Pandemic restricts funding sources for local animal rescue charity

Elena, a ten-year-old female lurcher is one of hundreds of stray dogs helped every year by Stray Aid.
Elena, a ten-year-old female lurcher is one of hundreds of stray dogs helped every year by Stray Aid.

A Coxhoe-based animal rescue and welfare charity is encouraging animal lovers to help see it through the Covid-19 pandemic by donating electronically after many of its traditional fundraising venues have been forced to shut for long periods of time due to the virus.

Stray Aid was founded in 2006 by John and Sue Bielby, with the main aim of helping local councils reduce the number of stray dogs being destroyed. The charity has evolved by necessity, and has grown from taking in two dogs a week to many hundreds of dogs a year across the North East.

Of course, this comes at a significant cost to the charity, which has previously been covered through community fundraising activities and their charity shops across the region.

However, all face-to-face fundraising ceased back in March, and as the nation goes back into lockdown, all charity shops are once again forced to close, severely impacting the charity’s income.

A dedicated core team of staff and limited numbers of volunteers continue to care for the dogs and small number of cats at their Coxhoe site, closely following Covid-secure guidance.

Working across County Durham, Darlington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, last year Stray Aid helped over 1,100 dogs get back to their families or find their new forever homes.

Sadly, not all dogs are able to go back to their previous families, and this is where the charity works to find a new home which best suits their individual needs. Stray Aid also works with a network of other rescues around the UK to ensure each and every dog is given the best opportunity to find the right family for them.

What makes Stray Aid special as a rescue charity is their on-site veterinary facilities and experienced teams. Each dog entering their care is able to be checked over by a qualified vet and given any veterinary treatment they may need, so that Stray Aid is able to provide life-saving care if required. The Vets Diary section of their website chronicles some of the moving cases from their veterinary team.

The charity requires the support of the public to ensure they can continue to provide the region with a vital service 365 days a year. Any regular donation, no matter how small, helps Stray Aid to care for hundreds of dogs and cats and helps to secure their future.

To help the vital work Stray Aid does, supporters can join Team SAFE and donate as little as £5 per month by visiting their website.

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