Scottish SPCA urge sanctuary owners to consider adoption

Family must move from animal sanctuary 'in weeks'
Family must move from animal sanctuary ‘in weeks’

A family who issued an appeal in their search for new land on which to base their animal rescue centre are under pressure to find individuals homes for their animals.

Earlier this week insideMoray highlighted the plight of the Stevens Family at Backies Farm near Deskford between Keith and Cullen.

Over 100 rescue animals live on the property leased by the family – however, they have only weeks to find a new home or say that the 100 animals in their charge risk being put down.

The Stevens’ story has sparked hundreds of offers of help – but also a series of threats as the family have refused to consider splitting up the animals, leading to angry outbursts on social media sites.

Julie Stevens said that a great deal of abuse has been delivered in the direction of the family since their plight was publicised, adding that she had had over 200 email and text messages from people offering to takes individual dogs or horses.

She told a Press and Journal reporter that here daughter had even had to remove her Facebook page because of “death threat from people calling us ‘lunatic animal hoarders’ and saying that the animals are in terrible states and we have been reported to the Scottish SPCA”.

Mrs Stevens insists that the animals are her family adding: “The whole reason I got them is because they have problems – I have not rehomed any animals and I’m not going to start now.”

The family have only days before they must quit the former farm, with 22-year-old Amy Stevens revealing earlier that following the death of owner Tom Brown, a family friend, the executors have ended their rolling tenancy.

Mrs Stevens said that she has been forced to change her phone number as a result of abuse the family has received: “I don’t know what to do – I don’t want to escalate it and contacting police would be a last resort because I don’t have the time or energy.”

The Scottish SPCA have confirmed that they are in touch with the family, however their Chief Inspector John Carle is urging the family to reconsider adoption.

Mr Carle said he visited Backies Farm on Thursday and found the animals were well cared for: “We are hoping to work with the owners of these animals to help them reduce their numbers.”