PAWS charity asks for help after owner evicts animal shelter

An animal shelter which takes in vulnerable pets from across East Lancashire is appealing for help to save its future after being evicted from its current home.

The Pennine Animal Welfare Society – known as PAWS – is facing closure after its owner told the charity to vacate its current site by Friday August 5.

The Animal Rescue was formed in 2007 and became a registered charity in 2014, and caters for animals within a 15 mile radius of its Todmorden base, encompassing almost all of East Lancashire.

He rescues, rehabilitates and rehouses cats and dogs, and has helped care for over 1,500 animals so far.

An emergency meeting of directors has been held to discuss how PAWS can be saved, and unless it can find a suitable location to rent or buy, it may have to close.

He has been trying to raise funds to buy a permanent home for some time and is now appealing to the public for support to reach a £300,000 target before he is kicked out of his current base on Friday.

Susan Curran, director of the centre, who lives at the site and is at risk of losing her home, said: “I am completely numb after receiving the Section 25 notice.

“A month is barely enough time to pack everything up, let alone find another site, put the kennels and cattery back in place, and then the trauma of moving the animals.

“I am afraid for the future of the association and I hope that the owner will give us more time to find a place.”

Michele Way, Chair of the Trustees, added: ‘We have tried to engage the owner in discussion but he is unwilling to enter into negotiations and it has proven difficult to make meaningful progress.

“The directors will do their best to ensure that the charity continues to help local people and their animals, whatever form that may take.

“Our goal is to secure a long lease on some land and buildings or ideally we would like to buy somewhere and then we will have secured the future of salvage.

“We are seeking sponsorship from local people, businesses and if any landowners have about four acres of flat land with outbuildings that they can spare please contact us.”

The charity’s volunteers include young people with additional learning needs, adults with mental health issues, people recovering from long-term illness, work experience students, as well as animal lovers who just want to give something back.

Ms Curran added: ‘The volunteers are all devastated, as are those who have had dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs from us.

“We have helped so many animals and in turn they have helped their new owners. Please can you help us now and stop the potential closure of our rescue.

Anyone wishing to help the association is asked to visit its Crowdfunder appeal here. Alternatively, people who can help please email [email protected]

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