An animal shelter in Sheffield has been hit hard by the pandemic, with the lack of public donations putting it at risk of closure.
The local RSPCA branch in Darnall works independently from the national RSPCA charity and relies on events to raise money. However, the government’s coronavirus guidelines over the past year have made the running of these impossible.
To combat this, carers at the animal shelter launched a social media campaign to raise funds, which has so far raised £1,821.
Benjamin Landon, 42, of Darnall had previously adopted his dog from the shelter. He said: “The shelter gave us our beautiful dog who is now no longer with us. Their contribution to our community is massive, and we must do everything we can to save it.
“More people are seemingly giving their pets up for adoption now, and we need someplace for them to go.”
A study by pet wellness researchers, Itch, showed that, following the initial spike in adoptions at the start of the first lockdown, new dog owners are experiencing regrets, with one in five not being prepared for the work involved in raising and caring for a puppy.
Diana Radford, the Operations Director at RSPCA Sheffield, told BBC Sheffield that people currently cannot hand their dogs over to the shelter due to lockdown restrictions. As such, they are expecting “a tsunami of dogs” when people can eventually go to the shelter again.
She said: “We know everybody is struggling at the moment and it is so difficult to put a begging bowl out constantly, but we have done everything that we possibly can to keep going. We’ve even turned the heating off.
“If everybody donated a pound, that would rescue this animal shelter.”
RSPCA Sheffield is appealing for people to donate money and unwanted items to their centre. They are also looking for volunteers to help them with their day-to-day operations. Donate via https://rspcasheffield.org/cgi-bin/browsearea.py?areaid=2.