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‘We need food’: Animal centres plea for donations as panic buying leaves shelves empty

PUBLISHED: 12:23 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:41 23 March 2020

Voluntees of PACT Animal Sanctuary caring for hedgehogs. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Voluntees of PACT Animal Sanctuary caring for hedgehogs. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

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Animal rescue centres are urgently calling for food donations after panic buying has left their supply shelves empty.

Animal rescue centres are urgently calling for food donations after panic buying has left their supply shelves empty. Photo: Rui Vieira / PAAnimal rescue centres are urgently calling for food donations after panic buying has left their supply shelves empty. Photo: Rui Vieira / PA

With more people in isolation and working from home, an animal aid group says rescue centres have been left struggling without their usual stream of donations.

Many centres have already made the difficult decision to close their doors to visitors and new volunteers, but with supermarkets stripped bare by panic buying, centre managers are concerned about how they will look after animals over the coming months.

“Nobody is thinking of the animals,” says Andrea Gamby-Boulger, director of Wetnose Animal Aid in Stockton.

“Obviously charity shops have been shut down so they are losing a lot of revenue, and now they can’t get food supplies in because everyone has been panic buying.

Andrea Gamby-Boulger, founder of Wetnose Animal Aid, with a trustee from Fritton Owl Sanctuary.Andrea Gamby-Boulger, founder of Wetnose Animal Aid, with a trustee from Fritton Owl Sanctuary.

“People are also now getting rid of their animals, and no-one wants to adopt right now, they are full to bursting and have no food or money.”

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Hallswood Animal Sanctuary, in Norwich, said smaller sanctuaries are being hit the hardest.

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“We are really struggling to get enough donations in to compensate our fund raising events being cancelled, but we are also struggling to find supplies with stock left, we could fold if we don’t get the financial support.”

Pact Animal Sanctuary, with stores and rescue centres across East Anglia, has already had to close their sanctuary for visitors and those who want to re-home animals.

Now, Pact’s co-founder George Rockingham says he is concerned about the financial hit, with returns down by 50pc.

“Where I now get the funds we need to feed and care for the animals is anyone’s guess so we need all the help we get,” Mr Rockingham said.

PACT co-founder George Rockinghamopening a new store in Eaton, Norwich. Picture: Janet MorrisPACT co-founder George Rockinghamopening a new store in Eaton, Norwich. Picture: Janet Morris

Venture Farm, in Mattishall, urged people to donate what they can.

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“We realise things are very difficult at the moment, but if you can help financially in any way that would be wonderful.”

Wetnose Animal Aid say many other rescue centres, including Faith Animal Santuary, Meadowgreen Kennels, Foxy Lodge, Brocks Barn, and many others are all in need of help.

“Please don’t forget the animals, remember it’s not just cats and dogs. It’s horses and wildlife, everything we must look after,” Mrs Gamby-Boulger said.

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