Plymouth animal sanctuary appeal as emergency van reaches the end of the road

An emergency response van used by a Plymouth charity to help animals in need will soon be out of action unless a sponsor can be found to replace the leaky, worn out vehicle.

Woodside Animal Welfare Trust at Elfordleigh relies on the 11-year-old Ford Transit for emergency call outs, community welfare rounds, errands and to take animals to the vets if they suddenly become ill.

However, over the winter, rain has been leaking into the van through perished door seals, causing puddles in the footwell and rusting the internal animal cages.

The van, which scraped through its MOT last year, also has mechanical problems, with repair costs amounting to more than the van’s value.

The charity has now launched an appeal to raise the money needed to replace the van, and is appealing for a sponsor to fund the new vehicle, either on a rolling lease or as an outright purchase.

Sanctuary manager Helen Lecointe said replacing the van would cost around £14,000. If a sponsor was found, she said the new van could be signwritten with the sponsor’s name as a thank you for helping the charity.

“This van is our sanctuary ‘workhorse,’” Helen said. “We have to have it, if we don’t we really struggle. We need it for our day-to-day running of the sanctuary and it is our emergency response vehicle.

“We have other vans but this is the van that stays at the sanctuary so that, when we get a call, we can respond. If we have a call, for example, to say a dog has been tied up and abandoned, or there are ponies on the moor in need of help, our other vans can be miles away on welfare calls.”

The existing van is fitted with three purpose-built cages and cat boxes for safely transporting animals, but these have deteriorated.

“The van was made for purpose, however the cages have deteriorated to much a point, they have rusted,” Helen explained. “If you have an animal in need you cannot simply transport it in a staff car, the animal needs to be secure and the vehicle insured and fit for purpose.”
Any businesses or individuals who can help with sponsorship are urged to contact the sanctuary on 01752 347503 or email management@woodsidesanctuary.org.uk. Donations can also be easily made by clicking on the link http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/welfarevan