Kidwell-based pet food company Burns Pet Nutrition has announced it has donated thousands of pounds worth of pet food to South Wales charity, Hope Rescue.
The pet food company, which specialises in producing high quality dog food made up of all-natural ingredients, is providing the centre with three-months’ worth of nutrition to see it through the lockdown period.
Hope Rescue, which operates from a rescue centre in Llanharan and has a charity shop in Pontypridd, provides care to over 800 dogs a year. The charity rescues stray and abandoned dogs in the region who would otherwise be euthanized, and also supports other local pounds and rescues who are struggling with capacity.
However, the financial fall-out from the current Covid-19 crisis is now putting the future of the charity at risk.
Since the start of the UK-wide lockdown, Hope Rescue has seen its main sources of income come to a halt, having been forced to close its charity shop, boarding kennels, paddock hire and grooming services, as well as cancel upcoming fundraising events and stop all fostering and adoption activity.
The charity said it is unable to apply for many of the grants made available to other organisations as they are understandably focussing on charities providing immediate Covid-19 relief services and aren’t aimed at the animal welfare sector.
It is the latest financial blow for the organisation, coming just weeks after its only charity shop was hit by devastating flooding during Storm Dennis.
As a result, a quarter of its staff have been furloughed and the charity has been left with no revenue, while still having kennels full of dogs that need to be fed and looked after.
Founder and manager of Hope Rescue, Vanessa Waddon, said: “As a not for profit organisation, we are entirely dependent on donations and money generated from our charity’s activities. Following the government lockdown, we lost the majority of our income overnight.
“As an animal welfare charity, we also don’t necessarily qualify for all the Government programmes and grant funding that are available. Finances are a huge concern. Every day we are losing £1,000 worth of income, yet we still have a centre to run. There are 75 dogs in our care and the number of strays coming through our doors hasn’t slowed.
She added:“This is a really difficult time for Hope Rescue but we are determined to stay open and continue to do what we can for the most vulnerable dogs in the local community, albeit at a very much reduced capacity. We are immensely thankful to Burns for their support.
“The provision of food for the dogs in our care has taken a huge weight off our shoulders and will make help make significant financial savings that we desperately need at such a critical time.”
John Burns, founder of Burns Pet Nutrition added: “As the only dog rescue in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Hope Rescue provides a vital lifeline for the most vulnerable dogs in communities across South Wales. The work that the charity does is inspiring and is really making a difference to the lives of animals and people across the region.
“The impact of coronavirus on animal charities has been unprecedented and we want to do whatever we can to help those struggling during this terrible time.”