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

8 minutes ago
Volunteers and trustees from the NDCCCT handing over the cheque for £300,000.

Final cheque for £300,000 from North Devon Cancer Care Centre Trust brings Chemo Appeal to its fundraising total.

Read more
38 minutes ago
Katy Quick with two of the young girls she met in Palestine.

Science teacher Katy Quick spent a week visiting children in the West Bank and is now fundraising for Edukid.

Read more
39 minutes ago
Shane Brown of Regency Windows at Rupert's Pre-School's new playhouse

Community helps Seaton pre-school to replace its playhouse

Read more
Yesterday, 17:12
The loss of Zebedee has hit staff at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park hard.

Staff distraught as long term resident Zebedee dies aged 29

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
The former SES stationery shop of Sidmouth. Ref shs 7143-42-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The new owner of Sidmouth’s SES building has revealed how his ambitious plans to renovate the ‘eyesore’ have been tied in red tape for six months – with no end in sight.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:14

Fire fighters called out to assist with unstable scaffolding on Arlington Hotel.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:24

Developers seek to turn part of the pub into housing with new application

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
WESC intern Harry Roberts and manager Sharon Green

Working at charity shop and social enterprise gives visually impaired young people hands-on work experience – and has one intern aspiring to manage a store of his own.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:35
Gale force winds are forecast for the festive week ahead.

Region can expect strong gusts in exposed and coastal areas through tonight (Monday) and tomorrow.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Jo Earlam from Tipton St john, who is running the New York marathon next month to raise money for 10 charities, seen here after completing her first marathon in London in 2005

The finish line is in sight for a long-distance runner who is set to clock up her 50th marathon just after a milestone birthday.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Family Notices 24


Devon's trusted business finder