A STRETFORD animal shelter is in the running to with a £50,000 grant from a national charity to help build a new cat rehoming facility - and it needs YOUR help.

The Society for Abandoned Animals (SAA), which is based in Barfoot Bridge in Stretford, is taking part in an initiative launched by national charity Support Adoption for Pets which is awarding ten grants of £50,000 to animal rescue centres in the UK.

As part of the entry criteria, a team of SAA volunteers produced a short, three-minute video, explaining how the donation would be used to create an 17-pen cat rehoming facility featuring a cat socialisation area, hygienic washing facilities, storage area and quarantine pens.

Staff are now urging local animal-lovers and supporters to get behind their bid and vote for their video to help secure the funds.

Laura Messenger, SAA trustee, said: “Last year, SAA rehomed 354 cats and our pens are always full. We are forced to turn away people on a daily basis because we do not have the room to take any more cats in and our waiting list is over three months long.

“Our current cat rehoming unit does not have plumbing and our washing and storage facilities are inadequate. It’s also difficult to keep the building clean and our second quarantine unit is in a poor state of repair.

“Our intention is to convert an existing building into a new cat rehoming unit that would incorporate 17 roomy pens, a cat socialisation area, hygienic washing facilities and secure storage for bedding and equipment. An adjacent, smaller building would be converted into a new quarantine area containing nine pens.

“This project will allow us to take in more unwanted cats, and will provide them with an improved environment whilst in our care, in more hygienic, secure and long-lasting facilities.

“The total estimated cost of the project is approximately £100,000. We have raised £70,000 already, which is fantastic, and we are now asking for Support Adoption for Pets’ help in finding the remaining funds.

“The money would allow us to complete the cat project and help us with vet fees, which are approximately £3,500 per month. It would make a huge difference to us and we urge all our supporters to please vote.”

Amy Wilson, charity manager at Support Adoption For Pets, commented: “We’ve been overwhelmed with the quality of the videos we’ve received so far.

"The £50,000 grants are available to all animal rescue centres and welfare organisations - big or small.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for charities to receive a significant donation towards their individual fundraising projects.

“We are extremely proud to reach the £10 million milestone and are delighted to be able to offer animal welfare organisations across the UK and Northern Ireland the chance to receive one of these special donations.

“Our success is testament to the hard work, commitment and compassion of Pets and Home colleagues and customers and this is a fantastic way of saying a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us since 2006.”

To vote for SAA, visit http://woobox.com/4mebz7/vote/for/3823840

Full details of the competition, which closes on Friday June 25, can be found here: www.supportadoptionforpets.co.uk/10-million-celebration-grants

For more information about SAA and how you can help visit www.saarescue.co.uk