2021 marked our 30th Anniversary at Little Valley. 30 years of caring for literally thousands and thousands of local animals that needed our unique help and support which has only been possible because of the wonderful support from our amazing community.
Today our world is very different as having battled through the worst of the pandemic we are now caring for animals that need our help more than ever. We are starting to see a large number of animals brought in by people who took them on during lockdown and are now struggling to provide daily care and companionship as they return to school or work. In some cases, owners are finding themselves unable to meet the needs of the particular breed of dog or cat that they purchased. As a consequence many of these animals have developed severe behavioural problems, often from a lack of socialisation and training due to lockdown, or simply a lack of understanding of the individual animal’s care needs in terms of mental stimulation and exercise.
This has resulted in our teams spending time trying to rebuild shattered confidence, getting confused and distraught (often terrified) animals to a stable situation before we find them a new forever home. For these animals the process can’t be rushed. There is no shortcut to making them well both physically and mentally.
It takes great time, commitment and patience as for want of a better word many of this new group of lockdown animals are broken and – although sometimes sad and draining – our staff all go the extra mile to help mend them as best they can.
We are seeing more and more dogs like Theo, those who need expert behavioural care and training before we can even start to look for a new home. We need your help now more than ever. The costs of caring for these long stay dogs and cats are considerable due to the amount of staff time required in their rehabilitation, but also as a result of their sometimes complex and expensive medical needs that often relate to their stress or anxiety.
To make things more complicated we have been unable to relaunch many of our traditional fundraising events due to COVID restrictions and in general the level of donations we are receiving is lower than normal. One positive is that our shops’ income is slowly returning to normal post pandemic and helping to offset some of the running costs of the shelter (a huge thank you to all of our shop supporters), but sadly not all. We are still spending more to look after animals in need than we bring in which is why we need your help.
Little Valley will be caring for dogs, cats, rabbits and many other animals this festive season. Your help, your Christmas gift, will help deliver the care, warmth and food that Little Valley animals will need this winter. If you can, please help us by donating to our appeal. It doesn’t have to be much – just give whatever you feel is right for you.
Thank you so much.