Sheffield animal charity facing closure for second time in a year as crisis deepens

Philip Slack of South Yorkshire Animal Rescue.
Philip Slack of South Yorkshire Animal Rescue.

A long-standing Sheffield animal charity is facing closure for the second time in less than a year and is not taking in any more animals as a funding crisis deepens.

Unless money can be found urgently, South Yorkshire Animal Rescue, which is based at Walkley, has announced it will have to close for the good by the end of the year.

Since its formation in 1982, the organisation has faced a number of closure threats, the most recent coming last autumn when big-hearted fundraisers donated thousands of pounds to keep the centre open.

Now the charity, which has rescued thousands of hedgehogs, squirrels and birds over the years, is making a fresh plea for funds - otherwise it will be forced to shut its doors for good.

A spokesman said: "Despite the best efforts of everyone involved in the appeal so far, it looks increasingly likely that South Yorkshire Animal Rescue will have to close for good by the end of this year.

"There are currently only sufficient funds to pay our one full time and one part time animal care and general staff until July 2018.

"After this time the charity will only provide a skeleton service with volunteers only to care for the existing long term and permenant animals until the small amount of funds remaining is used up. The final closure date will depend on any funds raised and donations given between now and the end of the year."

Because of the crisis, the centre is not taking in any new animals and any wild animals which can be released back into the wild will be set free over the next few weeks.

Efforts will also be made to find any registered animal care charities who would be willing to accept any of the permenant residents - mainly disabled wild birds that would not survive in the wild).

The rent will be paid on the charity's Walkley building until the end of 2018.

Added the statement: "Any funds raised between now and then may buy some more time, but the absolute basics, rent, rates, electricity, animal feeds are in the region of £1500 - £2000 per month."

"The charity's committee and helpers are working very hard to postpone the closure.

"It will not be until the day the key is turned in the door for the last time that defeat will be admitted. While ever the charity remains there is hope. An unexpected or miraculous financial solution for the future could be found."

"There is still hope but we would be foolish at this point not to prepare for the worst."

Donations can be sent in several ways:

* By cheque to: South Yorkshire Animal Rescue, 357 - 359 South Road, Walkley, Sheffield, S6 3TD.

* By a regular, Sponsor An Animal, monthly donation (any amount) by Bank Standing Order.

* Online donation via Just Giving at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/southyorkshireanimalrescue1
The group's charity Shop at South Road, Walkley will continue to operate for as long as possible.

Volunteers are needed to keep it going and its success will also depend on donations of good saleable items being donated.

Contact 0114 2349656 to speak to Phil or Sylvia between noon and 5pm Wednesday to Sunday to find out how you can help raise money or become involved in volunteering.