AN animal rescue centre is having to turn away homeless pets for the first time in its 25-year history.
The Ark Animal Rescue centre, in North Somercotes, has been forced to make the "painful" decision after seeing its funds fall to an all-time low.
The charity has experienced a drastic cut in donations during the recession and is having to cut staff hours in order to make ends meet.
But it will continue to care for its current residents and will stay open in order to help them find a good home.
Manager Sue Rice is hoping the centre will be able to take in animals again when the financial situation improves, and is appealing for help from members of the public.
"We haven't taken this decision lightly and it has been made with great sadness," she said.
"We don't want to close, which is why we are reducing expenses drastically by reducing the number of animals we have in, thus enabling us to give the usual high standard of care to those we do have."
Watch a video of the appeal...
If you want to help, call 01507 358140 or visit www.arkanimalrescue.co.uk