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Gloucestershire Business News

Animal charity launches appeal amid £1,000 a day losses

Picture: Cheltenham Animal Shelter

Cheltenham Animal Shelter has launched an urgent appeal as it suffers losses of more than £1,000 a day.

The charity has seen vital income vanish as fundraising events such as a spring dog walk, Easter animal days for children, a pet show at Tewkesbury Big Weekend and its annual open day have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And with the closure of its grooming and boarding business, together with the shop at its Garners Lane base, the charity has called for public support with the launch of an urgent care appeal.

General manager Peter Newcombe said: "We have been doing everything we can to date to ensure the animals in our care continue to receive the best possible care and lots of love and attention.

"The core animal care team are still working onsite as key workers, supported by a network of essential staff working from home to ensure the administration and management of the charity continues.

"But it's getting harder week by week as the amount of income we are losing starts to add up to tens of thousands of pounds and we have to cancel more events and fundraising activities."

Barring emergencies, new admissions have been stopped at the shelter, which looks after more than 600 abandoned and surrendered dogs, cats and small animals every year.

Mr Newcombe said: "Once we are able to reopen, the crisis isn't over as we anticipate we may see many more animals up for rehoming, as people may struggle to look after their pets due to a change in financial circumstances or families are affected by the stress of the lockdown period.

"We have had a fantastic initial response from the general public on social media, who have donated more than £9,000 to help us to continue to look after the animals currently in our care, but we need to ask for more at this unprecedented and unpredictable time."

Head of fundraising Alison Jarvis said the Government's £750million package to help charities is unlikely to benefit animal shelters.

She said: "While our income has drastically reduced, the length of stay for every animal in our care has increased by a minimum of six weeks, costing us more in food, care and medical bills.

"We are extremely grateful for the phenomenal support and generosity we receive from our local community and would like to once again ask our kind supporters to consider a donation, however small, to help get us through the coming weeks and months ahead."

Donations can be made at www.gawa.org.uk/make-a-donation  or by post to Urgent Care Appeal, Fundraising Department, Cheltenham Animal Shelter, Gardners Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 9JW.

Individuals or businesses who would like to discuss raising money for the charity are invited to get in touch by emailing fundraising@gawa.org.uk 

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