An animal rescue charity near Taunton has said it may only be able to survive for another three months and fears for the future welfare of cats and dogs.
St Giles Animal Rescue, which is based in Wrantage, has seen its fundraising plummet because of a lack of events in the last year and says many similar charities are in the same position.
The charity has been looking after and rehoming cats and dogs for the last decade, but a lack of fundraising events since the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020 has put a huge question mark over its future.
Jenny Green is chair of the trustees and says they are at breaking point: "Our fear is now that we’ve entered this third lockdown, now that we know we’re definitely not going to be able to have our Easter egg hunt and our dog show, we have got no other income stream, none at all."
Whilst supporters are still donating, the charity says it needs big numbers to survive. In fact, there are fears it may not make it past the spring, which raises huge concerns for the animals it rescues.
Jenny Green said: "Where are they going to end up? This isn’t just us in this situation, it’s so many other small animal charities that are in exactly the same position.
"We can’t go and knock on another charity’s door and say 'please can you take some of our animals?' because they can’t afford to either."
The Linnell family expanded the charity after buying St Giles Animal Centre in 2010 and have developed the charity over the last decade.
Jack Linnell said: "All we really wanted to do was help rescue animals.
"We’ve had to find new ways throughout the ten years to try and encourage fundraising and encourage and expand the centre and it’s very disheartening to get to this point where we are considering the future of the animal charity."
Ironically, whilst the pandemic has damaged the charity - it’s also made its services even more vital.
Grace Rose-Gale is the rescue office coordinator at St Giles and said: "We have seen an increase in dogs, especially younger puppies that are turning twelve months, that have been bought at the start of lockdown.
"Unfortunately these dogs haven’t had the same opportunities as normal puppies do prior to lockdown. They’ve had a lack of socialisation, meeting new people, other dogs and just being put in lots of different environments and getting used to lots of different things, which is so, so crucial."
The charity has now launched a crisis appeal as a final attempt to survive.