An animal sanctuary is closing next month.
The Blue Cross rehoming centre in St Francis Fields, Northiam, will be shutting on October 14, the charity announced today (Tuesday, September 20).
Sally de la Bedoyere, Blue Cross chief executive, said: “It’s with genuine sadness that we’ve made the decision to proceed with the closure of the Northiam rehoming centre.
“Six years ago we announced that we need to relocate our rehoming service in the South East. The site and our incredible team has helped thousands of needy pets since we opened our doors 60 years ago and in increasingly hard conditions that no longer meet our high standards for the welfare of either the pets or our people.
“The site now urgently requires significant investment to make it safe for winter. After years of an ongoing search for new sites, we have come to the difficult, but undeniable conclusion, that to use our valued donations wisely we need to close the centre now and move our efforts to Blue Cross services that we know can help more homeless and sick pets. We will continue looking for new Blue Cross locations.
“Our rehoming centres need to be in the very best locations to find new homes for as many pets as we can, and as quickly as we can. We know that Blue Cross rehoming centres that have up to date facilities, good access, large potential client base and site flexibility typically help more than twice as many pets.
“We are continually looking for new sites and new ways of working so we can help even more sick and homeless pets.
“We need to make best use of our limited resources so we’re also finding new ways to get to the pets that need us the most through partnerships and new ways of rehoming.
“This is a much bigger project and will take some time, but we believe it will be successful following the achievements of our National Rehoming Network and the new ways our Horse Team works. Both these Blue Cross services will be there to help pets in the Northiam area once the centre closes.
“Our wonderful, hard-working team have been doing an outstanding job under very difficult circumstances. They, and our pets, are our focus at this time.
“Throughout a consultation period we will be offering an extended support package; making sure that those who are at risk of redundancy will be given priority for current vacant positions, provided with professional help finding external employment and given confirmation of their redundancy package.
“We will also be supporting the centre’s volunteers, who we hope will find other ways of helping Blue Cross, or of supporting the community.
“Once the rehoming centre is closed and loving new homes, or places at other Blue Cross centres, found for all our current pets, including the resident horses Harry and May Blossom, we will sell the property which will raise funds to help us help homeless and sick pets.
“We are obligated by the Charities Act to secure best value for the charity and the pets it cares for and will of course keep the residents updated.
“We’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our loyal volunteers and supporters and also to thank the Northiam village and community for their dedicated support over the past 60 years.”
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