Target for Willington animal sanctuary smashed by thousands

NEW HOME: A sanctuary in Norfolk has come forward to rehome stranded animals

NEW HOME: A sanctuary in Norfolk has come forward to rehome stranded animals

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Sedgefield)

ANIMAL sanctuary supporters must work out how best to spend tens of thousands of pounds after being overwhelmed by donations.

An online fundraising campaign in aid of the repossessed Rainbow Ark Animal Sanctuary, in Willington, initially set a target of £10,000 to cover the cost of rehoming its 350 animals.

But within 24 hours of bailiffs moving onto the site, on Wednesday, the Save the Animals of Rainbow Ark campaign had smashed its target and by this afternoon (Friday, January 31) 2,000 people had donated  more than £38,000.

Fundraisers set a new £50,000 goal but, as potential free homes had been found for all the animals, it is unclear how the money will be used. 

Paula Campbell, who founded the sanctuary at Milkup Bank Farm, which was also her home, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response and never expected so much.

“Rehoming costs of transport and vets bills will run to thousands, but whatever is left out of the amount raised, will be shared out to those who have helped.

“Following legal advice I can also say I intend to keep fighting to go home.

“We may have to ask people who have given money what they want us to do with it.”

The Northern Echo:

Web support: more than £35,000 has already been donated

Hillside Animal Sanctuary, near Norwich, is prepared to take on every animal from Rainbow Ark if necessary and other animal organisations have offered to help.

John Watson, from Hillside, said: “We would rather take all the animals than see those that have formed attachments split up from friendship groups or go to people who don’t know what they are taking on, when they can live a long safe life here.”

 

The Wear Valley and Darlington branch of the charity Cats Protection has said it can call on a dozen active volunteers and around 100 supporters to round up, transport and foster cats on site.

Marion Maychell said: “We have plans to help in crisis situations so can get together and fund the vans, volunteers and veterinary needs and find them foster or permanent homes.”

It is understood that around 330 animals remain at the property after the RSPCA took terrapins, tortoises and a dog with seven puppies into care when the power went off on Wednesday night.

The charity also removed a cat and two Shetland ponies because of concerns about the state of their health and a guinea pig was put to sleep following veterinary advice.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said the three seized animals are now the subject of an RSPCA investigation and will be cared for and treated on the charity’s behalf.

Officers from the charity have been onsite to offer welfare advice to bailiffs who are currently responsible for the animals, which still belong to Ms Campbell.

The spokeswoman added: "We are satisfied with the conditions we have left those animals at the scene in."

Ms Campbell and sanctuary volunteers said they have been frustrated at being refused access to the site to tend to the animals or begin rehoming them.

Jonathan Proctor said: “We have homes found for all the animals but cannot get on to arrange specialist transport and vets to start moving them.”

 

The Northern Echo:

Caring: Paula Campbell with one of the animals she looked after

He said they will continue to attempt negotiations with bailiffs but ultimately hope to reopen Rainbow Ark.

A spokesperson for money lender Redstone Mortgages said: “The eviction was very much a last resort for Redstone.

“However over the course of the past seven years Ms Campbell has consistently shown that she cannot afford her mortgage.”

The company said she was given sufficient notice of the eviction date to make arrangements to leave and that it takes its obligations to ensure the safety and welfare of animals seriously.

 

Hillside animal sanctuary - what is it?

 

Set up in 1995 by animal-lover Wendy Valentine, Hillside is now home to over 2000 animals, including 700 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules.

The Northern Echo:

The sanctuary also investigates allegations of animal cruelty and works with the media to increase public awareness.

Comments (17)

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8:10pm Fri 31 Jan 14

LUSTARD says...

no comments. its heart rending, anyone with compassion should leave your home in their will today for this cause
no comments. its heart rending, anyone with compassion should leave your home in their will today for this cause LUSTARD
  • Score: -4

8:12pm Fri 31 Jan 14

LUSTARD says...

actually .4 hours after this story is announced theres no comments as the ideal is screwed
actually .4 hours after this story is announced theres no comments as the ideal is screwed LUSTARD
  • Score: -8

8:14pm Fri 31 Jan 14

LUSTARD says...

35 grand due to hillside leave your home now
35 grand due to hillside leave your home now LUSTARD
  • Score: -5

10:38pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Snoopy666 says...

