Animal sanctuary staff stunned by response to appeal
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
OFFICERS and volunteers at Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre say they have been bowled over by the thousands of pounds which have poured in after their dire financial plight was highlighted two weeks ago.
The centre started selling “virtual tickets” – which could be redeemed for a free visit when it re-opens after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted – to help fill its coffers, but staff never expected the extent of the response.
More than £1,000 of tickets were sold, and in addition the centre, based near Greta Bridge, has received £6,750 in anonymous donations.
Wetheriggs operator Terry Bowes described the public reaction as absolutely brilliant. He said: “Community spirit in the area is amazing. It just shows the heart of people.
“Some people are saying ‘can we have two tickets’ and then they stick a bit on [as a donation]. On top of that we have had donations of £500, £250 and £6,000.
“It does amazing things for the morale of our volunteers. We have super volunteers – they also look out for each other as well.”
One of the volunteers is 16-year-old Megan Blareau who is studying animal management at Askham Bryan College.
She said: “I started volunteering at the end of July after I saw it on Facebook. It is great, I have been getting a lot of experience of farm animals.”
Apart from the learning experience the centre offers to students, it also provides a form of therapy for the many people with special needs who help with mucking out and feeding.
Mr Bowes said the donations and ticket sales would ensure the centre can keep running until after Easter when it is hoped restrictions will be lifted and it can reopen.