BOSSES at Cheltenham Animal Shelter are hoping a move to expand its charity shop will help to secure its financial future for years to come.
The Gardner's Lane-based organisation, which provides care for stray dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals, is set to open a store which is three times the size of its current one.
Selling anything from clothes and books to children's toys and household items, funds raised by the facility will help to pay the shelter's annual running costs of £500,000.
The new shop is set to open in early April.
Between now and then, animal shelter staff have launched an appeal calling on people to donate any unwanted items to boost their stock.
They are also on the lookout for volunteers who are happy to give up their spare time to run the shop.
Fundraising and PR manager Deborah Barron wrote to supporters of the charity urging them to help the new enterprise to get off to a flying start.
She said: "We are being very proactive to ensure we are able to help unwanted, stray and abandoned pets long in to the future by opening an on-site charity shop.
"There is currently a small honesty shop which generates £2,000 each year.
"The new shop is more than triple the size, will be manned by volunteers and sell good quality clothes, books, children's toys and other quality household items at very reasonable prices.
"We are looking to recruit reliable volunteers to help run the shop.
"I would call on anyone who can spare a morning or afternoon a week to help assist customers, sort through donated items or take payments for goods to get in touch."
She said the shelter was totally reliant on donations in order for it to stay open.
"We receive no government or lottery funding," she added.
"Therefore, we rely greatly on the generosity of people to ensure that the annual running costs of £500,000 are covered so the doors remain firmly open."
Donations for the new shop can be dropped off from March 4. The premises will be opened by Mayor Colin Hay on April 6 at noon.
Anyone interested in volunteering can call 01242 548775.