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Help needed for crisis hit sanctuary


A small welsh animal sanctuary is set to close unless help is found quickly. Nobody can escape the fact that we are facing a credit crunch and as this often affects the lives of our best friends, with many needing a new home, any rescue closing is not good news for anyone, especially the dogs.
Last year when rescue owner Anne Fowler discovered she had terminal cancer, she wrote to Beverley Cuddy at Dogs today to ask for help to find somebody willing to help run the Home-A-Dog rescue at Llanbedr, Gwynedd, and after her death to take it over, so that the dogs would not have to be put to sleep or sent to other re-homing centres.

Demelda and Colin Penkitty saw the appeal, and sold their home so that they could go to live in the caravan at the rescue kennels to help Anne. All seemed to be going well until it was discovered after Anne had died that she had not made provision for Demelda and her husband in her will. The problem arose as the local council told Demelda that there was no provision for a static caravan dwelling on the property. Anne had left her house to one of the trustees of the rescue, who had moved into the house. This left Demelda and her husband with nowhere to live. Despite a campaign being mounted by supporters of the rescue, the council would not change its mind regarding the caravan saying that proper planning permission had never been sought for the caravan.

Complicated

To further complicate things the land on which Home-A-Dog is situated was left to the rescue in the trust of two of the rescues trustees. Demelda was not a trustee, nor was any guidance as to her role at the premises outlined, therefore she is reliant on the trustees continuing with Anne’s work and making provision for her to run the rescue. Demelda had arranged with Anne that she would move into the caravan and help with the dogs in the sanctuary, as well as run dog training classes at the sanctuary, while her husband found outside employment. To date there have never been any dog training classes set up, as Demelda has no idea what the future will hold for her or her husband.

The planners have given Demelda and her husband six months to find somewhere else to live and have given the kennel a reprieve for that time, as they want to have the kennels closed down as well. If Anne had changed her will and left the house to the Home-A-Dog rescue then the problem would not have arisen.

At a time when rescues are all reporting they are bursting at the seams with unwanted dogs, due to indiscriminate breeding, and as ‘designer dogs’ are also falling out of fashion in some areas, it would seem that the RSPCA will not have to fake a mountain of dead dogs unless something can be done. Every rescue is needed however small.

If anyone can help Demelda, her husband Colin and the dogs in their care, by providing some land where a kennel can be set up, or financial assistance to move the dogs to a new home, please contact Demelda or Colin Penkitty on 01341 241813.