Before we get to the point of this post we will start with some photos of the many animals in our care at the moment, then you can read on and if you get to the end of the post you can give us your opinion or thoughts.
With all the hot, dry weather we have had for the past few weeks no doubt many will have forgotten about the long winter but not us … we find ourselves wondering if we will ever fully recover physically and financially, for us it truly does feel like “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
I know we do not always give an update as soon as we get a new arrival but we are so busy trying to keep everything going between the rescue and our personal lives, remember we are all volunteers who have jobs and responsibilities outside of the rescue, that it is difficult at times to do more than is absolutely necessary. As for pleas for financial assistance, we are hopeless at them and when our fundraising ideas struggle we take it very personally (so would you when lives depend on achieving results).
No doubt you are all aware of the fodder crisis that hit the media headlines earlier this year, well the ‘clever’ people who deal in fodder were aware way back in the autumn that there was going to be a crisis and they took immediate steps to gain from this. As early as October 2017 our hay price was increased, this lead to a huge rise in our winter expenditure, from October to April instead of our hay costing us €6,600 it cost us €9,120. Our Winter Hay Appeal Prize Draw provided us with €3,830 and that added to funding from the Department of Agriculture of €6,000 gave us a total of €9,830 going into our bank account at the end of December … every last penny of it has been spent on hay and ration just to get through the winter. Our reserve square bales of hay that we keep on hand for new arrivals, etc are gone and will need replacing, we have a vet bill that needs to be paid, we need to get the farrier to tend to some of the animals hooves, etc.
As you would expect it was our busiest winter ever as regards calls for help and we took in and/or helped as many as we could. For the first time ever since we started, way back in 2007, donkey calls exceeded calls about other animals. We took in 14 new donkeys, sadly two did not survive, and it is likely that the mare donkeys are in foal as they were all with stallions. Year after year we wonder is there any point in the laws regarding microchipping & passporting of horses and donkeys, clearly there is no enforcement, because 98% of the animals that arrive into our care have none. Just two of the 14 new donkeys had microchips & passports. Eight of the 14 new donkeys were stallions which also added to our costs, not to mention they had to be confined for much longer than normal due to the weather.
We badly need to resurface the pens in our quarantine area, the gravel took it’s worst beating ever between the harsh winter and all the extra animal intakes. In a temporary moment of fairytale daydreams we thought the rescue would be able to self-finance this task but clearly there is no hope of this happening and so if we are to keep going as a rescue personal finances will have to be used. Of course that is not the only personal finance hit on the horizon as poor Fordie, the tractor, went to the tractor graveyard last month and will need to be replaced as soon as possible – at the moment Sheena is rolling 4 or 5 round bales a week out into two of the fields for the horses & donkeys, no easy task in 22+ degrees of heat.
Re-reading all of the above has one wondering, is it time for us to call it a day, do we throw in the towel and admit defeat? What do you think we should do? If you want us to keep going is there something you can offer to help us, be that financial or physical help? Could you set up a monthly standing order donation to us, run a fundraiser for us, rehome one of our animals, take on one of our animals that needs one to one handling, etc … the world is full of possibilities when one has the correct tools available to them but we cannot do it alone.
or check out our Support Us page for more ways to help