We launched our Winter Appeal across social media. Our goal this year is to cover the feed bills for everyone for one month. It doesn't seem like a lot - but it equates to £5000.
In 2020 we helped a total of 404 animals across the country; today we have over 150 animals in our care.
2020 was ruff! But it's 2021 now and we are determined that this year is going to be better! We just need your help to get us through this cold patch! This quite literal cold patch!
Our winter appeal usually begins in December but due 2020 in general we decided to hold off a little; instead of running an Advent Appeal for the small things the animals needed in the run-up to Christmas.
Winter hasn't gone away though, and we are in our dark days at the moment as the festive spirit of Christmas fades and we trudge through more cold and wet slush piles while trying our best not to slip on the ice.
Dogs are stuck indoors more, the ice and freezing conditions not walk and play friendly. The cat's have all demanded their heat lamps and extra blankets and our washing machine and dryer is running from 7am to 11pm Monday to Sunday to keep up with towels, blankets and horse rugs.
We are going through more hay and haylage each week; with more horses, ponies, and donkey's on-site than we have had in well over a year. We have very few ready to find homes, and even they have complex needs that have made rehoming that little more difficult. Currently, we are spending approximately £1200 a month on Hay and Haylage.
We are also going through an increased amount of bedding for the horses, with increased indoor activities, and the sheer amount of water and mud which the horses and ponies have been very kindly walking into their beds (or the roofs have very kindly decided to leak!) - what was between 30-45 bales of shavings a week in the summer is now over double at 95-100 bales a week and completely eating up all our storage space. We can't use straw as an alternative due to the number of equines on-site with dust allergies, breathing problems or COPD.
The cats, dogs, and birds all have extra heating currently and obviously with the darker days, lights too to ensure staff and volunteers can see what they are doing.
We've just put in an order for our large bags of dry dog and cat food which thankfully will do us a month or two, but we still have wet food to buy as well as the many variants of foods that some of the animals need; ie. the mon petit cat food for Thomas (who is in his late teens) who finds the small meal size and the chuck sizes more palatable. Or Tim (the collie) who gets the naturo trays as they are about the only thing he will eat that doesn't upset his stomach.
We are stocking up on more chicken bedding due to the weather the birds are feeling the cold, and have been busy trying to insulate more of the sheds.
Our Goal is higher than last year but not as high as in previous years. We know things are tight, but if we don't ask we will regret it. We have to remember we are asking for them; always them.
So if you can support, in any way, big or small, we would appreciate it.