Animal sanctuary takes over running of pet shop
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary has taken over a popular pet shop in Ingatestone, Essex, with all the proceeds going towards the running of the welfare centre.
Alan Pudney owned Ingatestone Pet Shop for 22 years but has called time on his career at the age of 73.
He handed the keys over to the Brentwood-based sanctuary, who held its grand opening on Saturday when Sid the Skunk welcomed customers.
Hopefield manager Lianne Angliss said: "We had been planning and working hard for weeks. Everything we make from the pet shop goes towards the sanctuary and it was something we always wanted to do."
She added: "We opened up a little shop on the site at the sanctuary but when this came up it was too good an opportunity to not take up.”
Mr Pudney said he was originally hesitant to bring an end to his career as a shop owner and farmer but made the right choice in handing over the keys to Hopefield.
He said: "I haven't been retired long but I will be going on holiday soon, as I don't like twiddling my thumbs.
"It has been enjoyable down at the shop meeting customers and hopefully I have given them good service over the years.
"I have some nice retirement cards."
Mr Pudney, who celebrates his 74th birthday next month, was pleased to see Hopefield's interest in the shop and is confident they will be successful for years ahead.