Worst-ever year for abandoned animals

One of the dogs, Arran with welfare assistant Val Clifton
One of the dogs, Arran with welfare assistant Val Clifton
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ANIMAL sanctuary bosses have revealed 2011 as the worst year on record for abandoned animals.

Mandy Leigh, owner of Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary, said her sanctuary was full “to bursting” after a year which saw record levels of animals left at the gates.

In some cases, literally.

Arran and Moses – two border collie crosses – were abandoned outside Easterleigh on the stormiest night of the year last month. They were fastened to the gate on choker leads and tied together.


The choker was so tight the following morning it had to be cut free to save Arran’s life.

Mandy said: “It’s disgusting. There were fierce winds that night and the dogs were terrified.

“The poor dog was choking himself to death, they were so scared by the storm.

“We had to cut him free to stop him killing himself.

“There was no need for the owner to do that. Why not call us? Why not call somewhere else? It is terrible.”

The two dogs have had to be carefully looked after in the past few weeks, staff nursing them back to health, after the experience made them both incredibly nervous

The owner will have had to have waited at the sanctuary, situated off Queensway, though – it is coping with more pets than ever before and currently can’t take any more animals in.

Mandy added: “I’ve never known a year like it.

“At the moment we’ve got 40 dogs, and countless cats.

“We are full to bursting – and I’m not even taking people on waiting lists at the moment. The staff and I don’t ever remember it being as bad as this.”

The sanctuary was originally opened as livery stables in 1995 and named after a rescued horse, Easter.

It became a sanctuary for all animals and was then granted charity status in 1998. It is run entirely on donations, and the record number of animals being looked after now have left it with a huge veterinary and food bill.

Anyone interested in helping out should call (01253) 789185.

Donations of pet food, time and help are always welcome. Alternatively, visit www.easterleigh.org.uk