A STRUGGLING animal sanctuary in Wythall has been left counting the cost after a fatal feline virus led to the death of 11 kittens, just six survivors and vet bills of £7,000.
Fur and Feathers, in Houndsfield Lane, was left with just 20p in the bank after the youngsters were struck by Feline panleukopenia, a similar virus to the deadly parvo which affects dogs.
Manager Lisa Hunt said: “We ended up fund-raising around the clock in between Saturday and Sunday as we had no money to cover the vet bills.”
Through a combination of social media appeals, donations and some flash auctions, including a donated signed UB40 t-shirt and a photography session, the volunteers managed to get the charity back in the black.
Lisa praised the community for its help.
“We had more than £2,000 donated over the weekend, including one lady who called up the vets and donated £1,000.
“Everyone has been amazing.”
The surviving kittens are now in the process of being vaccinated as before they were too young to have the jabs.
Snoopy was the first kitten to be affected with his sister. They were both rushed to the vets but she died on arrival and he survived.
He has had a secondary ulcer which he has had treated with antibiotics. When the course is finished by the end of the week and he will be clear for his vaccination.
The sanctuary was hit be panleukopenia three years ago but has had nothing until now.
Lisa is now hoping to secure the long-term future of the sanctuary.
“We can’t continue here where we are.
“We are on total lockdown for the next six months and want to get all the cats sorted we have here.
“Then we want to find somewhere bigger where we can start up again.”
Lisa said she had been to auctions for land where plots valued at £15,000 went for £91,000 which was well outside her budget.
She is also appealing for anyone who has any land which they feel would be suitable to get in touch, whether that be in Wythall, Bromsgrove, Redditch, South Birmingham or Solihull.
Further fund-raisers will include a stall at a Branson Car Boot on Sunday, a bingo and quiz night at Wythall Village Hall next Friday, August 4, and a family fun day and dog show on August 11.
Anyone wanting to find out more can visit ‘Fur and Feathers Animal Sanctuary Wythall’ on Facebook, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lisa on 07786 592405.
Donations can also be made directly to the vets – Your Vets Solihull – by calling 0121 647 4100.
“When all this is over we are hoping to hold a celebratory tea party to say thank you to everyone who has helped get us through this,” added Lisa.