Submitted by Steve on 16:40, 8th Sep, 2016 | 0

Tuesday evening the GSPCA greeted 14 new faces wanting to help out at the Animal Shelter and 24/7 work that is carried out.

Those present were interested in helping with dog walking to reception, cat pen cleaning to helping with the wildlife, fund raising to volunteering to gain experience for their CV and some to help gain life skills.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager greeted the group and gave a presentation and talk about the work we carry out 24 hours 7 days a week, the differing volunteer roles and how to work safely at the GSPCA Shelter and our events.

After a 90 minute talk each of the group had a chance to talk to Steve about what they'd like to do and a date was set for them to come in.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said "We hold Volunteer Inductions every month at the GSPCA and it is wonderful how we always have such a great attendance."

"On Tuesday I welcomed 14 new volunteers each wanting to help it different ways and the first are of this group are starting this weekend."

"We have over 100 active volunteers every week and over 600 each year, which is about 1% of the Guernsey population."

"Our next Volunteer Induction is at 6.30pm on Tuesday 13th September and we have many more planned through the year."

"We couldn't help the thousands of animals that come through our doors at the GSPCA without our fantastic volunteers and great team."

"We look forward to the the new volunteers Aston, Oliver, Lisa, Ella, Rosie, Martin, Kim, Jessica, Doreen, Amanda, Angus, James, Cathryn and a second Ella starting over the next few weeks and thank them all for wanting to help us make a real difference to animals lives in Guernsey."

Currently at the GSPCA we are looking for volunteers to help in some specific areas including -

  • Fund raising and helping at stalls and many events
  • Volunteers to help with our flag days in October and November
  • Volunteer gardeners to help around site with St Andrews Floral Group
  • NIGHT VOLUNTEERING - Volunteer Wardens to help provide the ambulance emergency service we provide between 6pm and 8am every night  
  • WEEKEND VOLUNTEERING - Volunteer Wardens to help provide the ambulance emergency service we provide between 8am until 6pm on the weekend
  • Hedgehog Volunteers especially on the weekend
  • Cat volunteers to help with their cleaning and care
  • Volunteer receptionists to help on the front desk
  • Dog walking volunteers
  • Cat socialising volunteers
  • Volunteers to help with guided tours

If you can help with any of these roles please contact GSPCA Manager Steve Byrne on 01481 257261 or email [email protected]

To find out more about volunteering please click here.

We are always looking for volunteers to help at the Shelter in a variety of roles. Volunteers helping raise funds for the GSPCA Animal Shelter Guernsey

You need to be at least 14 years old to help at the Shelter.  If you are younger then you could still help.  If you talk to your parents or guardians they may help you with fund raising for the Animal Shelter.

To get started in Volunteering at the GSPCA we hold Induction Evenings and no matter your age there is always a way you can help.

If you are looking to complete your work experience, Duke of Edinburgh or similar placement it is a requirement to attend one of the sessions to arrange a start date and complete the induction.

The Volunteer Induction Evenings planned for 2015/16 will take place on the following days and times in the Event and Training Room at the GSPCA, but please do call 257261 closer to the date to confirm it is taking place.

When you arrive to attend please follow the paw prints at the front of reception which will take you to the upper floor where the sessions are held. 

  • 6.30pm Tuesday 13th September 2016 
  • 6.30pm Thursday 6th October 2016 
  • 6.30pm Thursday 3rd November 2016 
  • 6.30pm Tuesday 6th December 2016

Here are some of the ways you can volunteer for the GSPCA.

Dog Walking - to find out more

Dog Walking Volunteer Details

Cat Socialising - for more details

Cat Socialising Volunteer DetailsVolunteer at GSPCA Animal Shelter, Guernsey

Animal Accommodation Cleaner - With over 200 animals in our care there is lots of cleaning to do in the morning and through the day.  Please complete a form and return it to the Shelter if you would like to help care for the animals at the Shelter.

