Wildlife charity struggles to cope as demand soars demand

Lindsey Green, Animal Care Volunteer, pictured with a Juvenile Hedgehog. Picture: Marie Caley NSST AnimalRescue MC 5

A long-standing South Yorkshire animal charity has warned it could close within months as it faces a funding crisis.

South Yorkshire Animal Rescue in Sheffield nurses injured wildlife, including birds, squirrels and hedgehogs, before releasing the creatures back into the wild once they have recovered.

Kyle Thompson, Animal Care Supervisor pictured with one of the many Pidgeons the charity has helped. Picture: Marie Caley NSST AnimalRescue MC 1

The organisation, which is based in Walkley, has helped thousands of animals since being set up 35 years ago – including more than 60 stricken hedgehogs so far this year.

But it may be forced to close early next year without the public’s support to secure vital funds.

An appeal has been launched to raise at least £3,000, which the charity says is the minimum needed to keep it going in the short-term.

In the longer term, committee member Phil Slack says more volunteers are required to ensure the charity can continue its good work.

This lovely looking Budgie was brought into the charity recently after being found in Central Sheffield. Picture: Marie Caley NSST AnimalRescue MC 4

“As things stand, if we don’t raise any money at all we will probably run out of funds in January or February at the latest,” he said.

“This appeal is just to keep us going long enough to put more permanent fundraising in place.

“The main problem is we no longer have enough volunteers to help with fundraising.

“We used to have a big group of people who would arrange events, but we’re down to about two people scrabbling around for whatever they can get.

'Old Girl', an elderly Chicken the charity looks after. Picture: Marie Caley NSST AnimalRescue MC 6

“We’re probably the only surviving wildlife charity in this area.

“The phone’s always ringing off the hook and we get people bringing injured animals from as far away as West Yorkshire because they haven’t been able to find anywhere closer.

“If we close, I don’t know what will happen to those animals.”

Mr Slack added that the charity had been losing around £30,000 a year and had already cut spending to a bare minimum, with just one full-time and one part-time member of staff remaining.

One of several Squirrels the charity has rescued. Picture: Marie Caley NSST AnimalRescue MC 7

Amy Taylor, who launched the fundraising appeal on the JustGiving website, said: “Every donation will help keep them open and caring for animals a little longer. Please donate to this cause.”

Amy added that people could also donate at the charity’s shop, on South Road, in Walkley.

n You can donate at Just Giving - South Yorkshire Animal Rescue

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