Warwickshire animal sanctuary faces hardship as covid impacts staff and funds - The Leamington Observer

Warwickshire animal sanctuary faces hardship as covid impacts staff and funds

Leamington Editorial 8th Feb, 2021   0

PLUMMETING funds and covid cases are the latest in a string of blows to hit a Warwickshire animal sanctuary.

The 450-strong Farm Animal Rescue Sanctuary (FARS) in Wolverton, is facing hardship as the pandemic takes it toll on funds and the health of its already small team.

Founder Carole Webb was hospitalised for two weeks after testing positive for covid-19.

The 76-year-old, who established the sanctuary over 30 years ago, has made a successful recovery, returning home last month.

She said: “My animals are my life and they mean everything to me. I have never been away from them for this long and they were all I could think about while I was in the hospital. I am so happy to be back.”

However, another of the sanctuary’s key workers was forced to isolate soon after Carole’s return, after testing positive for the virus. This left only two volunteers, Ellie and her partner, caring for the animals as food-stocks continued to run low.

After having to pay for a number unexpected expenses including a damaged roof and a broken tractor, the team is struggling to meet costs of some £1,500 for hay, straw and animal feed.

The sanctuary relies entirely on donations from the public, often raised through fund-raising events, all of which have been cancelled until spring at the very earliest.

Ellie added: “Due to the pandemic we have seen a significant drop in regular donations and all events have had to be cancelled and with people’s uncertainty over the fear of losing their jobs, we have seen a drop in regular donations which is, of course, absolutely understandable.

“The public is the sanctuary’s only hope and we desperately need their help.”

Carole originally set up the charity in Cambridge. She heard about a newborn lamb not expected to live and convinced the farmer to let her take him. She instantly fell in love with ‘Larry’ and nursed him back to health. Her woolly family soon grew and she eventually set up FARS after moving to the county.

Visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/emergency-covid-19-hay-and-feed-appeal to donate to the sanctuary.

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