Wildlife Volunteer - Our recent refurbished wildlife unit always has high numbers of birds and a growing number of hedgehogs that require caring for.  We need volunteers to help us with this unit and if you would like to help please complete a form below and return it to the Shelter.  The main part of this role is between 8am and 12pm 7 days a week and we are trying to put a rota together to help assist the wildlife staff. 

Reception and helping answer calls - We are looking to build a team of volunteBaby Hedgehogers to assist the reception staff in their duties to help respond to the inquiries and welfare calls.

Administration - We are a very busy Animal Welfare organisation and if you could help in the office please fill in the form below and get in touch.

Gardening & Grounds Work - We have a lovely rural site that we always need help to care for.

Maintenance & Painting -  Many of our buildings have been standing for some time and need TLC.

Fostering / Hand Rearing - follow this link to see our Fostering page Link to fostering page

Fund Raising - we are always looking for Volunteers helping raise funds for GSPCA Animal Shelter, Guernseyvolunteers to help with our many fund raising events.  If you can help please fill in an application below and return it to the Shelter.   If you would like to see some of our fund raising events please

Fundraising page

Events & Special Days - We have lots of days to help raise awareness and funds for the GSPCA.

Welfare & Microchipping Events - We are planning to arrange days to help raise awareness and help animals in Guernsey and need your help to run these days.

Van Driving & Night Wardens - We need volunteers to help both in the day and night.  For more details on the Wardens please. 

Volunteer Animal Wardens - Guernsey GSPCA

See some of our wardens here

Special Roles -

Volunteer Co-ordinator - We are looking for a Volunteer Co-ordinator.  If you have some time on your hands, good people skills and would like to get involved recruiting and training volunteers please get in touch.

Newsletter Editor - We are also looking for someone to help with our quarterly newsletter.  If you have experience in putting together newsletters and have the time then please let us know.

Sponsorship Co-ordinator - We are currently putting together a kennel, cat and animal pen sponsorship scheme.  We are looking for a volunteer to help organise, promote and run this scheme to help raise the much needed funds to care for the hundreds of animals at the Shelter.

Collection Box Co-ordinator - We have collection boxes throughout Guernsey and we are looking for someone who can help ensure these are collected regularly and to help find new sites.

Education Talk Assistant - Every week staff at the Shelter talk to schools and groups about the vital work we carry out.  If you are interested in helping with these please email [email protected]

Tour Guide Volunteers - At the Shelter we would like to develop a small team of volunteers that can give guided tours around the GSPCA and talk about the much needed work we carry out every day.

Refreshment / Charity Shop Volunteers - We would like to run coffee mornings at the Shelter whilst selling a selection of bric-a-brac and other donated items a couple of mornings a week.  We are currently looking for volunteers to help run this to help raise funds for the Shelter.

To download a volunteer application form please and send it in if you cannot make one of the dates above -

Volunteering at the GSPCA Guernsey

If your business or group would like to spend a day at the Shelter you can find out more by going to

The GSPCA are excited to report that Olivia the loggerhead turtle is doing extremely well in Gran Canaria and has been released back to the wild on Tuesday 6th September 2016.

Here are some youtube videos and extra photos of Olivia being released to the wild -

On Thursday, 28th July 2016 the GSPCA undertook one of its biggest moves, the last stage in the rescue and rehabilitation of Olivia.

Olivia, a large loggerhead turtle, finally traveled south at the end of July to complete the rehabilitation process prior to release in the warm waters off Gran Canaria which took place during August 2016.

Olivia, who nearly died back in March was found in cold shock on a wintery beach on the west coast of Guernsey.  If the GSPCA had not been alerted and been able to rescue her quickly she would have surely died.

Olivia was emaciated and severely dehydrated and had recently lost a front flipper, probably the result of a propeller injury.  She was taken to the Animal Shelter in St Andrews where she has been expertly cared for, and nursed back to health.

