This Christmas, Banbury Animal Rescue & Kindness Service (BARKS) are highlighting the success story of their most famous senior sponsee cat, Brandy, to show how the lives of rescue animals – and their owners – can be transformed through fostering and sponsorship.
Sixteen-year-old Brandy’s foster mum, Katie Harrison, said: “Brandy’s become our BARKS mascot this winter. I’ve fostered her for almost three years and she arrived timid and overweight. Since then she’s progressed really well. She loves being hugged and stroked and she’s way more affectionate.
“Her transformation is amazing and makes me, and everyone around her, very proud. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars for taking her on and for all the support and love that BARKS give us.”
Katie says she and Brandy are also very grateful for the help in paying for Brandy’s care and feeding from ‘sponsor dad’, Andrew Watts, of Chipping Norton.
Andrew said: “I always wanted a pet but was never allowed to have one, so now I’m really only too pleased to help an animal at a distance.”
Ann Collins, chair of BARKS, said: “Lots of families have taken on pets during the Covid period, often for all the right reasons. But people’s circumstances have changed and life has been tough for many; so we’re expecting not only the annual post-Christmas influx but also an extra stream of animals needing new homes in the coming year.
“Fostering, supported by sponsorship to help cover the costs, is the ideal way to provide an animal with a loving home. It allows the sponsor to follow the progress of that creature and enjoy making a real difference to its life and welfare.
“We’ve been keen for ages to attract new foster families and sponsors – we’re hoping 2021 will be the year that makes this happen.”
Anyone interested in being a pet foster parent or sponsor should email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the Bodicote rescue centre on 07427 063178.