Crosskennan facing an uncertain future

editorial image

A local animal charity is facing an uncertain future after reporting that it has reached its lowest point financially for 20 years.

The Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary (CLAS) - currently home to more than 160 horses as well as cats, dogs, chickens and rabbits - has, according to founder and manager Lyn Friel, reached crisis point.

Lyn explained that the sanctuary only has sufficient funds to operate for one more month unless something is done.

“Due to a substantial unpaid debt for welfare services provided, Crosskennan is at the lowest point financially in the 20 years we have been saving the lives of animals in need,” she said.

“We are in the midst of a crisis. I never thought we would be in the position we find ourselves in now. There’s nothing worse that revealing to our followers that the sanctuary can only continue for one more month with the funds currently available to us. At that stage if financial help is not forthcoming we will be unable to continue.”

The large number of animals in the care of CLAS is largely due to contracts with lead councils and the PSNI – however the sheer volume of abandoned and neglected animals has surprised the sanctuary’s management and volunteers.

Lyn said: “The numbers were phenomenal - literally herds of abandoned, in-foal and starving horses at any given time, simply dumped or running loose on the roads posing a danger to themselves and the lives of the public. As a charity we take these animals in, hoping that a home will be found as quickly as possible to give them a chance of life once they are fit and well.”

CLAS has now left the council contract and the terms of the PSNI agreement are almost complete which should leave the sanctuary in a better position to plan for the future.

Lyn continued: “We require a major financial injection to tide us over until the unpaid debt can be resolved and to allow us more time to re-home the horses we have places for.”

Crosskennan’s running costs currently are approximately £25,000 per month.

The charity is holding an Open Day on Saturday 4th April (1-4pm) at the sanctuary. Everyone is welcome to come along to look around and speak to the volunteers.

If you can help in any way, by offering homes, grazing or donations contact Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary, 26 Crosskennan Lane, Ballynoe, Co. Antrim BT41 2QY, telephone 028 9446 5384. Email

Donations can be made by cheque payable to CLAS or via the donate button on the charity’s facebook page and website.