ANIMAL lovers will be given exclusive behind-the-scenes access to a rescue centre later this week from the comfort of their own homes.

The National Animal Welfare Trust, in Clacton, is currently closed to the public following government advice regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

In a bid to lighten the mood for those missing out on animal interaction, the sanctuary has decided to turn its social media pages into a virtual rescue centre on Friday.

Throughout the day, video interviews with the dedicated staff members will be uploaded, as well as clips of the trust’s facilities and its adorable fluffy residents.

And for animal fanatics with a penchant for felines, the organisation will also be hosting a light-hearted online kitten café via a live stream.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Join us this Friday, from the comfort of your armchair, for our virtual rescue centre.

“We will be posting videos showing life at the National Animal Welfare Trust in Clacton, interviews with our staff, and people can meet some of our residents.

"The aim is to keep engaged with our supporters, help them to see how life carries on at the rescue and rehoming centre and give them a sneaky peak behind the scenes.

"We will also share the development of the kittens, as we've had lots of interest in them, and bring a little bit of joy and hope to our animal loving community during these difficult times.

"It's a little nerve wrecking knowing people are watching you live, but as we say to the cats and dogs before they go to their new homes, it's time to put your big girl or boy pants on."

Since the trust closed its doors last week, in order to protect both its staff and customers from Covid-19, it has been sadly unable to rehome any animals.

As a result of the minimal space, the centre’s ability to take in new animals who have been found abandoned or unwanted has also been severely impacted.

The non-profit organisation has also been forced to cancel several fundraising events, which usually act as vital sources of income.

In a bid to keep running, the trust has now set-up a fundraising page so it can continue to provide animals with a safe haven over the next few months.

“We regret that following the latest government announcement our rehoming centre is now closed,” said a spokesman.

“This means we have to cease all our rehoming work, which will also severely restrict our intake capacity.

“And we have lost a vital source of income, at a time when we need it most.

"We hope that people might make a small donation, and so far we have raised £186.

"It's fantastic that even in these challenging and uncertain times, our supporters are still thinking of the homeless and abandoned cats and dogs in need of care. 

“Our focus throughout these turbulent times is the welfare of both the animals in our care and those in our community who are in urgent need of help."

“We are taking every measure to keep our team safe so they can continue to provide the care needed, and we are reviewing measures on a day-to-day basis.

“We'd like to thank our dedicated team who are continuing to provide such excellent care for the animals.”

To donate to the National Animal Welfare Trust in Clacton visit