Raystede Animal Shelter announced it has temporarily halted its animal adoption service amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
No adoptions will take place until further notice, and only essential staff are now coming to work in order to look after the cats and dogs currently being sheltered.
The shelter already has 400 animals in its care, and said it needs to make sure it has enough staff and adequate food supplies to be able to support these animals in the coming months.
In its latest announcement, the shelter also said that it witnessed ten dogs and four cats being surrendered last week, with “completely distraught” owners unable to care for their pets as the crisis continues.
The shelter assured the public it is doing “everything in our power” to reopen, and a team of foster carers have also taken dogs and cats into their homes to ease pressure on the facilities.
Meanwhile Stephanie Smith, the CEO of Raystede, said that she is struggling to find the £1,000 in “lost revenue” from the site’s shop, cafe and donations. She is now appealing to the public to help donate at this time.
In an open letter, Smith said: “I took one of the hardest decisions of my working life this week. You may have seen this on the BBC local news.
“We stopped taking in dogs, cats and other animals at Raystede. This is to protect our staff, prevent the spread of coronavirus and ensure we can care for all our animals.”
She added: “Whatever you can do to help Raystede and all our animals would be greatly appreciated. We are so grateful for all the messages of support and generous donations over the past week.”
The group will review the situation “regularly”, and inform the public on how it progresses.