A look inside Grimsby’s Blue Cross Animal Hospital and how the staff work tirelessly to care for the animals

The staff at Blue Cross Animal Hospital in Grimsby go above and beyond to care for, protect and save the lives of thousands of animals each year.

Proudly serving pet owners in North East Lincolnshire for over 40 years, the hospital not only cares for sick and injured pets, but also provides a warm place to rest for stray dogs and cats that have been found in the streets in poor condition.

One such animal during our visit on Tuesday 17th May was little Sylvester, the tiny black and white kitten who was found at Grimsby docks that morning. He now has a warm, cozy place to sleep and plenty of food – and, of course, cuddles. Once he is old enough, he will be relocated.

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Natalie Everett, Assistant Director of Veterinary Nurse at Grimsby Live: “With every stray animal that comes in, we have to go through a set process. First, we have to make sure it doesn’t belong to someone there -down, so there can be an owner who is looking for them, so we have to give them the opportunity to get in touch.

“But we get stray cats and kittens whose mothers have wandered off and they’ve been left on their own, and they don’t have a microchip or anything, so we can’t trace an owner. So after there has been sufficient time, we will treat any injuries or illnesses and get them back in shape as needed and then we can look at relocation options.The closest relocation center we currently have is Thirsk, which is in Yorkshire – so they take a little trip to Thirsk and find their forever home!

Sylvester at Blue Cross Animal Hospital in Grimsby

“I think during Covid we had a little less but generally we get around 200 strays a year so that’s a lot. If we have litters of kittens they are all classed as segregated. We have tend to treat a lot of wandering sick and injured and they end up coming here, or those who are really young and vulnerable.”

Adjoining the Blue Cross Animal Hospital cat kennels is a larger room with spacious dog kennels. Here, some pooches are recovering from their surgeries, while stray dogs wait to be taken to the reception center in Thirsk.

Speaking of the cats that come to Blue Cross Grimsby with FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), Natalie explained: “It’s one of those things where we have to be a little more careful because it’s an infectious disease and when it comes to putting them with other animals and handling them and everything, we don’t want to risk spreading anything to other animals.

Staff take care of new stray kitten Sylvester
Staff take care of new stray kitten Sylvester

“IVF – most people are familiar with HIV in humans – it’s not exactly the same thing, but it’s a similar concept. It affects their immune system and things like that. Cats can live a life pretty normal with it but its just that we have to be responsible we have to keep them indoors and make sure they don’t come out and mix with other cats – we don’t want fights with other cats or mating with other cats or something like that.”

Next to the Blue Cross Animal Hospital parking lot is the Blue Cross Boutique which has everything you can imagine – clothing, accessories, household items, toys, bric-a-brac and everything in between. Since all proceeds from sales go to a cause as good as Blue Cross, it’s hard to say no!

Left to right: Sue Robinson, Lizzy Tems, Donna Toyne and Janet Roach at the Blue Cross Shop in Grimsby
Left to right: Sue Robinson, Lizzy Tems, Donna Toyne and Janet Roach at the Blue Cross Shop in Grimsby

Natalie continued: “Most of the other animals we have at the moment are animals belonging to our owner who have come here for treatment. still have animals that are unfortunately sick and must remain hospitalized.

“I don’t think there has been a single day where there have been completely empty kennels – not since I’ve been working here, and it’s been almost nine years! As we are a hospital, we always have something to keep us busy. But that’s what we’re here for, that’s what we do.”

When asked what her favorite part of the job was, Natalie said: “I think just seeing you make a difference. When you see people who really need us and their pet wouldn’t get not the care without – it just makes everything worth it.You know you’re doing something right.


Benjamin M. Yerger