Bid to keep sanctuary

A Heanor woman is on a fundraising mission to keep a Cypriot cat sanctuary from closing.

A Heanor woman is on a fundraising mission to keep a Cypriot cat sanctuary from closing.

Fiona Coulson,of Brockhall Rise, adopted her cat Dixie from the Cyprus Cat and Dog Rescue in 2010 and has continued to raise money for the charity, run by an Essex couple.

But the struggling economy has hit the sanctuary - and ex-pats June and Michael Ratcliff say it is on the brink of closure - meaning they may have to put 60 cats and 12 dogs there to sleep.

Former environmental project manager Fiona, 47, said: “As each weeks goes we are running out of time.

“Other Cypriot rescues are already over-full - there is no help. I appeal to anyone who can even foster a needy animal – this isn’t simply offering a home, it’s literally saving a life!

June and Michael Ratcliff moved from Essex to the Greek island in 2002. But they were shocked by the neglect faced by some animals in Cyprus and quickly set up the sanctuary.

Fiona said the couple had to keep full time jobs to maintain the shelter, rising at 4am every day to carry out their duties. But since then June has lost her job and Michael is due to be made redundant at the end of August.

The couple have also been hit with increased costs and a drop in adopters. They now face losing the sanctuary unless £3,000 is found within the next few weeks - to stop the property from being repossessed.

Fiona continued: “‘The animals are on death row ... each day that passes is 24 hours less chance of their having a future. If we can raise £1500 over the next few weeks, this will buy more time, even potentially save the property.”

Donations can be made via, which has information on how to adopt the pets - all of which have EU pet passports, are sterilised, vaccinated, microchipped, flea and worm treated.