The Starlight Trust was founded in March 2008 by husband and wife Dave and Sarah Argrave. Both are lifelong animal lovers and Sarah has been involved in animal rescue work since 1993, caring for both wild and domestic animals.
Dave and Sarah run the charity on a voluntary basis assisted by a small team of volunteers. We have no paid staff which means all contributions received are spent on our core aims. The trust relies entirely on public donations and is a not-for-profit organisation recognised as charitable by HMRC for tax purposes. This means we are able to claim gift aid on donations. We are not registered with the Charity Commission as our income falls below the minimum amount required to register.
The trust operates a rescue and sanctuary for small pets and occasional wildlife from Sarah and Dave’s home. In general there are around 20-30 animals in our care at any one time. We tend to focus on animals which are vulnerable, in neglect situations or which have been refused help elsewhere.
The trust also runs two websites which offer advice and assistance to the public caring for animals. These are helpwildlife.co.uk and smallpetsmatter.co.uk. Helpwildlife.co.uk was set up in 2005, receives around 200,000 visits a year, and is used by organisations like the RSPB and St Tiggywinkles to help the public find help with wildlife casualties. Smallpetsmatter.co.uk was set up in 2012 and aims to promote better care for pet rodents.
All of our work is driven by the passionate belief that ALL animals, regardless of size, species, conservation status or legal status, deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. A pet hamster is owed the same degree of care as the family dog and a town pigeon is owed the same degree of respect and understanding as an endangered Osprey. Life is life and it is not the place of humans to judge which is more worthy and to mistreat animals based on outdated prejudices. The Starlight Trust exists to promote the fair treatment of species which often suffer because of these prejudices. Our motto is the words of Confucius – “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
All animals in our care are given names and treated as individuals. We keep careful records on their care so we can monitor their health and progress. We get to know each animal individually in order to find them the best possible home.
Our animals are kept in accommodation which considerably exceeds minimum size recommendations and they receive a good quality diet. We prefer to help smaller numbers of animals to a higher quality and provide our guests with a “home from home” environment.
We travel 45 minutes to take our animals to a specialist vet to ensure that they get the best possible treatment. We only ever euthanase an animal if its quality of life is unacceptable. We will never put an animal to sleep because it is hard to home, unfriendly, has an expensive medical condition or for any other reason than to relieve untreatable suffering.
We carefully vet home offers and only entrust our animals to dedicated, exceptional quality homes. Adopters must sign an adoption contract and we will always take back any animal which can no longer be cared for.
After homing, we keep in touch with adopters to ensure that the animals are well cared for throughout their lives.