The Lord Whisky Sanctuary Fund

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Lord Whisky Sanctuary Fund is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

www.lordwhisky.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | THE LORD WHISKY SANCTUARY FUND
Founder Margaret Todd MBE
Chris Newman examining
a patient with clients and
founder Margaret Todd MBE
Named after a mischievous Jack Russell, The Lord Whisky
Sanctuary Fund is a lifeline for animals of all kinds.
Founder Margaret Todd MBE and her team provide
sanctuary to animals who become homeless, or who have been
injured or abused. With boarding, adoption and emergency
veterinary services offered, the sanctuary operates across
three locations in Kent to provide support for animals across
thecountry.
As the founder of the sanctuary, I can trace its beginnings back to my teenage
years, a time when I already enjoyed caring for animals. With support from Peter
Hamblin, a veterinary practitioner, I became interested in veterinary medicine. After
a period spent managing a pet shop, I was able to buy our first kennels with my
husband, Ron.
We built up a successful boarding kennels and cattery and were asked to take in
the council strays. When their seven days were up, we found suitable homes for
them. We soon became known for taking in other unwanted pets, and through
this, we met the Right Honourable Muriel Lady Dowding, a great animal lover.
Our aim is, and always will be, to encourage compassion and kindness to animals,
something which can only lead to a better world.
The development of the sanctuary
We later moved to Stelling Minnis in Kent as our work had continued to grow
and we realised we needed a large property with land. Park House, ten miles
FACTS ABOUT
THE LORD WHISKY
SANCTUARYFUND
»Founder: Margaret Todd
»Established in 1986
»Based in Stelling Minnis, Kent
»Services: Low-income veterinary
clinic
»No. of employees: 15 at the
sanctuary, 6 at the tea rooms
and 5 part-time vets
The Lord Whisky
Sanctuary Fund
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | THE LORD WHISKY SANCTUARY FUND
Founder Margaret Todd MBE
Chris Newman examining
a patient with clients and
founder Margaret Todd MBE
Named after a mischievous Jack Russell, The Lord Whisky
Sanctuary Fund is a lifeline for animals of all kinds.
Founder Margaret Todd MBE and her team provide
sanctuary to animals who become homeless, or who have been
injured or abused. With boarding, adoption and emergency
veterinary services offered, the sanctuary operates across
three locations in Kent to provide support for animals across
thecountry.
As the founder of the sanctuary, I can trace its beginnings back to my teenage
years, a time when I already enjoyed caring for animals. With support from Peter
Hamblin, a veterinary practitioner, I became interested in veterinary medicine. After
a period spent managing a pet shop, I was able to buy our first kennels with my
husband, Ron.
We built up a successful boarding kennels and cattery and were asked to take in
the council strays. When their seven days were up, we found suitable homes for
them. We soon became known for taking in other unwanted pets, and through
this, we met the Right Honourable Muriel Lady Dowding, a great animal lover.
Our aim is, and always will be, to encourage compassion and kindness to animals,
something which can only lead to a better world.
The development of the sanctuary
We later moved to Stelling Minnis in Kent as our work had continued to grow
and we realised we needed a large property with land. Park House, ten miles
FACTS ABOUT
THE LORD WHISKY
SANCTUARYFUND
»Founder: Margaret Todd
»Established in 1986
»Based in Stelling Minnis, Kent
»Services: Low-income veterinary
clinic
»No. of employees: 15 at the
sanctuary, 6 at the tea rooms
and 5 part-time vets
The Lord Whisky
Sanctuary Fund
31THE LORD WHISKY SANCTUARY FUND |
ENVIRONMENT, FOOD & RURAL AFFAIRS
from Canterbury, proved to be ideal.
As our rescue work became more well
known, we began to receive donations
to help with our bills. Because of this,
in 1981, we decided to become a
registered charity so that our work
could go on long into thefuture.
We have received great support from
the patrons of the charity, and this has
fuelled our expansion: we originally
took two horses from Lady Dowding;
we now never have less than 20.
We have managed to secure grazing
land for these horses and other large
rescues, and we were lucky to work
alongside Lady Herries in Sussex,
whose property acted as anoverflow.
We have continued our expansion
and now take in strays from Ashford
Borough Council, and dogs from the
police and other authorities, as well
