A dog sanctuary is looking to local people and businesses to help them renovate their kennels and provide an attractive safe space for their four-legged friends.
Clymping Dog Sanctuary, in Arundel, needs assistance to improve the quality of living for the dogs they are trying to rehome.
Maxine Pears, treasurer, said: “Phase one gets the kennels comfortable for the dogs, that’s the most important thing. Phase two is to make it beautiful, make the area lovely.
“I think if we’re going to try and do the beautification part we would need help from the public. We’d need people to come and do some gardening, come and do some painting. The labour we have is literally just to put the roof on and make the kennels pretty but there is a lot of painting to be done.”
The long list of materials required includes insulation boards, timber, floor paint and felt. Some of the materials are being provided by local firms.
The Sanctuary was founded in the early 1950s by the then Duchess of Norfolk and her friend Kathleen Grellier. It was later relocated to its current location where it is on the same site as the Carlton Canine Centre which provides accommodation for dogs while their owners are away.
David Wilkins, chairman of the trustees for the charity, said: “Last year we rehomed around 85, 87 dogs and the previous year it was over a hundred. We’re very successful at rehoming and I think the main reason is that we concentrate on trying to make aware locally, not going too far afield because otherwise you get involved with larger sanctuaries and larger charities. We concentrate on having a good image locally.”
As a small charity, Clymping Dog Sanctuary is reliant on support from the general public through donations and sponsorship to stay afloat.
The cost of feeding and housing each dog soon adds up as time passes but the cost of medical care for the animals really puts them under financial strain.
Maxine said: “We’ve got more volunteers recently so over Christmas we had some days booked at Pets At Home where we could help. They’ve got their own adopt a dog charity that’s called Support Adoption for Pets and so we did some great fundraising with them where they kept half the money for their charity and we kept half for ours and it gave us quite a big boost over Christmas.
“From doing the books, as treasurer, last month we made a 25p profit so that’s how close it is to the bone literally every month.
“Looking back through the accounts through the years and the correspondence that I’ve seen there have been many months where the future of the Sanctuary was in absolute jeopardy. We are completely reliant on the support of the public and the community.”
“The sad thing is that when we were collecting in Pets At Home lots of people were coming up to our stand and saying ‘Oh where are you? We’ve never heard of you’ which is a failing on our part. We need to have a better profile because obviously the more people that know about us the more people that might support us, donate and rehome the dogs which is the most important thing.”
The charity runs events during the year to raise their profile and provide extra funding, such as a dog walk to Littlehampton and an annual dog show that sees a number of rehomed pets return to take part. The sanctuary is entirely run by volunteers and a number of people pitch in where they can.
Nigel Stanford, who managers the sanctuary and owns the neighbouring canine centre, said: “We’ve built up a real good band of dog walkers which really helps. A lot of people can’t have a dog, they work full time or they live in a flat, so rather than having a dog they come up once or twice a week and take a dog for a walk.”
It’s the kindness of strangers that they hope will help revitalise their facilities.
Maxine added: “Hopefully when we get the Sanctuary refurbished it’ll be a lot more economical to run and just be a more pleasant place. That’s what we’re aiming for.
“Winter has been quite hard because there are kennels we can’t use as they leak. There are duvets on the back of the doors to keep draughts out and most of the dogs think it’s a great game to pull the duvets off.
“We urgently need some work doing just to help but we could never ever afford to pay for that ourselves.”
If you can help Clymping Dog Sanctuary in any way, visit their website at www.clympingdogsanctuary.co.uk or call 01903 883116.