A CAT sanctuary and rescue centre is being forced to close because of spiralling costs and the loss of its founder.
Cat Call will be shutting its base in Brightling Avenue in Ore within the next few weeks.
Julie Child, who founded the charity and lived at the sanctuary with the cats, died last November, aged 59, from a blood clot in the lung.
Since then Cat Call has struggled, especially in finding someone else to live at the Brightling Avenue building to care for the moggies awaiting new homes.
Amanda Slatter, one of the trustees, said: “Since the sudden tragic loss of Julie, we have continued rescuing and rehoming local cats thanks to the incredible support received from our volunteers and supporters.
“However due to circumstances beyond our control, we have reluctantly had to take the difficult decision to close the sanctuary and rescue centre in Ore. This means we have 18 cats, aged from six months to 19 years old, that now desperately need homes.”
She said the house will be sold eventually and will not close until the last cat has been rehomed.
She added: “Julie covered the significant funds needed to look after the cats. She lived with them and did a huge amount of fundraising. People have stepped in but no permanent solution has been found. Overheads are continually high, such as feeding and veterinary care.
“Cat Call will itself definitely not be closing. We still have many cats in foster homes that cannot be rehomed due to illness or behavioural problems, and these need ongoing support and sponsors.
“We will continue with the Lost and Found register, offering help and support to local cats and their owners and working together with the other rescue centres in the area, as well as fundraising.”
Cat Call began in 1983 with the Lost and Found cat register, which grew into Feline Friends.
In 1991 the name was changed to Cat Call and it became a registered charity in 1994.
It is staffed entirely by volunteers with the aim of providing help and shelter for stray, injured and unwanted cats in Hastings, St Leonards, Bexhill and surrounding areas.
If anyone can help by rehoming one or more of the cats, ring 01424 429904.