Merel works at the animal shelter: ‘We organize Love Island for rabbits’

Merel has been working with great passion at Het Knaaghof rodent shelter in Rijswijk since 2012. Together with her colleagues, she is a lifesaver for sick and injured rabbits and rodents. Merel explains what makes her work so special and how the animal shelter manages to help rabbits and rodents.

Merel is a true animal lover and works with her team day in and day out to ensure that injured or sick animals in the area receive the best care. “We have a very nice team with passionate people. We all know what we do it for: we notice every day how important our work is and that it is really necessary,” says Merel.

More than just animals

Merel has been location manager of Het Knaaghof for over ten years. “My work is about much more than just animals: we want to educate people, offer a workplace for people with a distance to the labor market and work together with the animal ambulance.” This job has been a big switch for Merel. “I always worked in commercial positions. When I started here I thought: wow! I don’t even look at the clock anymore.”

Couple holidays for rabbits

Rabbits are animals that must live together. That is why Het Knaaghof organizes couple holidays. “We call it Love Island. If you have a rabbit, that rabbit will go on holiday here to find a buddy.” If your rabbit has found a buddy from the shelter, you as the owner can take both rabbits home.

That doesn’t mean it’s a quiet job. Merel: “I never go here grumpy and never come home grumpy. Frustrated perhaps: the work is never really finished. It does give a lot of satisfaction.”

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Merel can use all the help of volunteers in the shelter | Photo: Vincent Croce

Not without help

The work at the animal shelter is clearly important, but helping the animals also requires financial support. Merel’s team consists of volunteers, but sometimes animals need expensive medical help. Fortunately, they receive financial support from the shelter at the shelter Postcode Lottery. The Postcode Lottery is committed to a green, just and healthy world by raising funds for charities. Participants support with their lot every year 146 charitiesincluding animal shelters. In the past five years, the Animal Protection has already received 9 million euros. They can use this contribution at their own discretion to ensure better animal welfare.

At least forty percent of participants’ contributions go to these charities. “We wouldn’t be able to do our work without the support of the Postcode Lottery,” says Merel. “Then we wouldn’t have been able to offer such good accommodations as we do now. That is not only important for here, but also to show people what the ideal environment is for the animals.” This also covers the medical assistance that the animals need. “A veterinarian comes every week to vaccinate all new animals and castrate all males.”

Also contribute

Do you also want to contribute to important charities such as animal shelters? Become a participant of the Postcode Lottery and support this and 145 other charities. People like Merel can really use your help. Go to the website and participate!

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