The Pancake Project Is Born!
OUR VISION ~ to create pet friendly homes for everyone, and give pets in shelters a second chance at a happy life.
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THE PANCAKE PROJECT
The Pancake Project is an initiative created February 15th 2020 by Bea Smith, named after Emotional Support Animal – Pancake. Created for all pet animals for emotional support purposes.
The project originally stemmed from Bea’s love of animals upon realising how many local rentals were not “pet friendly”. Finally, once finding a pet friendly home for herself and Pancake, The Pancake Project began flying, with people contacting in asking for help to find their own pet friendly homes – and the project was only beginning.
Bea was featured on two local radio shows, and the front page of the local newspaper to cover the work of The Pancake Project’s beginnings.
On the 28th of July 2020, The Pancake Project made it’s first official partnership with Swoffers; an initiative to be named “Let’s Get Pet Friendly.” Ref: https://www.swoffers.co.uk/lets-get-pet-friendly/#:~:text=Swoffers%20is%20pleased%20to%20support,accommodate%20pets%20in%20rented%20properties.&text=The%20GSPCA%20is%20supportive%20of,unsure%20how%20to%20accommodate%20pets.
In our Initiative with Swoffers, we created a Pet Logo plan, where each rental property clearly show logos presented of the class of each pet allowed and or suitable within the property, in turn, The Pancake Project created it’s second partnership with the Guernsey SPCA (GSPCA) to provide home checks to assess the suitability for the animal within the home.
The Pancake Project focuses on both educating landlords on the benefits of pets in the home for their tenants, the benefits of “Adopt dont Shop” rescuing plans, and the proper just care of animals to meet their wellbeing needs.
The GSPCA have provided the information of yearly numbers that many animals are surrendered to the local shelter due to landlords not allowing them in properties. See Steve Byrne’s contribution to the projects coverage in The Bailiwick Express ref; https://gsy.bailiwickexpress.com/gsy/news/pancake-project-aims-keep-pets-their-homes/#.X77bQmiTLrc
The Pancake Project continues to grow, and has further plans to spread worldwide with further reps gathering in far countries to aid the creation of more Happy and Healthy Homes.
The Face Behind The Project
My name is Bea Smith, and I solely run The Pancake Project, now welcoming our amazing reps alongside.
I have had pets for as long as I can remember. As a young child since I was born, I had a cat named Beaver. The majority of people I speak to have had either a cat or dog since birth, as these are usually taken more seriously, there is also more knowledge around them naturally as you age with them.
Since Beaver, I had 3 more cats among my childhood, and then as I became older, continuing to be the avid animal lover I always was, I began rescuing and rehabilitating many animals including fish, frogs, turtles, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils, cats, and more! At one point in time, when I was fifteen years old – I owned 22 animals at once in my bedroom. Once I began rescuing and rehabilitating, I watched and studied how animals live best domesticated, saw many different practices including old ones that pet shops are still producing – did you know, that hutches were originally used for the meat breeding of rabbits, but were for some reason kept for housing our domesticated loved ones? Don’t they deserve better? With simple guidelines in place by landlords, a lease can be stated that if an animal is to be in the property – any damage is taken on full responsibility by the lessee, and that the property is to have adeqaute proofing such as skirting board or cable protectors, baby gates, pens, or adhesive/foam floor protectors, there are so many creative ways that homes can be pet proofed just like how you would baby proof! The small price to pay of this is worth the long term mental help from the animal.
Ever since I began rescuing animals, my mental health increased as I was able to cuddle my loved ones whether I was alone in the house or simply didn’t want to see anybody/explain my problems to others. At the age of 14 I was diagnosed with PTSD, my animals have always been a help for calming the flashbacks and emotional control purposes.
Pancake has helped me navigate through chronic pain that I’ve always had to endure since a young age, and making it easier to bare during rough patches; Pancake has been my port of comfort during flashbacks where I feel comfort in resorting to him as an alternative to self harm, my bunny helps me function properly in life, just as so many others need their animals to live a happy healthy and comfortable life, and they should not be stripped of this right.
Animals In Shelters
Thinking of the phrase “Bringing help to homes” and “Creating happy homes” as our slogans for The Pancake Project; this doesn’t only mean a happy home for us humans – but a happy home for our small animals too, and showing how our animals truly thrive with us and gain their comfort from us just as we do from them.
