Coronavirus: Please think of the animals says sanctuary owner Barby Keel

The Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary has launched an urgent appeal for funds after being forced to shut its charity shop last weekend.

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 8:13 am

The non-profit making charity, based at Freezeland Lane, Sidley, rehomes or provides permanent refuge for abused, abandoned and unwanted animals and operates a no destruction policy.

Barby Keel, who founded the sanctuary in 1971, said: “We had to close our charity shop, in St Leonards Road, Bexhill, on Saturday as the staff are all elderly and vulnerable.

“The sanctuary is still operational and our website is still online.

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“People have been very kind, coming out and making donations of food but we really need money, in order to buy food in bulk and to pay the vet’s bills for our animals.

“Although the shop is closed, there are still members of our team there carrying out repairs and people can put any donations safely through the letterbox.

“If everyone locally donated just one pound then it would keep us going through this.”

Barby was previously named as a ‘Community Hero’ in the Observer group’s Community Awards, in recognition of the work she has done and is still doing to protect animals.

The charity relies on a dedicated team of volunteers and donations in order to keep going.

Barby said: “The Sanctuary provides a refuge for lost or rejected animals and fowl of all kinds. We try to find permanent and loving homes for the animals, when possible.

“Animals which can’t be re-homed for any reason are given a permanent home at the Sanctuary.

“All the animals receive medical treatment when necessary and all are spayed or neutered.”

As well as tirelessly running the charity, Barby found time to write a book about a frightened street dog called Chewy, who arrived at the sanctuary. The Street Dog who Found a Home, described as ‘A beautifully uplifting and heart warming tale of the love and friendship that exists between humans and animals’, is available for 99p as an Amazon Kindle book with sales going to help the charity. Visit