Animal ambulance is choc-a-bloc for festive season

17:15 23 December 2011

JUST some of the kittens being cared for by North Devon Animal Ambulance that need loving homes – but not over the Christmas period. Pictured are Diana Lewis (centre) with centre manager Aly Schwind (right) and Helen Conibear, who called in to rehome a kitten before the Christmas period.

JUST some of the kittens being cared for by North Devon Animal Ambulance that need loving homes – but not over the Christmas period. Pictured are Diana Lewis (centre) with centre manager Aly Schwind (right) and Helen Conibear, who called in to rehome a kitten before the Christmas period.

Archant

Abandoned and unwanted animals flood the charity’s North Devon centres thanks to Christmas and the credit crunch.

THE North Devon Animal Ambulance has been inundated with a flood of unwanted, stray or injured animals in what has been described as its busiest time ever.

Unfortunately, Christmas is always a busy time, but this year both the charity’s special care unit at Pottington and its rehoming centre are overflowing.

Diana Lewis at the Animal Ambulance said they had some 40-50 cats and kittens, plus dogs, around 30 rabbits and numerous smaller furry animals such as gerbils, ferrets and guinea pigs, all requiring care and seeking a new home.

“This year, things are the worst they have ever been,” she said.

“Mainly because people are losing their homes and rented accommodation won’t take pets, plus people are finding it harder now to pay vets bills.

“We are always getting referrals from social services or the police, mainly for animals that have either been abandoned or are simply unwanted.

“One of the saddest things is that this time of year we always get dozens healthy, unwanted older animals as people get rid of them quite unashamedly so that they can go and get kittens or puppies.”

The charity often also ends up looking after pets for elderly people who have become unwell or had to go into hospital but cannot afford kennel fees.

“Our volunteers who look after the animals have been absolutely superb in their dedication and even on Christmas Day they will be here giving up their time to look after the animals, who will all receive their own stocking on Christmas morning,” added Diana.

The animals in the charity’s care are all in need of new loving homes after the trauma and confusion of losing their previous ones, but the charity will not rehome anything during the festive period.

“Christmas is absolutely not the time to have a new puppy or kitten in the household,” said Diana.

“Lots of visitors, doors being left open, excited children and teenagers is not the environment for frightened or confused young animals, which need a calm environment to adjust.

“One tragic case I had a couple of Christmases ago was a new kitten in a local household that was playing with discarded wrapping paper – a child accidentally stepped on the paper and broke the kitten’s back. It was tragic for the whole family and it ruined their whole Christmas.”

But people are welcome to make enquiries if they wish to adopt animals after Christmas: For cats and small animals call (01271) 323740 or for dogs call (01271) 860376.

North Devon Animal Ambulance is on hand around the clock to help rescue both wild and domestic animals. For emergencies or assistance call Diana Lewis on (01598) 740603 or 07817 995751.

0 comments

Other News Stories

17 minutes ago

Police warn horse owners to keep their eye out for anything suspicious during summer season after ‘isolated’ incident.

Read more
Littleham's Brianna Evans, currently Miss Devon is preparing for the Miss England competition. Ref exe 5655-30-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A Littleham teenager is organising charity events in her bid to be named Miss England.

Read more
Remembrance Day Poppy on wooden cross

A memorial garden to former students who died in battle is being built at Exmouth Community College.

Read more
Bideford Carnival 2014. Pic: Graham Hobbs.

Find out when and where you can catch carnivals in North Devon this summer.

Read more
Police re-direct traffic following the fatal collision at the Sticklepath roundabout on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Submitted

Arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after ‘Barnhenge’ collision which killed 20-year-old motorcyclist.

Read more
07:34
Verity stands defiant as T-Rex approaches... Picture: Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park

Damien Hirst’s Verity almost ended up as dino food after an art-loving t-rex ‘escaped’ from his handlers during a trip to Ilfracombe.

Read more
06:59
Pupils with their new CD

Charmouth Primary School records its own music CD

Read more
Ralph Leadbetter with his wife Evi, children Harry and Malika and their dog Bella.  Ref shs 5720-31-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Dad-of-two Ralph Leadbetter has been waiting for this family photo for almost a year because of a long-running immigration battle.

Read more
Yesterday, 21:10
Ilfracombe Harbour.

An investigation into how a 58-year-old fell from the pier is now underway

Read more
Yesterday, 18:41
Scenes from North Devon Relay for Life 2015 at Barnstaple Rugby Club. Picture: @tidyeyepr

Best feet forward at annual Cancer Research UK fundraiser in Barnstaple...

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family Notices 24



Devon's trusted business finder