After five fulfilling years as a trustee, Andrea Wylie has taken up a new voluntary position at Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter as Chair of the Board of Trustees.
The charity, which is celebrating 125 years of providing care for animals in need this year, has also appointed Nick Manson as the new Vice Chair.
With a base at Claremont Road and a rehoming centre at Benton Road in Newcastle, Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter reunites lost animals with their owners and finds new homes for those no longer wanted.
Like all charities, it has faced significant challenges over the last few years and, for Andrea, ensuring the Shelter is well-placed to weather the current issues caused by the cost-of-living crisis is a priority.
Andrea, aged 50 from Jesmond, says: “Everyone here at the Shelter shares a great passion for animal welfare and I’m very proud, not just to be part of this team, but to be taking on this new responsibility.
“The Shelter’s staff and volunteers showed incredible commitment during what has been a very challenging period in the charity’s history and I know that means we’re well-placed to handle whatever the future has in store for us. Our previous Chair, Sue Syson, put in a tremendous amount of effort during her tenure and we’re grateful to her.
“Like everyone, the Shelter is now facing hugely increased energy bills, which is a significant issue for us heading into the winter and with so many animals to keep warm.
“And because this is an extremely difficult time financially for many people, we’re anticipating a knock-on effect on animal welfare. We hope to be able to increase the support and help we already offer for pet-owners experiencing financial hardship, as well as continuing to provide a safe haven for animals needing a loving new home.”
The animals requiring rehoming are mainly dogs and cats, and the Shelter also provides care for a number of other animals in need including donkeys, pigs, sheep, horses and small mammals.
Chris Bray, chief executive of Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter, adds: “By the end of this year, we’re expecting to have had 1,000 animals arriving into our care and needing to be rehomed. To be facing greatly increased energy costs here at the Shelter and the potential double blow of more demand for our services and less donations coming in will not be easy.
“There can be no doubt, it’s going to be very difficult for pet owners who are struggling financially when heating bills really start to bite. We’re already working with local food banks to provide support where we can, and we’re looking at ways to do more to support concerned pet owners who are understandably worried about the future.
“Thankfully, Andrea is an experienced trustee and her commitment to this charity made her the obvious choice for this senior role. We were thrilled when she accepted the position and grateful to her for continuing to volunteer her time.”
This year, the Shelter launched its first lottery, which is hoped will encourage regular community support for the charity. A weekly ticket costs just £2 and gives every player a chance to win up to £10,000. Played via mobile phone, anyone over the age of 18 and a resident of Great Britain can enter.
For more information about Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter, including details about animals available for rehoming, how to donate and lottery terms and conditions, please visit: www.dogandcatshelter.com.