Local charity Bath Cats and Dogs Home has launched a winter appeal to raise funds to support injured and sick rescue animals across the area.
The aim of the appeal is to raise £20,000 towards funding animal welfare for unwanted pets and to provide the medical care often urgently needed when rescue animals arrive at the home.
Due to the cost-of-living crisis, and the impact of the pandemic, the charity is seeing a significant increase in rescue animals arriving with advanced medical problems.
Animals who have been neglected, abandoned or mistreated are frequently brought in by Dog Wardens or the RSPCA.
Often the severity of the injuries or medical conditions means the veterinary staff at Bath Cats and Dogs Home’s vet suite have to act quickly to alleviate pain and suffering to turn the animals’ lives around.
This summer, three Chihuahuas called Babe, Tinkerbell and Ferdinand, were left in a box in a car park in Wiltshire and were brought in by an RSPCA inspector.
Their care by the charity’s team highlights the expert, emergency medical care often needed to save rescue animals’ lives.
Eleven-year-old Babe had a severely deformed hind leg with flesh wounds, so the vet team acted immediately to prevent her death from sepsis and gave her an emergency operation to remove her leg.
Tinkerbell, aged nine, was nervous and in great pain with diseased gums and teeth on arrival at the home. The vets took urine and blood samples and removed all her teeth bar one.
Thirteen-year-old Ferdinand was extremely underweight and was hand fed to help him digest his food and gain weight.
All his teeth were removed due to disease and he was very frightened of handling and had separation anxiety, often needing a safe space to hide in.
Since they were brought into the rescue centre, they are now recovering well from their ordeal with love and care.
Babe and Tinkerbell have been rehomed together and Ferdinand has also recently been adopted into a new family.
TV presenter and celebrity vet, Dr James Greenwood said: “The transformation of these dogs’ lives is wonderful, sadly, they are just three out of hundreds seen every year at Bath Cats and Dogs Home.
“This life-saving veterinary work is made possible by the generosity of supporters of the charity and the rising cost of care and growing number of animals needing complex medical treatment means every penny is important.
“Any gift you can afford towards this appeal will help animals in vital need of care and provide them with medical treatment to ensure a speedy recovery and help them find the loving homes they deserve.”
Rachel Jones, Chief Executive at Bath Cats and Dogs Home, said: “Since January, we have taken in 190 stray dogs and cats that were sadly unclaimed by their owners and are believed to have been abandoned as a result of people struggling to cope or to afford the cost of a pet’s medical care.
“A rising number of animals are also being given up to the Home by their owners and behaviour issues, financial challenges and changing circumstances are often cited as reasons for this.
“Much of our rescue work goes on behind the scenes and our medical treatment and round the clock animal care can be expensive.
“Please support our appeal to help give animals the medical care they so urgently need and help us keep the most vulnerable animals safe this Winter.”
Michaela Taylor, Head Veterinarian at Bath Cats and Dogs Home, added: “When sick animals arrive with us, we often have to operate very quickly to give them the best chance of recovery, and it’s thanks to fundraising appeals like this that we have the equipment and supplies on hand to do that.
“It is moving to see so many animals bounce back after treatment and move on to their forever homes. Thank-you so much for supporting our appeal from me and all our amazing animals.”
The appeal will allow the charity to care for dogs and cats when they need it most.
Typical medical costs faced by the home on a daily basis include £10 to provide a diabetic cat with insulin for a whole week, £34 to provide vaccinations and kennel cough vaccination for a stray dog or £50 to fund the long-term medical support of a dog who needs ongoing care.
To support the appeal, and help rescue animals get the emergency care they need, you can visit www.bcdh.org.uk.