Emergency appeal for small rescue centres in lockdown

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Wetnose Animal Aid has been helping animal rescue centres for 20 years now, but we have never seen anything like this before. Things were bad with the credit crunch in 2008, but this is on another level completely.

Not only are our Animal Rescue Centres not getting in funds from the Government but they have had to cancel all fundraising events for this year which can be thousands of pounds in lost revenue, charity shops closed for months which again means lost funds.

For donations, visit the Wetnose Animal Aid website, or send a cheque to Wetnose Animal Aid Ltd, 2 Wells Terrace, Bungay Road, Stockton, Norfolk, NR34 0HR.

Animal feed suppliers are inundated with requests, sick animals still have to be seen by Vets, and operations still have to be done. Remember sick animals are in lockdown too, but bills still have to be paid.

Among the rescue centres Wetnose Animal Aid helps, there are…

Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary in Bristol

Since closing the Sanctuary to the General Public and halting adoptions it has been an incredibly strange and strained few weeks, and we have to commend all of our supporters for everything you’ve done so far and helping us stay positive, as well as our incredible staff working extra hard for our animals.

Many shelters have had to stop the intake of animals completely, but with so many people concerned for their livelihoods or suddenly finding them-selves more isolated than ever before, there are many cats and dogs who need us.

We have 40 dogs and cats on a waiting list, and are receiving daily requests from people who need to rehome their animals. We are having to prioritise the most urgent that cannot stay at home under any circumstance, we are giving behaviour advice for those who can keep their animals for now, and doing the best we can over the phone.

Meet two of our newest residents, Dougie and Daisy (pictured), who came into our care earlier this week. Dougie and Daisy belonged to an elderly man who has COPD, and before the pandemic his children had helped him care for Dougie and Daisy with regular visits and walks. With vulnerable people being told to self-isolate and being so high risk, he had a heart-breaking choice to make.

He knew he couldn’t care for the dogs on his own, and whilst his family could take him in, they already had dogs of their own and knew Dougie, Daisy and their own dogs wouldn’t cope in one house together. So Dougie and Daisy have come into our care and are currently being fostered.

Please help us continue to say yes to animals like Dougie and Daisy.

This virus has claimed many victims, and there will be many deeply sad separations for so many in the months to come. We will continue to do everything we can, but to carry out this vital work, we need funding. Funding which we would have received from a range of activities that can sadly no longer go ahead due to this worldwide pandemic. Typically over summer over £25,000 is raised through events, which we desperately need.

For this year alone our veterinary bills are already at £47,000 as we have been taking in so many strays, and cats and dogs from various pounds due to be euthanised who need urgent medical attention. As we are currently still taking in animals and adoptions are paused our veterinary bills will increase, and as volunteers aren’t allowed onsite our staffing costs are rising.

Please help us continue to say yes to animals like Dougie and Daisy.

Hallswood Animal Sanctuary, Norfolk

We are really struggling, both to get enough donations in to compensate all fundraising events being cancelled, but also finding suppliers with stock left!

Big Animal sanctuaries are closing their doors but the reality for us smaller sanctuaries is that we could fold if we don’t get the financial support. Our service is vital to the community in more ways than one.

I just came back home from a daily walk and it is still so surreal. Hardly any cars on the roads and less people movement seem to have made wildlife absolutely boom! Everywhere I look I see birds, singing, courting and building nests. This can only mean one thing: baby bird season is here!

Normally this is something I think that Jenna at the sanctuary is actually looking forward to, as she loves feeding and caring for them. This year everything is so different at the sanctuary, actually in many ways I think it is busier than normal, but with less helpers due to the restrictions.

Jenna and Lyz together with only a handful of helpers are now doing everything.
Feeding, caring, cleaning, sorting… Everything also takes much longer as staff can’t team up; social distancing is happening at the sanctuary too! Everything needs to be sanitised, both before you use it and after, just in case – be that the handle of a door, the wheelbarrow or the hosepipe.

For Lyz phone calls still come in and again we have seen an increase as many rescues seem to be full or closed. Most calls take longer as she will assess the need, advice if possible, rather than “collect – care – release”, this to minimise the people she comes in contact with. She also spends more time on the road as our transport team has been cut back to less than a handful, our shops and normal drop-off points are closed and we don’t want to encourage people to drive anywhere unless absolutely necessary.

We have been so lucky with food donations and we get things from Aldi UK(thank you!), Amazon wish-list (check it out here https://amzn.eu/9uE8XXQ) and businesses such as Natures Menu, Wetnose Animal Aid, Kellys Bakeryand Ken’s Corn Stores. Obviously, every single donation brought to the sanctuary also has to be sanitised, and things from supermarkets need to be de-bagged which all add to the workload, to an already overstretched crew.

