The Blue Cross animal charity in Burford welcomed over a thousand supporters to its annual show on Sunday (An appeal to help Gloucestershire animal shelters cope with the recent flooding and disruption of water supplies has led to calls for better planning in the future.
Teckels Animal Shelter based in Whitminster, became full as it took in cats and dogs as emergency boarders during the recent flooding – on what is already its busiest period of the year. Joan Barrett the manager of Teckels Animal Shelter, says: “We have had kittens left by our gates anonymously, and only yesterday took in a three legged dog. With all the extra animals, we are struggling to cope with the overheads to keep the shelter running, veterinary fees often spiral to nearly £4,000 a month alone, the centre has to find £14,000 to remain open”.
Learning of the shelter’s plight, Rebecca Nicholls, who runs Eventageous PR in Gloucester, stepped in by organising an appeal through the media. She says: “Teckels needed help but was so engulfed in caring for animals around-the-clock that they didn’t have the time or resources to launch an appeal and get their message out to the media, so we stepped in.
Within hours we had a huge response. People gave water, (even when they didn’t have it themselves) animal food and bedding – which will be essential over the coming months.”
Matt Hammond who ran the Teckels emergency response said: “we have had an overwhelming reaction to the appeal, and would like to take this opportunity to the community at large for all of the donations that we have received, it is greatly appreciated. Although the floods may be subsiding, and many households are getting back to normality, here at Teckels we fear that the crisis has only just started. We are expecting to be full for many months to come as animal owners recover from the floods and restore their houses so that they are habitable again.
During the crisis last week, it seemed that there was no one taking responsibility of animal welfare in the county. We put in place a mutual aid agreement, to re-distribute supplies to other sanctuaries in need. Some of the donations were distributed to Skates Hill Kennel in Stroud, AAS Vets, Quedgeley and BJ Kennels in Staverton (whose animals had to be evacuated).
In future we would like to work with the local authorities to create a forum to deal with animal crisis management and have an action plan in place – with a list of trained volunteers and animal professionals available in such emergencies. Not only would this reduce stress for animals and their owners, it could free-up the emergency services.”
Specific Thanks goes to:
All the public donations of animal food and bedding.
To all the volunteers, we couldn’t survive without your loyalty.
British Red Cross
Alan Coward Transport for supplying a shipping container to keep all the supplies dry, and storage
To Equinox Interiors for assisting transporting supplies
Purina Animal Food
Cats Protection – Taunton & Wellington Branch
Eventageous PR Ltd
Teckels Animal Sanctuaries was formed in November 2003 as a merger between two long established animal rescue charities.
Swindon Animal Sanctuary Appeal had been running for over 17 years with the aim of building a sanctuary in the Swindon area. Around £120K was raised, but due to rising land prices it was getting no closer to its goal and was on the verge of being wound up.
Teckels Animal Welfare Centre had rescued over 8000 cats, dogs and small animals over its 20-year history. However the land on which they were based was put up for sale. Having insufficient funds to purchase it, this would have spelled the end of animal rescue there.
Therefore the timing and circumstances were just right for the two charities to help each other to achieve both their goals! The new Teckels Animal Sanctuaries charity presently runs a sanctuary and boarding kennels (whose profits go straight back into the charity) in Whitminster, Gloucestershire. In the Swindon area they rescue dogs via foster homes.
The rescue and boarding animals are all cared for by our dedicated and hard-working staff and volunteers who regularly clean out, feed, exercise and socialise with those in their care.
The centre costs a lot to run (vet bills alone average £4,000 per month), which is why they need your help by sponsorship, donation, membership, or by using our dog and cat boarding facilities.
They raise funds themselves onsite by offering beginners dog agility training on Monday nights, pet grooming services, boarding from one day to long term and are able to microchip animals for just £10 each.
Unlike many shelters, Teckels do not discriminate against old or sick animals, just because they make take loner to re-home. They have a strict no put-down policy, and are regularly (providing they have the space) uplift animals from other rescue centres that are destined to be put to sleep.
Teckels are actively involved in the community from carrying out school and college animal educational visits, taking on work experience pupils through to visiting people homes.
How Can You Help?
If only 1,000 people donated £10 a month, it would secure their future for another year, and the best thing is, you can see where the money is spent. Teckels will host an open day in September to thank all the people that have made donation to come and look around for themselves.
There are so many ways you can help, including recycling your old mobile phones and ink cartridges through to sponsoring a kennel, fostering an animal, having a collection box at your workplace or becoming a volunteer.