Animal centre is appealing for help

The PAWS team - (left to right) Kevin Mulhall, fundraiser; Shiela Johnstone, secretary; Graham Johnstone, chairman; and Susan Priestner, receptionist. Picture by John Tuttiett.
The PAWS team - (left to right) Kevin Mulhall, fundraiser; Shiela Johnstone, secretary; Graham Johnstone, chairman; and Susan Priestner, receptionist. Picture by John Tuttiett.

An animal welfare service in Northumberland that closed in October is appealing for help to reopen in the new year.

The People’s Animal Welfare Service (PAWS), which offers veterinary treatment in return for donations, closed its doors after 60 years at the end of October.

The Bedlington-based charity was founded in 1954 by former RSPCA worker Mary Weightman, but was forced to close due to a lack of funds.

The charity has run weekly clinics for poorly animals ever since, where visitors are asked to pay a donation for treatment by qualified vets.

But the News Post Leader reported how the charity closed due to dwindling volunteer numbers needed to get the funds to keep the charity going.

Charity chairman Graham Johnstone, who lives in Bedlington Station, said: “Some people still believe that we are already in the clear, this is definitely not the case.

“Sadly PAWS is closed, and we are urging people to please not phone for appointments as there are none.

“There will be no more veterinary treatments or repeat prescriptions, and while there is a slim possibility that we might re-open in January, this is not guaranteed.

“We are still having to pay bills with too little money coming in.

“If you really need PAWS, there is always a way you can help – please contact us Facebook, preferably with an email and/or phone number.”

Visit www.facebook.com/PAWS-Bedlington-179030198838420 for details.