By Ryan Harrison
THE Centro Canino animal shelter have launched an appeal to save their animals after their current home is set to be bulldozed.
The animal refuge, founded over 30 years ago, falls within the new Palma “Green Belt” park area, and the shelter's organisers have been forced to find an alternate site.

Julie Ford, Vice President for the shelter said yesterday: “We're worried about the future of the animals, and we don't want them to be sacrificed.” With building work cut short on a suitable site on the outskirts of Palma after a petition from local residents, and with the sight of bulldozers revved up for action on their current site, the organisers have despaired. “The relevant permission was granted for our new centre, but because of the neighbours it had to be stopped,” Julie said yesterday. “The bulldozers are now on our doorstep ready to go to work. But we'll do everything we can to carry on,” she added. Renovation on the new Cahinu S'es Barraques site, formerly a pig farm, was well underway when residents petitioned to have it stopped last year.

Since work started, Centro Canino has spent over 55'000 Euros on refurbishment work, including replacing septic tanks, drainage and adding extra insulation to dampen the noise of the dogs.

Liz Whitehead, a committee member for Centro Canino, said: “There was no reason for the work to be stopped. It used to be a pig farm, but pigs are smellier and noisier than dogs.” “The new site is a good way away from the nearest village, so we don't know why they've objected,” she added. A formal petition gathered over 600 names in protest, but Liz said that there are actually only a small number of houses near the site.

The police were also contacted after buildings at the S'es Barraques site were sabotaged.
Organisers like Julie, who has lived in Majorca for over 20 years, are now appealing to save their sanctuary and hope that in future they can work in conjunction with other similar operations in the area.

She said: “We are hoping that Palma City Council will help us. They're the ones that can make things happen, and provide a solution for us.” “We also want to work together with all the other animal shelters on the island to solve the problem of abandoned animals.” The Centro Canino dog's home is run solely by fundraising activities.
Concerts, dances and many other local events have helped to keep the shelter alive, and Julie said they have received great local support since news of the closure came out. “There is a big following for the shelter, including British, German and Majorcan people on the island,” she said yesterday.

But the message from the Vice President is a defiant one. “We do not intend to leave here until we have somewhere to go. “We don't want this 30 years to have meant nothing and we are appealing for letters of support to be sent to us at the shelter. Please help us” said Julie.


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