Animal sanctuary appeals for funds to stave off closure threat

PUBLISHED: 11:57 15 November 2018

Holly Hedge manager Sarah Scharnz with Milo, who has been at the sanctuary for eight months and would love to be homed for christmas.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Holly Hedge manager Sarah Scharnz with Milo, who has been at the sanctuary for eight months and would love to be homed for christmas. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

A Barrow Gurney animal sanctuary, faced with closure, is appealing for funds.

Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary has warned its shutdown would be ‘a disaster’ – which could leave hundreds of animals without a home.

The charity is seeking to raise £300,000 through a campaign designed to help it keep up with mounting costs.

Holly Hedge provides food and shelter to more than 800 cats and dogs every year.

However, declining donations, combined with £615,000 per year costs, have placed the charity in financial peril, leaving it vulnerable to closure.

Sarah Schranz, general manager at Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary, said: “We are such a nice, well-kept sanctuary that, often, people don’t believe we need help – but we do.

“We have a huge waiting list but we are determined not to penny pinch.

“We treat every animal as if it were our own so, whether it means paying for heating, pet food or an expensive operation, we always go above and beyond to make sure our animals are comfortable and have a good quality of life.”

Sarah says while Holly Hedge is not the only animal sanctuary in the area, it is the only one which caters for older animals or those with behavioural problems.

She said: “Other charities will rescue an animal, give it a health check, and put it right back on the street.

“But we refuse to do that.”

Because of this, the charity’s running costs have climbed steeply; spending £100,000 per year on vet’s bills and buying more than 100 pouches of cat food per day.

According to Sarah, the sanctuary’s future rests with members of the public and the solution could be as simple as buying one less present at Christmas this year.

She said: “We are entirely self-funded, so we are always looking for people to participate in sponsored events.

“It could be anything from a coffee morning to a sponsored run.”

The charity’s fundraising campaign, Paws in Peril, seeks to raise just under half of the sanctuary’s annual running costs through a crowdfunding page, a series of fundraisers and a Christmas shoebox appeal.

For more information, or to donate to Holly Hedge, visit www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/hollyhedge/pawsinperil

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