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Roleystone Horse and Pony Sanctuary 'at breaking point'
A Bradford animal sanctuary is at “saturation point” with the number of abandoned horses in its care and is appealing for help.
Roleystone Horse and Pony Sanctuary, in Wrose, is at the stage of closing the doors to any more animals as it struggles to feed the 36 horses and ponies it currently houses.
Volunteers have said if they cannot re-house some of the unwanted animals or raise enough funds, the animals may have to be destroyed.
Catherine Patyk, a volunteer at the sanctuary, said: “The sanctuary is experiencing severely hard times due to a devastating drop in donations as a result of people tightening their belts.
“There is increasing pressure and drain on resources due to more and more people requesting to hand their horses over as they can no longer afford to keep them.
“We face the heart-breaking task of turning them away because of our financial situation. If donations do not rapidly and substantially improve, the sanctuary will be forced to close. We are just at saturation point.”
Most of the horses are brought in by owners who do not have the means or experience to feed or look after them.
Many are underweight as they have not had sufficient food to become strong and healthy.
Last week, the Telegraph & Argus exclusively revealed the problem across the district, with horses being sold for as little as £5.
The RSPCA spoke out over its battle to cope with the increasing number of horses being abandoned and said owners had neither the knowledge nor funds to look after the animals properly.
Roleystone volunteers echoed the views of the RSPCA and felt there were too many people buying horses who do not have the knowledge to care for them.
The sanctuary, which has other animals in its shelter including sheep, goats and dogs, is currently being funded primarily by its trustees and committee members, who can no longer continue their level of funding. It costs about £1,000 a month just to feed the horses.
The centre estimates it will need £10,000 to see it through the winter. It already has a £1 a month scheme which the public are being urged to back.
The sanctuary is holding open days from March 29 to April 1, from 10am to 3pm each day. The aim is for people to look round and see what the sanctuary does and possibly sponsor an animal.
Contact Joanne Metcalfe on 07849 498966 for information on how to donate.