Response to animals' plight is '˜unbelievable'

An animal rescue charity which faces eviction has been inundated with offers of help.

Monday, 1st February 2016, 7:54 am
Updated Monday, 1st February 2016, 8:04 am
Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary desperately need homes for their animals before they are forced to move from the site. Pictured is Benji.

Phones at Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary have been ringing non-stop since it was revealed how staff – whose jobs are under threat – are trying to find new homes for around 80 horses, dogs, cats, pigs, rabbits, and even two parrots.

Founder Mandy Leigh said: “It started ringing at 8am and it hasn’t stopped. The response has been unbelievable. We’ve had people crying their eyes out and all sorts ringing up.”

New homes for the pigs have been found, the parrots are on hold, while dozens of calls have been made about the cats and dogs.

But Mandy insists the sanctuary’s strict adoption rules – including not allowing dogs to go to homes with children under the age of 12 – will remain in place.

She said: “We’re not just giving the animals away, we will still do the home checks. Some of these dogs have been tormented by children and I can’t rehome a dog where it might bite so we say 12 and over and they have to be the right dog.”

Easterleigh still needs stabling for its eight horses and ponies – which cannot be ridden or rehomed for health reasons – with Mandy insisting it won’t cost landowners a penny.

She said: “Our biggest problem is stabling for the horses. We are desperate for that. We would pay all the bills and look after them ourselves.”

The charity, which has rehomed around 22,000 animals in the past 20 years, has received an eviction notice following a year-long row over the tenancy at its site off Queensway in St Annes.

The land was bought for a five-figure sum last Christmas, it is understood. Its new owner issued Easterleigh with a notice to quit – effectively terminating its tenancy, Mandy said.

A subsequent appeal failed and, earlier this month, a court ordered the charity off the land by March 31, the 67-year-old added.

Talks to work out a lease deal or buy the land have so far failed, as has a search for new premises.

Mandy has pledged not to put any of the animals down. If you can help, call her on (01253) 595333.