MID Antrim Animal Sanctuary is preparing to celebrate its’ 25th anniversary later this month.
The Greystone Road facility has helped rehome tens of thousands of dogs and cats and has undergone a huge transformation since opening in 1996.
Among the huge changes seen have been the £750,000 completion of the new building, Hurtletoot House, and a new kennel block, cattery, office space, conference room and training barn for dogs, back in 2012.
From humble beginnings to the modern new surroundings of Hurtletoot House, the staff and dedicated volunteers are ‘delighted’ to have hit this very significant milestone.
There have been trying times down the years as Mid Antrim worked to provide shelter and care for scores of unwanted and abandoned cat and dogs in less than ideal conditions.
Sadly, there have been no shortage of cases where dogs have been tied to the fence and boxes of puppies have been dumped at the gates.
All these animals, some of which have complex needs and require extensive veterinary care, involve significant cost and it only due to the generous support and tireless fundraisers that they have been able to keep going, with millions of pounds having been raised over the years.
“When you look at the £300,000 annual running costs that we need to meet for essentials including food and vet bills, it’s a fortune.” said fundraiser Janet Hume
“The vet bills alone are around £60,000 to £70,000 every year and we are very grateful for the help and support of the local vets that we work with.”
Pre pandemic, the sanctuary worked closely with local schools and youth groups, visiting them for educational purposes or hosting trips to the sanctuary and welcoming Duke of Edinburgh volunteers.
There is also a charity shop in the town centre.
**The Antrim Guardian will be speaking to staff and volunteers at the sanctuary in the coming weeks and remembering some of the past residents**