Urgent appeal for support as animal ambulance reaches the end of the road!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Urgent appeal for support as animal ambulance reaches the end of the road! thumbnailJanice Porter, chairperson of Grovehill Animal Trust, with 'Toby', a Grovehill rescue dog, beside the old Grovehill animal ambulance, which is no longer usable. The Trust used the ambulance to transfer animals, including runs to the vet.

GROVEHILL Animal Shelter's much needed 'ambulance' has reached the end of its life.....plunging the local charity into a crisis situation.

The much-travelled and well-known white van has been an essential piece of equipment for the team in Sixmilecross, as it is used daily for runs to the vet's, home visits and even rescuing injured animals. Unfortunately, the mechanic has diagnosed a serious problem with the engine, meaning the van is unable to be fixed.

That leaves the Grovehill team in a difficult position, right in the middle of 'kitten season' - one of the busiest times of the year for the local shelter.

"Anyone who follows the work we do at the Trust will know how much we depend on our animal ambulance," said Richard Robinson, co-ordinator of the charity.

"We've always been able to keep the ambulance roadworthy by patching up the frequent mechanical problems, but unfortunately on the way with dogs to the weekly walking club, the van broke down for good. A serious problem with the engine means it cannot be fixed this time.

"We now find ourselves in a serious situation where we are without transport. The ambulance is a vital part of so much of what we do including vet runs, home visits, collecting unwanted dogs from the pound, daily dog walking, rescuing injured animals and even basic things like collecting food and supplies for the shelter. We simply cannot operate properly without our ambulance," continued Richard.

"As a small, independent shelter completely self-funded and volunteer-led, we are always working at full capacity. All of our resources are used to ensure the immediate health and wellbeing of the animals in our care and losing our ambulance will place us under a huge strain.

"On top of this we still have the day-to-day running of the shelter to manage. It is currently kitten season and we have taken in 22 animals in the last week alone. Our weekly walking club - where we take homeless dogs which are in the shelter for a forest walk - is now cancelled until further notice," Richard said.

The Grovehill team is appealing to the public to help to raise £4,000 to £5,000 to purchase another animal ambulance.


You can help by: Texting: GHAM17 £5 to 70070


In person: call into the shelter's charity shop on 1 Foundry Lane, Omagh, to donate.

Post: cheque made payable to Grovehill Animal Trust, 88 Tiroony Road, Sixmilecross, Omagh BT79 9HB.


"We will be running a series of events over the next month, so we're urging all supporters of the Trust to come along and attend an event, throw some money into our street collection buckets or make a donation today".

Events planned for this month:

June 9 - Breakfast in No 19 Café & Bistro, Omagh;

June 13 - Quiz 9pm in Coach Inn, Omagh;

June 21 - Sponsored Walk around Seskinore Forest;

June 29 - Coffee Morning in Omagh Community House.

"Keep an eye on the group's Facebook page to find out more about events," added Richard. "Together, we can raise the funds required to replace our van and continue the vital work we do in the local community."


Meanwhile, in better news, and thanks to the generosity of Marks and Spencer, the team at Grovehill Animal Trust has been able to renovate its over-used cattery.

PVC hygiene boards were installed, cutting down on maintenance and manpower costs. The catteries were also repainted, something that needs to be done quarterly at the shelter.

The project was carried out as part of 'Make It Matter Day'. Catherine Carlin, store manager of M&S., Omagh, said: "We were really excited to come together to support the Grovehill Animal Shelter. We had a great time helping out at the animal sanctuary."

Grovehill's Richard Robinson said: "Grovehill is a small, independent shelter which is completely self-funded and volunteer-led, and as such we are always working at full capacity.

"All of our resources are used to ensure the immediate health and wellbeing of the animals in our care and so we often simply don't have money left to make improvements to our facilities.

"Being selected as an M&S Hero Charity is very significant to us and we are extremely grateful for the recognition and assistance. The support from M&S comes during kitten season, a particularly busy time of year for us, and has played a vital role in helping us to continue our work in the local community."


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