A Truro animal shelter has been awarded a £500 grant from Tesco as part of a £2m scheme to support local charities and community groups through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Marias Animal Shelter provides treatment and a safe home to more than 200 animals each year.

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Many of the animals it takes care of are brought into the shelter because people are experiencing personal change through life events like loss of their home, family breakdown, admission to hospital or a residential home, or re-locating for work.

Maria Mulkeen, founder of Marias Animal Shelter, said: “While the shelter is closed to visitors at the moment, we are still taking animals in – and they still need our help.

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“By being able to offer animals a safe and welcoming home, we hope can reduce some of the anxiety that people feel when they are forced to give their animals up.

“We would like to thank Tesco for supporting us to carry on our work, and would encourage other organisations to apply for help too.”

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The shelter gives people a safe and non-judgemental place to bring their animals, which means they are less likely to be abandoned.

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Volunteers at Marias Animal Shelter

Sadly, due to Covid-19, the shelter has had to close its doors to visitors, and has been unable to fundraise through its usual stalls at events. It has also seen a drop in donations as regular supporters have seen a change in their incomes.

The £500 grant will be used to help the charity cover its expenses while the shelter is closed. These include staff costs, animal food and treatment costs, and continuing to communicate with volunteers, supporters and students – especially those who are facing greater social isolation due to lockdown.