THE owner of Folkestone's Owl Rescue says he could be forced to close within months – a decision which would mean saying goodbye to his "family."
Brian Maxted was forced to launch a rehoming appeal last month for some of his 46 owls, but he now says his financial situation is so dire, he could be forced to close within months.
Mr Maxted, whose sanctuary is in Downs Road, said: "It would be like saying goodbye to my family, my children.
"We are in a critical condition. If we do go to the wall there's no one else in the area who do what we do. We're in the town every Saturday and the people we see are very, very kind, but it just isn't enough.
"At the moment, I have to raise £250 per week to pay for everything like the birds' food and the general running of the place, and that doesn't include giving myself a wage.
"We've got maybe a few months left, if that, and we'll have to close if things don't drastically change."
The owl sanctuary has been open since 1998. Manor Veterinary Clinic, in Shearway Business Park, has arranged a cake sale for Monday, August 13, from 9.30am, to raise money for Mr Maxted.
Mr Maxted said: "People have been so generous, but this is the first time I've gone to the public asking for help.
"It's breaking my heart thinking I might have to close. If any businesses would be interested in helping I'd be delighted to talk to them. Maybe someone would like to sponsor one of my birds?
"It's a desperate time."
To help Mr Maxted or sponsor an owl, call on 01303 259794.