Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary closes gates to public

Astrid at Holly Hedge.

Astrid at Holly Hedge. - Credit: Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary

The North Somerset animal sanctuary says it is facing ‘uncertainty’ amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Alfie from Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary.

Alfie from Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary. - Credit: Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary

An animal sanctuary in North Somerset has released a statement announcing it will close its gates to the public following Government advice on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holly Hedge, in Barrow Gurney, claims it is already working at maximum capacity after a sharp decrease in volunteers has forced it to prepare for an emergency scenario.

A spokesperson said: “In the midst of so much uncertainty – we are working hard to make emergency plans to protect our staff, volunteers, and the rescues in our care who will need us, pandemic or not. We’re planning this all whilst we are at full capacity, with animals waiting to come in, and kitten season just around the corner.”

Holly Hedge states that, due to financial constraints, they cannot afford to go into full lockdown unless the Government advises.

Rosa from Holly Hedge

Rosa from Holly Hedge - Credit: Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary

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The sanctuary said: “We will never allow the welfare of our animals to be compromised, so we are currently stockpiling medication and special dietary foods.”

Holly Hedge added: “A likely scenario is that a core team of six staff would have to live on site, to take care of the 80 plus animals who are currently in residence.”

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“They would be solely responsible for their daily walks, cleaning out the pens and kennels, feeds, medication and giving them the love they are so used to having from our community of volunteers.

“Our staff would be away from their families and loved ones for four weeks, and this is our best-case scenario.”

Luna from Holly Hedge.

Luna from Holly Hedge. - Credit: Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary

It has been advised that, while the sanctuary remains open, members of the public should not visit if they have any symptoms of the coronavirus, no matter how mild.

As it stands, there are three confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

There is also one confirmed death attributed to the virus in Nailsea.

MORE: Rise in coronavirus cases in North Somerset

Nibbles from Holly Hedge.

Nibbles from Holly Hedge. - Credit: Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary

The North Somerset sanctuary has made an appeal for donations as well as people willing to join their emergency foster list.

It said: “In a time like this, please know that we need your support more than ever.”

“Consider making a donation or supporting us monthly by becoming a Pawpal on our website. If you cannot help financially, perhaps you could be on our emergency foster list?”

Visit www.hollyhedge.org.uk/donate to make donations. You can also join the foster list and enquire about which dietary donations you can make by contacting info@hollyhedge.org.uk for more information.

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