Adorable, loyal furries WLTM caring owners for cosy nights in!

Posted 15th February 2024

It’s the month when cupid sharpens his arrows and takes aim, and at Little Irchester charity Animals in Need they are hoping that they’ll be feeling the love too.

There is a perfect human match for every animal, but unfortunately, they sometimes have to endure some horrible examples before finding true love. Sounds familiar, right?

In a bid to help pair doggies with their most deserved and give kitty-cats their purrfect partners, Animals in Need is turning all smoochy with a special event for Valentine’s Day – it’s a bit like Blind Date, but without Cilla and the cheesy one liners!

The speed dating bash will be the perfect opportunity for singles to find their ideal match, and maybe even get their claws into each other…

“Everybody needs somebody, and every one of the animals in our care is looking for their true companion,” said Animals in Need manager Annie Marriott, “We’ll be marking the hearts and flowers period with special mini dating sessions where you can drop in, and who knows, you might just find the new love of your life as their eyes meet yours through the cage bars or in the cattery.

“We’ll even give you a helping hand by turning the lights down low and playing some suitably slushy music!”

Whether you are seeking your very own Mr Mistoffelees, lovely Lassie or little Willy, this could be the event where you find your paw-fect new pal.

“This is our attempt at putting a fun, romantic spin on the rehoming situation,” Annie admitted, “It seems that every few months I tell you that things are worse than ever, and yet the sad fact is that is the reality – the situation with numbers of unwanted animals just keeps on worsening.

“Our kennels and catteries are full of beautiful little personalities all desperate to be loved. Winning an animal’s heart is quite a simple process; make them feel safe, show them love and ensure they have full bellies and in return they will love you unreservedly.

Feeling the love – Annie Marriott with one lucky rescue

“They will always stay true to you too, well, unless a particularly tasty treat is offered by a stranger!” Annie laughed. “It is truly heartbreaking to see the desperate wagging tail of a newly arrived puppy, or to witness the confusion in an elderly dog surrendered by his family, and although we are here to keep them safe and help start their recovery, we can’t take away their bewilderment and fear in an instant. We really hope that our speed dating event will give some of the animals in our care a new start.”

If you do end up falling for one of the animals you meet, you will be asked to pay £75 per adult cat or £250 per pooch in adoption fees, money which is ploughed straight back into the charity pot to help even more animals.

It’s worth saying that your new family addition will leave AIN neutered, vaccinated, ID chipped, wormed and flea treated.

“It’s not only cats and dogs, of course; we have lots of chickens rescued from the poultry industry who are looking for new safe spaces, and their individual personalities really shine if you give them the time they deserve. Stroking a chicken can be just as good at lowering our blood pressure as stroking a dog can be!”

If circumstances mean that you simply aren’t able to offer a fur or feather baby a new home, you can still help Animals in Need; February is when Random Acts of Kindness Day is celebrated, a chance to donate time to the charity, and with an average 400 animals in their day-to-day care, they are always seeking animal lovers and handy folks to put in hours and elbow grease; from mucking out the perky pigs and clearing the chicken poop to walking the pooches and hand-rearing the babies. It’s non-stop for the team of dedicated volunteers, and offers of help are always pounced on!

Volunteer Irwin with one very happy pooch

“We can only do the work we do because of the generosity of time of our wonderful volunteers,” Annie said, “People imagine that it’s all about playing with kittens and having fun with the puppies, but it is much more involved. If you have ever welcomed a puppy or kitten into your home, you’ll know how demanding that can be – now imagine dozens more, not to mention the vast numbers of wildlife in our care too.

“They all need cleaning, feeding and care. It’s a non-stop operation and we would love some more help for Random Acts of Kindness Day…and every other day!”
Giving is just as great as receiving and you’ll feel just swell knowing that you helped make the day a little easier for others.

Even spring cleaning at home can benefit Animals in Need – clear out those cluttered cupboards and strip the wardrobe of those clothes you never wear and donate your new and pre-loved good quality items to the charity’s Northampton-based shop. Every penny raised goes straight back into the charity pot.

So, you want to help, but just can’t spare the time? Perhaps you could spare a dime – or rather a few pounds; AIN has its own Amazon Wish List – from swan and duck food to foraging feed for rabbits and meaty hedgehog belly fillers, the list of needed items is a click away – just visit their website and follow the direct link.
“The kindness of our supporters is amazing, and every dog chew and bag of food is appreciated. Some people might get excited by Amazon deliveries with gadgets and gizmos and treats, but not us – it’s beef tripe sticks and clumping cat litter that makes our day!” Annie laughed.

“We also need to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who has donated pocket money, chosen to forgo birthday gifts, instead inviting friends and family to donate to us, and everyone who has donated to us having read about us in Pulse. These are difficult times for everyone and people’s kindness is what keeps us going.
“On behalf of all the animals and all of the staff and volunteers, thank you so much.”

Find out more about Animals in Need, visit