Now, thanks to a partnership between Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and the RSPCA, more than 800 cats and dogs, seven horses and a chicken named Bernadette all have reason to praise its practical load space, smooth ride and off-road prowess.
In total, 1,287 animals have been successfully rehomed since Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles loaned the Amarok to the Southridge RSPCA centre in Hertfordshire a year ago. The ultra-adaptable pick-up has proved invaluable in rescuing and rehoming a huge variety of animals, from desperate dogs to persecuted parrots.
As well as rescuing animals in need, the RSPCA has used the vehicle as a trusty work-horse, using its large load space to pick up weekly pet food donations to feed its 250 live-in animals, mend fencing around its 16-acre site and tow horse boxes as far as Scotland for animals to be rehomed. The team has even used the pick-up as a ‘search and rescue’ vehicle, using its headlight beams to search for a stray dog reported late at night.
Anna White, manager at the RSPCA Southridge centre, said: ‘Having the Volkswagen Amarok at the Centre has been incredible – it has allowed us to just get on with things, without thinking about whether the vehicle would be able to cope. When it snowed earlier this year, one of our animals was in a critical condition. In any of our other vehicles, we wouldn’t have been able to get down the lane to get him to the vet in time to save him, but the Amarok just handled it effortlessly.
‘I used to worry about getting stuck when I was towing a horsebox across the field – now I’m secure in the knowledge that it’s not going to happen. It’s a phenomenal vehicle. It’s fair to say that we’ve really put the Amarok through its paces in the past year – it’s spent most of its time driving off-road, but it’s just as much of a pleasure to drive on-road.’
Alex Smith, Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: ‘We are thrilled to hear that the Amarok has been such a valuable addition to the RSPCA centre in Southridge. Enabling the RSPCA to carry out its work more easily is just one of the ways in which we have been lucky enough to demonstrate our on-going support for local businesses and worthy causes across the UK.’