Sailors help out animals at the Stubbington ArkÂ
A group of junior Air Engineering Officers from HMS Sultan have helped some four-legged friends at The Stubbington Ark.
Trainees made repairs to sheds, weather proofed stables and cleared vegetation from the site.
Having initially joined the Royal Navy as junior ratings, the group of six trainees who took part had all recently progressed through Officer training at Dartmouth and on to the Senior Upper Yardman course within the Defence College of Technical Training's Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School (RNAESS). As an addition to the syllabus they were also encouraged to undertake some voluntary work within the community.
Visit co-ordinator Sub Lieutenant Jimmy Turner said: '˜When we contacted The Ark to see if there might be some tasks we could help with they quickly came back with a list as long as your arm, which was great as we knew there would be plenty to get stuck in to.
'˜It's a much bigger plot than you'd imagine and the variety of animals they have on-site is quite mind boggling, you see the cats and dogs, but there are also snakes and even a pig!'
The RSPCA Solent Branch is the focus for local animal welfare services covering 400 sq. miles including the Portsmouth and Southampton area. The Branch operates The Stubbington Ark that provides care and rehoming for all manner of animals, domestic, wildlife, farm stock and exotics and there are usually more than 500 animals on site at any one time.
Kirstie Crocker at RSPCA Solent Branch said: '˜The Ark is over nine acres and we only have one full-time member of staff who oversees the maintenance for everything, so we are always looking for the support of volunteers to help us along.
'˜As a charity we work really hard to do our best for all the animals in our care and it's fantastic that the guys have come down here to help us.'