I really don't know where this year has gone. I can't believe we've reached December already and the year is drawing to a close. This year hasn't been an easy one for anyone. We certainly weren't expecting a global pandemic, but despite all the world has thrown at us, 2020 has been Nibbles' best year to date.
For the first time in our history, we've found amazing new homes for every animal who arrived in our care prior to the beginning of the year. This includes our long term guests Chewy and Han Solo, who had been looking for their special human for 4½ years, and our lovely Nero who had been waiting 3½ years. All the animals we currently have available for adoption arrived with us during 2020!
This year we took on the enormous challenge of renovating our old static caravan and creating a comfortable space for our volunteers to take a break. We now have working (and safe) electrics, hot running water and a working toilet. We can't thank you enough for your support and making this possible. It was a huge job and at times I wondered if it would be possible.
We've also managed to build two new rabbit enclosures! I really didn't expect we'd be able to achieve that! Both our new pens are 60ft² and provide RWAF approved space for a pair of rabbits while they wait to find their forever homes. Currently Jaxx and Cariad are making use of Ty Abigail's and Lillith and Harri are housed in Castillo de Katie. The addition of these pens have increased our rabbit housing from 13 to 15 units.
The wonderful Charlotte joined the team early in the year, after responding to our plea for a digital media manager. We can't thank her enough for everything she has contributed to date. It's been wonderful having her aboard and Nibbles wouldn't be the same without her!
This year we've welcomed 20 rabbits into our care and 23 have found their very own furry tail ending in wonderful new homes. It's the first time we've rehomed more rabbits than we've taken in. We also welcomed 8 mice, 1 hamster and 3 guinea pigs into our care and seen 5 mice, 2 hamsters and 4 guinea pigs leave us.
In total that's 34 animals rehomed and 33 new arrivals. We are only able to cater for a finite number of animals at any given time. This is dictated by the space and housing we have available, the number of volunteers we have and available funding to pay for essential day to day items and vet fees. Once again we weren't able to offer placements to every animal we were asked to help and when space became available many had been privately rehomed.
As we have ceased adoptions over the Christmas period, we will have 14 rabbits, 3 mice, 3 guinea pigs, and our sanctuary chipmunk and ground squirrel spending their Christmas at the rescue. We are hoping that next year will be as successful and all the animals looking for homes will find their own furry tail endings in 2021. We will be reopening for adoption applications on the 4th January.
Next year will be a tough one for Nibbles. With the addition of staff salaries our running costs will skyrocket. Nibbles has reached a position between a rock and a hard place. Without enough manpower to care for the animals and keep the administration side of the rescue running we are unable to continue. If we fail to cover the cost of salaries we will be forced to close the rescue. It's a no win situation, but we are committed to doing everything we can to keep Nibbles open and available to the rabbits and rodents who need our help. There are loads of ways you can help us achieve this from signing up to make a small monthly pledge of just £2 or signing up to Amazonsmile or EasyFundraising. If you believe that rabbits deserve a dedicated and specialist rescue please please show your support and help Nibbles to continue.
We would like to thank everyone who has supported Nibbles during 2020. Your support has changed the lives for all of the animals we've helped and rehomed this year. We simply couldn't do what we do without all of our hidden heroes making regular donations.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!