Wed, 09 Sept 2020
A GREAT Shefford animal rehoming centre has received a welcome boost from Newbury’s Pets At Home store.
The National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT)’s Trindledown Farm base has been facing an existential threat due to the coronavirus crisis.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, the centre has been unable to raise vital funds to help elderly rescue pets with day-to-day essentials like health checks, food and shelter.
Also, having been forced to close to the public in February due to severe flooding means Trindledown Farm has had a particularly trying year.
A similar NAWT rehoming centre in Somerset has already been forced to close.
However, back in January, Pets at Home’s Newbury store colleagues voted to support Trindledown Farm as their charity of the year.
The pet shop’s own charity, Support Adoption For Pets, already helps hundreds of pet rehoming organisations in the UK.
Every year there are two large-scale fundraising drives in the Pets at Home stores.
This summer the fundraising appeal – Save our Rescue Centres – had to be adapted.
In the past, rescue centre staff have been able to join the store teams in their fundraising efforts by creating and attending in-store events.
Without the rescue charity’s presence in-store, store staff were relied upon to encourage customers to donate at the point of sale and promote the rescue centres’ plight.
Considering the challenges the Pets at Home store teams have faced over the last few months, staff at Trindledown Farm said they were overwhelmed when the store called to tell them it had managed to raise £1,397.
Pets At Home store fundraiser Steff Beglin said: “It’s been really tough without the charities in store, but we’ve worked with Trindledown Farm before and the team loves the set-up there and the work they do is so vital.
“It was extremely hard at the beginning when we reduced our hours and were run off our feet.
“Then we extended our working hours and customers were still queuing out the door.”
Trindledown Farm centre fundraiser Ellie Humphreys said: “Contactless payment has definitely hindered our fundraising efforts – nobody is carrying cash at the moment. We wanted to celebrate their hard work.”
The two teams celebrated with an elaborately-decorated cake by Lambourn company Cakey McCakeface and balloons by Helen’s Balloonz from Hungerford.
The rehoming centre’s junior animal care leader Jon Greenwell said: “All of our staff are key workers, which has presented its own set of challenges – working from home isn’t an option until someone figures out how to feed, walk a dog or muck out a stable over Zoom.”
The donation will go towards the veterinary bill of one of the rescue animals, Staffordshire bull terrier Kiki.
She went to the farm during lockdown as her owner had split with their partner and was forced to live out of their car.
Kiki had a condition that needed surgery.
She still needs spaying and other procedures which are predicted to cost £1,500 before she is ready to be rehomed.
The Trindledown Farm team will not be looking for a home for her for another six weeks or more and so the Pets at Home funds are vital to Kiki’s care.
If you would like to top up Kiki’s fund, donate to https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/9739 or call (01488) 638584.