8th June 2016
Any regular followers of our blog and social media could be forgiven for thinking that Grace’s Rest has been rather quiet of late. With recent admissions being limited to Casey the Sugar Glider in March and then April the Tortoise in May (both now rehomed) it is perhaps understandable for the outsider to think that we have had time to twiddle our thumbs or that perhaps our service is superfluous.
As ever, both of these statements are wholly incorrect.
At Grace’s Rest we keep detailed records of every admission enquiry right through to the final outcome. Since the beginning of this year we have suffered a whopping 32 failed admissions. Half of these sadly had to referred on to other legitimate rescue services since we were unable to house them the majority being turtles, terrapins and mature specimens of the giant snake species (Pythons and Boas). This is something that we HATE having to do but until we raise the colossal amount of funds necessary to purchase dedicated premises this is a sad inevitability of our work; we will regularly be full to capacity and will struggle to house certain species.
The remaining 16, despite being offered immediate placements, all disappeared never to be heard of again. These instances are always extremely disheartening and always follow what could have been days of preparation and hundreds of pounds spent on species-specific equipment and enrichment. Naturally I understand that everyone is entitled to change their mind but I do wish that when it happens, that we could be informed. I’ve lost count of the times I have lain awake at night wondering what happened to any given one of those creatures or how many times I’ve had to call our vet to apologise for wasting their time because I’ve got to cancel yet another emergency appointment because the animal was not admitted.
Thankfully due to the kind donations and backing of our wonderful supporters we are weathering the storm and are now prepared for almost any eventuality (we always need a few bits and bobs though, please take a peek at our Amazon Wish List). We hope that as we approach the summer holidays, what is traditionally a very busy time for us in terms of admissions, that we will see more successful rescues and less of these frustrating occurrences.
It is also interesting to note that the breakdown illustrated above bucks our previous trends in seeing far fewer of some of the more commonly kept species seeking admission. However we are putting this down to our relocation to Warwickshire from Lincolnshire. Looking back at historical data we predict that this summer could be our busiest ever and we will need to help of our amazing supporters to see us though.
Supported by Ladbrook Insurance, a specialist animal charity insurance provider.
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Meet the Owner-Operator, Clare Barnard BSc.(Hons)
Clare is a research scientist and PhD candidate at the University of Lincoln where she is studying wildlife conservation and the direct impact of the exotic pet trade on wild animal populations. She will be working from the Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecology of Adaptations. Clare has also been honoured to become part of the Global Amphibian Biodiversity research team.
Clare has almost 20 years professional experience in the husbandry of exotic animals a specialism in the genetics of British herpetofauna. She has worked with wild Adders (Vipera berus) and endangered Natterjack Toads (Epidalea calamita) under Natural England license conditions. Clare has worked as a zookeeper and within private collections including her own. She lives in rural North Warwickshire, on-site at Grace's Rest, with a whole host of animals!