August was a relatively quiet month for ARK with no visitors to show around and no fundraising events. Serious injuries and illnesses were, thankfully, relatively few too. Only six cats needed surgery, we treated 33 others and had 28 sterilised. No dogs needed surgery, seven needed medication and four females were sterilised. We are still seeing many cats with eye or gum infections, dogs with scabies and both cats and dogs with fungal skin problems. The total vets’ bill, to be paid this month, is the lowest for more than 18 months at a little over 10,000 tl. Our feeding teams were still kept busy as there are so few visitors and they distributed 1.2 tonnes of food at a cost of 8,000 tl. There are, I’m sorry to say, dark clouds ahead.

In the summer months we usually build up a reserve of funds to see us through the winter but in August our expenditure was 9,000 tl more than our income. We used to have many income streams: regular individual donors; one off donations, mainly from summer visitors; a large corporate donor, Benevity Causes; sponsorship from local businesses; fundraising events and the charity shop. Of these we still have our inspiration in the form of our small band of regular donors but the shop has gone, unfortunately never to be resurrected, there are few visitors and, as a result, very little sponsorship and no one off donations, we have been unable to hold fundraising events because of Covid 19 precautions and the final nail is that we have nearly reached the maximum we are allowed from Benevity. Our major expenditure used to be our neutering programme, followed by the treatment of the sick and injured. Food and support for the shelter were minor items but now the food bill is nearly as big as the cost of treating the sick, and the price of a 15 kg bag of dog food has just this week risen from 79 tl to 120 tl.There are tough decisions ahead. Do we cut our feeding programme, stop neutering or let the sick die? We don’t want to do any of those, but we may have to. It’s going to be a long hard winter.

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