Petition fails to save cat charity's Shropshire branch
A campaign to save a Shropshire charity has failed after bosses stuck with their decision to close it.
More than 2,800 people signed a petition in a bid to prevent the north Shropshire branch of Cats Protection from closing.
But charity bosses have now confirmed the organisation will close despise protests from its volunteers.
Rachel Dams led a 10-week campaign to save the branch after it was announced it could close in June.
She said: "It's absolutely heartbreaking. I am devastated. We submitted our report and were rejected but we were allowed one further appeal but it has now been confirmed by the trustees the branch will close.
"There is nothing more that can be done. We have had a lot of support from other branches and wonderful support from the public but the trustees say there are other areas that are more in need.
"It seems the petition has been completely disregarded. We tried our very best to keep it open and we think there is no justifiable reason to close but we do not make the decision.
"The only thing that is certain is that there are plenty of cats out there in need of help."
The branch, set up in May 2011, had seven volunteers who mainly operated in the Market Drayton, Whitchurch and Wem areas.
Over the past two years it had cared for and neutered more than 1,000 cats.
And on Saturday the RSPCA announced Shropshire is facing a cat crisis with the number of abandoned animals reaching critical levels.
The charity said the situation is so bad that neither Gonsal Farm Animal Centre near Shrewsbury or the main Shropshire RSPCA branch in Telford are able to take in any more felines.
Mrs Dams added: "There is a need everywhere but the RSPCA has itself said there is a particular need in Shropshire.
"All our volunteers want to carry on but we are not being given the opportunity."
A statement from the trustees to the volunteers said: "The Board of Trustees has received your appeal against the decision to dissolve the North Shropshire branch.
"Having read your final submission and considered it we are sorry to have to inform you that we have decided to confirm our previous decision and so the North Shropshire Branch has now been dissolved.
"We did take account of your information about the area but had to weigh that against supporting development in very large areas of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where there are no branches at all.
"Once again the board would like to thank you for all that you did for cats in the area during your time with the charity."
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