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In the midst of so much uncertainty, we wanted to let you all know where we currently are as a Sanctuary. We are working hard to make emergency plans to protect our staff, volunteers, and the rescues in our care who will need us, pandemic or not. We’re planning this all whilst we are at full capacity, with animals waiting to come in, and kitten season just around the corner.

Sadly, as of immediate effect, due to the latest Government guidelines regarding Coronavirus, we are sorry to say that we will be closing the sanctuary gates to the general public and to all of our general volunteers for both dog and cat cuddling/walking until further notice.

We are in a position where we must keep our dedicated staff and volunteers safe by limiting their contact with people so they can continue to care for all of our animals on site.

However, with this in mind the day to day operations will not stop, and we are pleased to say that rehoming will continue on an appointment basis only. Please view our animals for adoption and please email or call us for an application form via telephone 01275 474719 or email info@hollyhedge.org.uk Once your application has been assessed we will be in touch to arrange an appointment to meet any animals we feel may be a perfect match for you.

Shutting down completely would be a huge strain for us in many ways; we have already seen a reduction in volunteers not coming in. Without panicking and whilst carrying on as normal, we must be prepared for what may come, but hopefully won't. This may be a situation that goes on for months, but we will never allow the welfare of our animals to be compromised, so we are currently stockpiling medication and specialist dietary food. We are in talks with our vet to plan for emergency situations during a potential quarantine. 

By closing to the public now our regular staff can continue, however if we go into full quarantine a likely scenario is that a core team of 6 staff would have to live on site, to take care of the 80 plus animals who are currently in residence. They would be solely responsible for their daily walks, cleaning out the pens and kennels, feeds, medication and giving them the love they are so used to having from our community of volunteers. Our staff would be away from their families and loved ones for four weeks, and this is our best- case scenario. As well as our animals, we have to think of our devoted staff, how this affects them, and ensuring as an employer we are meeting their needs.

Financially we are already suffering; as a Sanctuary usually open to the public we are fortunate that when people visit, some of them donate, or purchase a coffee from our machine. We have already stopped our supermarket collections as a precaution, and our incredible volunteer events team who have all worked so hard for months are waiting to hear what the government plans to do with bated breath. We are likely to feel the after effects of the pandemic for many months. 

So going into complete quarantine is something we are not yet able to do, until the government advises it. But please in the meantime, keep your local rescue shelters in your hearts and minds, we will get through this but we do need your support. Donations of requested food/ towels and blankets will still be gratefully received on site and in our Nailsea charity shop and our reception area will be open as usual, but please only visit if you are dropping off items or have been invited by appointment to meet one of our residents. In particular at the moment we are in need of:

  • Chappie/Butchers Loaf/Tripe Mix Dog tins
  • Grain Free/Hypoallergenic Dry Dog Food
  • Grain Free/Hypoallergenic Dry Cat Food
  • Grain Free Dog Wet Food - Natures Diet/Harringtons/Forthglade
  • Grain Free Cat Wet Food
  • Kitten wet food in jelly
  • Cimicat Kitten milk

In a time like this, please know that we need your support more than ever. Remember that your local charities and business are going to suffer as a result of Coronavirus. Please consider making a donation or supporting us monthly by becoming a Pawpal. Our Pawpals are our everyday heroes, knowing what is coming in monthly helps us make lifesaving decisions for our animals every day, and over the coming months this is vital. If you cannot help financially, perhaps you would consider being on our emergency foster list, should we need you. Please email us on info@hollyhedge.org.uk for an application form and let us know if you’re interested in fostering a cat or dog. 

Please do check our website for updates as they come, things are moving quickly and are doing the best we can to keep everyone informed and safe. 

Thank you all for your friendship and support, and please take care of yourselves and each other. 

All of these lovely dogs are rescued from the pound, some of them needed some TLC, and all of them needed treatment of some kind! Most of them have already left us for their forever homes! We love being that first step to happiness! 

For each animal that needs our help, we do everything in our power to give them any treatment they need.

Virus or not we must carry on, and our animals have still been recieving any treatment or surgerty they need. Our vet bills for January and February combined have reached £33,000. We have lots of dogs and cats we've taken in from pounds at the moment, in two weeks we had 9 dogs, some of whom facing euthanasia. With dogs from the pound we very rarely have any history on them medically, and no knowledge of what their "normal" life and routine has been before. All we know is that in many pounds, dogs are on borrowed time and if a home or space in a shelter isn't found they will be euthanised, so we try to help by taking as many as we can. 

Just two weeks ago we took in four cats and two dogs from a pound. Pictured is beautiful Fleur, who is a wonderfully affectionate cat who wants everyone to give her a fuss! None of the cats were chipped, but as they're all friendly they were clearly once someone's loved pet. Each cat has needed vaccinations and Fleur had so many decaying teeth she has had 12 removed! She is so much happier now - as you can see from her smile! Dental surgeries and spays and neutering are the most common. It may seem extreme to remove teeth, but eating with just one bad tooth is incredibly painful. Once removed animals can enjoy a full life eating their favourite treats without worry. 

We are no strangers to high vet bills, on average they are £10,000 each month, not including medication, this is where you, our supporters are instrumental in their care. You give us the power to say yes, and always be able to choose the course of action that's in their best interests. 
We understand it is a trying time for everyone at the moment, but please know that whatever happens, their care will always take priority. If you would like to help contribute towards our vet bills please do consider making a donation to us online here. Thank you always for caring about our rescues as much as we do. 

Cat of the Month

Niko

Shy Niko came to us when his owner passed away, though unfortunately for Niko we believe he was out on his own for a couple of weeks before he was brought into us. Niko is only 6 years old, and although he seems quite independent we think in reality this poor boy is traumatised.

