Support needed for £1million animal sanctuary revamp

Chard & Ilminster News: FERNE Animal Sanctuary director, Jenny Wheadon. FERNE Animal Sanctuary director, Jenny Wheadon.

ANIMAL lovers are being asked to help raise money for an ambitious £1million project to bring a much loved animal re-homing centre up to date.

Wambrook’s Ferne Animal Sanctuary appeal has been dubbed ‘New Digs for Dogs’ and work is expected to start in March.

But while an incredible £500,000 will come from the charity’s reserves saved for this purpose, the remaining £500,000 will be sought through fundraising activities.

Planning permission has been granted for an improved grooming and veterinary care room, a social unit, more kennels and an improved reception area.

The existing kennels have outlived their useful life and the plans are designed allow the Sanctuary to take in a greater number of animals and provide for them more economically and in a more environmentally-friendly way.

Among the modern technology to be used is under-floor heating – modifications have been made to the 1970s kennels to make them warm enough for the coming winter but those measures will not hold up against a second winter.

Ferne Animal Sanctuary director Jenny Wheadon, said: “The Sanctuary is launching its New Digs for Dogs appeal to replace the dated kennels with a purpose-built re-homing centre, which will double its current capacity and provide refuge for even more animals.

“This is the most expensive project the Sanctuary has ever undertaken and we ask everyone to please support it in whatever way they can.

"The present kennels at Ferne Animal Sanctuary are nearly 40 years old – maintenance and repair is constantly required and they have become uneconomical to run. There is no guarantee that the building will withstand another hard winter.

“It would be nice to think that the need for places like Ferne is diminishing but, unfortunately, the reverse is true and the opportunity to improve facilities and take care of our four-legged friends using much improved, 21st Century technology is an exciting challenge.”

So far this year the Sanctuary has homed 130 dogs, 168 cats and ten equines, with many more on the waiting list.

Donations from as little as £5 towards the project will be welcomed, with anything over £50 to be publicly acknowledged on donation boards at the new centre.

A kennel can be sponsored for £5,000 and other items available for sponsorship – including all the fixtures and fittings – will be published early next year.

For more details, visit www.ferneanimalsanctuary.org or call 01460-65214.

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