New hope for the future of dog rescue centre

Karen Greaves.

Karen Greaves.

A rescue centre for neglected cats and dogs hopes to remain open despite being told it would have to shut down.

New homes were being sought for unwanted cats and dogs living at the Ponderosa Rescue Centre and Cattery in Allerton Bywater after the death of the man behind the charity which runs it.

Solicitors acting for the estate of Michael Banks, who was secretary and trustee of the Dog Care Association, said it would not be possible to keep the centre open after Mr Banks died in February.

A letter was received at the Ninevah Lane centre saying its tenancy was being terminated and to vacate the premises.

Karen Greaves, a current trustee of the charity who has worked there for 27 years, said the centre would now remain open after legal advice was taken.

Ms Greaves said it was not yet known if the rescue could stay at its current premises permanently, but she had been advised that the charity itself could continue.

She said: “We sent a solicitor’s letter saying we were challenging it.

“The charity can continue as long as it has got trustees in place, and it has.

“At the moment we are staying where we are.

“If we do have to move somewhere else we can still keep going.”

But Robert Howard, of Philip and Robert Howard Solicitors in Castleford, said: “The trustees of Mr Banks’s estate have not received any communication from lawyers acting on behalf of the charity.”

The Dog Care Association was set up in 1984 with a policy not to have healthy cats and dogs put down and to keep them until they are found suitable homes.

Ponderosa makes regular appeals for help to re-home animals and often has dozens of pets in its kennels.

Ms Greaves made an appeal for new homes for animals at Ponderosa when it was thought the centre would have to close three weeks ago.

She said dozens of people had since been in touch to offer their support.

Ms Greaves said: “People have got in touch with us from all over the place and the support we’ve had from people has been absolutely magnificent.

“We’ve had people offering to come and help out, to volunteer and fundraise for us and offer foster homes.

“Other rescue centres have also offered to help. It’s been really, really good.

“We are still operating at the moment. We are not taking in the number of animals that we were but we are still helping when every the charity can.”

Ponderosa is open seven days a week from 11am-3pm.