Animal sanctuary weeks away from being forced to put down its animals

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An animal sanctuary near Blackpool may have to close its doors and consequently euthanise its animals due to a lack of funding and public support

 

Bailey Lister from Hugo’s Small Animal Rescue and Sanctuary
Bailey Lister from Hugo’s Small Animal Rescue and Sanctuary (Image: Hugo’s Small Animal Rescue & Sanctuary.)

A Lancashire animal sanctuary is facing imminent closure due to successive lockdowns and a lack of funding.

Hugo’s Small Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in Staining, near Blackpool, has said it may have to euthanise some of its animals if funding is not secured by next month.

Bailey Lister, founder of the sanctuary said: “I opened the sanctuary in 2018 and over the last nine months we rapidly expanded so we’ve moved into a bigger premise. In total, we have 87 animals, our running costs are £400 per month and vet bills an additional £700 per month.

“Due to some of the animals having behavioural and medical issues, it’s not just as simple as finding them a new home or a new sanctuary.

“We have crows that are blind or can’t fly and birds of prey that have bonded to our staff so if we took them away, it would really affect them mentally.

“That’s why if we close down, then we may have to euthanise these animals and that’s obviously not something we even want to consider as an option.”

One reason the sanctuary is struggling to re-home the animals is due to the Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Serotype 2 – or RHDV2 – outbreak amongst the rabbit population, which is halting adoptions.

RHVD2 a relatively new strain of the disease and highly contagious. It often shows few to no symptoms and kills rabbits quickly and suddenly.

According to charity, Blue Cross for Pets , RHVD2 is estimated to have put 1.3million pet rabbits in the UK at risk and recommends rabbit owners have their pets vaccinated against this new strain.

18-year-old Bailey said: “We have 20 rabbits in the sanctuary at the moment which is a lot more than we’d usually have as a lot of them have had to quarantine for four months to avoid the disease. RHVD II causes the rabbits to bleed internally which is a truly horrible way for them to pass away – we’ve lost four rabbits in the last four months.”

The sanctuary has always relied on public donations, even prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. In the past, locals have put on bake sales and other fundraising events in order to raise money and keep the sanctuary going.

However, due to the current climate and people struggling to donate, the sanctuary has found itself struggling financially.

You can donate to Hugo’s Small Animal Rescue and Sanctuary by giving what you can on their Just Giving pagetheir PayPal account or by purchasing something on their Amazon Wish List for the animals.