AFTER a decade helping save the lives of thousands of animals, a charity is planning to expand.
Sunderland’s Animal Krackers has rescued and rehomed more than 3,000 pets since it launched 10 years ago.
Hopes are high that many more will be helped thanks to the centre’s new cattery.
The 17-unit rescue facility, which opens this month, will be used to house stray and abandoned cats, with a specialised isolation space for poorly animals.
The Wearside-based charity receives no financial help from the Government or National Lottery, relying heavily on funds from its two shops in Grangetown and Hendon.
Sue Hardy, 64, founded the charity with business partner Andrea Parkin, 47.
Andrea, from Barnes, said: “We have put £70,000 of the charity’s money into building the cattery and it is great we have come this far.
“People bring us so many animals, so we will have somewhere else to house them until they are rehomed by fostering or adopting.
“Many pets are dropped off due to circumstances such as a couple splitting up or owners moving to a smaller home.
“Even though the units are quite big, we can’t really mix large groups of cats in case of infection, so we always need people to adopt or to foster.”
A fashion show last month was just one of the many events the pair organised to boost funds.
Sue, from Grangetown, said; “We raised £1,200 in at the show we had at St Aidan’s Church. We used clothes from the shop and had a great turnout of about 200 people.
“People don’t always realise charity shops have so much to offer, as they assume because it is donated it is no good. This is not the case. At the show we had children in designer dresses.
The animal lovers often worry about what would happen if the charity stopped receiving the vital funds it needs to survive and Sue said: “We are looking to the younger generation to continue the work we have been doing.”
BORN from their passion for animals, Animal Krackers has become one of Wearside’s most established charities.
The duo initially spent £46,000 to transform a derelict plot in Grangetown into the charity shop it is today, selling everything from donated clothes to homeware.
The charity began to take in animals two years later accidentally, after shelters in the area closed down.
Since then they have rehomed thousands of animals in Wearside and beyond.