Teenager George opens pet rescue centre
AN ANIMAL-loving teenager has opened a pet sanctuary at his parents' home in Fishponds.
George Sheppard will help take on some of the animals from the charity the Littlest Rescue after it was announced founder Bev Taylor would step down in the New Year after 13 years at the helm.
The Staple Hill-based Littlest Rescue will become an umbrella organisation with the job of looking after rabbits and guinea pigs split between three other organisations, including Shepp's Rescue, set up by George.
Bev, who is 64, will now concentrate on rescuing pigeons and offering boarding facilities for rabbits and guinea pigs.
George has been volunteering with Bev for nine months, indulging his life-long love of animals.
He is so passionate he has also embarked on a course studying animal care at SGS College.
The 17-year-old said: “I love everything about animals - I love learning about them, I love that every one is different, I love helping animals in need and I love how animals can help us as much as we can help them.
“If I have a day where I feel a bit down, I'll go outside and take care of my animals. It makes me feel a lot better.”
George lives at home with his mum and dad who luckily have a large garden.
At the moment he has just four rescue rabbits but will increase this to include guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, chickens and fish.
“Inside my house, I've got mostly my personal animals - a dog called Bella, a crested gecko, four praying mantis and multiple fish tanks.
“Outside I've got four rescue rabbits with the aim of getting them into good homes. I've got a Facebook page and Instagram account where I post pictures of the animals I want to rehome. I like to get to know the person who will be adopting the animals. If they live quite far away and I couldn't get there to meet them, I would want to see photographs of the accommodation the animals would live in.”
Thankfully George has the full support of his parents.
“I think I drive them up the wall but they love seeing the different animals I bring in. My mum likes it when I bring the rabbits into the house to cut their nails. Interacting with animals is a fun thing for my family to do. It's also a good source of conversation.”
George isn't too sure what his future holds, only that it will include animals.
“I'm just going to see where life takes me. Obviously it would be great if I could do the rescue full time and then I could put all my energy into rescue work. If not I would love to work in a zoo or as an animal handler for the police. But whatever happens, I definitely want to work with animals.”
You can find out more about Shepp's Rescue by visiting the Facebook page.