Alexandra's Animals: Crunch victims

When there is an economic downturn it is the animals that come off worst. And that is what is happening at the moment, with people being forced to downsize, losing their land or houses and moving into rented accommodation, says Alexandra Bastedo

FOR the first time ever we are being asked to take in beautiful young riding ponies because the owners cannot find buyers and they can no longer afford to keep them. The number of lovely cats we are asked to take in far exceeds the number that are rehomed and on top of that people are cutting back on charitable donations as well.

So all in all it is not a good time to be running an animal sanctuary. But all these unwanted animals have nowhere to go so we have to press on regardless. But – for the first time – heartrendingly, we are having to turn away perfectly nice animals because we haven’t the space and don’t have the donations to support them.

However it has been an exciting time at the Sanctuary as the sheep we took in have finally given birth to their gorgeous lambs – three  black Wiltshire Horn/Jacob crosses and two pure white Wiltshire Longhorns. To make sure there were no casualties from foxes, badgers or crows we had moved the pregnant ewes into Gretel the old donkey’s stable area with an infra-red lamp to keep them warm through the cold weather. Francis Hunter, our eminent retired vet and neighbour assisted with the births and under his expert instruction after one ewe had produced two lambs I put my arm into the ewe to remove the remaining  placenta, cut the umbilical cords and  sprayed them with iodine disinfectant. I felt like I was emulating my hero James Herriot the country vet, who seemed to spend a great deal of his time doing just that! As soon as they are old enough we will be looking for homes for the lambs either as tame pets and lawnmowers or on farms.

Our two handsome, fertile Wiltshire Longhorn two-year-old rams also urgently need to be rehomed to flocks. Please call 07875 989490 if you can help. They too are sweet-natured and have become very tame being handled regularly by the volunteers – they will do virtually anything for a bowl of sheep nuts!

On the equine front this week we unfortunately have had to turn away four ponies. We have horses, ponies, cats, pigs, and sheep all needing homes – most of whom are on our rehoming page.

We are having some celebrity fund-raising evenings and our Fun Open Days are 16 and 17 June, with a fabulous band called Bastedo 1(no relation to me) and celebrities. For up-to-date information about these events please go to our website.

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You can help by:

Rehoming one of our animals Sponsoring one of our older resident animals with problems Donating By volunteering. We desperately need more volunteers (male or female) to help with the extra numbers of animals we have taken in. PO Box 2195, Pulborough, Sussex RH20 2XB 01798812508 07967 046068.