The Warren Rebuild: Hopping Towards a Brighter Future

The Warren Rebuild: Hopping Towards a Brighter Future

Nestled in the heart of Exeter, Little Valley Animal Shelter stands as a beacon of hope and compassion for animals in need. As an independent charity forming the Devon branch of the RSPCA, our mission is simple yet profound: to provide care, love, and sanctuary to the animals that come through our doors, and to find them loving forever homes.

Established over 30 years ago, Little Valley has been a steadfast advocate for animal welfare in Devon. We work hand in hand with local RSPCA inspectors, addressing reports of neglect and cruelty while also extending our arms to those facing personal circumstances that prevent them from caring for their beloved pets. From dogs to cats, rabbits to guinea pigs, ferrets to rodents, we open our hearts and doors to creatures great and small.

But we couldn’t do what we do without the unwavering support of our community. While we receive a mere 5% funding from the RSPCA, the remaining 95% comes from the kindness and generosity of our supporters. Through fundraising efforts, donations, grants, legacies, and the boundless love of our community, we are able to continue our vital work each day.

“Investing in the welfare of our rabbits is paramount to our mission at Little Valley. We’re dedicated to providing them with the best possible environment to thrive and flourish,” says Hugh Lowson, our CEO.

In 2014, we celebrated the opening of our purpose-built cattery, a testament to our commitment to providing the best possible care for our feline friends. Now, it’s time to turn our attention to our beloved rabbits. Our current Warren, repurposed from the old cattery, has served us well, but we know it’s time for an upgrade.

“Rabbits need space to hop and explore, and our rebuild project aims to provide just that. With modern materials and thoughtful design, we’ll create a state-of-the-art Warren that prioritises their welfare and happiness,” says Emily Mayer, Shelter Manager.

The new Warren will not only provide more space for our growing bunny population but also create a better working environment for our dedicated staff. With additional space and improved facilities, our staff will be able to care for the rabbits more efficiently and effectively.

Funding for this project has been made possible through generous donations, legacies, and ring-fenced funding specifically allocated for rabbit welfare. With this support, we’ll break ground on this exciting project in the summer of 2024. By bringing our animal accommodations up to the highest standards, we’re not just building a better shelter—we’re building a brighter future for the animals in our care.

As we look ahead to the next thirty years, we recognise the importance of future-proofing Little Valley for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Through growth and expansion, we’ve become the largest RSPCA branch in the UK geographically, covering vast swathes of Devon. But with growth comes responsibility.

That’s why we’re committed to prioritising sustainability, connectivity, and mental health in the workplace. Just as we provide the best care for our animals, we must also ensure that our dedicated staff have the support, resources, and environment they need to thrive.

“At Little Valley, our staff are our greatest asset. By investing in their well-being, we’re ensuring that we can continue to serve our community and its furry residents for decades to come,” says Hugh Lowson, CEO.

At Little Valley Animal Shelter, every day is an opportunity to make a difference. With your support, we’ll continue to be a safe sanctuary for animals in need, one wagging tail and purring meow at a time. Join us on this journey, and together, we’ll create a world where every animal is cherished, every heart is full, and every home is filled with love.

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