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'Community movement' aims to save dog rehoming charity

'Community movement' aims to save dog rehoming charity

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 12:01pm 4th February 2020. (Updated at 4:01pm 4th February 2020)

A 'community movement' has launched to try and save St Francis Dogs Home in Newquay.

The shock announcement was made in January that the rehoming centre, based in Porth, is closing with immediate effect.

Bosses say the move, to prepare for a 'new chapter' is the result of tighter finances and a reduction in dog rehoming numbers.

They claim it is a 'temporary move' and that a new and improved centre will be built.

But five employees are set to lose their jobs.

There is uncertainty about the charity's future and now a group of locals have set up a new campaign and petition.

You can follow that via the Save St Francis Dogs Home page on Facebook.

The petition is calling for the chair of the board of trustees to be removed. It has had almost 1,900 signatures so far.

"Everybody was completely in the dark about the whole thing, the five employees will lose their jobs and that was a really sudden thing.

"We still have a few dogs in, I think most of them are reserved, and then once they go the centre will close until the work is complete.

"People who need to rehome their dogs and people looking for dogs will have to go elsewhere.

"In just chatting about it to people, they say 'mum got a dog from there 50 years ago' and you do find countless people in Newquay who have dogs from there, there are people all over the place who have benefitted from and know of St Francis.

"St Francis is an important part of Newquay's community, and Cornwall's community, we want to keep it going. And also we want to see that the five lovely employees don't lost their jobs, and if they do then look for help for them to find new ones."

Jeff Trainor, volunteer at St Francis Dogs Home

The trustees at St Francis have spoken out about the shock closure and released a full statement saying the most important being to 'secure the future of the charity for many years to come'.

"To do this a lot of difficult decisions have had to have been made.

"Our priority at this time, is to find forever homes for the dogs currently in our care and manage the transition period for our staff.

"Please be reassured that we have not taken this decision lightly and we have taken specialist advice from a number of senior people within the industry and leading Animal Rescue Homes in the sector.  These independent and leading people also agree we have made the right decision to temporarily close.

"We have sought advice and counsel legally. Every decision we have made, the pro-cesses we have been through, and are going through, are all in line with the Charity Commissions requirements and legal requirements. 

"External specialist consultants have confirmed that for any redevelopment of the site we will need to have major works undertaken below the ground due to drainage issues which make part of the site currently unusable (our old Boarding Kennels) and other parts of the site hugely problematic.  They have also confirmed a number of our buildings on the site are not fit for purpose.

"It is important to communicate that a large part of our funds are restricted from a legacy and this money can only be used for building improvement and redevelopment."

The Board of Trustees, St Francis Dogs Home

They added: "There is a lot of rumour and speculation on social media regarding the sale of the site, we can state that this is inaccurate and not true.

"All donations are continuing to help the dogs we currently have on site.  Future donations that continue to come in from our kind supporters will be essential for the changes planned and will enable us to reopen and continue to help dogs in the future.   

"We would like to thank everyone for their positive messages of support and appreciate everyone being patient whilst we all work to find a sustainable solution to secure St Francis Dogs Home's future."

The Board of Trustees, St Francis Dogs Home

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