AN animal charity which has been running for almost 30 years is having to close its kennels following a last-minute decision – and staff have appealed to the public to urgently re-home in-need dogs before the closure.
Barnsley Animal Rescue Charity (BARC), which supports and rehouses dogs, cats and rabbits, has been running since 1995.
The charity’s kennels on Woodhead Road, near Hoyland – run by animal welfare experts who provide the care pets need before they can be adopted – are being forced to shut in January due to a sale of the land on which they’re based.
Founder and trustee of the charity, Kath Bailey, said: “We only found out about the closure last week.
“We knew that it was being sold, but we were hoping that the people who did buy it would let us stay.
“Unfortunately the person who has bought it is planning on demolishing everything to build homes for his family.
“We don’t blame anyone though – it had to be done.”
Volunteers are already preparing appropriate support for the animals that would allow the charity’s work to continue.
Angela Bells, another volunteer, has taken in rabbits, while Kath is in the process of moving eight cats to where she lives.
Currently, it is only the dogs’ futures which needs to be sorted.
Kath added: “We’re not going to get more kennels – we want to work like the big charities do and focus on foster housing.
“If we could get 20 homes it would be fabulous, we could then house every dog, all while having a couple spare for emergencies.
“We’ve had seven people approach us so far, but we obviously can’t house animals with them straight away, it’s a bit of a process.
“We’re looking for people who have secure homes, especially gardens – some of these dogs could clear a four or five foot fence so they need to be secure.
“Ideally they’ll not already have any pets since some dogs don’t like others, but that’s not always the case.
“Mostly though, they’ve just got to be good with pets, and give them the tender loving care they need.
“We do good work – we’ve got to keep going.”
The charity promises to cover all fees, including vet and food costs, and are only asking for people who can provide care, love and attention to the animals.
Five dogs are currently living at the kennels and are in need of fostering as soon as possible.
General manager, Kerry Flood, said: “This is all very upsetting.
“At the moment the fostering process is going really well though.
“We’ve got interest coming through, so it’s now about inspecting all the homes and getting the ball rolling.
“We want to build a really strong support network, to make sure any dogs who come through have a place to go.”
More information on fostering, or the charity’s services can be found on their website at: https://barnsleyanimalrescue.org.uk/.