Animal lovers appeal for donations to help rescue more pets in Havering, Barking and Dagenham
PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:36 07 January 2020
A team of animal lovers who rescue lost, found or injured pets is appealing for support to meet increasing demand for their help.
Since Scruffy Angels was set up three years ago it has built up a team of 17 volunteers who scour Havering and Barking and Dagenham, reuniting owners with lost loved ones, saving strays and finding new homes for neglected cats and dogs.
But greater awareness of the help they pay for out of their own pockets or from donors and a rising number of cases has seen costs soar, prompting the group to start a campaign to raise £2,000.
Emma Mason, one of four founding members, said: "I can't think of anything worse than not helping a sick or injured animal. They can't help themselves. Only people can help them.
"We're not a charity. But we want to help more animals."
Emma explained that last year alone the group spent about £8,000 paying for vets' bills, treatments and the scanners which volunteers use to check microchips to identify stray pets' owners.
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The team had six dogs dumped on them in 2019, including one, Poppy, taken off a homeless person by a charity which passed it over to Scruffy's Angels with cherry eye, an eyelid defect often seen in young pooches, and a severe skin condition.
Poppy's treatments cost about £1,900 alone. Ralphie, a dumped Staffie, saw bills of about £600. A one-eyed cat called Popeye and other poorly felines picked up by volunteers cost an average £200 each to make them well again.
"We are seeing more and more cases now. A couple of years ago, it was kitten season in summer. But now it's all year round.
"The situation for cats seems to be a lot worse. I don't know why, but people aren't getting their cats neutered. That's half the battle," Emma said.
Scruffy's Angels, which has more than 6,000 members on its Facebook page, was set up by Emma and friends Cherrelle Priestley, Sharon Borthwick and Tina Chadwick.
It is named after the group's first rescue - a stray Bichon Frise which took seven months to catch. Since then volunteers have helped about 500 animals.
To donate visit JustGiving.com
For more about the group visit their Facebook page.