A STRUGGLING animal shelter in Little Clacton could be in the running for £30,000, but it needs residents’ help to secure the much-needed funding.

The National Animal Welfare Trust, based in Little Clacton, is hoping to raise £15,000 in donations from their Christmas appeal in association with the Big Give, where a funder will match every donation made between November 27 and December 4 via the Big Give website.

The shelter rescues and rehomes unwanted and abandoned animals and helps to prepare them for life in a new home with expert veterinary care and the revolutionary training programme, Open Paw.

The charity is encouraging supporters, neighbours and anyone with a passion for animal welfare to donate from as little as £5 to the campaign, to help them secure the £30,000.

The money raised will go towards the veterinary treatment and rehabilitative care of animals, like Tinker and Polo who were born at the centre two years ago.

Centre manager Lizzie Reffell said: “Tinker and Polo were both born in our care to a feral mother, who was incredibly protective of her young.

“Due to her feral nature, the boys’ mother made it very difficult for staff to get near to her or her kittens, which meant that Tinker and Polo missed out on a lot of handling and socialisation in the crucial early stages of their life.

“This resulted in both cats feeling very frightened around people and hiding away from visitors as a consequence.

“Once Open Paw training for cats was introduced within the trust’s rescue centres, the team gradually began to notice a marked improvement in the behaviour of both Tinker and Polo.

“After a little while, you could find Tinker at the front of his pen, considering he used to run and cower away, he started to enjoy attention and a fuss.

“However Polo was the more nervous of the two cats but with the continued help of Open Paw, even he began to make progress.

“Before, Polo would spend the majority of time hiding under a blanket on his plastic chair, but he began to come out and wait for treats. He even showed his playful side and began interacting with toys.

“Just a few months into their Open Paw training, having developed a newfound trust in humans, Tinker and Polo each finally got to experience the luxury of a happy home at two-years-old.”

“A year later, both cats are continuing to surprise their new owners with their ever-increasing confidence and are both thoroughly enjoying their home comforts.”

Every time someone donates, the Big Give will match the amount until the charity reaches their £15,000 goal or until the campaign ends at midday on December 4. You can donate to the cause from November 27 until December 4, at secure.thebiggive.org.uk/charity/view/1467/national-animal-welfare-trust.