People power helps BARK

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AN incredible show of people power has raised the £45,000 needed to save Benvardin Animal Rescue Kennels (BARK) near Ballymoney.

A fundraising drive was launched after the land occupied by BARK was put up for sale.

The charity - which rehomes around 800 animals every year - announced it needed £225,000 to buy the property and stave off eviction.

And with £45,000 raised in just over a month, the charity now has enough for a deposit to secure a mortgage on the site.

A spokeswoman for BARK said they were stunned and delighted by the huge level of support.

“With your support and generosity we have managed to exceed our target of £45,000 in just five weeks -- a full two weeks ahead of our deadline,” she said.

“We now have enough for the deposit to make our offer to buy the site.

“We cannot thank everyone enough, from those who donated to those who shared our plight, it just goes to show what a bit of dedication, determination and a love for animals can achieve.”

Donations were made online and by post, with several fundraising events taking place in aid of BARK.

‘For sale’ signs were erected at Bark in January, sparking fears over the future of the animal sanctuary.

The site is currently for sale for offers around £225,000. BARK had first refusal, but as it stood anybody could make a bid for the land.

Bark volunteer Shaun McIntyre said they have received donations from as far away as the United States and even one from a police force in England. The £3,000 was the single largest donation.

“She came in and said she wanted to make a small donation so I opened the receipt book, next thing she handed me a cheque for £2,000, but by the time we thanked her for her generosity she had donated another £1,000.” Shaun said.

“We are so thankful to everyone, but the place continues to cost £7,000 a month to run.”