AN ANIMAL shelter is losing £1,000 a day as it shuts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare has been forced to stop taking in animals after it closed to visitors two weeks ago due to the outbreak.

The shelter took in ten dogs and four cats in the week when social distancing measures were first announced before making the decision to close its doors.


It now faces a monumental challenge; caring for 400 animals despite losing thousands of pounds each week.

In an open letter chief executive Stephanie Smith said she was “very worried” about the shelter’s finances.

“I took one of the hardest decisions of my working life last week,” she said.

“We stopped taking in dogs, cats, and other animals at Raystede.

“Every day I need to find £1,000 in lost revenue from our shop, cafe, and donations.

“It costs on average £15 a week to feed a dog and £14 for each cat.

“We are very worried about our financial position.”

Ms Smith said she is doing “everything in her power” to reopen the shelter.

Foster carers have even taken some animals out of the shelter to care for them at their homes.

“Only essential staff are coming in to Raystede to care for our animals, reinforced by staff from our other departments,” Ms Smith said.

“Our team of foster carers have stepped in to take a few dogs and cats into their homes.

“Whatever you can do to help Raystede and all our animals would be greatly appreciated.”

To donate to Raystede visit

If you need to rehome your pet, Raystede can still advise you. Call 01825 880468.

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal.  Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. To donate visit