Fundraiser launched as arson attack forces animal sanctuary to shut
A fundraising campaign has been launched after an arson attack forced a Black Country animal sanctuary to shut.
No animals were injured in the fire at Brockswood Animal Sanctuary but the site, in Catholic Lane, Sedgley, is expected to be closed for the rest of the week.
The blaze began at around 3.51am on Monday morning when around 10 metres of a wooden perimeter fence caught fire.
In a statement, the animal sanctuary said: "Unfortunately we are unable to open as we are having to put all of our effort into dealing with the aftermath of an arson attack on the site by mindless vandals.
"We are absolutely devastated that people have targeted us again, and we are left picking up the pieces."
West Midlands Fire Service sent five firefighters from Dudley to tackle the blaze, with investigations suggesting the fire was started deliberately.
Fire service spokesman Matthew Smith said: "The initial call was fences on fire near to a nature reserve.
"The fire is believed to have been started deliberately."
West Midlands Police is looking into the incident, which has left the sanctuary needing to carry out costly repairs.
The sanctuary spokesman continued: "This is going to take a significant amount of time to fix, and money that we don’t really have.
"As we’re sure you will understand, we’d much rather be spending money on our animals, not rectifying vandalism.
"We are happy to tell you that all of our animals are absolutely fine. But we need to get this sorted as soon as possible in order to keep them safe and secure."
A fundraising campaign was set up and more than £1,000 has been raised within the first 24 hours.
A statement on the Go Fund Me page said: "This morning we heard the news that local organisation, Brockswood had been victims of a vicious arson attack.
"Unfortunately, they have been unable to open today as they were having to put all efforts into dealing with the aftermath of the attack.
"As you can imagine the staff are absolutely devastated to of been targeted and are now left to pick up the pieces.
"This is now going to take a significant amount of time to fix, and large sums of money that they don’t really have, as there's several thousand pounds worth of damage.
"Brockswood is a non-profit making company; all their profits are used to care for rescued animals and to maintain and improve the site, as well as conservation of the site to provide a haven for British Wildlife.
"Earlier on today Stephanie Jones from Fixed Wheel Brewery visited manager Neil at the Sanctuary to offer support.
"She helped set up this fundraising page and the brewery have also dedicated a special ale, money sold from casks to their customers will be donated direct to Brockswood Sanctuary."
The nature reserve cares for a range of different animals from pigs, goats and ponies to owls and emus.
Despite the outer perimeter being damaged, the animals are kept securely in paddocks, the animal sanctuary said.
You can visit the fundraising page here.