Deeping animal charity’s appeal over funding crisis

Film star Warrick Davis and his family at the Exotic Pet Refuge.
Film star Warrick Davis and his family at the Exotic Pet Refuge.
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Saturday, 10am: A Deeping charity that provides a home for an array of unusual - but also unwanted - pets has appealed for help amid a funding crisis.

The Exotic Pet Refuge, in Station Road, Deeping St James, urgently needs funds to meet its running costs until the summer.

The centre, which is home to in excess of 350 animals, has been hit by the rising cost of energy and a surge in the number of animals being donated - or left abandoned - for its care.

The recent bad weather also meant takings at its Easter fundraiser were down on what would be expected.

Manager Toni James (24) said: “It’s very, very worrying for us.”

She added: “One of our major fears is if we can’t afford to keep going we will have to find somewhere else for the animals to go. A lot of our animals are dangerous, wild animals. You have got to have a licence to have those animals.”

It costs about £60,000 a year to run the refuge and Miss James said the centre needs to raise between £5,000 to £10,000 to secure its immediate future. The hope is by the summer, the weather will have improved and its fundraisers will prove more successful.

An open day - the centre’s main sources of funding - is due to be held on Sunday 19 May, but Miss James said the money raised from this event would be spent on the animals’ upkeep almost at once.

She said: “Fingers crossed it will get us a few thousands but as soon as it comes in it’s going out.”

Anyone who can help is asked to call the refuge on 01778 345923.

Find out more about more the Exotic Pet Refuge and how you can help.