Reaseheath gets top marks for promoting pet care

Reaseheath College has won a national accolade for activities promoting responsible pet ownership during National Pet Month.

The Nantwich, Cheshire, college took the National Pet Month award for the best event in the educational category and was runner up for the best event overall. The activities, organised by Reaseheath’s animal management department, included a sponsored dog walk, rabbit enrichment workshops and educational displays. As well as informing the public and encouraging them to care for their pets, the events raised money for animal charities.

Animal Management Instructor and lead organiser Emma Hunt ran a ‘Go Walkies for Guide Dogs’ in Reaseheath’s grounds and farmland which raised £345 towards the training of guide dogs to support blind and partially sighted people. Each canine entrant enjoyed a tail wagging walk before receiving a doggy bag containing a commemorative dog tag and certificate. At the same time, pet owners were offered a micro chipping service by a qualified professional.

Reaseheath’s zoo was also open to the public, with Emma taking the opportunity to run rabbit enrichment workshops encouraging families to make toys for their pets from cardboard boxes and tubes. The activities raised £82 for the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund.

Other colleagues organised educational displays about responsible pet ownership, particularly the drawbacks of keeping exotic animals, demonstrated how to make garden bird feeders and gave talks on pet care.

Handing over a certificate and educational book on dog breeds, Phil Sketchley, chair of the Trustees of National Pet Month, said: “We liked the balance between fun and education in Reaseheath’s events. They helped promote responsible pet ownership while fitting in with our 2013 theme of ‘companionship’. We cannot wait to hear about Reaseheath’s plans for next year, when National Pet Month will celebrate its 25th anniversary.”

Emma Hunt said: “We were delighted to get this award, particularly as it was the first time we have taken part in National Pet Month. It was a great opportunity to inform the public about pet care – a subject that we are all very passionate about.”