F.A.I.T.H is a small animal rescue centre situated on the outskirts of Hickling village in Norfolk. The charity had its beginnings in January 1994 after five dogs were found abandoned on the local marshes; with large vet bills to pay an appeal for help was published in a local newspaper, and from that article came several calls to help other dogs and cats. And so the rescue centre was born - the acronym F.A.I.T.H means For Animals In Trouble there's Hope.
The centre helps many different dogs for many different reasons - stray dogs, Death Row dogs, dogs with behaviour problems, dogs whose owners can no longer keep them when circumstances change, and those whose owners have sadly passed away. There's a non-destruction policy in place and no animal is ever put to sleep unless it's on the advice of a vet to end pain or suffering, and if a dog's behaviour makes it impossible to re-home satisfactorily then it remains at the centre for the rest of its life.
Although each dog has its own individual kennel with a small outdoor space they all have access to a large enclosed communal area where they can socialise and play together. There's also a communal cat house with home-from-home comforts including sofas, chairs and shelves with hidey holes, and a large enclosed run with a water feature, climbing frame and toys. Visitors are allowed in the cat house (but they must remember to keep the doors closed) and whenever I go to the centre I like to spend some time in there with the residents.
Dogs and cats aren't the only residents at the centre; there are pigs, sheep, goats, ponies, rabbits, ducks and chickens and a very pleasant hour can be spent wandering round and seeing them all. The centre is open from 11am to 3pm every day except Thursdays, and for me a visit to Norfolk will always include a visit to F.A.I.T.H