of our plight and came to help. Over the years, the charity has benefitted from the loyal support of volunteers and we are constantly aware that our existence is only because of their loyalty.’

Since its inception, the charity’s aim has been to provide a sanctuary for neglected, unwanted and abandoned animals and wherever possible to treat and rehabilitate all animals, including wildlife. Its rescued animals have included everything from turtles to horses, although dogs and cats are most common.

‘We work closely with local animal wardens and ensure strays find new and loving homes,’ Jan explains.

To help the charity continue its work, summed up in its tagline ‘changing the future for unwanted and abandoned pets’, there are exciting changes ahead. After years of planning, the team is looking forward to a new era at a purpose-built facility in Farnham Road in Bishop’s Stortford.

If you are interested in supporting the work of ARC, the charity is always looking for volunteers. If you have a skill, they will be able to put it to good use – anything from accountancy, public relations and IT skills to gardening, woodworking and artistic talent. At present the charity is eager to find volunteers to join the fundraising team.

To find out more, including how to donate or adopt, contact 01279 501547, email or visit the website

The charity can be found at ARC, Foxdells Lane, Rye Street, Bishop’s Stortford CM23 2HD.

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