as animals which belong to people
who have become homeless or whose
owners have died.
On September 3, 1988, we established
a veterinary clinic for people on low
income. This is a very important
part of our work as not only does it
help animals that would otherwise
go untreated, but it also provides a
service to their owners. It also gives
a chance to advise on general care
and animal welfare. For instance, we
promote micro-chipping as the most
effective way of returning pets to their
owners and encourage the use of a
collar and disc on dogs. If the found
pet is not wanted, the ID gives us
some idea of age and other attributes.
To widen the benefits this offers, we
would like to see the law changed to
include cats.
Continuing to expand
Our plans to move to bigger premises
are underway, where we can hopefully
employ more vets and nurses.
We are fortunate in having a great
team of dedicated vets and nurses,
but it is becoming more and more
difficult to find suitable vets. We
do not know if the government is
aware of this shortage, but in our
experience, more trained, qualified
veterinary practitioners are needed.
Alongside this, our experience has
taught us that there is an ever-
increasing number of animals in need
of care. This is a situation that the
government might be able to alleviate
through specific educational initiatives
and stricter penalties forcruelty.
Our vision is a world where every
animal is appreciated and treated
with kindness, understanding
andrespect.
A client waiting for the
Lord Whisky Clinic to
open
On September
3, 1988, we
established a
veterinary
clinic for
people on low
income, which
we hope to
expand
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | THE LORD WHISKY SANCTUARY FUND
Funding and publicising
ourwork
We rely entirely on donations and
legacies to carry on our work. The costs
of housing, feeding and caring for rescue
animals are immense. We hold regular
boot fairs and an annual dog show and
although outside events are at the mercy
of the weather, they raise significant
funds. We are always open to innovative
ways to fund ourselves; for example
we hold an annual poetry competition,
several quiz nights and our popular “Fur,
Feather & Exotic”exhibition.
In the early 1980s, we took over a pub
near the sanctuary and began to run
it as a tea room, something which has
proved very popular. All profits go to
the sanctuary, and the tea room also
offers the opportunity to sell donated
goods and to hold themed events
such as a Burns Night or quizzes.
To support this effort, we have also
recently established a charity shop in
nearbyHythe.
Keeping the sanctuary in the news is
vital. In order to attract donations, a
good relationship with the local press,
television and radio, and celebrities
is vital. We have had support from
Jo Brand, Brian May, Anita Dobson,
Pam Ferris and Roger Frost among
others, and this is crucial to raising our
profile. To further this goal, we have
a professionally designed sanctuary
website and are active on social media.
The lessons we have learnt
All these activities require time. It is
important for anyone establishing a
charity to realise how all-consuming
it may be. We wish to keep
administration costs as low as possible,
but this places immense pressure on
the key staff. Dedication to the mission
is essential. We are lucky in the loyal
staff we have attracted.
Above all, it is essential not to
compromise the core values of the
charity. We promise that every animal
that comes into our care will never be
put to sleep if a suitable home cannot
be found, either due to temperament,
advanced age or poor health. Instead,
they will spend the rest of their days
at the sanctuary as our special guests
and friends. We are also committed to
take in any animal that is bequeathed
to us in a will and to carry out the
owners’requests.
Although running the sanctuary is a
lovely way of life, especially when we
turn animals around, there is also the
downside when a little bird doesn’t
make it or one of our long-term friends
has to be put down. Would we change
anything? Only to start again with the
knowledge we have now. Hopefully,
with the help of our supporters, we
will continue long into the future,
never forgetting the aims on which the
charity was founded.
Above all, it is
essential not
to
compromise
the core
values of the
charity. We
promise that
every animal
who comes
into our care
will never be
put to sleep
Our veterinary
ambulance outside the
Park House
Clients with a patient at
the Lord Whisky Clinic

www.lordwhisky.co.uk

This article was sponsored by The Lord Whisky Sanctuary Fund. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.