|Heart-warming Surrey volunteer celebrates 16 years at Battersea
On 24 October 2001, Surrey resident Mick O'Neill started his first volunteering session at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Now the retired animal lover is celebrating his amazing 16-year anniversary at the Berkshire centre.
Mick, who regularly volunteers alongside his wife Jean, first began volunteering at Old Windsor's Cattery, spending valuable time socialising with the homeless cats and kittens. Mick and his wife now visit the Berkshire kennels weekly to sit and play with the dogs, providing them with companionship, training, and a comfy lap to sit on. They also walk on average 6 dogs every week.
Alongside volunteering, it wasn't long before Mick and Jean became regular foster carers to the dogs and cats in desperate need of a home environment. The pair decided to permanently rehome their foster dog, Pebbles, in 2013. And it just so happens the 5-year-old Terrier Cross was born on the couple's wedding anniversary at the Old Windsor centre.
Mick said: "My wife and I were inspired to volunteer at Battersea after retiring from work and wanting to keep fit. Our daughter told us about the opportunity and we haven't looked back since. We have met some fantastic animals over the years and couldn't imagine life without our Battersea dog Pebbles. We love being a part of the Battersea family."