An animal rescue center has been left at the ‘crisis point’ after the heatwave turned its pastures brown and dusty.
The Farm Animal Rescue Sanctuary (FARS), located in Wolverton, said that without the grass it now relied on hay to feed its animals – a move which saw its food bill double to £1,200 a week.
Carole Webb, 78, who founded FARS around 30 years ago, said: “We are reaching a crisis point and we have found ourselves in dire straits.
“The heat turned our fields brown and dusty within weeks.
“We’ve never known the land to be so dry and with over 400 rescued sheep to feed it’s becoming a terrible worry. We just don’t have the funds to supplement fresh grass for hay.
The sanctuary, which has been in Wolverton for 22 years and cares for around 450 animals on 60 acres, processes around 40 bales of hay a week.
The heatwave has also added additional costs in order to take care of animal welfare, such as the purchase of fans to fit in barns and cool jackets to ensure animals do not overheat.
The impact of hot weather is the latest blow to FARS, which has been hit by rising food and electricity prices. And that was after coming through the Covid pandemic, which impacted his ability to fundraise and cover animal care costs.
Since the end of the Covid restriction, FARS has organized open days to help raise funds and is well supported by volunteers.
Although there is little concern that the charity will not recover from its weed problems, public donations are needed to help the sanctuary through the difficult times.
“Every donation, no matter how small, will go a long way and make a difference in the lives of our rescued yarn workers,” Carole added.
The charity can accept a variety of donations including food such as fruit or vegetables for the pigs (especially apples and bananas), bread for the pigeons, rich tea biscuits for the sheep and cat food/treats.
Hay and cash contributions would also be welcome.
In the longer term, there is hope for much-needed rain. Until then, Carole is convinced that, despite their financial difficulties, “the animals will be fed and cared for”.
FARS takes care of farm animals, many of which have been rescued from harmful environments, so that they can live happy and healthy lives.
For help or to learn more, visit www.farmanimalrescuesanctuary.co.uk/ways-to-help.