1. ITV Report

Birmingham animal centre closes doors today

1,257 animals were re-homed last year from the 50-year-old centre Photo: ITV Central

After 50 years the RSPCA Birmingham animal centre is closing its doors for the last time today.

The centre on Barnes Hill is relocating to a new site which is 30 times bigger than the current place and is equipped with new, modern facilities.

Last year staff found homes for 1,257 animals, but they say this could have been much higher if they had more space to house them.

Those extra spaces will soon be available as the charity moves its centre and hospital to the new flagship location at Newbrook Farm, Frankley.

Daniel Gittens, acting animal centre manager, said although Barnes Hill will always be regarded fondly, it is too old to cope with today's demand:

The 50-year-old centre is not big enough to cope with today's demand Credit: ITV Central

“Although we will be sad to leave Barnes Hill, having seen so many animals through from sorry beginnings to happy endings, we are really looking forward to welcoming many more animals to the new centre. We will be able to care for and treat many more animals in need than ever before.

– Daniel Gittens, acting animal centre manager
The RSPCA has already raised £7 million to fund the centre Credit: ITV Central

The RSPCA has already raised £7 million to fund the centre, but still needs to find £600,000 to meet its target.

To help, there will be a Sponsored Dog Walk on Sunday 7 October in Cannon Hill Park for the Leaps & Bounds Appeal which is raising money for the new animal centre.

ITV's weather presenter Emma Jesson who is a patron of the Birmingham Animal Centre is backing the sponsored walk:

"I am a great dog lover, and am delighted to help the centre promote their dog walk. As it is their 50th anniversary, it would be lovely to get 50 dogs and humans to take part."

– ITV's Emma Jesson

For more information on the sponsored walk or to help raise money click here.

The official opening is next year but the centre will be open to the public from the beginning of November.