Appeal to save 50 rescue dogs facing homelessness ahead of shelter closure

A Wirral animal rescue is issuing an urgent appeal for help to save its dogs and secure its future after receiving notice to leave its kennels within four weeks.

Celandine Wood Animal Rescue – known as CWAR – is facing closure unless it raises enough money to set up new premises.

The organisation – run entirely by volunteers – has 50 dogs in its care and also takes in cats and wildlife from Merseyside and beyond.

CWAR is urging anyone able to foster or adopt a dog to get in touch.

“We have kindly been allowed to use the land for free, but now it is being sold and we need to relocate,” said founder and vet Sharon Williams. “The use of it has meant we have saved many animals’ lives.”

The landlord has offered the rescue another area of land to rent, but there’s no fencing or buildings on it. Rescue volunteers are striving to raise funds to erect temporary kennels to keep the dogs safe and sheltered.

In the face of a shocking rise in animal abandonment, they next plan to build a permanent purpose-built facility to quadruple the rescue spaces it currently offers. This will cost around £1 million.

CWAR officially was started last year by Ms Williams, who for years has been taking animals home that were brought in unnecessarily for euthanisation. Friends began to help and a rescue was born.

Initially, Sharon on her own, and now with her 30-strong team, has saved around 1,000 animals.
She is calling on the community to help the rescue during this crisis, “My team of volunteers work incredibly hard day in, day out to rescue animals and bring funds in. One animal can cost us thousands in veterinary care.

“But now we are facing a real threat to our dogs and our future and we can’t save them by ourselves.
“People who can adopt or foster – please come forward because you will literally be saving a dog’s life.

“I know times are tough for many, but I’d ask everyone reading this now to please donate whatever you can.

“And even if you can’t afford to donate, please share our appeal and help us spread the word.”

Ms Williams is keen to hear from generous business owners who could help with fencing and outbuildings for the dogs.

CWAR also hopes that individuals, firms and community groups will organise their own fundraising to help it reach its target.

There are around 20,000 dogs put to sleep each year in the UK, according to animal rights organisation PETA.

Ms Williams said that the UK animal rescue system is in crisis and Merseyside is especially struggling, “I would expect there are actually more than 20,000,” she said. “Thousands of animals are falling through the cracks and being euthanised due to a lack of kennel capacity or available homes. We’re forced to turn away about 100 animals that we’ve been asked to help each and every week.

“We had a surge of new dog owners during the pandemic and shelters are still dealing with the fallout with unprecedented levels of pets being abandoned.”

On top of that, the cost-of-living crisis has further exacerbated the problem. 

“People are giving up their animals because they can’t afford them,” said Ms Williams. “The cost-of-living crisis also means fewer people are opening up their homes to shelter animals. And it’s harder to raise funds in a downturn to help this deluge of animals. It’s heartbreaking.”

To donate via PayPal, you can visit here. To give using GoFundMe, click here.

To apply to adopt or foster a dog or cat visit here.

Image: Bully puppies Jupiter and Atlas were rescued and rehomed by CWAR

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