Small animal rescue in trouble after mix-up led to loss of £2k in donations

A Fylde coast small animal rescue is in dire straits after hundreds of pounds were lost overnight.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 3:56 pm
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 3:58 pm
Bailey Lister with one of the rescue owls

Hugo's Small Animal Rescue which takes in all sorts of animals from rabbits and guinea pigs to frogs and owls, has lost almost £2k in donations from generous supporters due to an error on its online fundraising page. This means that all the money that was transferred has been refunded - leaving the sanctuary in the red as it prepares to move to bigger premises in Staining in just three weeks time.

Bailey Lister, 18, who founded the Hambleton-based rescue in 2018, said: "It's frustrating and very upsetting, really. It makes me want to cry, because every penny we get goes to the animals. We are a 100 per cent non-profit rescue and we are doing everything we can to keep these animals safe.

"Some of the animals we look after have long-term health problems and can't be rehomed, so other rescues won't take them. If we have to close, they would have to be euthanised. It's horrible to even think about."

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Hugo's Small Animal Rescue, which is currently based in stables on Grange Road, is home to 60 animals. Rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, ferrets, lizards, owls, snakes, tarantulas and frogs are among the charity's ever-growing list of cared-for creatures.

Bailey, who lives in Blackpool, said: "Hugo's is the only animal rescue of its kind in the area. Most rescues specialise in one or two animals. We don't discriminate; we take all animals, even wild ones. We're looking after a family of wild mice right now."

The sanctuary is now desperately reaching out to its supporters in an attempt to make up the lost funds ahead of its move to Staining.

Volunteer Georgia Southern said: "This is all we had left to continue our rescue work over the next few months and it has jeopardised our chances of being able to afford our dream premises for the animals at Hugo's small animal rescue. If we are unable to get these funds back, our animals will be homeless and our rescue will face permanent closure."

The 'Save Hugo's' fund can be found online www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/savehugos