When Niko's owner died his whole world turned upside down, and this introverted boy became even more so, losing his person who knew him and gave his whole routine. We do believe that Niko could become a loving boy in a quiet and patient home, he is slowly becoming friends with Lou in our cattery and will let her feed him a lickylix. 

We are very proud of our cattery and the enrichment we have, but for a cat like Niko he is crying out to be in a home where he can bond with one or two people at his own pace. It is imperative that Niko is not pushed too far too quickly; if someone is too loud and exuberant he does defecate out of fear. 

If you can picture your home with Niko in it, and want to help him learn what love and safety feels like, please give our rehoming team a call on 01275 474 719 or email us on info@hollyhedge.org.uk

You can see his profile here.

Dog of the Month

Duke's looking for forever love! 

Goofy. Big. Lovebug. 
Three words that describe handsome Duke perfectly! Duke is a Boxer/Rottweiler Cross, and at just 3 years old he has zero idea that he is the size of a small horse! This makes him (in our eyes) even more adorable, but it does make him harder to handle when he pulls a strop because the lovely person that's been playing with him has to go, or sees another dog getting more attention than him! 

Boxers are known for being happy dogs who often bounce up and down when they see someone they love, so "Down" is usually one of the first words they learn, but unfortunately, Duke didn't learn "Down" (or many other manners) until recently! 

Duke has got a heart of gold, but with so many missed opportunities for him to be trained, he's still catching up on learning basic manners, and can also be very stubborn! 

More than anything, Duke is desperate to feel safe and loved, and be in a home. He is struggling in the kennel environment, but what makes him hardest to find a home is his separation anxiety. We are looking for someone who will allow this big friendly giant to be the lapdog he thinks he is, someone who is preferably home most of the day - and has experience with more bolshy breeds. 

In the 7 months Duke has been with us he has made leaps and bounds. Although he still cannot resist a tennis ball he will now lay on his back for belly rubs, and has even had a successful play date with another dog. His perfect home will need high fences, as he's an excellent jumper when he sees something he likes, which is usually his favourite people and tennis balls! 

 Just yesterday Duke took a trip to Chapel Farm Rehab, where he was diagnosed with muscle tissue damage in his shoulder. He is on pain medication now and that has brightened him up - so much so he was very well behaved meeting his new friends yesterday! Our plan (coronavirus allowing) is to take him back for weekly hydrotherapy sessions for at  least 5 weeks, starting with his first session tomorrow. We would love to see Duke be able to continue these sessions whilst in his forever home, and know he will miss his favourite volunteers so much if we do go into a full quarantine. 
 

If you have a Duke shaped whole in your heart and home, please give our rehoming team a call on 01275 474 719 or email us on info@hollyhedge.org.uk

You can find more information on this big barrel of love's  profile here

A big thank you to Poppy's Picnic! 

At the end of last year we had a phone call from Poppy's Picnic, who gave us some wonderful news and told us they wanted to help our rescues. They are a small premium raw dog food company based in Wilshire, started by Dylan, when he went on a healthy food mission and realised that he had never thought in depth about Polly's food before. 

Since then Dylan and Poppy have been on a mission since to make delicious dog food that has won many awards, and like with any business, during packaging there are sometimes errors with labeling etc, and rather than dispose of this food, they have been working with charities to feed dogs in shelters. When Debbie called to offer us over 100 packs of their food, we jumped at the opportunity! Our only hesitation was whether we had enough space in our freezer! 

Poppy's Picnic have since delivered at least 230 more packs of their scrummy food, as well as some bone broth for any dogs needing some extra support. With so many dogs needing surgeries, medical treatment or high quality food at the moment, their support has been such a boon. They have also said they're happy to keep delivering food for our dogs throughout this year! If you'd like to check them out you can find a link to them here, with a little discount! http://poppyspicnic.co.uk/hollyhedge

Ways you can support Holly Hedge from home

We understand lots of people are finding themselves at home now, and might want to continue to support us from afar. We've popped some suggestions below, but if you have a brilliant idea please email Hannah on Fundraising@hollyhedge.org.uk  

If you have ever donated to us, have you filled in a Gift Aid form? We can collect Gift Aid on donations made as far back as four years ago - and for every £1, we receive an extra 25p! You can fill this in online here. 

If you are shopping online, did you know you'll be able to support our rescues at the same time, at no extra cost to you! This goes for hundreds of shops, for anything from new clothes to furniture, to DIY equipment. You can sign up here.

Do you shop on Amazon regularly? Did you know you can donate to us whilst shopping there? Just sign up to Amazon Smile here https://smile.amazon.co.uk Choose Holly Hedge as your charity, then shop, and 0.5% of each purchase will be donated by Amazon to our animals! 

If you are one of our supporters and you are having to self isolate due to Coronavirus we don't want you to feel alone. We are currently looking into developing a programme that connects volunteers to anyone in need of a chat by way of a phone call. This won't be forever, but we appreciate that when you are alone it can feel like a long time. If you find yourself in this situation please email Hannah on Fundraising@hollyhedge.org.uk and we will go from there. We can get through this together! 

Unwanted Gifts? We love them! 

We are always looking for items we can use in tombolas, raffles and auctions at our events, so if you have anything you would prefer not to keep, please consider donating it so we can raise funds for our rescues! 

You can drop items at our charity shops or at our Sanctuary, please do label them as for our Tombola. 

Items we'd particularly love: 

  • Bottles of plonk 
  • Smellies 
  • Chocolate/sweets
  • Jams, chutneys, teas
  • Beanie babies

 

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Email: info@hollyhedge.org.uk Call us on: 01275 474 719
Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary, Barrow Gurney, Wild Country Lane BS48 3SE 
*Thank you for your ongoing support*