We are here to help cats and dogs and we promise never to spare them the treatment they need, a second chance at happiness or rehabilitation at any cost. As well as the 800 animals we rescue each year, we also help at least 1,600 people. Whilst we regularly see abuse and neglect cases, many of our rescues are beloved pets surrendered by desperate people faced with an impossible choice, and we are seeing this every week, as every few days another major business announces staff cuts.
The reality is that most people never get a pet thinking that one day they will have to choose between feeding their family or getting their dog the dental he needs. For many people, having to part with their much loved pet is as traumatic for them as it is for their dog or cat, and we give them peace of mind that we will ensure their cherished pet will go to someone who loves them just as much as they do. We are here to ensure that each animal who needs our help gets the very best of care and is carefully rehomed to a loving new family. Our vital work allows people to make tough choices which help them achieve a quality of life everybody deserves, and their pets go on to be adopted by wonderful new owners. For the 28 years we have been operating and even more so now, we have frequently been told that their new adopted best friend gives a vulnerable person a reason to wake up every day.
Our ambulance is a crucial lifeline for transporting animals safely. However our existing vehicle is now 11 years old and although regularly serviced and maintained it is becoming problematical and proving false economy to continue to repair. It has seen us through 132,000 miles to date in all weathers, but it is no longer economically viable. Recently it broke down as we were about to take 6 animals back from a neutering day at the vets, luckily after an urgent appeal our amazing supporters saved the day, but it cost several hundreds of pounds to fix and if our volunteers hadn’t been able to collect the animals from Portishead, we would have needed to pay to keep the animals in overnight.
As Holly Hedge is in a rural location halfway down a narrow country lane, reliable and safe transport is essential. We routinely use the ambulance for vet runs, hydrotherapy treatment, rescue missions and collecting animals from people's homes or off the streets, and delivering animals to their new homes. We also man and out-of-hours emergency line, and staff and volunteers can be called out late at night or in the early hours to rescue animals in distress, sometimes braving the elements in hazardous weather conditions. Staff are now using their own vehicles to avoid breaking down whilst carrying animals. It is therefore imperative that we provide a reliable roadworthy and safe form of transportation both for our people and our precious cargo.
As well as providing a lifeline for our rescues, our van is used for our fundraising events, helping us run multiple activities such as a raffle, merchandise, tombola, and dog show. When it is safe to hold fundraising events, we desperately need to maximise on every opportunity. Without it we will have to rely on multiple people using their cars, which would mean our small team of events volunteers would have to focus on one event per day, when currently we divide into teams on days where there are multiple events in different locations, and the van may drop off and collect items at both locations. Our last Fun Day we raised £9,000, and at Dogfest we raised £1,800. The van is detrimental to not only our animal rescue, but our ability to raise funds.
We have raised most of the funds needed to purchase, and fully equip the van, thanks to grants from Petplan, Battersea & The ADCH. We have £6,504 left to raise, so please consider donating, or sharing this appeal. Thank you.