An animal fosterer is taking on an epic, and messy, challenge to raise money for the RSPCA.
Sasha Hunter, who lives in Bushey, has been fostering rabbits, Guinea pigs and cats for the RSPCA Middlesex North West branch for the past four years.
Now she has decided to take on the Tough Mudder challenge in Hemel Hempstead in July to raise funds for the branch.
The 26-year-old vet nurse from Park Veterinary Centre in Watford said: “This is a bit of a first for me. I haven’t done anything like this before. I wanted to do it for the Middlesex branch as they are great. I started fostering Guinea pigs and rabbits for them about four years ago, starting with indoor rabbits and then fostering cats.
“When I started, I wasn’t working as a vet nurse at the time but I’d always had my own pets and I was looking for some volunteer work with animals. I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I work full time so this was the perfect opportunity to be around animals and help my local branch – and I love it. There have been countless rabbits, some of them have been with me for a week and some of them a few months.”
Fostering animals for the RSPCA helped her realise she wanted a career as a veterinary nurse, as well as realising the important role which fostering has to play in a rescue animal’s life.
She added: “For me, it’s not just about getting donations to help the guys who work so hard and have so many animals at the branch, I also wanted to raise a bit more awareness about fostering as well. It’s a transition for that animal into their new home. It allows them to get settled into a home environment and then you can really see their personalities and I can feed that back to the branch who can find them a compatible home. It’s so rewarding when they eventually go to their forever homes.”
Sasha was fostering cats for the RSPCA for a few months when a black and white cat called Bruce Wayne came into her care. He was found with a sore toe which vets initially thought would need to be amputated but luckily his toe healed with antibiotics and some TLC from Sasha.
“I had fostered a few cats at that stage but when he came to my house his tail was shaking so much as he was so excited and I just fell in love with him.” She explained. “Now that I have Bruce, I just foster rabbits. I have a big pen for them in the kitchen which we built ourselves. The rabbit I’m looking after now is an older, more reserved bunny. He was kept in a very small cage for most of his life so it took him a while to come out of his shell. He is so much happier and brighter now which is really rewarding to see.”
The RSPCA Middlesex North West branch provides everything a fosterer needs to care for an animal and can arrange to pick them up for veterinary checks as well as being on hand to offer any advice needed. If you are interested in fostering please visit www.rspca.org.uk/fostering
Now Sasha is preparing for her training for the 10-12 mile course featuring 20 obstacles which include climbing in mud, sliding into ice cold water and walking through electric wires. She will undertake the hair-raising challenge on Saturday, July 7 and the training starts in March.
“My mum did it last year. I went along and watched her do it so I know exactly what I’m letting myself in for!” Sasha said.”Mum isn’t raising money but she’s doing it again this year so she can be my moral support.”
Her mum Wendy Mansell, who helps Sasha foster the RSPCA animals took on the challenge last year and was also the first to donate to support Sasha.
To support Sasha’s cause, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sasha-hunter-rspca
If you would like to raise money for the RSPCA, please visit https://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/fundraise