A grant of £2,500 to Oak Tree Animals has enabled the charity to take part in a major rescue operation coordinated by the RSPCA.

oak tree animals charity logoThe Covid 19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund was set up at pace in May 2020 by Petplan Charitable Trust in association with World Horse Welfare and the National Equine Welfare Council. The purpose was to get help quickly to those charities struggling to cope. Rescuing and caring for horses is an expensive business and the loss of traditional revenue streams was potentially devastating, particularly for the smaller organisations.

Thanks to this fund, Oak Tree Animals was able to step in and rescue 7 ponies. They discovered later that two were in foal. All were saved.

“None of the ponies seem to have been handled much and were nervous of being put in head collars or being examined or treated by either the vets or farriers,” explains the charity.

“”The team has spent a lot of time gaining the trust of the ponies and helping to desensitise them to various environments and ‘scary’ events. Two of the ponies were Shetland stallions (Applejack and Dinky) who, although small, were strong and unwilling to be led or allow the team to check their feet or even groom them.”

rescue ponies oak tree animals

Applejack and Dinky

Oak Tree Animals battles on despite Covid challenges

While the pandemic continues to throw up new challenges, the charity’s dedication to animal welfare remains the same. They continue to rescue and rehome abandoned or stray animals in need. The charity also provides up-to-date pet advice and support over the phone, via their website and via online seminars. This could include anything from explaining how to get emergency vet support, to arranging pet food and care deliveries, or providing support around animal-enrichment within the home.

They also support individuals who are self-isolating, working proactively to help prevent issues of animal abandonment exacerbated by Covid-19. This includes providing comprehensive advice, training and behavioural support over the phone or via video-calling. The aim is to conserve human-animal relationships for as long as possible.

mares and foals oak tree animalsThe charity also helps to stock local food banks and shops with pet food parcels. These are made up from items donated directly to the charity or by purchasing supplies were necessary. The pandemic has not stopped them from offering supported vet and neutering costs to low income families.

Based in Carlisle, Oak Tree Animals has 36 staff members who work across all functions of the charity. These include direct animal care, administration and fundraising, as well as our tearoom and charity shops. They are supported by a network of over 160 enthusiastic volunteers. In recent years, the Trust has awarded the charity over £30,000 in grants. This has allowed them to construct better facilities and help support their dedicated staff.

Read more charity stories>