When you think its time to get a new furry or scaley friend, where is the first place you think of heading? If you said a pet shop, you are probably the same as most other people! However did you know – Rabbits have been found to be the third most surrendered animal in a study between the years 2005-2010 in two United States of America. On top of this, so many shelters are full and unable to take any more rabbits and therefore some bunnies have to be euthanised.
Referenced from https://rabbit.org/rabbits-in-shelters-findings/ Of the House Rabbit Society July 20th 2014 gained from Cook AJ, & McCobb E (2012). Quantifying the shelter rabbit population: an analysis of Massachusetts and Rhode Island animal shelters. Journal of applied animal welfare science : JAAWS, 15 (4), 297-312.
As far as we are aware, Pancake was a year and a half old when I first bought him in, had always been a lone house rabbit and was surrendered by his previous owner on the basis that they no longer had the time to care for him.
The first time I saw Pancake I did a double take, because I saw these eyes staring at me at a first glance, i thought “No, I can’t get another bunny” this was no impulsive decision, this was fate, I revisited Pancake 3 times in the same day, and he came home with me that evening. Pancake I knew that he needed me, and he knew that I needed him.
In early February 2020, I needed to live in secure safe accomodation elseware from mine and Pancake’s home at the time, this housing, despite taking it to the board of managers, would not allow Pancake to come with me. As much as I was happy that I was safe, not having Pancake sent me into sadness and I kept a picture of us by my bed, as a result, we took to create The Pancake Project on the 15th of February 2020, to show landlords just how important pets are in the home, and encourage a more frequent change of mind or consideration. Prior to lockdown, we were then accepted as the first pet to ever be allowed into other assisted accomodation with a local charity for youths, after consideration and a risk assessment – we thank the charity for giving us our starting opportunity to a happy life.
The Pancake Project only continued to bloom further from this, and our supporters grew quickly, we knew that with this opportunity and platform we wanted to make a difference, not only on our small island, but across as much of the world possible; as we sit here now, having been accepted by our current landlords into our home, we are so greatful and aim to give this opportunity to so many more people who need it.
The Life I Deserve
The Pancake Project believe that for people who can’t afford a mortgage, rental should not lessen their right to a happy and healthy life.
It’s no secret that our pets keep us happy and entertained whenever we’re around them, and for some people a pet is simply a necessity to living.
I’m sure most of you know about service animals who help with the blind, deaf, police dogs and lots more! How much do you know about ESA’s? (Emotional Suport Animals) well we’re here to raise awareness of them! In so many situations, where people aren’t quite but are slowly deteriorating to becoming blind or deaf amongst other things, to people with PTSD, Bipolar, various Anxiety disorders, personality disorders and more, some of these people benefit solely from the support of their animals, and find it difficult to function mentally or concentrate and stay calm without them; still, many landlords to this day do not accept pets, so we are here to create more Happy and Healthy homes both locally and worldwide.
Whilst The Pancake Project supports all animal’s welfare, high numbers of surrendered animals focus on domestic rabbits; which we have focussed on for The Pancake Project’s bunny, Pancake. Bunnies that come from shelters especially in the United States often come from being surrendered as “Easter Gifts” or from poor breeding situations, donating to these shelters can help get the rabbits inhabited the treatments they need, including vaccinations against RHVD 1 and 2, and basic spay/neutering.
On the 18th of May 2020, a video was published by the youtuber “Lennon the Bunny” an advocate for the proper treatment of domesticated and wild rabbits. In this video, it is shown the results of where an abandoned domestic rabbit had been surrendered at the side of the street only to then reside to living underneath someone’s property had multiplied excessively to the hundreds of baby rabbits who were at risk of diseases, being hit by cars next to the busy roads, and living under a house with their many siblings; where especially in male rabbits, fights are seen to be even as extreme as to be fatal.
Rabbits in this video can be sadly shown with their injuries which may even include loss of segments in their ears, and other bites in their bodies which desperately require antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection or already starting infections.
However this is only one among many situations where rabbits have been surrendered and abandoned in the wild, to fend for themselves, where domesticated rabbits are not like wild animals and do not have natural survival instincts.