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Donations to Exotic Pet Refuge in Deeping St James is helping it look after animals during coronavirus lockdown




A pet refuge says it is managing to stay afloat but is continuing to appeal for support as more animals are brought in.

Pam Mansfield, owner of The Exotic Pet Refuge in Deeping St James, vowed not to allow the animals in her care to starve, following money concerns due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, thanks to kindhearted people and generous companies, Pam, who founded the refuge with her late husband Mel in 1984, says they are “just about” surviving.

Pam Mansfield and Gypsy the life saver, Deeping st James (20619267)
Pam Mansfield and Gypsy the life saver, Deeping st James (20619267)

The virus outbreak has seen a number of pets being taken to the refuge as owners are no longer able to take care of them.

She said: “We are just about managing, but we are getting more and more animals in.

“We’ve had a baby badger, a baby fox, snakes, lizards, baby rabbits, ducklings by the dozen, five turtles and two jungle cats.

“The thing is that people can’t cope - they might have been furloughed or there might be a lot of uncertainty around their job or they may have even lost their jobs.

A lynx at the refuge
A lynx at the refuge

“If people don’t know if they will have a job, obviously their children come first and that’s when they need to give their pets to us.”

Members of the public have been donating money to the refuge’s GoFundMe page, purchasing items from an Amazon Wishlist that has been set up, and dropping off money and food.

Companies in the area have also been helping the refuge where they can.

A meerkat at the pet refuge
A meerkat at the pet refuge

Pam said: “People have left no end of fruit at the gate; a gentleman called Bob brings us around £40 worth of meat a week, Sainsbury’s in Bourne, Greenyard Fresh and Riverford in Peterborough have been brilliant too.

“The donations of money also make a real difference as then we can get exactly what we need.”

There is still uncertainty over whether the refuge will be able to open to the public at all this year, but Pam is hopeful.

Reptiles are among the variety of exotic animals at the refuge
Reptiles are among the variety of exotic animals at the refuge

She said: “By now we would have had several children’s parties and experience days, as well as the open days.

“It would be good if we could hold an open day but we will see how it goes. We just want to keep everyone safe.”

For information on how you can help support the efforts, click here to visit Exotic Pet Refuge on Facebook.



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