Cat Haven to close its Wisbech shop - but the charity lives on

PUBLISHED: 12:25 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:46 05 June 2020

Cat Haven is closing its charity shop in the Market Place, Wisbech, but will still continue to operate as a charity.  Image: Submitted

Cat Haven is closing its charity shop in the Market Place, Wisbech, but will still continue to operate as a charity. Image: Submitted

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A Wisbech-based charity is closing its shop in the town centre - but will still continue rescuing cats across the Fens.

Tracy Reeve, who founded the charity Cat Haven with her sister Julie Dutton in 1988. Picture: SubmittedTracy Reeve, who founded the charity Cat Haven with her sister Julie Dutton in 1988. Picture: Submitted

Cat Haven, on the Market Place, will close its doors for the final time at the end of the month after the charity’s founders decided it’s too much to take on.

Tracy Reeve, one of the charity’s founders, said: “After 12 years, we’ve made the difficult decision to close the shop at the end of June.

“We care for 63 elderly, disabled and feral cats that are all permanent residents at our sanctuary in Leverington. This, and managing the shop, has become too much and I’ve been battling with my health over the last few years.”

She added: “Our charity will still continue forever and we will still need donations.

“So please, we’re still accepting donations of clothing, handbags, shoes, curtains, cat food - anything to help raise funds for Cat Haven and keep us going,”

Tracy founded Cat Haven in 1988 when she was 18 with her sister Julie Dutton who was 14 at the time. Over the last 30 years or so, they’ve rescued thousands of cats, many feral and living wild in the Fens.

“We’ve rescued so many over the years, it’s impossible to tell anyone exactly how many we’ve helped,” she said.

Their parents Colin and Pam had raised both daughters to love and care for animals.

When they came across their first feral cat colony as teenagers, the sisters couldn’t believe so many cats could live in the wild and the population was so out of control.

They realised many of the kittens were being knocked down by cars, and would catch the cats, care for them and make sure they were neutered. The animals were then rehomed.

Colin helped them set up the registered charity and kitted out their first shop in Hill Street. After six months they then moved to Market Place.

However Tracy has been seriously ill and the road to recovery has been a long and slow process.

She said: “I’m getting there, but since the coronavirus lockdown I’ve had to think about the volunteers helping in the shop.

“Both are in their 60s, and I have to think about their health as well. Regular customers will probably remember my mum at the till for many years too.”

She added: “I also want to thank everyone who has helped and supported us.

“From the volunteers to anyone that has made a donation, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

If you would like to make a donation, please call Tracy on 07519 105 677.


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