Anim-Mates was founded in 2002 and this is how it came about.
Su and Teresa first met whilst involved with an animal charity. They often talked about forming a new group, which would have a wider sphere of activity. The decisive moment to embark on this journey came on 6 August 2002.
A young lady in Lee, South East London came across a group of onlookers watching an elderly ginger cat wandering in circles in the gutter near her home. As nobody recognised the cat, she picked him up, took him home and carefully put him in a cardboard box for warmth and privacy. Thinking he may have been injured, she started to ring for help.
It was after 4.30 pm, so she didn’t receive any answer from the RSPCA or the local warden and a local animal charity was unable to respond. Would nobody help?
A friend who had heard about the cat informed Su and Teresa, who decided to offer some help. They saw that he needed to be seen by a vet and offered to take him to one.
As they drove they realised that this was the catalyst for something that they had been thinking about for some time. During that 20-minute drive, Su thought about the name for a new group, Animates. It sounded a bit like a cartoon. Then Teresa had a brainwave and Anim-Mates was born.
At the vets, it was discovered that he was not injured but did have a serious problem, probably a brain tumour or some pressure in his head. He needed some medication and the vet needed paying. Anim-Mates would raise the money somehow.
The next morning a very worried lady rang several lost animal groups to say that her 16-year-old ginger cat was lost and she was frantic with worry. One of the groups had heard about the cat and knew where it was. The cat and relieved owner were soon reunited. The grateful lady paid Anim-Mates the vet’s costs plus its first donation of £12.
Su and Teresa will always remember the date of 6 August 2002.