'We only have £500 left to keep going': Plea for help from sanctuary before over 50 animals lose their rescue homes
A small animal rescue centre operating in Preston and the Fylde coast has asked for help with donations to rent a permanent premises, amid fears it may shut down.
Hugo's Small Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, founded in 2018 by friends Bailey Lister and Lucie Anyon, both 18, currently runs from three branches.
They rent stables in Grange Road, Hambleton, and keep rescued animals at their homes in Fisher Street, North Shore and Marl Hill Crescent, Ribbleton.
But with costs mounting and the number of animals they rescue increasing on a weekly basis, Bailey said without help he had "no idea how long he could keep going."
Bailey and Lucie have now set up a Just Giving page in the hope kind-hearted members of the public can help them raise £20,000 for a large premises to house over 50 animals in their care.
They also plan to do a sponsored 19.5 mile walk between Fleetwood and Preston to raise funds.
"I woke up on Monday and realised we had £500 left in our Paypal account, and I panicked," Bailey explained.
"It costs around £250 a month just for food and electricity for the animals, that's without vet bills and medication, and we get more animals being surrendered to us every week.
"We just don't know how we can keep this open much longer, anything would help at the moment."
Hugo's was founded after Bailey rescued a rat, Hugo, some years ago which inspired him to work full-time rescuing other small animals.
The sanctuary currently looks after over 50 animals, including small rodents, reptiles and birds of prey.
Two gerbils, eight ferrets, three owls, 11 rabbits, eight rats, three leopard geckos, four guinea pigs, a milk snake, two bearded dragons, four giant African land snails, a tarantula, two crested geckos, three mice and two African soft fur rats currently call the sanctuary home.
Animals kept at Bailey's home in Blackpool had to be moved to Preston this week, after a radiator flooded, putting the electrics in the reptile room at risk.
The strain of added reptiles in Lucie's home in Preston meant the costs of electricity would mount, an unexpected expense the friends could not afford.
Bailey continued: "A lot of the animals in our care have behavioural or health issues, which means we can't rehome all of them.
"We have nine animals on medication. and we don't receive any funding.
"We would be grateful for any help, because if we can't stay open then all of these animals will have to go to other rescue centres, and I just don't know where they would be able to go."
You can donate to the rescue's fundraiser here.