The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has come to the aid of an animal charity bringing food to the residents of the Mann Cat Sanctuary in Santon.

Staff from the Liverpool-based Carla Lane Animals in Need charity asked the Steam Packet Company to assist with a ‘mission of mercy’, and were overwhelmed when they were told they could travel for free.

Frances Ellis, Founder and Principal Trustee of the charity, explained: “Myself, manager Cathy Billington and Steve Plummer, a long-time volunteer and carer for cats, recently visited the Mann Cat Sanctuary. Sue Critchley, the administrator there, explained the hardships they have had this year due to the sheer number of abandoned cats.

“One of the main difficulties is providing enough food for 300 cats and kittens. Money also has to be set aside for neutering the many homeless cats, as this is the only way to prevent unwanted litters and further suffering.

“Here at Carla lane Animal in Need sanctuary, we are experiencing the same food shortage for dogs and cats due to huge numbers that are being abandoned on Merseyside.”

She said her charity decided to try and support the Mann Cat Sanctuary by loading their animal ambulance with cat food and bringing it to the Island. When the Steam Packet Company heard about the mission, it was happy to help, much to the delight of Frances.

She said: “Our ‘Mission of Mercy’ is now steaming ahead due to the generosity of the Isle Of Man Steam Packet Company. We are grateful to them for providing free transport, and to Proctor & Gamble which has donated large quantities of high quality cat food Eukanuba, worth approximately £2000.

“We are overwhelmed by the kindness shown by these two philanthropic, well-known companies with big hearts. It means a great deal to us to have the support of the Steam Packet Company for our mission of mercy. The funds saved can now be used to help vulnerable animals.

“While we know this donation will be welcomed, it will only help the Sanctuary for a short time, so we would encourage everyone to support the Mann Cat Sanctuary with donations of tinned cat food and money which will help pay for vital neutering.”

Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: “Many of us in the Isle of Man are aware of the important and difficult work the Mann Cat Sanctuary does. When we heard about how the Carla Lane Animals in Need charity was organising to collect much-needed cat food and bring it to the Island themselves, we were happy to do our part.

“We receive many requests for assistance, and try to help whenever we can. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to respond positively to every request, but when we are able to help a help, it is a pleasure.”

Food for Mann Cat Sanctuary
Photo: (from left) Carla Lane Animals in Need Founder and Principal Trustee Frances Ellis, Isle of Man Steam Packet Marketing and Online Manager Renee Caley, Animals in Need volunteer Steve Plummer and charity manager Cathy Billington.