Blue Cross still seeks new home

HOPES are still high that Felixstowe's Blue Cross animal adoption centre will be able to move to a new home - but so far no suitable site has been found.

HOPES are still high that Felixstowe's Blue Cross animal adoption centre will be able to move to a new home - but so far no suitable site has been found.

Officials want to create a £1 million purpose-built centre and are looking for between four and eight acres.

As part of the project, the current Blue Cross site in Walton High Street would be sold for housing.

But the biggest problem facing the charity is finding somewhere close to Felixstowe.

Andy Gillon, manager of the Felixstowe Blue Cross centre, said a couple of potential places had come forward but had either been too expensive because they also had permission for housing or too far away from the resort.

“People are chomping at the bit to buy our site here because it would be ideal for a little housing community,” he said.

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“But we need to find the right site and at the moment it's a bit of a waiting game.

“Our main concern is we want to be close to where we are at the moment because we don't want to move too far away from the people who give us such fantastic support and the people we provide services for.

“We run a welfare clinic and have about 100 people who depend on the Blue Cross for help when their pet becomes ill and if we moved away that would leave them in the lurch, especially as many do not have a car to travel out of town.”

Mr Gillon said the charity is hoping when the housing plans being drawn up by Suffolk Coastal as part of the Local Development Framework for Felixstowe become clearer, finding a site might be possible.

Once the council decides where homes will go it may be land will be available as part of community facilities or business sites which would enable it to move and free up its own premises for homes.

“At the moment we are keeping a close eye on the situation, although it could still be some time before everything becomes clear,” he said.

The charity cannot expand the centre - the most successful at finding homes for abandoned pets - because its current site is too restricted. A larger site would enable it to expand, extend welfare clinics, and possibly cater for horses.

Anyone with any land they feel could be suitable should call Andy Gillon on 01394 283254.

Has the Blue Cross helped you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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 and last year 389.

In 2006, 61 were dogs and 162 cats, and last year 130 dogs and 259 cats.

Over the years the centre has been refurbished and new kennels have been built and an exercise area 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.