The animal protection society (APS) in Southern River could close within 18 months if it doesn’t get more donations from the public.
Committee member Laura Aldersea said it costs $40,000 a month to run the shelter but in the last financial year donations had dropped by $80,000 but she did not know why.
“We have to pay for insurance, water, electricity, rates, food for the animals, the list goes on and on,” she said.
“The main cost to us are the two vets – they share a full time role between them, and they need an income to live on and feed their families, they can’t do full time pro bono work all the time.”
Ms Aldersea said in the past year a majority of animals had come to the shelter in poor condition and required expensive medical attention from specialists.
“One dog cost us more than $3000 for an intestinal operation, while another needed $4000 worth of eye surgery,” she said.
“Worse case scenario if donations stopped, we would only have about 18 months to keep going and then after that we’d be running at a loss.”
The APS also had to pay a minimum of $10 per day per dog at boarding kennels because it did not have the capacity to keep all animals on its premises.
It currently has seven dogs in boarding. Ms Aldersea also said the APS received criticism from the public on the cost of adopting an animal but said the charge included sterilisation, microchipping and training for the dogs.
“In all honesty our adoption fees barely cover the costs, they actually give us a massive loss,” she said.
“If we can’t get into financial shape, we’re going to have to start saying no to rescuing animals.
“We’ve been around since the 1970s so it would be a real shame to go that way, we hope it doesn’t.”
The APS was cutting back on maintenance costs and could not afford to apply for a lotterywest grant. To donate visit www.apswa.asn.au.
– Kate Dzienis