Pets are looking for new homes as RSPCA’s new £1.5m centre opens in East Ardsley

The RSPCA new £1.5m animal centre in East Ardsley opens to the public tomorrow (Saturday).

Moira with her kittens
Moira with her kittens

The centre on Moor Knoll Lane will serve the RSPCA’s Leeds, Wakefield and District branch.

It will be opened by Leeds fighter Josh ‘The Warrior’ Warrington who whose family adopted a St Bernard dog called Dexter from the RSPCA last year.

But the first animals born at the centre will be among those looking for new homes.

Moira the cat was picked up as a stray, heavily pregnant and with a leg injury. Her kittens Picnic, Twix, Crunchie, Ripple, Topic and Kitkat were born at the centre, while work was still taking place to finish it.

They are among the first of many that staff at the centre will care for and rehabilitate after being rescued from cruelty and neglect by RSPCA officers in West Yorkshire. The branch aims to find permanent, loving home for these animals in the local area.

Branch manager Caroline Lewis-Jones said: “The number of people convicted of animal cruelty after RSPCA prosecutions was the highest in the country here in West Yorkshire again last year, and the number of complaints investigated by RSPCA officers in our county, 8,440 was second only to Greater London.

“We hope our new animal centre will be a symbol of the community’s commitment to combat animal cruelty and be a safe haven for local animals in need, just like Moira and her six kittens.”

The grand opening of the centre will take place at noon. Members of the public are welcome to join in the celebrations from 1pm.

After tomorrow, the doors will be open between 10am and 4pm every day except Wednesdays, when viewings are between 11am and 3pm.

The new centre has the capacity to house 15 dogs, 30 cats and, when completed, up to 12 small ‘furries’ like rabbits and guinea pigs.

There are isolation facilities, a vet suite, an indoor dog arena for training and play and outside exercise areas, a shop and visitor centre.