Bristol Animal Rescue Centre is appealing for help from the public to replace its veterinary clinic, which offers care to thousands of animals each year. The shelter is the largest and longest-standing in the city, and has been taking in homeless dogs and cats since 1887, reports the Mirror.
Its animal care unit opened 25 years ago, but it still has the same X-ray machines, surgical tools and lights as it did on its first day. Principal vet Dr Damian Pacini said: “There’s quite a bit of equipment that needs replacing, like the incubator, which costs £800 to replace but is a lifeline for when we have sick and injured wildlife arriving here.”
The clinic opened thanks to a generous gift from local resident Louise Wall but is now in desperate need of renovation, and relies solely on donations from the local community to keep its work going. The clinical team, made up of eight vets and nurses, have to use decades-old gadgets to help abandoned animals.
“We’ve seen a lot of changes in the past 25 years and a lot of our equipment has been here since it opened, so we do need to update it to make sure that we can keep offering the care that Bristol’s animals urgently need,” Dr Pacini explained.
Stray dog Layla is just one example of the work performed by the staff. Layla was dumped in a nearby park, having given birth not long before, and was suffering with mammary tumours, a skin infection and various other medical issues.
The animal care unit operated on her and found a nasty infection in her womb that needed an emergency hysterectomy. Layla’s condition could have been fatal, but she has now been rehomed with a loving family in Bristol.
The charity is also facing huge demands for care amid the cost of living crisis Communications manager Gina Jones explains: “It’s getting increasingly harder and tougher. People are struggling and we’re definitely experiencing the impact of lockdown puppies and the rising cost of living.
“We are at full capacity with more dogs in our care than ever before, and more rabbits and cats as there is a breeding crisis which is making things harder. We’ve also seen a bigger demand for our outreach service.
“We offer low cost veterinary care to communities on benefits or reduced income and we’ve seen a higher need as more people lose their jobs and struggle to pay bills. Our bills have gone up too – so keeping the animals warm and energy going is costing us more, but we’re finding it harder to raise money.”
If you are able to donate to Bristol ARC’s Animal Care Unit, please visit the fundraising page and fill out a donation form or call 0117 9803 906.