‘Help us to keep The Ark afloat’

The Ark Animal Rescue and Retirement Home in North Somercotes has set up a ‘crowd funding’ page to support their ongoing legal battle against a noise abatement notice.

Sue Rice at The Ark Animal Rescue and Retirement Home.

As reported previously, the animal rescue centre’s work has been overshadowed by the noise abatement notice, which was imposed late last year following complaints from a neighbour.

Owner, Sue Rice, said: “The Ark Animal Rescue was founded by my late mother Pauline Rice 33 years ago.

“Initially, she began taking in stray cats and after a few years she also accepted dogs.

Sue Rice (third left) with her team at The Ark in recent years.

“Over the years, The Ark vastly devolved due to the public need and now provides a safe haven to many animals.

“My mum dedicated her life to the health and well-being of each and every animal that came into her care.

“With the support of the public, Mum was soon able to fund purpose-built kennels all of which had the appropriate planning permission from the local council. The local council have even used these kennels in the past for stray dogs.”

Sue continued: “We are raising funds to cover some of the legal fees following the local council [ELDC] serving us a Noise Abatement notice in 2018 due to complaints from one neighbour.

“The complainant moved to a nearby property two and half years ago. The previous owners lived there for 12 years with no complaints.

“We feel we have been treated unfairly, and have run as a rescue centre peacefully serving the community.”

The Ark’s appeal against the council was taken to Boston Magistrates’ Court last week (February 25), and the case was adjourned until May 13.

Sue explained: “We will be needing a barrister and an independent professional sound report to back our case.

“This costs approximately £1,380 for a barrister and £5,200 for the professional sound report.

“If we are to win this case, The Ark’s future would be more secure, enabling us to carry on re-homing hundreds of animals per year.

“If we lost the case, we would have to close our current re-homing kennels and raise substantial funds to replicate these kennels in a different location on site (further away from complainant).

“If these funds cannot be raised, this could mean The Ark closing our gates forever.”

An ELDC spokesman said: “The council believes that it has followed the correct procedure in respect of this matter.

“It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment further at this time given the ongoing legal proceedings.”

ELDC has previously said it was required by law to investigate following the initial complaint, and to serve the notice after a ‘statutory noise nuisance’ was identified.

• Visit www.crowdjustice.com/case/help-keep-the-ark-afloat/ to support The Ark.