Two Aberdeenshire animal rescue centres are rebuilding after fences and enclosures were torn apart by Storm Arwen.
The New Arc, which is based in Ellon, and Willows Animal Sanctuary near New Pitsligo have both posted regular updates about their recovery efforts to social media.
Willows, one of the largest animal sanctuaries in Scotland, was hit particularly hard by fierce winds and rain last weekend and made an urgent appeal for funds on Sunday.
A post on the charity’s Facebook page said: “This absolutely terrible Storm Arwen has almost destroyed the sanctuary.
“Apart from it being one of the most terrifying experiences that we have ever encountered, two staff members were almost seriously injured and Willows has encountered thousand of pounds worth of damages to the buildings, fences and several essential shelters have been completely destroyed beyond repair.
“Incredibly, none of the animals were hurt although they were all absolutely terrified.”
— Hannah (@HnHadventures) November 28, 2021
Shelters for cows, sheep and llamas were destroyed, while the roof of the sanctuary’s Cat Hotel was leaking badly due to damage.
Since being launched at the weekend, the urgent appeal page on JustGiving has raised more than £27,000.
‘Lots of little damage’ at New Arc
In comparison, the damage done to the New Arc by Storm Arwen was less critical – but owner Keith Marley estimated repair works could still take two to three months at the coldest and most unpredictable time of the year.
He said: “We’ve had some damage to the aviaries, lots of debris scattered about obviously.
“Fortunately, nothing’s died or been injured in the storm, so we’re counting our blessings as far as that’s concerned.
“The damage is still repairable, it’s all sortable, so we’re not making a big song and dance about it from that point of view, but certainly it’s going to take a long time to sort out because of the extent of the damage.
“It’s lots of little damage.”
The rescue centre lost power for 21 hours at the height of the storm, leaving it without access to heating or water due to its electric well pump, and the supply was unreliable for some time even after SSE engineers reconnected it.
Fortunately, the New Arc is not currently at full capacity, with only five deer, two otters, a fox and several birds of prey.
The charity marked Giving Tuesday by asking people to donate to their own storm recovery fund on JustGiving, with the page raising more than £2,000 in just over a day.