By Humphrey Carter

THE future of the Centro Canino Internacional animal shelter remained in the balance last night after the judge handling the centre's appeal against the Palma City Council closure order called for more evidence and more time to study the case. In the meantime, the closure order is suspended.

The judge's decision yesterday gave the animal shelter's volunteers and global supporters a glimmer of hope that the judge may eventually over rule the closure order completely and allow the Centro Canino to continue operating as usual.

All this week, the Centro Canino, Palma City Council and the Daily Bulletin have been flooded with calls, emails and faxes of outrage over the council's decisions from all over Europe.

British Members of Parliament and the leading broadcaster and journalist Selina Scott have also come to the defense of the shelter as too has the daughter of the founder, of the Centro Canino, the late Jane Reynolds.

Palma City Council issued the closure order less than a year after the former Partido Popular-run city council was forced to back down from its attempt to shut the animal refuge.

The council maintains that the Centro Canino does not have the necessary paperwork to operate - despite all the required applications being currently bogged down in the system after having been lodged with the relevant authorities last September.

The closure order was due to have been officially enforced at 11am tomorrow morning and the 50 odd dogs and cats, including a donkey, removed to the Son Reus municipal animal pound. In accordance with the closure order the city council conceded that animals relocated from the Centro Canino to Son Reus would not be put down if they had failed to have been offered a new home within the standard adoption period.

It has been a highly emotional and traumatic week for the Centro Canino volunteers but at least the judge presiding over the case has given them the chance to fight another day and Palma city council the opportunity to reconsider its unpopular decisions which has prompted a group of “independent animal lovers” to set up a website and campaign which will be launched if the Centro Canino is shut down.