Our 2019

The Starlight Trust is an animal welfare and rescue organisation based in Surrey

Our 2019

For the third year in a row, it’s our work with pigeons which has dominated. The 126 animals admitted comprised 1 wild mouse, 24 domestic rodents, 8 domestic pigeons and doves and 93 wild pigeons. For the fourth year in a row our number of admissions was higher than our average which is now 87 animals for each of our 11 years of operation. In total, we’ve taken in 1044 animals, rehomed 513 and released 239.

Of course, we’re far from the only animal rescue talking about how many animals they have helped this year. I must admit it always makes me feel a little inadequate. The big rescues are helping thousands and even other very small rescues are helping several hundred. I have to remind myself that the work of the Starlight Trust is much more than ‘just’ the animals we take in.


More than 168,000 used helpwildlife.co.uk and we launched a huge revamp of the site this year, enabling rescue owners to claim and manage their listings in the rescue directory.

More than 400 people posted in the HelpWildlife facebook group and received advice on how to help a wildlife casualty.

And this year we started offering faecal sampling to other pigeon rescuers and were able to help at least another 40 pigeons by letting their rescuers know what parasites they needed treating for.

Back to the rescuing and this year we were able to upgrade the permanent aviary at HQ from the 6×6 Purple Pigeon Palace to a 8.5×9.5 aluminium replacement. This had been a dream for a while and I’m so proud that it’s done and our resident pigeons have a much nicer habitat.


I’m proud too that, although the numbers of animals we help isn’t world-changing, we continue to work to a really high standard – our overall success rate with pigeons is 80% and, in 2019, was actually 85%. We keep learning and improving as we go!

I want to take a minute here to say that, although ‘Sarah’ might be the name you most associate with Starlight, there is actually a small team of people without whom none of this would be possible. I’m not going to name names as I would be devastated if I forgot someone but, if you’ve transported, fostered, helped with the website, promoted our adoptable animals, sent out sponsorship certificates, moderated the HelpWildlife Advice Group, or helped in some other way THANK YOU for your invaluable help. Thank you too to everyone who has donated – we couldn’t do this without your support either.


So, what does 2020 hold? We fully expect the next year to be pigeon dominated again. We’ll be offering faecal testing to even more rescuers and I’m hoping there might be another related exciting development which I don’t want to jinx by revealing just yet! Of course, we remain passionate about the care of small pets too so we’ll continue rescuing them and I really, really hope to find the time to relaunch smallpetsmatter.co.uk – I’ve got big plans for that site when we can get to it. We’ve got offers of help with managing our social media so I’m hoping we can keep you better informed and share more useful stories and information with our followers. We could definitely use more help, especially with aviary space for pigeons and with managing the websites so do please get in touch if you have a spare corner in your garden or some tech skills!

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2020

Sarah, Dave and all at Starlight Trust x

Author: Sarah

Sarah is co-founder of the Starlight Trust and is our Animal Care Manager, Webmaster and Wildlife Services Manager

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