Cats Protection Inverurie
Pet rescue sanctuary fire trauma


DEVASTATED pet rescuer yesterday pledged to ensure that a Kinross-shire animal sanctuary will rise like a phoenix from the flames of a ferocious blaze which has reduced it to cinders.

It’s been a traumatic few days for Barbara Willey, who lost cats and rabbits in the fire which ripped through the retreat at Milnathort’s Wester Loan in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

But she’s determined to resurrect a sanctuary which has been giving shelter to cats, dogs and other animals for the past eight years.

Local Animal Welfare Society champion Ms Willey, who also operates the KLAWS shop at 167 High Street, Kinross, said: “I’m still in a state of shock at what has happened but I’ve been boosted by the way people have rallied round.”

Now, her home is providing temporary respite to around 17 animals which survived the fire.

“I’ve got them in the kitchen, the bathroom, bedroom – they’re everywhere! I don’t want to let them out and about until they are over the initial trauma. A vet has been in to give them injections to calm them down but now we have Guy Fawkes Night to worry about. The animals would be petrified if they were outdoors with fireworks going off,” she explained.

Ms Willey, who has been dedicated to pet rescue for 25 years, has been heartened by the community response to her plight and praised Tayside Fire Brigade personnel for their efforts.

“The support has been brilliant. Like me, people have been upset and they’ve been coming in with donations of pet food and all the basics that are needed so urgently. They’ve even been out and about with food trying to track down the handful of animals that still aren’t accounted for.

“The phone has been going non-stop with expressions of sympathy and support.

“To be honest, right now it’s money that we need most because the sanctuary has to be rebuilt. We also need basics such as food, trays and proper pet bedding. The debris has to be cleared and we have only limited insurance cover for sheds and fencing.

“It’s early days but I’m determined to rebuild the sanctuary and any support would be very welcome. We’ve lost everything and it’s only adrenaline that’s been keeping me going. But I’m determined not to let people and the animals down.”

Ms Willey will be appealing for homes for the troubled animals soon but explained: “It’s important to get them settled again. That is the immediate priority.”

She can be contacted on Kinross 01577 863063 or 07814 830547.