Friday, 03 December 2021

Charity to close animal rehoming centre to save money

Charity to close animal rehoming centre to save money

THE Blue Cross animal rehoming centre in Lewknor will close on June 30.

The charity said it needs to make £1 million in savings nationally following the coronavirus pandemic and no longer needs the centre in London Road as its rehoming requirements in this region can be met by its centre in Burford.

Fourteen staff members at the centre will be made redundant as a result of the closure.

Blue Cross says it plans to focus more on remote services over the next three years.

Georgina Heritage, who campagined to save the centre, said she wasn’t suprised. “We’d suspected the decision had been made long before the consultation processes began,” she said. “This was clearly always the intended outcome for Blue Cross.

“Even so, everyone who knows the outstanding, newly refurbished facilities and dedicated, skilled staff at Lewknor is utterly dumbfounded.

“Thanks to everyone who signed the petition for standing with us for the sake of homeless and abandoned pets. Everyone involved with this campaign has loved Blue Cross and everything it stood for.

“To witness the apparent erosion of this much-loved charity’s core values has been unbearably difficult. The campaign is still active and we haven’t given up yet, even though we appreciate it’s too late to save Lewknor. We are concerned about what will happen to the premises.

“The issue doesn’t just go away and some of the smaller rescue centres could collapse when Lewknor shuts down.”

Blue Cross chief executive Chris Burghes said: “We wish to reassure the community that we are still committed to helping pets and people in the county.

“It was an incredibly difficult decision to make but it is the best one for the future of our charity and so we can help more pets.

“Blue Cross will not be leaving Oxfordshire as pets will still be helped through our Burford centre, foster care network and through the five other rehabilitation centres we have across the UK.

“It is a sad day at Blue Cross to lose some of our wonderful people and they have our heartfelt thanks and our full support at this time.

“We fully understand the strength of feeling shown by some supporters over the proposal to close Lewknor. We stress that throughout the closure period and beyond, all pets which need our services will continue to receive them.

“We will be speaking with our wonderful volunteers at the centre and hope they continue with their amazing support for our charity.”

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