Help us get animal shelter back

Owner Mandy Leigh surveys the ruined building
Owner Mandy Leigh surveys the ruined building
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STAFF at a Fylde animal centre, ravaged by fire which left more than 20 animals dead, are appealing for volunteers to help with the clean-up mission.

The work to clear the debris at Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary in St Annes could cost up to £15,000.

Owner Mandy Leigh hopes members of the public will rally round to support them.

She said: “It’s a shambles down there, we need to get it all cleaned up before we can open to the public. I’m not going to rest until it’s all sorted out.”

Professional workmen are being drafted in to clear the inside of the building, which contains some asbestos in the roof.

Mrs Leigh added: “We won’t be letting people near the outbuilding, it’s around the site outside where they could help us clear it up. We’ve ordered protective gear for anyone who can help us.

“We are going to have a great big clean up. I’m so proud of my staff and volunteers, they’ve been wonderful. It’s been an awful thing and psychologically it will never go away.”

Karl Heaton, 22, of Smithy Lane, St Annes, and a 17-year-old from Blackpool were charged with four counts of arson and one count of attempted arson.

Fire ripped through a domestic garage on Church Road at 2.15am on Wednesday and 30 minutes later a Volkswagen van on Clarendon Road was set alight.

Fylde Scout headquarters on Heyhouses Lane were also ravaged by fire followed by the animal sanctuary on Queensway.

Upset staff say they are gaining comfort from two lucky cats.

Andy Richards, animal care assistant at Easterleigh, said: “Sooty and Pebbles must be the luckiest cats in the world. They were in our isolation unit but got moved into the main sanctuary on Tuesday. That night, the isolation unit was totally destroyed by the fire and all the cats within it perished. Had Sooty and Pebbles not been moved out that very day, they would certainly have died in the fire too.

“They are a symbol of hope after such a distressing couple of days that has left all the staff and volunteers at Easterleigh utterly shell-shocked.”