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Whisky

Canterbury’s Lord Whisky Animal Sanctuary has become swamped with unwanted pets

An abanonded Staffie found tied to a tree in woods is one of an ever-growing number of unwanted pets now waiting for a new owner at an animal sanctuary.

Owners of the Lord Whisky Animal Fund at Stelling Minnis near Canterbury say they are now overrun with animals as hard-up owners struggle to afford to keep them.

Margaret Todd with Lucy who was found injured at the side of the road and is now a permanent resident
Margaret Todd with Lucy who was found injured at the side of the road and is now a permanent resident

They report unprecedented levels of dogs, cats and other animals being found abandoned, handed in or dumped at its base.

Owner Margaret Todd, her staff and volunteers are in despair over the situation as they struggle to raise enough funds to care for their growing menagerie.

“It’s getting silly,” she said. “As fast as we home one animal, another two come in.

“We are really urging people not to get a dog for Christmas unless they are fully capable of supporting and caring for it.”

The sanctuary currently has 45 dogs in its care but some of them cannot be rehomed due to their age or health.

Staffie Patsy needs a home
Staffie Patsy needs a home
Lurcher Harry is among those at the sanctuary
Lurcher Harry is among those at the sanctuary

Just last week, Mrs Todd took in a Staffordshire Bull Terrier found tied to a tree in the woods, and a lurcher suffering from mange, who was left tethered to a table at the sanctuary’s tea rooms.

Among its other ‘residents’ are dozens of cats and kittens, rabbits and numerous guinea pigs. The sanctuary also cares for unwanted horses and donkeys.

“Clearly, the cost-of-living crisis is having an effect on some people being able to afford to keep their pets and could get worse,” said Mrs Todd.

“Also, some of the problems are created by landlords not allowing animals and people being evicted, along with illness and death and no one being able to take on the responsibility for the pet.

“We do find some wonderful new homes for our animals, but not enough.”

Lurcher Jet is being looked after at the Lord Whisky
Lurcher Jet is being looked after at the Lord Whisky

She says the increasing demand is putting even more financial pressure on the charity, which also provides a subsidised veterinary clinic for pet owners on low incomes and is now having to take on another vet.

“We are also desperate for fundraisers as our loyal bunch have come to an age where, reluctantly, they have had to give up,” she said.

Anyone who can help the sanctuary by offering a pet a home, volunteering or organising a fundraising event should email lord.whisky@btinternet.com or call 01303 862622.

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