Animal charity seeks new home
FELIXSTOWE'S highly-successful Blue Cross animal adoption centre is set to move home - if it can find a suitable site in the area.Officials at the charity say its premises are too small for its growing workload and they are hoping to build a new bigger £1 million purpose-built centre.
FELIXSTOWE'S highly-successful Blue Cross animal adoption centre is set to move home - if it can find a suitable site in the area.
Officials at the charity say its premises are too small for its growing workload and they are hoping to build a new bigger £1 million purpose-built centre.
Last year the Felixstowe centre was the national charity's most successful at finding homes for abandoned pets - with 389 dogs and cats found new owners.
But they cannot expand on the current site in Walton High Street because it is too restricted and so are now appealing for landowners in the area who may have up to eight acres to sell.
Andy Gillon, manager of the Blue Cross centre, said: “We want to stay as close to our current site as we possibly can.
“We have fantastic support from the community and we would not want to move away somewhere where they could not reach us.
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“Our volunteer dog walkers live in the area near the centre, people who come to find new pets need to be able to get to us easily, and we want to extend our welfare clinic which helps those people who cannot afford so easily to look after animals and often do not have a car to travel out of town.
“Schools and colleges are also using us for work placements and so we need to be near and handy.”
It is hoped with the future of the Felixstowe area under review that pieces of farmland or other spare sites may become available for development.
“We are looking for three to four acres - no less. But we could be interested in as much as eight acres depending on the site and what buildings were on it,” said Mr Gillon.
“The Blue Cross is an important horse charity and we may well be able to expand to cater for horses if the site was big enough, and also take other small animals in addition to cats and dogs, the possibilities are endless.
“There has been massive growth in the Felixstowe area in the demand for animals and people out there looking for pets and prepared to give them a good, loving home.
“This is a great opportunity for the charity and we want to make the most of it.”
It is also hoped to be able to extend the welfare clinics to help those not so well-off.
Anyone with land they feel could be suitable should call Andy Gillon on 01394 283254.
What do you think of the work of the Blue Cross - has the charity helped you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk
FASTFACTS: Blue Cross
Felixstowe Blue Cross moved to its present site in Walton High Street in the early 1970s from King Street after its previous centre was needed for housing development.
In 2006 the centre found new homes for 223 animals (61 were dogs and 162 cats) and last year 401 (133 dogs and 268 cats).
The welfare clinic last year treated 259 dogs, 124 cats and seven other animals, and has 93 owners registered.
Over the years the centre has been refurbished and new kennels have been built and an exercise area created for the animals.
The aims of the Blue Cross are to ensure the welfare of animals by providing practical care, highlight the benefits of companionship between animals and people, and promote a sense of respect and responsibility towards animals in the community.
It treats pets whose owners cannot afford private veterinary treatment, finds permanent homes for unwanted or abandoned animals, and educates the public in responsible animal ownership.