Eaton Bray dog rescue appeals for vital funds and support as it faces rise in abandoned pets

“The last 18 months or so have been incredibly difficult”
Appledown Rescue and Rehoming Kennels are appealing for vital funds and support.Appledown Rescue and Rehoming Kennels are appealing for vital funds and support.
Appledown Rescue and Rehoming Kennels are appealing for vital funds and support.

A dog shelter says it desperately needs your support as it faces the cost of living crisis and a rise in abandoned pets.

Appledown Rescue and Rehoming Kennels in Eaton Bray has been taking in stray dogs since 1999 and relies solely on donations of money, food, and time.

Due to rising temperatures, the centre was forced to postpone its summer fete – which has now been rescheduled to take place on Saturday, October 14.

But staff and volunteers at the kennels are still concerned about what the near future may look like without urgently needed support.

Julie Shelton, manager at the kennels and the charity's chairperson said: “The last 18 months or so have been incredibly difficult, particularly all of 2023. We are constantly full and thinking about how, as a kennel, to cope with new strays arriving, which can happen day or night.

"Very few stray dogs are being claimed and so these end up becoming the responsibility of the rescue. As a minimum, each dog needs accommodating, including heating in the cold months and we all know about energy costs, staff to care for them, appropriate food and clean bedding plus vaccinating, neutering, flea and worm treatment and they need to be able to stay for however long it takes to find them a home.

“On top of this, many will need extra medical help and/or behavioural help. We are more full than we ever have been in the past with no spare space but also without the funds to take on more staff or improve the facilities we have. It feels like we are currently budgeting on how to survive week to week; something we have never worried about before.”

Since the Covid lockdown, Appledown has seen a rise in neglect and cruelty. Julie said: “It is heart-breaking how much suffering is inflicted on animals that most people think of as family. We currently have three starved dogs in our care, all from different areas, all arrived within a few days of each other and all with complex medical needs.

"Two are so neglected that we can't even think about assessing them to see if they need extra training, or mental rehab because their physical condition will be changing their mental status. Dogs like this need so much time and help to be anywhere near us thinking about what sort of home they will hopefully need one day.”

Julie added: "There is no support in place to protect rescue centres from the cost of living crisis, the rise in bills, and the fact that too many people got pets and now they don't have the intention of acting responsibly. It is also irresponsible buying and breeding that we are feeling the effects of.

"It is possible that some of the breeding is due to people not being able to get their pets neutered but, to be honest, it doesn't stop the animals being kept separate when necessary. I think the good owners are probably finding it incredibly hard to get appointments at times and to afford the costs.”

For more information about donating or volunteering, visit the Appledown website.

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