This Sunday 7th September, sees the 11th annual Sponsored Walk for the Animals, raising much-needed funds for both excellent local charities Cat Welfare Sussex and Sussex Pet Rescue; by far their biggest fund raising event of the year.
But for me, what makes this years’ sponsored walk even more special than the last ten is the effect of the current state of this country’s economy on our innocent pets.
It maybe credit crunch time for us humans, but never has there been such an increase in dumped, unwanted, and abandoned animals by thoughtless owners as a direct and incredibly tragic consequence.
Rescue centres across the country are trying their hardest to keep up with this latest influx as pets become too expensive to feed, treat and in the worst cases, even to euthanase.
So as usual it’s up to the charities to pick up the pieces, often on limited budgets themselves and usually reliant on voluntary helpers just to keep going.
For over forty years old now, Sussex Pet Rescue has successfully relieved the suffering of sick and abandoned animals, re-homing thousands of companion animals, especially dogs.
Unlike most other animal charities, Sussex Pet Rescue places the animals that come into its care into ‘foster’ homes – very special people who love and help these dogs until permanent, loving and suitable homes become available.
Sussex Pet Rescue pay all food and vet bills and many people who are unable to have their own dogs because of family, holiday or financial commitments, find this arrangement very rewarding. This also provides a more accurate assessment of the requirements of the pets as individuals.
Dedicated to the welfare of stray and unwanted cats both domestic and feral, Cat Welfare Sussex rescues and re-homes approximately 100-150 cats per year – the vast majority being ‘rejects’ that nobody else wants.
Their cattery is not so much a rehoming centre, but a happy haven where these poor, forgotten creatures can rest, eat, and heal both physically and emotionally. Kittens play with their toys whilst the oldies rest on warm blankets; every cat loved and respected individually.
Both charities promote neutering programmes thus helping to curb the growing numbers of unplanned and unwanted litters of puppies and kittens; workers are unpaid volunteers but their transport, vet bills and pet food cost hundreds of pounds every month, despite the fact that some veterinary practices help enormously with neutering, etc.
So come for a walk on Sunday, bring your dog on a lead and help raise loads of money!
Walk for the Animals, Sunday 7th Sept, 12 noon, Hove Lagoon to the Palace Pier and back approx 5 miles. (You do not have to do the whole walk). Please call Julie 01273 423861 or Keren 01273 725943 or visit www.sussexpetrescue.org.uk or www.catwelfaresussex.com
Photo: Geoff Penn