Up to 50 horses and ponies face being culled after a Sheffield animal sanctuary announced it can’t afford to keep them.
Mill House Animal Sanctuary has been rescuing horses in Fulwood since 1948 but now urgently needs to raise £30,000 before the end of the month.
The sanctuary has struggled to keep up with a ‘glut of unwanted horses,’ which sanctuary co-owner Pat Hartley says is due to the animals being bred ‘irresponsibly’ and then abandoned, in the past few years.
It means that about 50 animals which live at a farm in Aston, Rotherham face being killed unless suitable homes can be found for them. Pat, aged 74, runs the sanctuary with her twin sister Jane Wright.
Pat said: “Over the past few years there has been a glut of unwanted horses, which have been bred indiscriminately and irresponsibly, and have then been abandoned when the novelty of owning them and the cost of their food wears off.
“Mill House is going to have to close a farm where we keep 50 of our horses and ponies.
“Sadly, many of them will have to be put to sleep as we can no longer afford their upkeep. These animals have spent many happy years living with us and those which require medication will sadly be the first to go as we can no longer afford the drugs.
“We are going to try to relocate some of the young ones at our Thurlstone farm, but space and finance are limited.
“In the past, we have taken in abandoned horses, but sadly this cannot continue. We need to raise at least £30,000 before the end of this month to buy food for the horses and pay off some of the debts.
“My husband Robert is paying for food at present, but this has taken all of our savings.”
The pair have issued an appeal for help relocating as many of the animals as possible.
Pat added: “If anyone is able to offer a good home to any of our animals, please contact me, I will be very grateful.
“A back garden is sadly not acceptable, even for a Shetland pony.
“We love our animals and the decision to close the farm with the horses has not been taken lightly.
“My twin sister and I are in our 70s and we are naturally very concerned and anxious about what will happen when we can no longer continue with the work we do. We have given the animals a good quality of natural life – many are mature ponies which have never been stabled. I am having many sleepless nights as our situation is desperate.
“It is not – and has never been – our policy to have animals put to sleep, but we simply cannot weather this storm.”
n If you can help, call Pat on 07980 992 589.
TO DONATE DIRECTLY TO THE CHARITY, GO HERE: CLICK HERE TO DONATE
The history of the sanctuary: RETRO Sheffield animal sanctuary through time
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