Sanctuary in urgent plea for cash help

Mary Hepworth with shire  Big George
Mary Hepworth with shire Big George

A SOUTH Yorkshire animal sanctuary is appealing for urgent help with raising funds after hitting financial problems.

Albert’s Horse Sanctuary, at Cawthorne, could face closure if it doesn’t raise at least £15,000 to look after its animals when cold weather bites later this year.

The charity, which looks after 42 animals including 19 horses, nine sheep and four donkeys, as well as goats, pigs, cats and rabbits, is also asking for donations of hay and straw and help in finding farm equipment.

It’s not the first time that the sanctuary has suffered money woes.

Last year founder Mary Hepworth pleaded for donations when cash completely dried up, while in 2009 the Charities Commission removed it from its register after bosses failed to submit their accounts.

The sanctuary didn’t have the funds to get its accounts checked, but later its charity status was restored.

Mary said Albert’s Horse Sanctuary now needs £15,000 just to feed the animals.

“This doesn’t include vet bills, wormers, teeth and feet,” she said.

“We do not only need cash donations – we desperately need a tractor to enable us to do more for ourselves, or any old trailers or paddock cleaners that anyone might have that they are no longer using.”

Donations of hay, straw and haylage – a type of forage for horses – are also being accepted.

“On the business side we’re looking for an accountant who might do our accounts for free,” Mary added.

“Just like any other charity we rely on public donations to make it possible for us to continue to look after our residents.

“Without us all these animals would most likely have to be put to sleep.”

Last year Albert’s Horse Sanctuary was at the centre of a planning row when Barnsley Council threatened prosecution for building stables on green belt land without permission.

n To help out or for more information call 07721 327879 and 07774 001635.