Public donates £44,000 to threatened animal rescue centre
An incredible effort has achieved the seemingly impossible rescue of an animal sanctuary.
More than £44,000 has been donated in just five weeks to help Benvardin Animal Rescue Kennels (Bark) secure its site.
The Ballymoney sanctuary was faced with the prospect of eviction in January when the site they operate on was put up for sale by the landowners, the USPCA.
The asking price for the seven-acre site is a steep £220,000 and the charity had until March 20 to raise a £45,000 initial deposit. This initially seemed out of reach for Bark - which is currently home to 40 dogs, eight puppies and 10 cats - and depends on public donation to meet its £7,000-a-month running costs.
However after the Belfast Telegraph highlighted their plight earlier this year, the donations have been coming in thick and fast.
Bark volunteer Shaun McIntyre said they have received donations from as far away as the United States and even one from a police force in England.
A local elderly lady made one of the biggest single donations of £3,000.
"She came in and said she wanted to make a small donation so I opened the receipt book, next thing she handed me a cheque for £2,000, but by the time we thanked her for her generosity she had donated another £1,000." Shaun said. "We are really thankful to everyone, but the place continues to cost £7,000 a month to run."
l Donations can be made through PayPal or Benvardin's Total Giving page, or by cheque to Benvardin Kennels and posted to 28 Benvardin Road, Ballymoney, BT53 8AF, or to Danske Bank, account number: 60105252 sort code: 95-02-37