Thankfully the team are very experienced with marine animals: they have been involved with caring for and rehabilitated seals (including ‘Bonnie’ the seal pup in 2016), dolphins and a green turtle (‘Murtle’) over 13 years ago, she was also taken to Gran Canaria.

Olivia’s chances were hugely helped by with local vet, GSPCA President and Senior Veterinary Consultant for the Born Free Foundation John Knight, who has many years experience rescuing and caring for exotic and wild animals.

After being rescued from the 7C Guernsey sea, and a number of weeks in intensive care during which she was treated and slowly warmed, we managed to set up a pool at the Shelter thanks to the generosity of many local businesses.

Within the pool she grew stronger every day, her appetite quickly returned and she eat everything that was put in front of her. Olivia enjoyed a wonderful diet, favourite being squid from Waitrose who were very kind in their support.

It took a few months to arrange, but in July she was ready to go: the legal documents had been stamped and signed off, including the international CITES legislation.

The travel box (custom made to IATA standards) was complete, and on 28th July her journey took place.

We flew her from Guernsey via Gatwick and on to her final destination Gran Canaria.

PetAir Uk worked very closely with the GSPCA to find the best route for Olivia. The journey was made possible through the generous and kind support of both our wonderful local airline Aurigny and Thomson Airways who each helped us with her move.

Olivia's journey all went to plan and team members Sarah Ozanne, Steve Byrne and Geoff George were at strategic placed thanks to the support of the airlines to ensure the smooth move and hand over of the beautiful endangered turtle.

GSPCA Manager Steve Byrne and Animal Collection Officer Geoff George were in Gran Canaria to hand over Olivia to team for Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre, go through her care whilst at the GSPCA, her behaviour and helped with her move to the fantastic centre in Las Palmas.

The GSPCA team were only in Gran Canaria for a few hours but in that time they spent it helping and learning about the 30 turtles at the Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre as well as helping to settle Olivia into her new temporary home.

Olivia was at Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre in Las Palmas for just over a month and was doing so well it was decided to release her at 12.30pm 6th September 2016.

She was released on a beach called Playa El Burrero on the southeast coast of Gran Canaria and the team at the GSPCA were very excited to see the pictures and video clips.

A huge thank you to everyone that has supported us in the care of Olivia and have contributed towards her trip south to the warmer waters where she belongs and especially to the team at Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre who are released her back to the wild.

Steve Byrne, GSPCA Manager said, “After months of care and the rehabilitation of Olivia, the loggerhead turtle were extremely excited at the GSPCA that to see her back in the wild where she belongs.”

“Back in March Olivia would have surely died if she hadn’t been rescued and had the care she received at the GSPCA.”

“She was so weak, dehydrated and emaciated: she could not even raise her head.”

“From what was a turtle taking potentially her last breathes, to seeing her lively and active nature is a joy and it was a joy to transport her at the end of July to the rescue centre called the Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria where they have now released her back to the wild.”

“Her care has been a testament to the caring and loving nature of the Guernsey community.”

“We have had so many donations of things she has needed: from her pool from Spa de la Mare to the padding for her travel box from Graham Scott & Co.”

“From the GSPCA to everyone involved we really appreciated all of the donations and support: from the sea water delivered at short notice by States Works, to the amazing veterinary services from the Vetcare Centres and Vets4Pets, not to mention all of the media support she has had to help raise the funds and items to care for her.”

“We would also like to especially thank Waitrose for the squid that she enjoyed so much.”

“It has been a huge undertaking looking after Olivia and finding the transport costs was without doubt been the biggest challenge, but thankfully with the help from Petair, Aurigny and Thomsons Airways, Olivia was able to head south.”

“We had some sleepless nights at the GSPCA caring for Olivia and it was very emotional and tiring as we got Olivia to Gran Canaria in July and again emotions are running high as she in now back in the wild which we are so pleased to see.”

