Severe lack of funds threatens the number of wild animals and birds the Sussex-based charity, East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS), will be able to help this winter.
"This has been an exceptionally busy year. We have been running at 90 to 100% capacity since Easter," said WRAS co-founder, Trevor Weeks MBE.
"At the moment," he warned, "we are not receiving enough funds to continue taking in casualties. We need to concentrate our efforts on looking after those who we already have in our care."
Currently, WRAS is treating at its Whitesmith-based wildlife Casualty Centre 85 patients. They include 40 hedgehogs, 15 wood pigeons, 10 collared doves, two mice and one each of a fox, rabbit, gold finch, redwing and rabbit to name just a few.
Although the charity relies upon public support and donated expertise, veterinary, food, electricity and insurance costs have significantly increased this year.
"We do not want to turn away any wild bird or animal who needs our help," said Trevor Weeks.
Three years ago, the charity could only help up to 40 casualties at a time. But this year more than 1,600 wild animals and birds have received care from WRAS so far with up to 100 patients at any one time being treated.
The average cost of taking in a single casualty is £75.
WRAS is launching an emergency appeal for funds.
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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks MBE - East Sussex WRAS: 01825 873003
Notes to Editors:
East Sussex WRAS was founded as a voluntary group in 1996, but Trevor Weeks has been undertaking wildlife rescue and conservation work since 1985. Trevor was recently attacked whilst driving home after a rescue and assaulted by a man demanding drugs and on the 25th October 2012 he was presented with his MBE by HRH Prince of Wales. East Sussex WRAS is a small local charity. Mainly a voluntary organisation with just two part time members of staff who get paid minimum wage, but who also volunteer more hours than they get paid for to help keep costs down.