Wellington animal sanctuary struggles to feed animals in wake of COVID-19

There are around 250 animals at the sanctuary.
There are around 250 animals at the sanctuary. Photo credit: Black Sheep Sanctuary

An animal sanctuary near Wellington is appealing to the public for help as it struggles to feed more than 250 sheep, goats, pig and cows.

Black Sheep Sanctuary, a charity in Ōtaki which re-homes abused, injured and neglected farm animals, normally raises money through Opportunity for Animals Opshops in Miramar and Newtown. 

However, with its main source of income closed during the COVID-19 lockdown, the sanctuary is now in desperate need of funds, says animal caretaker Coces Verkehrsschild. 

The sanctuary has started a Givealittle page in a bid to raise $10,000, which will be used to "tide the animals over until spring".

"Our costs go up massively in winter because there's no grass growing," Verkehrsschild told Newshub.

The money will go towards buying hay bales, pellets, straw and complementary feed for the animals. 

So far almost $4000 has been raised.

Verkehrsschild said the animals "all have rescue stories", with some ending up at the sanctuary after escaping their fate as a waste product of the dairy industry while others are unwanted pets. 

She said it's the biggest fundraiser the charity has done so far.

"We are incredibly thankful for all the people who have supported us so far and have kept sponsoring the animals."

The sanctuary is set on 10 hectares of land at Ōtaki Forks, an hour north of Wellington.