A DOG rescue charity has had to close its fund-raising shop in Rugby due to the pandemic.
Pawprints opened its store in Albert Street in 2017 to provide a regular income and allow volunteers to help even more dogs.
But despite the efforts of staff and volunteers to keep it open, trustees have now decided to close the struggling shop – which was costing the charity £2,000 a month just to stay open.
A Pawprints spokesperson said: “The charity shop, along with any other high street retailer, has struggled due to the pandemic.
“We had covered everything in preparation of opening our shop – but unfortunately could not have known we would face a pandemic that would change the face of the high street forever.
“While valiant attempts to revive it have been made by our manager and wonderful volunteers, it is now costing us too much money just to stay open.
“After an ongoing review of the viability of the shop, and our manager’s resignation, we have made the sad and difficult – but unanimous – decision to close the shop for usual trading immediately to prevent the £2,000 loss per month we are experiencing.”
The charity invited shop volunteers who ‘have become a big part of our Pawprints family’ to continue in other roles.
The spokesperson added: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked so hard and tirelessly over the past four and a half years to build the shop up, our amazing shop volunteers who have put so much blood, sweat and occasional tears into the project, our manager for trying to keep us going, our supporters who provided some fantastic donations, and our lovely customers who supported us.
“The important thing now is to ensure the rescue keeps going, and we meet the demands of an already overwhelmed sector as animal charities have taken the worst hit of all.
“Please keep supporting us and don’t be strangers – the dogs still need your support.”
Pawprints is a registered charity run entirely by volunteers which neuters, vaccinates and provide treatment for injured or abused dogs. The charity has rescued over 2,000 dogs that would otherwise have been put to sleep over the last decade.
The shop is no longer taking donations. It will hold a series of sales over the coming weeks to try to sell off its stock, and has appealed for volunteer help.
Visit www.pawprintsdogrescue.org for updates, or to volunteer.