A CAT rescue centre is appealing to the public to help it stay open after charity trustees anounced they could no longer keep supporting it.
Feline Care Cat Rescue, based in East Harling and home to around 140 cats, has been growing steadily over the last five years. However, it has been told by trustees of the Cat and Rabbit Rescue Centre in West Sussex that they can no longer support the Norfolk facility, despite its success in saving around 300 cats every year.
Staff and volunteers at the centre currently care for 70 permanent residents, as well as taking in domestic cats for rehoming and neutering feral cats in the area. It is the only rescue organisation in the region able to handle feral cat neutering operations, using a scheme called TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return).
The centre is now planning to register Feline Care as a separate charity and take on the three and a half acre site, but needs to raise £70,000 by the end of September to purchase the site.
Centre manager Molly Farrar said: “This news has hit us hard as we are already working flat out and running at full capacity, but we know there must be enough people out there who can club together and save us.
“Since we heard of the chance to save the centre, just four weeks ago, we’ve had just over £19,000 donated. I can’t thank everyone enough for what they’re doing to help us.”
Feline Care received £10,000 from an anonymous donor and raised £1,600 at its recent monthly open day – more than four times the usual amount. But the fund-raising effort still has a lot of money to find in the next nine weeks.
Miss Farrar said: “We are well aware of what a big request this is but our role in Norfolk is essential – other rescue centres simply can’t cope with the additional burden of losing Feline Care.”
Emma Baxter, who has volunteered at the centre for nearly four years, said: “This is a magical, peaceful place for cats and people, I can’t bear the thought of it all being taken away.”
The centre is currently expanding its feral cat unit and has also received planning permission for a new unit on site. An appeal is being made for donations towards the purchase of the site as well as increased monthly running costs. Cheques can be made payable to Feline Care and sent to Feline Care, Roudham Road, East Harling, Norwich NR16 2QN or people can donate online at www.felinecare.org.uk or join the support group at www.facebook.com/savefelinecare