Ark petition exceeds 12,500 signatures

Sue Rice (third left) with her team at The Ark in recent years.
Sue Rice (third left) with her team at The Ark in recent years.

The Ark Animal Rescue and Retirement Home has received a huge swell of support in the battle against a noise abatement notice, following an appearance on ‘The One Show’ earlier this month - with the petition to ‘save’ the charity now exceeding 12,500 signatures.

The campaign comes after East Lindsey District Council served a noise abatement notice against the charity – which had been running without any issues for over three decades – following recent complaints from a new neighbour about the sound of dogs barking.

The district council was required by law to investigate and take action following the noise complaint which sadly left The Ark’s owner Sue Rice with just a few months to find solutions to mitigate the noise - or face a potentially hefty fine.

Sue said: “It’s been a struggle to deal with the neighbour’s complaints. They seem to have a list of things to try and close us down.

“Everyone is enraged that one neighbour could do so much damage to The Ark.”

Although Sue has taken some measures to reduce the sound levels - such as not allowing members of the public into the kennels to avoid the dogs barking excitedly - she admits it will be very difficult to eliminate the natural sound of dogs barking.

Sue has revealed that she felt ‘deflated and defeated’ after she first received the noise abatement notice but the huge levels of support that she has received from the public has ‘pushed her to fight’.

Her story was told to a much wider audience last week, when BBC One’s ‘The One Show’ featured a five-minute segment about The Ark’s important work - and the noise abatement notice that has threatened to derail it.

During the programme, Sue was presented with a generous £10,000 cheque from a local couple - David and Shelley Lunn - who have homed three dogs in the last four years.

The couple said: “(The Ark) would have got my money in my will anyway so have it now when you need it.

“We just could not stand by and see it shut.”

A further £1,500 in separate donations has been sent in to The Ark from well-wishers since the programme was aired.

Sue was also pleased to reveal that separate fundraising campaign to repair a leaking roof in the kennels has been successful, meaning that the kennels are now back to full capacity again. Her thanks go to all those who donated.

• The One Show’s episode (January 9) is available on BBC iPlayer for another three weeks.

• Visit www.thepetitionsite.com and search for The Ark to sign the petition.