‘There is a very real and immediate risk that the cash will run out’, warns charity

An animal rescue charity has launched a fundraising appeal to raise £100,000 over the next four months to ensure it can remain open.

In launching the appeal Ferne Animal Sanctuary in Chard, Somerset, says it is “in the midst of an unprecedented financial downturn” and is facing a monthly shortfall of £25,000 a month.

It details how its vet and medical bills have risen by 46% over the last two years, while cost of feed and bedding has risen by 30% over the same period.

Professional fee have increased by more than 50% and labour costs by 20%.

“We have done everything possible to mitigate against these costs, taking action to reduce where possible and grow other income streams to contribute to the animal welfare,” says the charity.

“However, there is a very real and immediate risk that the cash will run out in just a few months’ time.”

It adds that if it can raise £100,000 over the next four months it believes it will “be in a stable position to case the autumn and winter ahead”.

So far it has raised £13,242 from 256 of its supporters.

The charity has its origins in the Second World War when the Duchess of Hamilton and Brandon began rescuing animals displaced by bombing or their owners passing away. It is estimated it rescued, rehomed or rehabilitated 6,000 animals from 1939 to 1945 and to date it has supported around 40,000 animals.

It registered as a charity in 1965 and relocated from the Wiltshire and Dorset border to Somerset a decade later. It always has around 300 animals on its 72-acre site, with around 250 rehomed each year.

According to the charity register Ferne’s income for the year ending March 2023 was £1.55m, however its spending over the same period was £1.73m. Two thirds of its income is from donations and legacies.

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