300 animals could die as pets sanctuary faces funding crisis

thisisoxfordshire: Pheobe Stewart Cox of Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary with Poppy, a schnauzer who needs a heart op. Pictures: OX63269 Antony Moore Buy this photo » Pheobe Stewart Cox of Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary with Poppy, a schnauzer who needs a heart op. Pictures: OX63269 Antony Moore

UP to 300 animals could have to be put down if Oxfordshire’s largest animal charity is forced to shut because of a lack of funding, a warden has warned.

Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary in Stadhampton has seen a rise in the number of dogs and cats dumped and may have to close within 12 months.

It has rehomed more than 18,000 cats, rabbits and guinea pigs since opening in 1967.

But the charity’s bosses have said it could close within a year as the use of its kennels and catteries are at an all-time high.

It urgently needs more money to cover running costs.

Volunteers are caring for 105 dogs and 170 cats at their village base.

From 2010 until 2011, 148 dogs were dumped and 140 rehomed, with the total increasing to 186 dogs dumped and 188 rehomed from 2012 until 2013.

Sanctuary warden Rachel Tatam said: “What would happen to all the animals if we have to close?

“We have more than 300 animals when you count the rabbits and guinea pigs too, and if we had to close most of them would end up being destroyed.

“Other charities are in a similar position so they wouldn’t be able to take them.

“As well as more pets being dropped off we are seeing a rise in vets’ bills.”

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Ten-month old Giant schnauzer Poppy was dumped at the sanctuary two months ago suffering a heart problem. The operation to save her life – scheduled for the next two weeks – will cost the charity £2,500.

Ms Tatam added: “She is a young and lovely dog so it would be so sad to put her to sleep.”

Three-year-old shar pei Nala was abandoned by her owner four months ago.

She had infected ear tumours that defeaned her, but a successful £800 ear operation has cured her hearing problem.

Sanctuary spokesman Phoebe Stewart Cox said: “At the moment we have about 12 months worth of money left, which is probably about the worst situation we have been in. We desperately need more donations now.”

“We have a huge number of animals who are so lovely and there is no reason why they shouldn’t have a home. They would make amazing pets.”

The sanctuary has 17 staff and costs around £520,000 a year to run.

Vets bills cost £110,000 and food and bedding £66,000.

It costs an average of £20 a week to care for each animal.

The charity fundraises through charity shops in Summertown, Didcot, Witney and Carterton, and from public donations.

The sanctuary is appealing for anyone to help, either by adopting a pet or donating regularly at oascharity. org.uk.

Anyone able to help can also call the sanctuary on 01865 890239.

Comments (5)

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10:58pm Fri 8 Nov 13

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

They might call in the retrievers.
They might call in the retrievers. Milkbutnosugarplease

7:15am Sat 9 Nov 13

carli says...

Perhaps vets could lower their prices. I have just had to order some eye ointment for my dog and it costs £54 per tube of 3.5g....he has to have the ointment for life, and a tube lasts about 2 weeks. He also has heart tablets for life. He is only 5 but has suffered from problems since he was about 6 months old. Fortunately he is insured, but still it's very expensive. Most people would do anything to keep their pets safe and well, but I do think that the cost of living is forcing people to find new homes for their pets. I cannot understand how the vets can charge so much.
Perhaps vets could lower their prices. I have just had to order some eye ointment for my dog and it costs £54 per tube of 3.5g....he has to have the ointment for life, and a tube lasts about 2 weeks. He also has heart tablets for life. He is only 5 but has suffered from problems since he was about 6 months old. Fortunately he is insured, but still it's very expensive. Most people would do anything to keep their pets safe and well, but I do think that the cost of living is forcing people to find new homes for their pets. I cannot understand how the vets can charge so much. carli

7:15am Sat 9 Nov 13

carli says...

