Animal centres to close amid job losses at crisis-hit RSPCA

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Four animal centres run by the RSPCA in the south east are to close with the loss of nearly 300 jobs.

The charity - which has its headquarters in Southwater, near Horsham - has confirmed the closures along with the loss of 270 jobs because of a cash crisis.

Among centres closing are the South Godstone Animal Centre and one at Lockwood in Surrey.

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RSPCA bosses say the moves are part of a restructure to save the charity from a forecasted £47 million hole in its finances.

The RSPCA Centre in South Godstone is to close SUS-201208-155935001The RSPCA Centre in South Godstone is to close SUS-201208-155935001
The RSPCA Centre in South Godstone is to close SUS-201208-155935001

Spokesman John Kerslake said: “This is a very sad decision and we know it will be disappointing for staff, volunteers and the local community.”

He said they had no alternative because of the need for urgent cost savings.

He added: “We have to take action to reduce the running costs now to make sure the RSPCA is able to continue rescuing animals.

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“We would like to reassure people that we will continue to rescue animals and give them the care they need through our other centres - including RSPCA Millbrook in Surrey - and in partnership with other organisations.”

The RSPCA says it is facing a £25 million deficit this year, which has been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic, rising to a potential £47m black hole over the next three years if action is not taken.

Services at South Godstone are expected to stop in early autumn. Frontline rescue teams will take animals to other RSPCA centres in Surrey and across the south east and all the animals at the centre will be moved to other centres and found new homes.

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