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In the Dog House...The RATS 37 Hour Sponsored Sleepover

By Jenna Jones

“We must be mad…”

This is exactly what was going through my (pounding) head at 02:30 on Sunday 29th August, whilst I was desperately trying to get comfortable on a hard kennel floor and listening to the piercing screeches of the (not so) fantastic Mr Fox, who likes to drop in for a natter and some grub when he feels like it. Not to mention the local owls, who also wanted in on the impromptu screech-a-thon. Meanwhile, Mini the Terrier was snoring peacefully next to me, delighted to have human company and cuddles for the night.

In order to raise awareness for the charity and most importantly, to raise all-important funds, myself and five other volunteers shacked up together at the kennels for a whole 37 hours across the Bank Holiday weekend. Note to self: when coming up with fundraising ideas to celebrate next year’s RATS birthday, think in minutes and not hours…

Jokes aside, I am thrilled to tell you that the event was a great success. Not only did we raise over £2,200 (so £370 each as our Finance man Kevin delights in telling me), we also gained excellent media coverage; we were interviewed on BBC Three Counties Radio three times in as many days! We also gained lots of new supporters through our social media posts, with training videos, First Aid advice, competitions and even animal holistic therapy sessions across the weekend.

Although at times we were cold, grumpy and tired, we were never hungry. We felt very lucky to be so spoilt by other volunteers as well as local businesses, who kept us well fed the whole time. Special thanks to Julia for her delicious sandwiches and to Helen for the absolute feast of her famous sausage rolls (of which I am not ashamed to say I devoured well over half, if not three quarters).

The biggest thanks has to go to my fellow kennel residents though. Jo, Hayley, Lisa, Kevin and Simon, I adored every minute spent with you all. I haven’t laughed like that for a long time and I’m in awe of your love and dedication. You’re all superheroes. Not forgetting a big thanks to our four-legged residents for putting up with us for such a long time. Particularly Andy, our King of the Kennels, who kept us in line and even let Hayley share his bed!

The funds raised will of course go straight towards the care of our beloved animals, and we’re over the moon to have also welcomed so many new supporters into the RATS Family too. What whacky scheme will we come up with for our next fundraising adventure, I wonder?

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