A local animal charity is celebrating this week after receiving a monster cheque which will enable it to more than double its kennel space.
Borders Pet Rescue, based in Earlston, has been frantically raising funds in order to transform an old stable block into additional dog kennels.
But a donation of £95,000 from Pets at Home’s Support Adoption for Pets scheme means it can now get on with the task of building it.
Staff and volunteers at the centre are understandably delighted, as it means that they can take in more dogs.
Manager Lee-Ann Lackie said: “We currently have space for just six dogs and the new kennels will provide 10 more spaces.
“We have only three dogs in at the moment, as we have just rehomed two and we have to keep one empty in case they have to come back, if they experience problems in their new home.
“There is always a waiting list for dogs coming in and this will enable us to help more animals in need.
“We have planning permission to turn the stable block into kennels, but that runs out in December, so we need to break the ground before then.
“We applied for the grant from the Support Adoption for Pets Scheme, and we were thrilled when they came with the cheque.
“We have a couple of quotes from builders, so it’s now just a case of getting it started.
“It couldn’t have happened at a better time, it’s fantastic.”
Borders Pet Rescue was founded 30 years ago by Jill Solway, who ran a cattery at Tweedbank. She was soon taking in other small pets too, such as rabbits and guinea pigs.
The charity was donated land in Earlston 12 years ago, where a purpose-built facility was built, thanks to fundraising efforts by staff and volunteers.
There are five members of staff at the centre, ably backed up by 50 dedicated volunteers who help walk and look after the animals in its care.
The facility – which costs £120,000 a year to run – helps to rehome dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and exotics, such as snakes, as well as taking in wild hedgehogs for rehabilitation over the winter and release in spring.
As well as the dogs, at any one time, it can home up to 30 cats, eight rabbits and a large variety of exotics.
○ Pets at Home, which has a shop in Galashiels’ Gala Water Retail Park, is celebrating the donation by holding a family fun day in store on Saturday, August 31.