Meet our Volunteers

Debbie H has worked alongside our founder Debbie Newsome for many years now, and is an experienced foster carer. We caught up with her for a chat.

Can you tell us a bit about what you do at Henry’s Haven?
Loads! I foster, carry out home checks, and do some fundraising as well as helping with our auction page.

debbie h pic for interview 3

What made you decide to volunteer at Henry’s Haven?
I got involved with Henry’s as I had been fostering for another rescue when Debbie Newsome was running it. When Debbie started up on her own, I decided to support her as I enjoyed working with her so much. She is clearly very passionate about the kitties and so friendly and supportive to everyone who gets involved.

What’s the hardest part of Rescue for you?
For me, it’s seeing the state that some of the animals have been left in or abandoned by previous owners. It’s so upsetting to know that some people would allow that to happen. Also, sometimes, letting a foster go that you have become particularly attached to is really difficult.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
Kitten cuddles! And seeing a turn around in cats that come into foster very wary, and then seeing the change in them when they are worked with. It’s especially rewarding when they go to their new home and you get to see them settled.

debbie h pic for interview 1

What do you do for fun outside of cat rescue?
Outside cat rescue, I also volunteer in dog rescue, so most of my spare time is doing things to help the dogs and cats.

Do you have cats of your own?
I have two cats if my own: Hunter who is part Maine coon. He’s only 9 months but he’s HUGE! He was from the first litter that Debbie rescued on her own before starting Henry’s. My other cat is Cinder who is a Henry’s Haven kitty and is 5 months old. I also have two German Shepherds: Ruby who is 7, and Radar who is 10 months old. They all absolutely adore each other.

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January Update

As we near the end of January, here is a little update on what we have been up to.

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Our little girl Smokey has seen an eye specialist, and we are fundraising for her operation. Smokey has a rare birth defect that means she only has half eyelids. This is creating a lot of pain for her, so we want to get it sorted soon. Unfortunately despite our wonderful specialist vet giving us a very significant discount, her operation will cost around £1,500. Medications and after care will be an estimated further £500.

If you’d like to donate to Smokey’s fund, or sponsor her ongoing care with a regular monthly donations, we would be super grateful!

molly jan 19

We’re re-homed several cats this month, including long term resident Custard, gorgeous Boomer, and lovely Molly. We’re thrilled for all the cats who have found new homes this month and wish them long, healthy, happy lives.

Unfortunately we are having to temporarily stop taking in cats. This is due to financial constraints. We hope to be able to start taking in cats again in the next few weeks, and we’ll let you know when this happens. We will still be adopting out cats, so do get in touch if you’d like to give one of our wonderful cats a loving home.

UPDATE: We are able to take in emergency cases only, with priority given to cats living outdoors in this cold weather. 

Henry’s Haven is entirely dependant on donations from people like you. Our adoption fee doesn’t cover the full cost of caring for a cat and providing the essentials like neutering, vaccinations, and microchips. Any support we get from our community is valued and appreciated. Whether it’s a box of food or a monthly donation, every little counts and helps us to help cats in need.

Finally to everyone who has supported us this month, THANK YOU! We couldn’t do any of this without the support of YOU – our wonderful and generous community. 

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Meet the #BossLady

Debbie is the founder of Henry’s Haven. She is a highly experienced cat rescuer, as well as mum to three grown up children who all share her love of animals. Debbie runs the rescue in her spare time, and works full time too.  We chatted to her to find out more about how the Rescue started, and what motivates her.

debbie jan 19

What made you decide to set up a Rescue?

I’ve been involved in cat rescue for a long time. I started as a fosterer, and ended up running the rescue I fostered for. In the 18 months I ran the rescue, we re-homed over 400 cats and kittens. Unfortunately I had to take a step back for personal reasons, which was really saddening for me, but the rescue continues to operate.

After 6 months out of rescue I got a call asking for help with a mum and four kittens who had been abandoned. No one else could help, so I set off to try and trap them, and eventually got them into a rescue. I kept being asked for help, so began fostering for Angus Cat Rescue.

Then I got the call that changed everything. A cat had been found just five minutes away from my home in a sorry state, dragging his back legs and with a nasty head wound. After five days and much needed help from two lovely ladies he was trapped. We decided to name him Henry.

Henry really changed my thinking, and I realised there was a huge need for another cat rescue in the Wakefield area. I thought long and hard about setting up on my own as I knew it was a lot of work. Hard work has never put me off though, so I though ‘in for a penny in for a pound’ and decided to set up Henry’s Haven.

Sadly Henry’s prognosis isn’t good as he has a rare disease. He’s now living with me as a long term foster, and is receiving palliative care.

What’s the hardest part of Rescue for you?

I think the hardest part for me is the cats that don’t survive. I cry at every one that we have lost, whether I’ve known them for an hour or a month. It’s hard knowing that they may have to be put to sleep or might pass away in rescue. But it never deters me or the team, we give every cat a fighting chance no matter what condition they arrive in.

What do you enjoy the most about Rescue?

The thing I enjoy the most is seeing a terrified cat or kitten who came in not trusting humans, go out to a lovely home. The foster team work so hard with their foster cats, and without them the rescue just couldn’t exist. Our volunteers are the heart of Henry’s Haven.

What do you do for fun outside of Rescue?

I enjoy the odd game of bingo, and as most people know, I’m partial to a nice glass of wine! Rescue takes up a lot of any spare time I have but I ensure I do have some ‘me time’ – that’s so important as it helps keep me happy and healthy so I can keep on helping more cats.

Thanks to Debbie for taking the time to answer our questions! If you’d like to know more about Henry’s Haven and our team, we will be posting more interviews and blog posts in the coming months. Follow the blog to get notifications when we post.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all our wonderful supporters from everyone at Henry’s Haven. We hope you had a restful and happy festive period, and wish you all joy for the year ahead.

Already this year we have seen cats go to their forever homes. First was Jett, who was abandoned in a cardboard box in a Leeds park, and brought to Bramley Vets4Pets. Jett now has his very own forever home. Next up was Drift, one of snowy’s kittens, and now also in a loving home. And we’ve got lots more in the works!

jett jan 19
drift jan 19

The Rescue is incredibly grateful for the support we have received over the last few months, especially for the gifts of food, litter, and toys that we received over Christmas. This meant that our foster kitties got festive treats, and the gifts will keep on helping us to feed all those hungry mouths as we move into the new year.

We also launched our ‘Just A Quid’ campaign, where we asked our supporters to donate just £1 a month. How much can we do with £1? You’d be amazed how quickly those small donations add up, and with all your donations together we can move mountains.

If you’d like to donate £1 a month – or whatever you can afford – you can find out how HERE.

Thank you x

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