AN animal sanctuary in Sedgley has been hit by a suspected arson attack.

An area of Brockswood Animal Sanctuary, based on Catholic Lane, was set alight over night, with stretches of the perimeter fence being burned down.

Thankfully no animals were harmed in the blaze, but several thousands pounds worth of damage has been caused to the site.

A tree has also been so badly damaged that it is feared it may need to be chopped down if it cannot be saved by a tree surgeon.

Neil Swann, who is one of the founder members of the sanctuary, said he was horrified to find the damage this morning.

He said: "I was horrified. We are a genuine animal sanctuary and we try to do our best to care for the animals.

"It doesn't make any sense why someone would want to do this."

A spokesperson from West Midlands Fire Service confirmed that five firefighters from Dudley Fire Station worked to battle the blaze, just before 4am this morning (Monday, September 16).

The fire is believed to have been started deliberately.

Neil said early estimates suggest up to £3,000 worth of damage has been caused and that the priority is now to enhance security at the Sedgley wildlife haven.

He added that he has been touched by the support the sanctuary has received by well wishers hoping to help put the site back on track.

Neil said: "We have had fencing companies and security companies get in touch to see how they can help.

"There has been a massive response online with people wanting to give their time to help out."

The sanctuary is a non-profit organisation which cares for and rehabilitates sick, injured, abused and abandoned animals, while conserving the Cotwall End area.

Brockswood is closed today (September 16) and it is hoped it will reopen towards the end of the week.

West Midlands Police has been contacted for a comment.