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Wirral animal sanctuary launches appeal as it struggles to meet rising costs

9 months ago

By The Guide Liverpool

Wirral animal sanctuary launches appeal as it struggles to meet rising costs

A Wirral animal sanctuary has appealed for help after its founder admitted rising costs had left it struggling to survive.

Laura Whelan, who set up Whitegate Animal Sanctuary in 2018 mostly to rescue farm animals from slaughter, says they only have enough money left to cover just over a month’s expenses.

She says despite having regular donations from a fantastic group of supporters, and holding fundraising events, the situation is getting desperate.

“We try so much to be self-sufficient and in general we do well, but it’s the big bills like fencing, building new shelters, vet bills etc that eat away at the donations we keep aside.”

Whitegate Animal Sanctuary is currently home to around 130 animals – cows, sheep – including five who were saved by Laura as lambs – pigs, goats, about 100 chickens, ducks and turkeys.

“That’s a lot of mouth to feed, keep clean and cosy and this is a very costly job. Our monthly overheads average around £2,000. 

“We are very lucky to have donations from regular supporters, which allow us to keep going day-to-day, and I rarely ask for money because I find it really difficult. I’ve not done a plea for over a year, and I stress before I do because I feel like it’s my responsibility to fund it because I set it up, but our safety net in the bank is dwindling so I’ve had no choice.”

The wirral animal sanctuary has already come back from a blow in lockdown when the collapse of Laura’s dog boarding business meant she had to relocate to Hoylake.

“I’d rented a four-acre farm in Brimstage originally to do boarding for dogs, mostly for people going on holiday. That brought in the money to fund the sanctuary, but obviously in the pandemic travel stopped overnight and so did my business.

“So I moved back to my house that I’d rented out and moved all the animals to the new land which we were really lucky to find.”

Laura, who lives with her two sons aged 10 and 15 plus eight rescue dogs and five cats, now divides her time between running a dog walking business from home and the sanctuary.

“I’m not there every day but I do have an amazing group of volunteers who do shifts looking after the animals, it’s like a little community,” she adds.

She hopes the appeal will give them the lifeline they desperately need.

“Every single penny does add up. I’m so aware of the rising cost of living and the impact this is having on so many, which made me even more reluctant to ask. But we’re at risk now and I don’t want to close down that would be so utterly devastating for everyone.”

To find out more about Whitegate Animal Sanctuary, and how to donate, go to the website HERE.

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