Fate of Sherdley Park donkeys secured

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Sherdley Park’s donkeys will now be returned to their owners after the Reporter revealed they faced being put down unless a new home could found for them.

Council chiefs confirmed today that unless they could be re-homed the donkey could be put down.

For the welfare of the two donkeys there, they are being collected by their owners to be transported to a holding farm where they will be cared for by members of a donkey sanctuary team

St Helens Council spokesman

But after the Reporter revealed the animals’ fate, accompanied by a flurry of social media fury, council officers moved quickly to secure them new home.

The decision to shut pets’ corner was made this week by council officers under delegated powers after the council were tasked with making huge saving by central government.

Officials have already begun the process of finding new homes for the inhabitants of the petting zoo.

A St Helens Council spokesman said: “With the council needing to find £2.23m in savings from its environmental service budget during 2017/18, a decision has been made to close Pet’s Corner in Sherdley Park.

“All the animals are now in the process of being re-homed.

“For the welfare of the two donkeys there, they are being collected by their owners to be transported to a holding farm where they will be cared for by members of a donkey sanctuary team.”

Earlier, a town hall spokesman told the Reporter that unless a new home can be found for pets’ corner’s donkeys they may have to be put down.

St Helens Council do not own the donkeys.

They belong to a sanctuary in Devon but their age means they can not be safety returned.

The animals will be returned to Devon.

The decision to close pets corner follows a saving review launched by St Helens Council after a reduction in government funding.

Elected councillors have not voted on the decision but cabinet member Seve Gomez Aspron has approved the plan.

When the proposal was first announced, a St Helens Council spokesman said: “These facilities are under review as the council looks to meet financial challenges imposed by a reduction in Government funding.

“As yet though, no decision has been made, but the budget strategy for the council will be considered as part of budget setting for 2017/2018 over the next few months.”