2019 has been our toughest year to date and we need your support today to ensure that Nibbles not only survives 2020, but begins to thrive. We are the only specialist rabbit & rodent rescue in West Wales and one of only two rescues able to cater for these forgotten companion animals. That’s a lot of pressure for one small, underfunded rescue, which is working tirelessly to make a difference.
We usually run our online auction during December. Sadly this year we have been unable to do so. A significant number of our small voluntary team have required time away from the rescue for health and personal reasons over the past couple of months. This has left me providing cover with the day to day care of the animals. As a result, I simply haven't had the available time to organise an auction.
A few months ago we submitted a core funding grant proposal to help cover a predicted shortfall in our operational costs during 2020. We had everything hanging on this bid but to date have received no response. We can only assume that the bid has been unsuccessful. We applied for a total of £2,755, which would have covered the cost of the insurance, booster vaccinations for sanctuary rabbits, helped towards the cost of supplies for the animals, and built small reserves to help cover the cost of neutering and vet treatment for unwell and injured animals.
We are incredibly grateful to Briony Turner for her amazing fundraising efforts in November. She raised an amazing £2,115! This is a huge chunk of that shortfall and every single penny raised has already been allocated, in place of the unsuccessful grant bid. So while it may seem, at first glance, that the rescue is flush at the moment, this is actually far from the truth.
In the last quarter our vet bill for neutering and vaccinations alone was £1,037.50 and this has drained our reserves. We have to continually find ways to top up these reserves and allocate your generous one-off donations, money raised from fundraising events such as auctions, and other donations such as those from Pledge A Pound, Amazon Smile, and EasyFundraising, towards these ongoing expenses.
You may be aware of Luna and Lavender, 2 rabbits we recently took in as an emergency. These girls were confined to small carriers 24\7 and although we could only offer temporary indoor cages in the office, this was far better than a carrier. Both rabbits arrived with eye infections and are now under treatment, before we can start vaccinations and eventually neuter them. However, we hadn't budgeted for 2 extra rabbits and need to raise the funds to cover their vaccinations and neutering - a total of £198. A large proportion of this would have come from our Christmas auction.
So even with Briony's amazing efforts we are still £838 in the red at present, just to cover the basic costs of keeping the rescue open and running for the next 12 months.
We also have a number of smaller maintenance projects which we need to attend to sooner rather than later. Firstly we need to replace some of our rain covers for the rabbit kennels and enclosures. Some of these have now ripped and are limping along with emergency repairs. We also need to replace the lino in some of the housing due to very naughty bunnies chewing it up. This time we will be adding metal strips to prevent them from chewing it again! But once again all of this costs and at present we don’t have the surplus available to cover it.
During 2020 we also have a number of building projects which really need to be completed, but we simply don't have the funds available to even consider making this happen. We urgently need a dedicated quarantine unit for newly arriving rabbits. Had this already been in place, Luna and Lavender would have been able to go into 6ftx2ft hutches rather than 4ftx2ft indoor cages. It will provide the rescue with far better biosecurity, not only for rabbits arriving, but also for the rabbits currently in our care. We also need to build a dedicated bonding unit. As of January, without this unit, we are simply unable to continue to provide an on site bonding service due to a lack of space and time to undertake the process. Bonding is an incredibly time consuming process and as it stands I am simply unable to provide the required time without seriously neglecting other work and duties at the rescue. This creates a huge backlog of jobs which I am simply unable to catch up with. To be able to build a quarantine block, bonding unit, and other structures during 2020, we are going to need to focus the vast majority of our fundraising efforts towards achieving this. I will be writing a further blog post about our need to expand the rescue and provide further information about our plans early next year.
During December PayPal Giving Fund are offering a 10% match on all donations, so for every £1 donated, the rescue will gain a further 10p. This may not sound like a lot but it quickly adds up and makes a massive difference overall. We also don’t get charged any fees when you donate via PayPal Giving. This means Nibbles receives 100% of every single donation made. We will not receive the entire £2,115 donated via Briony’s fundraiser, due to the fees taken by the service provider. So getting a 10% match donation during December via PayPal Giving will make a huge difference.
To be able to cover the remaining shortfall during 2020, cover the cost of neutering and vaccinations for Luna and Lavender and cover the cost of replacing rain covers and lino we need to raise £1,000.
Yep, that is an awful lot! But, it’s Christmas and a time for miracles, so we are praying that you can help create a miracle for us this year, by making a small donation towards this total via our PayPal Giving page during December. Reaching this target will enable us to focus on raising funds towards the costs of our building projects during 2020, rather than scrabbling to cover the basic running costs associated with keeping the rescue open. It will enable Nibbles to grow and provide more rescue support for rabbits and rodents who simply have nowhere else to turn and no one else to provide help.
So please follow the link (https://www.paypal.com/gb/fundraiser/112574636177901026/charity/196597) and make a donation during December, and create a Christmas miracle for the animals who will need our help during 2020 and beyond. Saying ‘thank you’ is never enough to convey our gratitude for the generosity of our supporters. Without you and your donation, we simply wouldn’t be here to save rabbits like Luna & Lavender.