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Animal rescue group folds after problems

PUBLISHED: 18:11 19 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:35 03 March 2010

BITTER in fighting has brought an animal rescue group in Hadleigh to an abrupt end less than a year after it was formed.

Nearly £650 of donations given to Hadleigh Animal Rescue (HAR) are now frozen in a bank account, with Lloyds TSB refusing to grant anyone access to the money until the members can sort out their differences.

BITTER in fighting has brought an animal rescue group in Hadleigh to an abrupt end less than a year after it was formed.

Nearly £650 of donations given to Hadleigh Animal Rescue (HAR) are now frozen in a bank account, with Lloyds TSB refusing to grant anyone access to the money until the members can sort out their differences.

The group, spearheaded by Hadleigh resident Joan Canham, was set up in May last year in a bid to provide emergency care for animals, including rehoming programmes and basic medical attention. It never achieved charitable status.

Ms Canham promoted the work of the group and offered animal care advice and information in two regular columns, one in the monthly Hadleigh Community News magazine and another in the region's Advertiser newspaper. Both publications have now stopped carrying the articles.

Speaking to The Evening Star about the demise of her organisation, which at one point had up to 20 members, Ms Canham said: "I'm carrying on under my own name in a similar way.

"A lot of people who were members have turned into good friends so I'm carrying on more or less like I have for the last 34 years. Nothing that has been said is going to stop me caring for animals."

Former treasurer Sally Dunnett claimed Ms Canham had "alienated everybody" in the group.

Minutes of a meeting in May recorded that she and fellow HAR member Ina Bull would co-sign on the bank account but Ms Canham went on to "open it with the wrong names on", she said.

"She refused to give us totals of donations. She was rude to us at meetings. I was supposed to be making sure the money went where it was supposed to go."

Agency nurse Miss Dunnett explained that a number of fundraising activities and donations raised the cash for the group. Among others, a bazaar and car boot sale made nearly £300. Hadleigh Charity Shop had donated £100 and an 88-year-old lady had handed over £200 from her animal loving daughter's legacy.

Miss Dunnett said that she had been able to pay the elderly lady £160 cash, raised for HAR in a sponsored bike ride, adding: "We still owe her £60. She is an old lady and she's not very well. This is causing her a lot of distress. She wants to make sure her daughter's wishes are carried out.

"We are trying to do it all properly by giving back the cheques and diving up what money is left to animal charities. It's just a horrible mess."

She added: "I have been dragged into this and I don't think it's fair. I just wanted to get involved to help animals and the animals haven't really had a look in.

A spokeswoman for the Lloyds TSB said that it would not be releasing the funds until they had an agreement signed by two parties.

"If we are advised of a disagreement between two parties we are obliged to block that account to protect the funds," she said.


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