Wetnose is now hearing stories that puppies are still being sold and people are going to other people’s house to pick them up when in lockdown! When people go back to work these puppies may suffer from anxiety problems, not being used to an empty household. Many no doubt some will end up in Rescue Centres.

Stories are coming in like this… We have had two cockerels thrown in over the fence, we have had three rabbits brought to us from people who can’t cope or afford to keep them, two cats were brought in for same reasons, plus a miniature dog due to domestic abuse situation!

Pact Animal Sanctuary

We are sad to advise that due to the coronavirus risks we have decided to close the sanctuary to visitors, rehoming and group visits. We do ask that our healthy volunteers without any underlining health issue continue to volunteer if possible, so that the staff with the help of the volunteers, continue to care for the animals in our care.

George Rockingham says, “Our shops make upwards of £25Kper month to keep the animals. Today we have been telling the managers that we will be closing on the 28th March and we will probably be closed until 1st July at least. Where I now get the funds we need to feed and care for the animal is anyone’s guess so we need all the help we can get. Our last newsletter has fallen on busy deaf ears and the returns are down about 50 per cent.

Wetnose will be phoning centres to see how we can help, please send us donations to help those that need it most

“We have closed the doors from casual visitors and even new volunteers. We are not rehoming other than those animal already reserved. I am trying to protect my staff as they are as important as food.”

Wetnose will be phoning centres to see how we can help, please send us donations to help those that need it most. These are going to be trying times for us all, so please don’t forget animals in care need our help too.

Venture Farm Cat Rescue

Due to the situation regarding COVID-19 we have made the decision to temporarily close our charity shop in Dereham. This is to protect the health of our volunteers, many of whom are vulnerable.

Obviously this will hit us very hard as it is our main source of income. So you can imagine it has been a bit hectic – trying to make sure we have enough supplies to feed the cats and look after them. We have had to close our shop in Dereham, which was our main source of income and cancel planned events.

Which will hit hard on our reserves, obviously the current situation is having an effect on rehoming and taking cats in – especially as the vets are all now just dealing with emergencies.

So that means no routine vaccinations or neutering going on etc. It’s going to be very difficult over the next few months especially as we move into kitten season.

Lizzie’s Barn Sanctuary in Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire

This centre sustained heavy damage as the area suffered its worst flooding in recent memory. Due to the current situation with covid-19 and the issues with getting folk to comply properly with social distancing not working well in the wider community.

So though we will still search for homes, and carry out ‘virtual’ home checks, the actual act of rehoming, (when people come to meet, and perhaps take home a dog), will be on hold for the time being.

We are facing the toughest of times ever, and worry over how we manage, how we will pay the vet bills, electricity bills, keep the dogs in food, etc

We have to protect ourselves, the dogs need us to stay healthy, and alive, to care for them. We also have a duty to protect others, and feel we cannot do that safely. It’s also really not a good time to introduce a new dog into your home. Now some might criticise and say “But we are all at home, it’s the ideal time?”

I’m afraid we will disagree. It’s not. Your lives are going to be more stressful, you are worrying about lost wages, getting food and supplies while half the country panic buy, boredom will kick in, the kids will play up, tempers will fray, you won’t be able to get your new family member out and about, attend training classes etc.

Please bear with us. We are facing the toughest of times ever, and worry over how we manage, how we will pay the vet bills, electricity bills, keep the dogs in food, etc – very worrying times ahead. Thank you Wetnose for your £500 donation means the world to us smaller Rescues.

For donations, visit the Wetnose Animal Aid website, or send a cheque to Wetnose Animal Aid Ltd, 2 Wells Terrace, Bungay Road, Stockton, Norfolk, NR34 0HR.

Wetnose Animal Aid adds, “There is also the Faith Animal Sanctuary, Remus Horse Sanctuary, Meadowgreen Kennels, Foxy Lodge, Brocks Barn Hedgehog Rescue, Suffolk Animal Rescue, Rushton Dog Rescue, Mayflower Dog Rescue, Hope Pastures near Leeds, Roosters Retreat in Lancashire, Bodmin Moor Pony Rehabilitation,  – so many rescues all over the UK, all needing urgent help.”

Zoo Animals are being put at risk because panic buying and supermarket purchase limits is making it difficult to feed them, a zoo owner has warned.

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Sending a “big thank” you to all the Rescue Centre people still working hard to save and help injured and sick animals and also abused pets. Remember animals are in lockdown as well.

For donations, visit the Wetnose Animal Aid website, or send a cheque to Wetnose Animal Aid Ltd, 2 Wells Terrace, Bungay Road, Stockton, Norfolk, NR34 0HR.

This is a guest essay by Andrea Gamby-Boulger. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

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