TIME is running out for Didcot Animal Sanctuary as its heartbroken founders have been given their final marching orders without a new home to go to.

Hundreds of pigs, goats, chickens, ducks, cats and dogs will be homeless as of 31st March next year after great-grandparents David and Julia Vaughan were handed a notice by the landowners of the three-acre estate at Hill Farm.

Previously the Oxford Mail reported the couple’s appeal to find a new home but now Mr Vaughan said there is ‘real urgency’ to try and find somewhere else to go.

He said: “We are really desperate now.

“Obviously we knew this move was coming but we have finally been given a letter with the date, telling us we need to be off the land by then as it is going to be used for a development.

“We completely understand but at the same time we need to find another place of a similar size to make sure these animals have a home.

“They are our top priority.”

Mr Vaughan said that he has gone to both Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire district councils, pleading for help in finding a new home.

He said: “They do not want to know.

“We’ve dropped everything in the past when we get a call from them asking to pick up animals and now when it is our turn to be helped out they are nowhere.

“Only a few weeks ago we were called out to Milton Heights where they had found some kittens and a dog still in a flat after a couple had been evicted.

“We came and got them straight away.”

A spokesman for the district councils confirmed they had been approached by the Vaughans and advised them to contact local landowners and agents for information on suitable premises.

They added: “We understand it is a very difficult situation for them and have tried to find them alternative premises, however, we do not own any land suitable to accommodate them.

“We believe this is private land and once sold and planning permission approved, we are not able to be involved with private agreements between the land owner and their tenants.

“We have had no direct involvement with the charity regarding rehoming unwanted animals.”

Earlier this year the sanctuary in Appleford fell victim to a mysterious fire which tore through their buildings, which the couple had built with their bare hands, and killed two of their sheep, Simon and Buttercup. Anyone with contacts to landowners within Didcot are asked to contact: 07552651374