THE COMMUNITY has rallied round to support the Isle of Wight Pet Centre after a number of animals, including much loved cockatoo Brolly, died in a fire.

Hundreds of messages offering support and condolences have been posted on Facebook, where people have also shared their memories of visiting the Newport pet centre.

Many people have paid tribute to Brolly in particular, described by the pet centre team as 'our amazing, sweet noisy boy.'

One said: "So heartbroken about all of the animals, especially Brolly who my family and I have visited for years. Truly devastated for your loss."

Another said: "We are so so sad to hear of this tragedy. My little girl loves coming to you and seeing all the wonderful animals and Brolly has always been a favourite of hers. We shall miss him always but are thankful for all the animals that survived."

Another visitor said: "My daughter and I will never forget Brolly taking her dummy, then giving it back to her, when she was a year old. 21 years ago! We never missed saying hello to Brolly."

It has been suggested a memorial service is held for the animals that died, and a fundraising appeal to help the business has raised almost £2,500.

The animals were killed when a fire broke out at the Watergate Road pet centre on Monday night. They are due to be cremated today.

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the blaze, with initial reports suggesting it was due to an electrical fault.

The Isle of Wight Pet Centre has thanked local businesses and organisations for their help in the aftermath of the fire.

The team posted on Facebook last night (Tuesday): "We are so incredibly overwhelmed with the kindness and community spirit of everyone today.

"As I'm sure you'll understand, our sole priority today was helping the surviving animals, and getting them settled, checked over and housed.

"Today has been beyond words, but it has been eye opening at just how wonderful the Island is at supporting one another.

"The staff, owner, friends and family are distraught, we loved our animals like they were our own. Each loss has broken a piece of our hearts.

"We have had many losses, but we also managed to save many lives. Among the lives lost was our amazing, sweet, noisy boy Brolly — we know a lot of the Island is feeling his loss as much as we are right now.

"So fly high Brolly boy. You live on forever in everyone's memories.

"We'd like to thank Maidenhead Aquatics, for taking our marine fish, The Mobile Vet, Pets at Home, Isle of Wight Zoo, Mr Wally AWOL and numerous others who have offered help and donations. And of course the wonderful Sue at Pets at Rest.

"Thank you also to those who have donated to the Go Fund Me, we are beside ourselves with gratitude.

"Just thank you, every single one."