An animal lover who took out a loan to save three cows from slaughter has thanked a north-east sanctuary for giving them a forever home.
Claire Bruce would visit the cows while walking near her Blackburn home, eventually taking out a £5,000 bank loan to buy them off a local farmer.
The 42-year-old said: “I would go down to visit these cows. I wanted to see what I could do to save them. I went to the bank and got a loan for £5,000 and went and bought them.”
Claire struggled to find somewhere that would keep the animals, however, before coming across Blaikiewell Animal Sanctuary in Deeside, where the three cows – named Murdoch, Archie and Bailey – have settled in well.
The charity – which is run by Mavis Petrie and home to more than 50 horses and ponies, four pigs and three cows – also houses dogs, cats and any other animal or bird that needs a safe place.
Claire said: “Mavis is a truly wonderful woman who has given everything she has to provide a safe forever home to so many rescue animals. She is an amazing lady. She runs the whole place by herself.”
Mavis, who has been taking in animals since the 1970s, bought her first pony on impulse in 1977 at a local market to save her from meat dealers who were bidding for the ponies.
In 1985 she decided to open a small riding school on the site to pay for the maintenance of the growing animal population.
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Mavis said: “The cows are doing very well. They’ve been here about two months now.
“Everyone that is in the yard makes a fuss of them.”
But the sanctuary owner added that they are now in desperate need of donations, after experiencing declining numbers at the riding school.
She said: “The riding school is not making enough money to support the sanctuary.”
Claire has also urged people to give generously to support the charity.
She said: “If you care about animals and want to help animals, please donate to Blaikiewell Animal Sanctuary. Unlike some other charities, there is no CEO receiving a huge wage, all donations go directly to the animals.
“Blaikiewell receive no company sponsorships or government funding.”
Contact Mavis by emailing email@example.com to sponsor one of the sanctuary animals, volunteer or book horse riding lessons.
For those wishing to make a donation towards erecting a cow shelter, these can be made through PayPal with the same email address but marked PayPal.