It has also provided a permanent home to rescued farm animals and now the team of staff and more than 20 volunteers are working towards becoming a therapy farm.
Administrator and trustee of the rescue centre, Jennifer Greig, said: “Once they are here our donkeys, pigs and sheep, will never leave. This is their sanctuary and we believe they can provide others with a similar form of sanctuary.”
Jennifer Greig joined Jo Brydon as part of Moorview Kennels and Cattery in 2012.
“Jo never envisaged starting a rescue and sanctuary when she first came here,” Jennifer said.
“It had been her dream to run a kennels business, but then she realised sometimes owners did not come back to collect their dogs. That was when her passion to ensure abandoned dogs were well looked after and found their perfect forever owner also became her mission.”
But, Jennifer said setting up and running a rescue centre is “a very tricky thing”.
“There are so many considerations, from having the right facilities, forging relationships and developing what can be a very complex network with other rescues and rescuers.
“We work with other rescues, the council dog pounds, intermediaries and people who contact us personally. We also work a little with the RSPCA when they approach us.”
Jennifer said the catalyst for the rescue centre as it is today came when Jo was approached by German Shepherd Rescue to board some of their dogs until suitable homes were found.
Funding the day-to-day feeding, homing, rehabilitating and all-round looking after of the animals has to be another prime factor in the continued provision of care.
Moorview Rescue moved to charitable status in 2013 having started out as a not-for-profit organisation. Jennifer said they run on donations and fundraising activities, which can be a challenge.
“Our dogs can stay up to a year as we stick to Jo’s philosophy of finding them the perfect home and they can cost around £5,000 a year without vet bills,” said Jennifer.
“At the end of the day everyone here simply wants to look after the animals’ welfare, but to do that properly you also need money in the bank.”
Jennifer said the team was “humbled” by the generosity of the rescue centre’s supporters.
“We also put out individual appeals. If an older dog has teeth that need removing the cost may be a fairly reasonable sum, but what our supporters give never ceases to amaze me. It is very humbling.”
Jennifer and rescue centre manager Alice Cheeseman are both part-time employees as well as giving additional time along with the rest of the volunteers.
“Everyone gives so much of their time freely and they are all wonderful people who have the animals at their heart. I think many have found that in meeting others with the same concerns they have also made lifelong friends. We’re so lucky to have them and I adore them all.”
One of those volunteers is Ryan Sullivan. The general manager of a restaurant in Leeds, Ryan said he decided to help while he was on furlough.
“I just thought I could be doing something better with my life than being at home. I muck out and look after the farm animals."
Ryan said the recent freezing temperatures have been a “challenge” as the pipes froze and they needed to bring water in for the animals in as many containers as they could find.
“Every day is different. There’s always something to look out for, but the environment is nice and peaceful. It’s a world away from the city centre.
“I bring my dog with me and it’s very important to look after the animals. Although I didn’t necessarily think it at the time, this has definitely helped with my own wellbeing.”
The animals have arrived at Moorview through different routes. Rescue pig Wilbur, a miniature pot-bellied pig, outgrew his original owner’s shed and another of the pigs was found in the basement of a house in Leeds, while Oreo the donkey arrived from a sanctuary in Ireland.
Jennifer said they are anticipating an increase in dogs arriving at all rescues in the coming months as furloughed staff are able to return to work and find they are no longer able to offer the exercise or the companionship they have been able to during lockdown.
“We just want to make sure every animal is cared for properly no matter what the reason for them coming to us,” said Jennifer.