Geoff George, Animal Collection Officer at the GSPCA who was also Olivia’s rescuer and carer, said “It was a long journey to get Olivia to the point where she was able to fly to Gran Canaria after finding her so close to death on Vazon beach.”

“I traveled out to help with the transfer of Olivia at the rescue centre in Gran Canaria and both Steve and I spent the few hours we were in Gran Canaria helping at the centre and making sure Olivia was settled.”

“It was wonderful to get her to where she belongs and to pass on how she was at the GSPCA and to know that today she is now back in the wild makes all the sleepless nights worth while.”

"We have all loved seeing the pictures and videos of her release and a special thank you to the team at Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre for the last month of her care and returning her where she belongs."

The GSPCA are hugely grateful to Vet Pascual Calubuig who with the team at Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre have cared for Olivia and transporting her to the beach to release her at 12.30pm 6th September 2016

Olivia was the largest turtle at the rescue in Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre when we took her there in July and they have over 30 turtles in their care from some which are extremely badly injured.

Loggerhead turtle facts

Common Name: Loggerhead - named for its exceptionally large head.

Scientific Name: Caretta caretta

Description: Head is very large with heavy strong jaws. Carapace is bony without ridges and has large, non-overlapping, rough scutes (scales) present with 5 lateral scute. Carapace is heart shaped. Front flippers are short and thick with 2 claws, while the rear flippers can have 2 or 3 claws. Carapace is a reddish-brown with a yellowish-brown plastron.

Hatchlings have a dark-brown carapace with flippers pale brown on margins.

Size/Weight/Age: The Loggerhead measures up to 1.1 meters (3.5 ft) long when fully grown, weighing approximately 135 kilograms (300 lb) and have a lifespan of 47-67 years.

Diet: The Loggerhead turtle is omnivorous, but it feeds mainly on bottom dwelling invertebrates: molluscs, crustaceans, horseshoe crabs, clams, mussels, and other marine animals. Its large and powerful jaws serve as a very effective tool in dismantling its prey.

Habitat: Prefers to feed in coastal bays and estuaries, as well as in the shallow water along the continental shelves of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Reproduction: Female Loggerheads, between the age of 17 to 33, will usually mate every 2 to 4 years.

Crawl Pattern: 1) Alternating comma-shaped flipper marks 2) Wavy and smoothed track center with no thin, straight, and well-defined tail-drag mark 3) No regular marking from front flippers at the margins of the track

Nesting: Female loggerheads are known to nest from one to seven times within a nesting season (mean is about 4.1 nests per season) at intervals of approximately 12–17 days. Mean clutch size varies from about 100 to 126 along the southeastern United States coast. Incubation ranges from about 45 to 95 days, depending on incubation temperatures, but averages 55 to 60 days for most clutches.

International Status - Listed as Vunerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources ( IUCN)

Threats to Survival: Fishing gear is the biggest threat to loggerheads in the open ocean. They often become entangled in longlines or gillnets. According to the 2009 status review of loggerheads by the Fisheries Service, drowning from entanglement in longline and gillnet fishing gear is the turtles’ primary threat in the North Pacific. The second greatest threat is loss of nesting habitat due to coastal development, predation of nests, and human disturbances (such as coastal lighting and housing developments) that discourages nesting and interferes with the hatchlings' ability to navigate to the water's edge

To donate via to help animals at the GSPCA please click here GSPCA Guernsey Charity donation donating

TURTLE APPEAL - Help fly Olivia the loggerhead turtle from Guernsey to Gran Canaria



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Bonnie The Seal from karldorfner on Vimeo.

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GSPCA Build Partner programme at the GSPCA Animal Shelter in Guernsey - could your business support the GSPCA and animals in Guernsey - CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility -

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Volunteering at the GSPCA Animal Shelter in Guernsey

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GSPCA Animal Shelter Guided tours in Guernsey

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