EL Pet Pals is in dire need of financial assistance, as they are struggling to keep up with the needs of the sanctuary and 300 cats and dogs.
A post made on the EL Pet Pals Facebook page, that has since been deleted, asking the public for donations and claiming that the organisation is at risk of closing down, has been retracted by the founder and owner, Sue Kriel
“We are not closing down.
“Yes, we are struggling to keep up with all our financial expenses. We are all going through tough economic times, but we are still committed to our mission of taking care of the animals and providing them with food and shelter,” she said.
The organisation has been relying heavily on public donations to cover daily expenses. On average, the organisation receives between R30,000 to R40,000 a month in monetary donations.
The total monthly costs of the sanctuary’s expenses are above R50,000, including maintenance, salaries, rent, medical expenses, pet food and insurance. Due to the funds being insufficient, the sanctuary often runs at a loss.
The sanctuary is committed to keeping its doors open and continuing their mission, as they operate under a strict “no kill animal” policy. Organisation president Tessa Boyd said putting the animals down was not an option.
“We feel that no animal should pay with their life for being homeless. With this in mind, dogs and cats who are not adopted, are ensured a safe, fun-filled and caring home at the sanctuary for the rest of their lives,” Boyd said.
One of the biggest contributing factors to the sanctuary’s troubles is the sharp decline in adoption numbers. Adoptions only accounted for R9,000 of the organisation’s overall expenses for September.
”We appreciate that people are being responsible by not adopting these animals that they know they won’t be able to take care of. However this leaves us with more animals that need to be taken care of. That’s what we’re struggling to keep up with,” Boyd said.
Writing for Wendywood Veterinary Hospital’s blog in Gauteng, Cynthia Mundy is critical of the no-kill policy at animal shelters, saying these policies place extra financial and infrastructural strain on communities and encourage animals to experience a quality of life that may not be conducive to them.
Best Friends, a sanctuary that applies the no-kill policy in the US, believes that no-kill policies are only effective when there is sufficient support.
“Two defining characteristics of a no-kill community are collaboration and collective responsibility. For any community to be no-kill, all stakeholders in that community must work together to achieve and sustain that common goal.
“This means cooperation among animal shelters, animal rescue groups, government agencies, community members and other stakeholders.”
EL Pet Pals has been working hard to raise funds and attract donors by hosting markets, dog walks and food collection points around East London. They also offer a kennel sponsorship.