A DOG rescue centre is pleading for the public’s help as it braces itself for a harsh winter.
Netherlands, which saves around 90 Sheffield canines from being put down every year, has launched an appeal to raise cash to buy winter coats for its four-legged friends.
The charity has been hit by funding problems since it was set up two years ago.
Family-run Netherlands, in Kilnhurst, was originally just a boarding kennels, but after witnessing the huge number of dogs being handed to Sheffield Council’s pound they felt compelled to help.
Stray or unwanted pooches taken from the city streets can be legally destroyed by the council if they are not moved on within seven days. With the fundraising climate becoming increasingly competitive and rising vet bills to pay, this winter could be the toughest yet.
To keep the pooches comfortable in the cold kennels, Netherlands needs cash to equip the pets with extra clothing.
Jeanette Hollywood, chairwoman of Netherlands, said: “I’ve got 15 dogs at the moment and I am placing another four. We take them in from the council and try to re-home them through the public.
“It is always chock-a-block this time of year and it always gets worse in the run-up to Christmas. Rescue centres do a marvellous job but a lot are so busy they can’t take in any more.
“It is a cold kennel so if we can get the dogs decent coats it will be better for them. A bit more bearable. A lot of the dogs which go to the pound have been neglected.
“We understand times are hard, but we are really desperate. We hope to reach our target of £400 as quickly as possible.”
The centre is selling handmade Christmas cards from its charity shops in Hoyland Road and High Street, Mexborough, in a bid to raise money for jackets to give the homeless hounds some extra warmth this winter.
Carol Ashmore, a volunteer with the charity, crafted the cards using her daughter’s design.
She said: “I wanted to keep the design simple so that every penny goes to the rescue centre. I don’t think people understand that rescue centres stop dogs being put down. These are perfectly healthy animals.”