Animal centre is closed for good

The PAWS team fundraising at the end of last year to save the service.
The PAWS team fundraising at the end of last year to save the service.

An animal welfare service in Northumberland has closed for good despite efforts to keep the charity going.

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 due to dwindling volunteer numbers needed to get the funds to keep the charity going.

A desperate appeal was made to save the service, and it was hoped a rise in donations would be enough to keep PAWS going.

But charity chairman Graham Johnstone said: “PAWS in Bedlington has finally had to close down for good.

“Despite valiant efforts by a few dedicated volunteers who tried to help us in the past weeks, we have decided that we cannot continue; the substantial and sustained financial support we need has not materialised.

“PAWS is now in the process of finalising matters with the council and the Charity Commission.

“We would like to thank all those who have supported us in whatever capacity over the years, and we wish everyone well.

“I should stress that recent help and donations have not been in vain; although the clinic was closed, there have still been some overheads to pay and some bills are still outstanding.”

The Bedlington-based charity was founded in 1954 by former RSPCA worker Mary Weightman, and has run weekly clinics for poorly animals ever since, where visitors are asked to pay a donation for treatment by qualified vets.