COVID-19 Update June 2020

Thank you to all of our wonderful supporters for the love and kindness shown to our beloved charity over the last few months.  It has been overwhelming to say the least especially when it remains so difficult for everyone during these continued uncertain times.

The Charity has been following the Government guidance as well as the CFSG (Canine & Feline Support Group) Operating Guidance for Rescues and Rehoming Organisations, approved by DEFRA. The advice and guidance continues to evolve and change over the days and weeks, so we wanted to give you an update on our plans for the Rescue Centre and our charity shops.

Rescue Centre – rehoming

The Rescue Centre will remain closed to the public until further notice, however, the following changes will be introduced:

  • We are introducing an appointment only system for rehoming. Over the next few weeks, our animal care teams will be processing the large number of applications we have received for the animals and will be contacting the potentially successful applicants.  They will book an appointment and explain the new process for visiting the site safely.  This will include, for example, only dealing with one person from the household in an outside location, whilst maintaining social distancing measures.

Thank you so much to everyone who has completed an application, we appreciate your patience. We have so many applications to process, so unfortunately we will not be able to contact everyone so if you have not heard from us within in the next couple of weeks then please assume that you have not been successful in your application on this occasion.

The rehoming pages on our website continue to be updated daily with all animals available for rehoming. Please apply online or contact the centre. Any animal that has been temporarily reserved is clearly marked as such, meaning no further applications can be accepted.

Charity shops

It was great news when recently the Prime Minister announced that non-essential retail is able to re-open from 15th June, although this is still contingent upon progress against the 5 tests and will only be permitted for those retail premises which are COVID-secure.

Our charity shops are well supported by the local community and provide a vital source of income for the Charity. The shops have a core team of staff and we rely heavily upon a large team of volunteers to run them, so their safety as well as that of our customers remains paramount. We also have some staff members and volunteers classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and therefore, we have genuine concerns at being able to keep all of our staff, volunteers and customers safe, whilst the COVID-19 risk is still relatively high.

The majority of our shops are quite small so being able to be COVID-19 secure is not going to be simple or in some cases practical to achieve at this stage.

In the interests of continued safety for everyone, we have made the very difficult decision to keep our shops closed for the time being.  We will continue to review the situation carefully in line with any guidance issued so that when we feel the time is right and safe to do so, we will re-open our shops. When we do, this will probably be on a phased basis and we very much look forward to welcoming our valued customers back.

In the meantime, we appreciate that many of you will have items that you wish to donate and we would be very grateful if you could hold onto them for a little bit longer for us until our shops do re-open again in due course. Thank you.

Neil Thomas, Chief Executive