By Humphrey Carter

THE future of the Centro Canino animal refuge was thrown into doubt again yesterday after the animal shelter was handed another closure order by Palma City Council and given five days to clear the home of animals in its care.

This latest battle in the shelter's fight for survival is after three neighbours reported the animal home for breaking permitted noise levels.
However, spokesperson for the animal shelter, Julie Ford, said yesterday that the complaints are unfounded because the few animals they have in their care sleep inside the refuge at night and are also housed in special sound- proofed kennels.

A series of sound barriers have also been built around the perimeter of the refuge in order to reduce noise to an absolute minimum. “We're fighting a losing battle - for some reason, the council just doesn't want us here.

We have all the necessary paperwork and are continually submitting new documents to the council as asked, as far as we are concerned, we have everything in order and the shelter is in the required condition. “Most of our many neighbours are quite happy with the situation and prefer the first class animal home to the pig farm it was before we extensively renovated the place,” she said.

That said, the Centro Canino now has to fight this latest closure order and, in the meantime, is appealing for people to come forward and foster the pets, many of which are puppies. “Yesterday, we organised a gathering of friends and supporters of the Centro just as a show of support and solidarity, sadly it coincided with the issue of the new closure order. There are three neighbours against us, but we have 3'000 supporters,” she said. “We're obviously going to fight this, just like we've fought and won all they other battles but it sometimes feels like we're fighting a losing battle and it is the poor animals which will be the victims,” she said. “We've done everything the council has asked of us and more. “If anybody is thinking about adopting a dog or has room for another, we need their help and urgently,” she added.