Whatever you might think our day to day workload is at the Sanctuary, the reality is probably vastly different. Every week we answer the phone to people in desperate situations, weeping and begging us to help, with nowhere else to turn. Some have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have no one to take care of their beloved pets, some are needing to move into a care home or with family as they are struggling to take care of themselves, others are being offered a space in a shelter to escape domestic violence where they cannot take their precious pets. With every new week another major company announces it is reducing its staff and people who have never before been concerned for their livelihoods are being faced with a grim reality they hadn’t planned for. When they have exhausted every other option, they turn to us.
Our team is always there with a kind voice, sympathetic ear and reassurance that we will take care of their pets. Throughout lockdown, as other shelters stopped rescuing, we struggled to keep up with the strain on our services. Our small but mighty team of 15 staff members, (only 7 of which are full time) are not trained counsellors, neither are they paid high salaries, but time and time again have proved their devotion to our animals by making many personal sacrifices. With vet bills constantly escalating, we are used to financial hardship, and though we try to have one years running costs in our reserves, they are now dwindling and we have nowhere we can tighten the belt. If our financial situation doesn’t improve we will have to consider reducing the number of animals we can help, which we really don’t want to have to do.
We provide a service for our community, but unfortunately are not recognised for the work we do by many funding streams, and are time and time again denied funds from “community pots”; making it difficult to raise the funds we so urgently need to survive.
We are here to help cats and dogs and we promise never to spare them the treatment they need, a second chance at happiness or rehabilitation at any cost. As well as the 800 animals we rescue each year, we have also helped at least 1,600 people. Whilst we regularly see abuse and neglect cases, many of our rescues are beloved pets surrendered by desperate people faced with an impossible choice.
The reality is that most people never get a pet thinking that one day they will have to choose between feeding their family or getting their dog the dental he needs. For many people, having to part with their much loved pet is as traumatic for them as it is for their dog or cat, and we give them peace of mind that we will ensure their cherished pet will go to someone who loves them just as much as they do. We are here to ensure that each animal who needs our help gets the very best of care and is carefully rehomed to a loving new family. Our vital work allows people to make tough choices which help them achieve a quality of life everybody deserves, and their pets go on to be adopted by wonderful new owners. For the 28 years we have been operating and even more so now, we have frequently been told that their new adopted best friend gives a vulnerable person a reason to wake up every day.
We wish we didn’t have to ask but, as we have been turned down by so many grant funders and there is still no government support for the animal welfare sector, we ask that if you see value in our community work and are able to, please give whatever you can. We know the target of this appeal is a lot to ask and we are unlikely to meet this goal, but to put it in perspective, £30,000 is two months worth of vet bills. In such uncertain times it would mean the world to us if we knew we could always provide lifesaving care for animals in need and continue serving our community as best as we can.
We hope you never need our help but, if you do, we want to be there for you and your furry loved ones.