HERO: Peter Koekebakker, the manager of the centre, died recently

AN expat-run animal shelter has appealed for help as hundreds of its dogs and cats face death due to a complicated land dispute.

The Animal In Need Foundation faces eviction after its manager recently died, having only made ‘verbal agreements’ with the land owner.

In a shock move, a ‘for sale’ sign was stuck on the door of the La Linea-based shelter just a day after 58-year-old Dutch general manager Peter Koekebakker’s funeral.

A number of developers are said to be interested in the site, which has sea views and is just a stone’s throw from Puerto Atunara.

HELP: Animals at the centre may be culled if cash is not found

The non-profit organisation said it now urgently needs to raise €165,000 to buy the plot in Camino Torrenueva.

Hundreds of dogs and cats – alongside pigs, birds, donkeys, horses and even a pair of bulls – are among the nearly 800 animals to face the chop if cash is not found.

A spokesman described the situation as the ‘worst-case scenario’ and said ‘time is of the essence’, but did not confirm how soon the site could be bought.

“With this burden on our shoulders and the fear of losing everything that Peter worked for his entire life, we nevertheless are trying to uphold the spirit and continue,” he added.

THREATENED: The Animal In Need Foundation in La Linea

It comes as a volunteer at the centre told the Olive Press he feared the classification of the land could also be changed if it cannot be bought soon.

Gonzalo Martin, 47, who is a land administrator and real estate agent, said this would give the ‘green light’ for development and potentially raise the price per square metre tenfold.

“The land is currently classed as ‘rustic’ but could be built upon if it is changed to ‘urban’,” he said.

We were unable to get La Linea town hall for comment, despite various calls.

EVENT: A charity golf tournament will be held in Peter Koekebakker’s memory

The public can help the Animal In Need Foundation by donating just €15 a time, which pays for 1m² of land.

On July 20, the public are also invited to a charity golf tournament at Estepona’s El Paraiso club, to be held in Peter Koekebakker’s memory.

Proceeds from the event, which includes a BBQ, live music and a raffle, will go towards the Animal In Need Foundation.

Those interested should contact Mark Bruce on +34 662 013  439

For more information visit www.animalinneed.com

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