MBU March: Fundraising for Improvements to Our Mother & Baby Unit

During the month of March and in time for Mother’s Day, we’ll be fundraising for important improvements to our Mother & Baby Unit (MBU) at The Cat & Rabbit Rescue Centre. After getting to know what goes on in our MBU and what we’ve got planned, we’d love if you could get involved in MBU March and help us to raise vital funds to help to continue to give rescue kittens and their mothers a chance at a healthy and happy life.

Why Update Our MBU?

If you’re a new supporter of The Cat & Rabbit Rescue Centre or haven’t yet checked out our recent blog post, you may not know about our Mother & Baby Unit (MBU). Our MBU is a designated building here at The Cat & Rabbit Rescue Centre to care for kittens, family groups of kittens and their mothers, and pregnant cats that have been found as strays, have been taken in from poor conditions, or have been brought into the centre as unwanted pets. You can read more about what goes on in the MBU here.

Here at The Cat & Rabbit Rescue Centre, we take precautions necessary to avoid the risk of outside illness or other influences affecting the health and happiness of the wonderful animals we care for. This means that we’re always thinking of ways we can improve our facilities to ensure we provide the utmost care for our furry friends requiring some extra TLC whilst waiting for their forever homes with us. We’ve decided to make some changes to our MBU which we foresee will decrease the recovery time of kittens and mothers that come into the centre unwell, decrease the risk of spread of airborne disease, and ultimately decrease the time these deserving kittens and mothers must wait for their forever homes!


What’s Happening Soon in Our MBU?

Currently, with limited ventilation systems in the MBU, our Animal Care Team often open windows of the building to release stale air and bring fresh air into the building. However, this may pose a risk to vulnerable kittens and mothers in the winter months when temperatures can drop to record lows, whereby if its too chilly, windows must stay shut and so stale air stays in. Similarly, opening windows of the MBU for fresh air in the summer when temperatures are high and air thick with humidity does not bring much relief, as if it’s a particularly hot summer, the air within the MBU has the potential to get unsuitably warm for kittens and their mothers, which means windows must be shut and ventilation of stale air is limited. With less-than-ideal ventilation, the risk of spread of airborne disease is a concern to us, particularly as those staying in the MBU are potentially vulnerable due to their susceptible life stage. To combat this issue, we’re planning to install a Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) System into our MBU.

The HRV system we’ll install will consist of two ventilation pipes running next to one another, passing between the inside and outside of the MBU building. One of these pipes will carry cool, fresh, and filtered air in and the other will carry warm, moist, and stale air out. Both airstreams pass separately through a central Heat Exchanger Unit, ensuring no mixing of air occurs. The Heat Exchanger transfers the waste heat energy from the outgoing stream to the in-going stream, meaning that this recycling of heat energy will allow the MBU to remain ventilated with fresh air, without dropping in temperature, which will mean the MBU can remain warm with fresh air inside. Conversely, during the summer months, the Heat Exchanger can cool down incoming hot air by transferring energy to the outgoing cold air. This will mean whatever the weather, kittens and their mothers will be cared for in the MBU at optimal temperature and surrounded by clean, fresh air year-round.


How Will This Change Help Kittens and Mothers in Our MBU?

Although we take every action to limit the risk of airborne disease such as cat flu that could affect furry friends cared for at The Cat & Rabbit Rescue Centre including constant cleaning of rooms and pens, monitoring the health of all animals at the centre and giving necessary vaccinations to protect against disease, the risk of airborne disease unfortunately cannot be entirely eliminated. This risk is particularly influenced by the health of kittens and their mothers entering the centre, with many coming from poor living conditions where they have developed and still harbor diseases which have the potential to spread to other kittens and mothers in the MBU, even when they have no direct contact with other kittens or kitten and mother groups. By installing the HRV system, the risk of airborne disease will be greatly reduced as infectious particles that could be spread by coughs, sneezes or nasal and throat secretions in the air can be quickly and effectively removed from the MBU. Fresh, clean air free from airborne disease will also help kittens and mothers who enter the centre with illness to recover much faster, meaning they reach good health to be able to receive necessary vaccinations and undergo veterinary procedures and ultimately are ready to find their forever homes sooner.

The HRV system will also ensure temperatures inside all rooms and pens in the MBU are kept at optimal temperatures, whatever the weather outside. Temperature can greatly affect cat and particularly kitten health and happiness, with extreme heat or cold having the potential to be fatal. Fortunately, our MBU and all other buildings at The Cat & Rabbit Rescue Centre have been built and are maintained to ensure the worst as a result of hot or cold temperatures does not occur. However, we see the significant positive impact installing the HRV system will provide to kittens and mothers in the MBU for increased comfort, happiness, and faster recovery times.


How Will This Change Help the Environment?  

Because of the energy recycling process involved in the HRV system, the installation of the HRV system in our MBU will also help us to reduce our heating and energy use significantly. Here at The Cat & Rabbit Rescue Centre, we’re always trying to think of ways to reduce our environmental impact to help protect the earth and the animals that rely on its resources. By consuming less energy by reducing the need to heat the MBU through installation of the HVR system, we’ll be helping towards the reduction of toxic fumes released by power plants, helping to conserve the earth’s natural resources and helping to protect ecosystems from destruction.


What Can You Do To Help?

As a charity that does not receive government funding assistance, The Cat & Rabbit Rescue Centre must rely on the generous donations of our supporters and CRRC Community. Although we always try our best to find ways to save money to make sure we can continue our operations and help more animals that need us, this MBU update is necessary to ensure the health and happiness of kittens and mothers in need of our care is not at risk. We therefore greatly need your help to cover the cost of our MBU improvements which will come to the total of £5,400!

Throughout the month of March and in time for Mother’s Day (The 27th of March 2022), we hope to raise funds to cover the total cost of the MBU project. We’ll be focusing on stories of the amazing and inspiring kittens and mothers that have entered and left our MBU throughout the years throughout March and hope to bring attention towards this great fundraising cause. We welcome you to donate to The Cat & Rabbit Rescue Centre via our website here, our Facebook posts or by text.

We’d be thrilled if you would consider fundraising for us! From hosting your own bake sale, setting up a fundraising page for your friends to share and donate, to organising and completing a sponsored run, there’s so many exciting fundraising activities you can start and get involved with to support MBU March. If you’d like to fundraise for our MBU project but you’re not sure where to start, don’t hesitate to contact our Fundraising & Media Managers for help and guidance, whatever your age or ability!