Animal refuge hit hard by COVID-19
SUGARSHINE Farm volunteers have put countless hours into protecting animals who have not been able to protect themselves from the impact of humans.
But now they face a new threat - the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
"COVID-19 has hit all of us unexpectedly," communications officer Stephanie Ireland said.
"We made plans for this year, and like it has been everyone, those plans have been changed," she said.
"We've had to go into a sort of lockdown.
"Most local cafes and shops that contain our donation boxes are currently closed, cutting our donations significantly.
"People who regularly donate can't afford to as they are struggling throughout this period of financial hardship.
"We've also received a lot more interest in people wanting to adopt animals as a means of getting food, which as an animal sanctuary dedicated to saving animals from slaughter has been distressing."
She said the drought and then the fires made the cost of feed more expensive than normal.
During the fires, they used donations to help other sanctuaries and individuals with their animals as much as they could.
But now, with more than 200 animals between two sites making it the largest animal sanctuary in the state, the owner of one of the sites has decided to sell the property, which has been difficult for the three remaining core volunteers.
The sanctuary vehicle has also broken down making a dire situation even more difficult.
"We have made the commitment to care for these animals and will continue to do so even when the sanctuary relocates all the animals to one site."
"We go through about $100 a day in feed and have other expenses on top of that.
"Money donations are the most helpful in assisting us with everyday bills, but we also have a list of items - such as rakes, head torches, old blankets and towels, and medical supplies - that are always needed.
"We just want to say a big thank you to everyone for their kindness and generosity we have received and continue to receive, and hope everyone stays safe and healthy."
The best means to donate is through the website or directly to local food and hay suppliers B&B produce - donate to Sugarshine's account.