AN animal sanctuary boss due to stand trial on cruelty charges in April has vowed to continue operating her rescue centre – whatever the outcome of the case.
Lindsay Newell, who runs Burton Wildlife Centre, in Stapenhill, is accused by the RSPCA of 30 charges of animal cruelty, all of which she has denied.
The 27-year-old (pictured) told the Mail that publicity surrounding the court case, which was adjourned last week, had brought a ‘negative effect’ on fund-raising, which costs £800 a month to run.
However, a committee of five trustees has now been formed to discuss the future of the facility, and are looking at ways to bring in extra cash.
Miss Newell said: “It is harder for me to fund-raise.
“Before the RSPCA case we had just received funding and every January we would get donations to help meet our rent.
“We approached a couple of companies for funding that said ‘only after the court case’.”
She said January was the most difficult month for the centre and they were forced to put a halt to taking animals in.
She said: “We have had a meeting with five new trustees that have come in, and have put a committee together.
“We are formulating fund-raising ideas such as car boots so we have a steady income.”
Despite speculation on social media sites that the centre was closing Miss Newell said this wasn’t the case. She said: “We were originally telling people not to bring any more animals in for the time being but we can’t stop people.
“People are still throwing stuff over the gate, a cockerel was thrown over the other day. Animals are coming in and out all the time.”
The centre is currently home to 300 animals, mainly pigeons and chickens, and has a ground rent of £2,000 a year.
Miss Newell said the centre would carry on regardless of the outcome of the case, which has been adjourned for the defence to prepare its case.