HELP PLYMPTON ANIMAL SHELTER FUND TLC FOR ITS OAPS
A Plympton animal sanctuary is urgently appealing for help to care for an
increasing number of elderly and infirmed animals.
Woodside Animal Welfare Trust at Elfordleigh, Plympton, is one of the few
charities in the South West to provide a forever home to animals with age or
But at a time when funding has plummeted during the Covid-19 outbreak, the
cost of caring for long-term residents has continued to climb.
Cats, dogs, pigs and ponies are among the 50-plus animals living out their
days at the Sanctuary in dedicated units filled with creature comforts.
Woodside founder Carole Bowles MBE said the charity was committed to
giving these animals a loving and comfortable home.
“We have seen a rise in the number of elderly cats joining us and others
needing to join our resident areas for medical reasons.
“In a lot of cases, the owner will have passed away, or the owner might have
moved to somewhere that doesn’t allow pets.
“Resident cats can roam any other part of the sanctuary that takes their fancy.
Our dogs get to walk in the forest and go up onto our fields to run around.
“We have a no-kill policy and have been committed to that for a long time.
Only if an animal is suffering or is considered dangerous will this be
Carole said the Covid outbreak had encouraged people to think about what
would happen to their pets should they not be around for them.
“If someone is concerned and they register with us, we take their details and
supply them with a card. On this card it states that if they are unable to look
after their animal, to contact Woodside.”
Among the residents is tabby cat Tigger, who spent years being fed by
workers at Devonport Dockyard before being rehomed by one of them.
When his owner passed away, Tigger moved to Woodside, where he is
happily living out his twilight years in the resident cat units, which are home to
more than 20 cats.
As demand for these units has increased, the charity’s funding has
plummeted, with the sudden closure of its charity shops in March costing the
sanctuary £30,000 a month.
While some stores have now reopened under restrictions, the charity
continues to be hit by a fall in fundraising, as events are cancelled.
Carole said: “We are working hard to make up the shortfall. One of the most
popular ways is to choose one of the pets at the Sanctuary and sponsor
Since March, around £2,500 has been raised by a lockdown sponsorship
programme. Its success has led to a permanent scheme being launched.
P.A.W.S (Pals At Woodside Sanctuary), enables supporters to choose an
animal on the Woodside website to sponsor.
For £10, the sponsor will receive a photo and biography of their chosen
animal by email, ensuring all of the money goes directly to helping the animal
in the short term.
P.A.W.S will run alongside Woodside’s existing sponsorship programmes,
which provide long-term support to animals at the Sanctuary.
This includes a group sponsorship scheme, enabling supporters to sponsor
the ‘residents’ or one of the charity’s many other animal groups, including the
Hill Billies (goats), The Clucky Crows (chickens), Pigs Paradise, Horsey
Haven and the Ba Ba Bunch. This costs £60 a year.
Alternatively, there is a kennel, cat pod or rabbit sponsorship programme. Run
online, supporters can sponsor an individual animal for £50 a year.
Deputy manager Dawn Cornish said: “P.A.W.S will not replace the long term
support from our other schemes. These sponsorship schemes provide
ongoing support for the charity’s work and are a vital part of our funding,
particularly at the moment.”
To support the P.A.W.S scheme, simply visit the charity’s website
www.woodsidesanctuary.org.uk to choose an animal before calling the
Sanctuary on (01752) 347503.