A RESCUE centre which takes in more than a thousand wild animals a year in North Yorkshire is in urgent need of fundraising volunteers.

The Wildlife Haven in Thirsk has running costs of hundreds of pounds a week and relies on donations to rescue and care for the wild animals brought in.

It was set up by Krista Langley and her daughter Lauren at their home in Thirsk in 2008. Krista has a background in nursing and Lauren has been helping her mother since she was eight, giving her 15 years’ experience of animal rescue.

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Since then they have cared for thousands of animals from across the region.

At any one time the shelter can be rehabilitating deer, foxes, owls, stoats, squirrels, swans, hedgehogs, voles, shrews, bats or any other number of injured, sick or orphaned animals. The animals are released back into the wild as soon as they are able to survive independently.

Lauren Langley said: “What we would really like would be a fundraising committee because the two of us do the care for the animals and the fundraising and the admin but we’re getting busier and busier; we have 150 animals at the moment.

“It’s impossible to look after them and fundraise.”

Between March and September the rescue deals with large numbers of orphaned animals. Krista and Lauren also get called out to incidents such as deers hit by vehicles – for which they have a specially adapted stretcher to transport the animal.

In the past they have also dealt with birds stuck in feeders and even a hedgehog wedged under a car seat.

The shelter has a number of long-term projects, such as raising money for a wildlife rescue ambulance; £5,000 has already been pledged and the shelter needs to raise £5,000 match funding.

But it has huge running costs associated with feeding and treating the large variety of animals it takes in.

It costs the shelter £100 just to look after an underweight hedgehog over winter and £45 to feed an otter cub for just one week.

Lauren said: “This is the season when we get aerial feeders such as house martins, swallows and swifts. They need to be fed live food; live worms and crickets but they don’t eat earth worms, so we have to order wax worms in. In one week we can spend up to £400 on worms alone.

“At the moment we have 17 foxes in; they get through a lot of meat and at some point we might have up to 15 to 20 owls in the rescue centre. If every owl is eating four mice a day each, it’s hundreds of pounds a week to feed them.”

For more information visit the website: www.thewildlifehaven.org or contact the centre on: 01845-526567 or 07772-871833.