Perhaps vets could lower their prices. I have just had to order some eye ointment for my dog and it costs £54 per tube of 3.5g....he has to have the ointment for life, and a tube lasts about 2 weeks. He also has heart tablets for life. He is only 5 but has suffered from problems since he was about 6 months old. Fortunately he is insured, but still it's very expensive. Most people would do anything to keep their pets safe and well, but I do think that the cost of living is forcing people to find new homes for their pets. I cannot understand how the vets can charge so much.
Perhaps vets could lower their prices. I have just had to order some eye ointment for my dog and it costs £54 per tube of 3.5g....he has to have the ointment for life, and a tube lasts about 2 weeks. He also has heart tablets for life. He is only 5 but has suffered from problems since he was about 6 months old. Fortunately he is insured, but still it's very expensive. Most people would do anything to keep their pets safe and well, but I do think that the cost of living is forcing people to find new homes for their pets. I cannot understand how the vets can charge so much. carli

7:41pm Sat 9 Nov 13

BluesBabe says...

If your pet needs 'human' medication for a condition (often true of heart conditions (ours took Amiodarone for a period) and on life-long medication for Addison's Disease), you can often buy it much cheaper from a human online pharmacy. Use one licensed by the NHS, but the savings can be really significant. Online pet pharmacies also offer good value, though generally not quite as good, for the animal-only prescriptions. Also, check the costs of the referral centre used for serious operations. We use a vet teaching college - not for profit as they're a registered charity, and true experts in charge whilst students learn, which is ideal all round.
If your pet needs 'human' medication for a condition (often true of heart conditions (ours took Amiodarone for a period) and on life-long medication for Addison's Disease), you can often buy it much cheaper from a human online pharmacy. Use one licensed by the NHS, but the savings can be really significant. Online pet pharmacies also offer good value, though generally not quite as good, for the animal-only prescriptions. Also, check the costs of the referral centre used for serious operations. We use a vet teaching college - not for profit as they're a registered charity, and true experts in charge whilst students learn, which is ideal all round. BluesBabe

9:41am Mon 11 Nov 13

The Foxy Lady says...

It is such a sad fact that sanctuaries are over runneth with animals. Many reasons behind their fate at finding themselves in a rescue centre are down to a totally genuine situation, but aside from these, there are other reasons adding to it that could be avoided where possible. For example when people rent accommodation, animals are very rarely allowed to go with them. Landlords really could be more adaptable in homing people with pets. There is a new website encouraging landlords to work with pet owners via the Dogs Trust. If youre a landlord, please take a look. And then of course we go to the people that have run out of time and patience for looking after a pet, or want a newer version especially common at Christmas time when lots of families get rid of an old dog and buy a puppy! There are terrible puppy farms in peoples backyards spouting out the latest `Cavelier Kking Charles Spaniels, Pugs, Labradoodles, Cocker Poos etc all being bred and ready for this Christmas. Just because you buy a specific breed and pay hundreds of pounds for it does not guarantee it came from a good start. Its a big trade adding to the reason why sanctuaries are popping and at bursting point. PLEASE help our animal charities, bedding, towels, newspaper, food and beds.
Much needed and whilst your visiting please see if your in the position of being able to re-home a creature that desperately needs help through no fault of its own.
And before anyone tells me there are many human charities needing help, yes there are and I support those to.
It is such a sad fact that sanctuaries are over runneth with animals. Many reasons behind their fate at finding themselves in a rescue centre are down to a totally genuine situation, but aside from these, there are other reasons adding to it that could be avoided where possible. For example when people rent accommodation, animals are very rarely allowed to go with them. Landlords really could be more adaptable in homing people with pets. There is a new website encouraging landlords to work with pet owners via the Dogs Trust. If youre a landlord, please take a look. And then of course we go to the people that have run out of time and patience for looking after a pet, or want a newer version especially common at Christmas time when lots of families get rid of an old dog and buy a puppy! There are terrible puppy farms in peoples backyards spouting out the latest `Cavelier Kking Charles Spaniels, Pugs, Labradoodles, Cocker Poos etc all being bred and ready for this Christmas. Just because you buy a specific breed and pay hundreds of pounds for it does not guarantee it came from a good start. Its a big trade adding to the reason why sanctuaries are popping and at bursting point. PLEASE help our animal charities, bedding, towels, newspaper, food and beds. Much needed and whilst your visiting please see if your in the position of being able to re-home a creature that desperately needs help through no fault of its own. And before anyone tells me there are many human charities needing help, yes there are and I support those to. The Foxy Lady

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