South Shore cat rescue team, Tender Paws, picking up pieces after attempted burglary
Tender Paws, on Lytham Road, faces bills of more than Â£600 after two burglars tried to break into the rear of the fundraising shop.
The rear door was split in half during the incident which occurred at 8pm on Wednesday.
Jennifer Everitt, 48, a volunteer at the shop said they didn’t get far into the shop thanks to the police. She said: “The police apparently arrived within minutes thanks to one of our neighbours who rang them. Unfortunately the two youths escaped just before the police arrived.”
Ms Everitt, a hotel owner, says the break-in hurts more because the shop is entirely funded by donations and is run by volunteers. The shop had one of the gates taken six months ago as well. She added: “It will cost us money to pay for the replacement which will be a metal door. It is also unsettling for the volunteers who work here and luckily we don’t keep any cats at the premises.”
Jennifer explained that she managed to recently get CCTV fitted inside the shop for free from an electrician friend, but it didn't catch the two attempted burglars as they didnt get inside.
The shop has been open 18 months and is managed by Chrissie Meryem, a retired hotel owner. Chrissie, who is in her 60's and works 7 days a week set up the shop so she would be able to rescue any unwanted, sick, or stray cats and kittens on the Fylde coast. The attempted burglary came at a time when Chrissie was on holiday for the first time since opening the shop.
Jennifer says most of the money they make goes on vet bills to pay for treatments. Tender Paws currently has 40 cats in care and foster home. They receive calls from members of the public who have spotted stray cats or can no longer afford or take care of them themselves.
The shop is not classed as a charity shop as they are currently saving for the £5,000 needed to be registered as one and have raised more than £1,000, however Jennifer fears that they may have to use that money to replace the door and she added: "Without the shop we can do everything that we are doing and obviously being registered as charity would really help us. The volunteers are aged from their 20's into the mid 80's and we all help out as much as we can. We have Maureen who is 82 and we call her 'Mo Two-Tins' because she tells customers a saving of a pound is two tins of cat food."
One of the cats the team rescued recently was Ethel, a female cat aged around 16-18 years old which was rescued from a vet before she was put down. She weighed 1.5 kg and was covered in dirt. Ethel has now made it past the danger period and is now weighing 1.9kg. She has a cyst on her face however this doesn't affect her says Jennifer and she is being thoroughly spoiled.