Dog Sanctuary may fold in a month

Dog Sanctuary may fold in a month

They may be man’s best friend but the 120 dogs at Noah’s Ark Sanctuary in Ċirkewwa seem to be forgotten by everyone.

The sanctuary is finding it difficult to make ends meet and the funds and food at its disposal will not see it through till the end of next month, according to volunteer Pat Goodwin.

The organisation, set up eight years ago, has made an urgent appeal for funds.

“Funds are fizzling away rapidly and we cannot keep up with current expenses, let alone extraordinary ones… Please, please help us run this sanctuary,” it pleaded.

Noah’s Ark says the situation is desperate and warns that it may have to tell the dogs: “Sorry, we can’t afford to look after you any more, neither provide you with food and medicine.”

Ms Goodwin braved the stifling afternoon heat to open the doors of the sanctuary for The Times to assess the situation. The dogs started barking like mad as soon as they heard the key in the padlock.

The sanctuary uses three to four bags of dried food a day and a number of tins at a cost of €250 a week.

There are, of course, other costs incurred in the running of an animal sanctuary. “The pens have to be bleached and cleaned daily and the helpers compensated. We use up thousands of litres of water, electricity and medicine. Medication is quite expensive and frequent since the dogs are getting older.

“In fact, Noah’s Ark, unlike other sanctuaries, has fairly large dogs that tend to be more difficult to home. All these add up to at least €3,000 a month,” it said.

The organisation says that the government had promised an annual allocation of €350,000 for animal sanctuaries.

However, all sanctuaries are struggling due to lack of funds because this “promise” was only kept once, it notes.

In January 2009, Noah’s Ark was given €22,150 for the cost of fencing the large exercise run on the land allocated to it on a management contract agreement.

Ms Goodwin says that many Maltese sometimes felt uneasy giving a cash donation.

“I can assure everyone that every single cent is used on the dogs. However, if there are people out there who are a bit apprehensive, they can always give us a food donation or a voucher from a pet pharmacy.”

“Anything is better than nothing,” she says.

Monetary donations can be made by Paypal to Bank of Valletta Acc. No. 40013262921; from overseas: Swift Code/BIC: VALLMTMT.

The IBAN linked to Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary account reads MT16VALL220130000000400 13262921.

Donations can also be made via SMS on 5061 7351 (€2.33); 5061 8072 (€4.66) and on 5061 9202 (€11.65).

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