Spot a new place? Dalmatian rescue sanctuary in desperate plea for new home in Morecambe Bay
An animal rescue centre has launched an urgent plea for new premises in Morecambe Bay, so that the owners can be close to family and friends who can help run the vital service.
Rescue charity DAS Dalmations has been operating from its current site in South Devon, near Torquay, for the past six years. However, proprietor Sue Bell, who is originally from Carnforth, wants to move back up north - a place she's always called "home".
Sue, who runs the sanctuary with her partner Dave, has launched an appeal for a spacious new place to rent that can accomodate 30 dalmatians, Great Danes and other giant breeds of rescue dogs. She fears if new premises are not quickly found, she may have to make the heartbreaking decision to close the shelter permanently.
"Unfortunately, our current residence in Devon is no longer suitable for the dogs or us," explained the 54-year-old. "The track down to the animals is becoming impassable and as it is a bridleway, the council are not interested in helping and no one is prepared to deliver to us. I am originally from Carnforth and have lots of family and friends in Morecambe Bay. I want to be close to my son, Dan, his wife and the grandchildren. I want to come 'home'."
Sue has been running DAS Dalmatians for six years as an independent non-profit rescue centre. In that time, she’s helped over 300 dogs. Over the years, she’s been surprised how many Dalmatians there are in need of rescuing. Sue sets a limit of looking after 30 dogs at a time.
"The dogs live as part of the family. We live in stables – the dogs have one half and we have the other, and they have 24/7 access to a three-acre field to play in," explains the former nurse. "The dogs need to be exercised a few times a day, but that it’s easy for their exercise routine to fit in with our family’s routine. However, looking after the dogs on my own while Dave works full time can be a handful!"
In the past six years, Sue has only been able to return to Morecambe once for her son's wedding due to her commitments. She feels by being closer to her son and his family, she'll have help and volunteers for when she needs a break.
"We cannot go on holiday nor go out for any length of time. By moving closer to family, we will get the balance right. Plus, to continue our work and be able to help even more animals, we have come to the conclusion that when we move it needs to be to a bigger facility that can cater for an increased number of rescues that we get asked to help.
"I have been ringing around contacting estate agents around Morecambe Bay in a bid to find a suitable place to move to with the dogs, but the criteria is making it almost impossible to find our forever home. In fact, it's a nightmare!
"Now, we are urging the public to help us find a long-term rental of a farm/building, with more than an acre of land, comprising a concrete yard and situated in a rural setting. Outbuildings, stables or kennels are a bonus."
She went onto say: "Dalmatians are a very special breed, but because ours are kennel free, they do not bark all the time. The only time you hear them is when they need feeding! If we do not find a new place to move to, we will have no choice but to close permanently before the end of this year. So, if there is someone out there that has a farm or land with buildings and 10 acres or so and wants to help, then we would love to hear from you and be able to discuss possible arrangements."