Pet charity is under threat
AHOST of rescued pets may need to be placed in ‘foster care’ after complaints against an animal charity.
Nikki Jackson, 33, who runs Wellington Boot Garden Farm from her Offerton home, has been told to find alternative premises for her 20 animals or be closed down.
It follows a complaint, believed to be from by a neighbour, and has left an uncertain future for three rabbits, four guinea pigs, nine chickens, two ferrets, a tortoise and a mouse.
Nikki, who lives on Marple Road, is desperately trying to find new premises and homes for the animals after a relocation to a school in Stockport fell through.
She said: “I am absolutely devastated.Wehaveworked so hard to get this up and running to be told it could all end horribly.
“I love my work, everyone who works for the project is really passionate about animals.
“If we can’t find somewhere very quickly we will have to close down.”
Wellington Farm opened in May 2013 as a business looking after pets while owners went on holiday.
In February 2014 it became a charity producing pet care literature, taking animals into schools for educational visits and looking after rescued pets.
Nikki says the total amount of animal accommodation in her large back garden was 14 hutches and four chicken coops and the council told her no planning permission was needed.
But after the complaint council officers ordered her business be shut down last November. She did this but now they have returned to say the charity and its animals must go too.
A council spokesman confirmed a complaint had been received and said: “A site visit revealed that the owners were operating an animal boarding business as well as an animal sanctuary. In addition, owners were also operating as a business and inviting schools to attend an urban farm.
“This was a material change in the use of the land for which planning permission is required.
“Given the location of this property, the size of the garden and the proximity of other houses we are satisfied the scale of the use was inappropriate and required the owners to cease the use.
“The owners were given sufficient time to seek new premises. Planning advice which is provided over the telephone is done so on an informal basis.”
Anyone who can help rehome animals or find new premises can call Nikki on 07581 491094.
Nikki Jackson of Wellington Boot Garden Farm, which may have to close