A Preston animal rescue shelter dogged by controversy is to re-open to the public in March.Advertisement
RSPCA Preston and District Branch in Ribbleton closed in December 2017 following concerns for animal safety standards.
The branch was placed into national RSPCA control with a new board of trustees installed.
A new centre manager has now also been put in place ahead of the reopening.
The closure in December 2017 was listed as ‘temporary’ but in June last year its future remained unclear.
Regional operations manager for the North West Anne Corbishley said: “We’re very excited to be able to re-open the centre to the public.
“It has taken a while but we’ve done a lot of work at the centre to ensure that we can deliver high standards of care to our animals. This includes new ventilation in the cattery and new fencing around the dog exercise paddocks. We are really proud of the improvements that have been made.
“Not all of the accommodation at the centre will return to use straight away but over the next few weeks 14 kennels and 12 cat pens will re-open.”
The RSPCA’s clinic in Lancaster Road has remained open despite the closure and helped 1,400 animals last year.
Read more: Cat cafe opens in Preston
New animal centre manager Mark Allen said: “We can’t wait to re-open the centre and I would encourage anyone interested in adopting a cat or a dog to come and visit us.”
Donations continued to be made to the Preston branch throughout last year, which the charity has thanked the public for.
Anne said: “We’re very grateful for the support we’ve continued to receive during this difficult period.
“People have continued to donate to the branch, and these donations have allowed us to continue to help animals in need in the area even though the centre itself has been closed.”
Read more: See the latest news and headlines in Preston
The centre reopens on Sunday 10 March.
Blog Preston asked the RSPCA a number of questions about the closure.
BP: What has happened to the previous centre manager?
RSPCA: The previous manager no longer works for the branch.
BP: Was any investigation carried out by the RSPCA into how the centre had been run and what was the outcome of this?
RSPCA: An investigation was carried out at the time of the closure and a number of recommendations for improvements to animal accommodation and some of our processes were made, and these have been implemented.
BP: Is the branch locally run or nationally run/affiliated?
RSPCA: It is nationally run at the moment, it is in national society trusteeship.