Gloucestershire animal rescue charity at 'breaking point' as donations plummet

An animal rescue charity in Gloucestershire is at "breaking point" and could close within two months unless finances can be stabilised.

Teckels Animal Sanctuary, which is based in Whitminster near Stroud, has been rescuing abandoned and mistreated animals for 20 years.

But the charity has been severely impacted by spiralling costs, falling donations and an influx of pets needing to be re-homed.

Teckels costs around £45,000 a month to run and the charity does not get financial help from the government. It relies entirely on donations.

But people are not able to donate as much and increasing costs means the charity now needs to find an additional £11-12,000 a month to survive.

Teckels has recently welcomed the arrival of nine puppies.

Sarah Johnson, who is the centre manager, said: “Bigger charities don't need to worry about finances as much day-to-day like with us smaller charities.

"We are close to breaking point. It’s heartbreaking to think that we may not be around to help the increasing numbers of unwanted cats and dogs in their time of need.

"Not only would the closure of Teckels have a huge impact on the staff, the stray animals, and anyone local who needs us, but would also put a massive strain on our colleagues at our neighbouring rescues.”

Sarah Johnson went on to explain how the cost of living is impacting pet owners: "People can't afford to feed or care for them, or the vet's bills.

"But also, since the pandemic people are having to return to work and office. Maybe they didn't quite think through the breeds before they purchased a puppy or a kitten.

"Now, they're having to return them for all sorts of reasons."

The number of people wanting to adopt animals has dropped significantly.

22,908 animals were left by their owners last year in the Uk, according to the RSPCA.

Like many animal charities in the South West, Teckels has been answering hundreds of calls from people wanting to hand in their pets.

But the centre is at capacity, with 20 dogs, 15 cats and boarding clients in its care.

Stuart Holmes, who works in reception, said it is upsetting having to explain to callers that the charity cannot take in any more animals.

"It's tough. You want to help as many as you can. Especially when you hear their reasons for having to re-home their pets.

"But spaces are limited and obviously the funds are as well," Stuart said.

Teckels has set up a fundraiser in a bid to save the centre and has already raised more than £37,000.