Shropshire dog rescue charity appeals for funds after strain caused by Covid
A dog rescue charity in Bishop's Castle has appealed for help for the first time in more than 30 years, as the effects of coronavirus put a strain on their funds.
Carol James, who runs Dog's Bodies, an Animal Samaritans branch in Bishop's Castle and the surrounding areas, said their fundraising has dried up and they cannot open their shop due to the small size and lack of possible social distancing.
The charity predominantly rescues dogs where their owners have had to go to hospital, or give them up due to old age, and they currently have more than 20 older dogs living in 'end of life' foster homes after their owners died.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the charity has seen a steady stream of dogs coming to them, many from elderly owners, and the charity has had to pay for endless vet bills.
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Carol said they're love what they do, because they love helping the dogs, but it is hard to carry on with little funds.
"We set up the rescue more than 35 years ago," she said. "We have never begged for money or done any appeal, we've always worked for it and done our own fundraising.
"Everybody is worried about the virus and its effects, but people aren't thinking about the dogs left behind. We have had a steady stream over the last 15 weeks, of dogs coming into care.
"People are being told they need to self isolate or go to hospital, or even stay with family, and the dogs have been suffering.
"Family members contact us and say please can you look after my mum's dog, she's had to go to hospital. We have had to advertise for foster homes, and then when I take them to the vets for their normal medication, the dogs are quite old so the vet finds other issues. We obviously have to pay that."
The rescue has a little shop in Bishop's Castle and which is well supported by local people. Carol said due to its size, 10 x 20 ft, and it having no running water, it is difficult to make it Covid-safe.
"We can't do car boot sales either," Carol added. "We have been shut down at every attempt to fundraise.
"We are a local team and we support local dogs. We cannot just stop, we cannot just say sorry we can't do it anymore. The dogs need us, we do it for the dogs."
To donate to the team visit www.dogsamaritans.org.uk/food-donations