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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Barrow woman may be forced to close animal refuge

AN animal lover says she is being forced to shut her sanctuary for injured birds.

Pat Denny turned her garden at Cliff Lane, Barrow, into a refuge for injured birds a decade ago and has since helped hundreds of creatures to survive.

She currently cares for around 40 injured ducks and birds including a blind crow.

But the 66-year-old says she will have to close her doors unless she gets some urgent cash help.

Ms Denny, who part remortgaged her bungalow to raise thousands of pounds to help pay for her animals three years ago, was left with just £10 in her handbag for her and her birds earlier this week.

She said: “I have that many disabled birds.

“Nobody would want to take them on and they would have to be destroyed.

“I am just coming to the end of my tether.

“I just sat down and cried looking at the birds last night.

“I can’t struggle on paying food bills, I am down to my last tenner in my purse.

“If I could afford it I would do it forever, but it has got to crisis point now.

“The gull season is coming up but I have got enough birds and I am absolutely bereft of money.

“Everything has gone up in price and I can’t even pay my mortgage this month, it is that bad.

“I will continue but only if I can get some funding.

“I am a pensioner now and that’s it.

“I have run out of funds.

“I have been spending everything on this except the mortgage.” Ms Denny is dreading a new influx of injured birds like seagulls now the hatching season is about to start.

And there is real danger that some of disabled birds she has cared for long-term might now have to be destroyed.

She said the funding crisis had been growing but she had been too proud to say anything until now.

She said she had also been hit in the credit crunch when the value of stocks and shares she owns plummeted.

Currently an elderly lady supporter gives her £40 a month while another donates £10 a month.

But Ms Denny says she needs at least £200 a month to survive – which excludes other expenses such as maintaining the aviaries.

Ms Denny said: “The police bring me birds, the town hall rings me up about pigeons that are injured with one thing or another.

“Tesco, Asda, all of them ring me. I wrote to Tesco because I have had three ducks from outside their spot when they were tiny.

“They were domestic ducks and someone had dumped them, so I couldn’t let them go in the wild and I have been feeding them all that time.

“I have also had seagulls injured from their wind turbines. But they didn’t help. The only one I get a bit of food from is Pets at Home. They are very good.

“I got £40 off a lady for looking after a gull, but normally everyone just dumps birds and disappears and they don’t realise the cost of it with the food and everything.”

Vet Simon Pudsey, who is a partner of The Grove Veterinary Centre in Rawlinson Street which treats Ms Denny’s birds free of charge, said: “We don’t have any other method of rehabilitating birds in this area except Pat.

“She is responsible on her own for the majority of rehabilitation of wildlife in this area. We do rely on her.”

He said there had been concern about her funds for some time.

Mr Pudsey said: “People just leave things with her.

“Often they will do that without providing any kind of assistance, it’s just ‘here’s the whatever, you look after it.’

“We are very lucky to have someone as dedicated as she is.

“If there was a way to get her some funding that would be great. It is always tricky one to work out how that could happen.”

If you can help contact John Simpson on 01229 840144, john.simpson@nwemail.co.uk or ring Ms Denny on 01229 826722.

Have your say

u r doing such a fantastic job,why r the council wasting money on statues+empty office blocks when they obviously need 2 look closer 2 home!my dad Geoff Fowler+his friends are avid birdwatchers,loggin sightings etc tryin 2protect these beautiful birds that we take 4 granted!The robin,sparrow+other birds our children grow up with,do we really want 2 take that away?

Posted by lindsey fowler on 30 May 2009 at 09:57

This lady has devoted her life to caring for the many birds that are in the Furness Area, she deserves some form of financial help from whoever can help her, The Council, BAE Systems, if tere is any organisation who can assist PLEASE help her, it is sad she has had to remorgage her home to look after these injured creaatures, come on people of Barrow and Furness help this LADY PLEASE

Posted by Gordon Fisher on 29 May 2009 at 21:49

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