THE owner of a farm near Basingstoke has launched an adoption scheme in an attempt to raise enough funds to save the animals.

As previously reported in the Gazette, Elizabeth Miller feared she would not have enough money to look after the animals at Miller’s Ark, after having to close because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Money from farm open days and visits to places in the community kept the charity going, pulling in enough cash to feed and care for the animals.

Elizabeth said: “We need to feed and care for them now that we have no money coming in. Before this Covid-19 crisis we funded their food, shelter, vet bills and daily care by organising farm open days and our mobile farm.

“Miller’s Ark Animals has been part of the community since 1991 with generations of families enjoying and sharing our passion for friendly farm animals, at schools, nurseries, residential homes and hospices. Devastatingly, all this is stopping overnight. So, our money will run out very quickly.”

As well as launching an online fundraising appeal, which has so far raised more than £8,000, Elizabeth has now set up an adoption scheme for the public to pay towards the care of a specific animal at the farm near Hook.

She needs to raise a minimum of £30,000 to keep the animals cared for over the next three months, or she would have to look at options for selling them.  

She added: “We certainly feel that the reason we are here – of course we love the animals – but our passion is sharing our animals in a therapeutic and fun way and we have been doing it for 29 years.

“The response from the public so far has been really emotional. People have been coming from when we first started and people have been so lovely in sharing their appreciation of the animals.

“We have been really heartened by the response. I know everyone has to be careful with money and lots of people are under pressure so we have been grateful for how much the fund has grown.”

Money given to adopt animals at Miller’s Ark will go directly to their feed, care and vet bills, with options ranging from as little of £2 a month.

Miller’s Ark is also launching a digital newspaper, available on subscription for people who want to learn more about the farm, with content for children and adults.

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