If ever anyone needed help it's this poor lady, she seems to have devoted her life to caring for these animals, has apparently been the victim of a land grab scam by a very unscrupulous company...http://www
.ourdogs.co.uk/News/
2009/Jan2009/News090
109/sanctuary.htm...
..and seemingly an illegal eviction too!...http://www.yo
utube.com/watch?v=9c
w_o8rAnCM and now it seems the "caring" rspca have illegally removed some of her animals...please donate to an actual worthy cause!...http://www.
gofundme.com/6ju9ow
If ever anyone needed help it's this poor lady, she seems to have devoted her life to caring for these animals, has apparently been the victim of a land grab scam by a very unscrupulous company...http://www .ourdogs.co.uk/News/ 2009/Jan2009/News090 109/sanctuary.htm... ..and seemingly an illegal eviction too!...http://www.yo utube.com/watch?v=9c w_o8rAnCM and now it seems the "caring" rspca have illegally removed some of her animals...please donate to an actual worthy cause!...http://www. gofundme.com/6ju9ow Snoopy666
  • Score: 12

4:21pm Sat 1 Feb 14

AlexFer says...

The RSPCA first of all should keep their nose out of this, If they want to do something useful they should contribute to reinstate this lady into her home along with the animals!
As far as Redstone Mortgages is concerned, no matter how much they are acting withing the law, they should be ashamed of themselves. They should be all named, shamed and isolated completely, they deserve nothing!
The RSPCA first of all should keep their nose out of this, If they want to do something useful they should contribute to reinstate this lady into her home along with the animals! As far as Redstone Mortgages is concerned, no matter how much they are acting withing the law, they should be ashamed of themselves. They should be all named, shamed and isolated completely, they deserve nothing! AlexFer
  • Score: 3

12:10pm Sun 2 Feb 14

Bluesie says...

If a thousand people would agree to donate £1 per month to help out it would be a regular income to help the animals and this dear lady. Redstone Mortgages, who have received a lot of negative comments on various forums over highly questionable business practice and who have also been fined by the Financial Services regulators, would know that there is a guaranteed income from which to pay the mortage and could earn themselves a lot of good PR by re-instating the loan. I would be willing to donate on a regular basis. It would mean just £12 a year to me which is worth every penny to know that somewhere like Hillside Sanctuary is there to help animals in distress. The RSPCA have been involved only because Redstone's bailiffs were not able to look after the animals. That shows just about how little Redstone takes its takes its "obligations to ensure the safety and welfare of animals seriously".
If a thousand people would agree to donate £1 per month to help out it would be a regular income to help the animals and this dear lady. Redstone Mortgages, who have received a lot of negative comments on various forums over highly questionable business practice and who have also been fined by the Financial Services regulators, would know that there is a guaranteed income from which to pay the mortage and could earn themselves a lot of good PR by re-instating the loan. I would be willing to donate on a regular basis. It would mean just £12 a year to me which is worth every penny to know that somewhere like Hillside Sanctuary is there to help animals in distress. The RSPCA have been involved only because Redstone's bailiffs were not able to look after the animals. That shows just about how little Redstone takes its takes its "obligations to ensure the safety and welfare of animals seriously". Bluesie
  • Score: 1

12:17pm Sun 2 Feb 14

Bluesie says...

Apologies... I had a senior moment there... that should have read The Rainbow Ark Sanctuary would be there to help animals (not HIllside although they do a superb job too and are on the donations list).
Apologies... I had a senior moment there... that should have read The Rainbow Ark Sanctuary would be there to help animals (not HIllside although they do a superb job too and are on the donations list). Bluesie
  • Score: 1

5:40pm Sun 2 Feb 14

calumannabel says...

If the Echo was doing its job it would be looking at the history of Redstone Mortgages and its Manchester owner Henry Moser plus its subsidiary Blemain Finance.
If the Echo was doing its job it would be looking at the history of Redstone Mortgages and its Manchester owner Henry Moser plus its subsidiary Blemain Finance. calumannabel
  • Score: -1

9:22am Mon 3 Feb 14

Copley23 says...

Okay so the handling of this has been dreadful.....accordi
ng to the Northern Wrecko.....so this story is probably so far away from the truth.....

But to be blunt.

I have just had the misfortune to check on facebook....and yes, if the way their facebook page is run is ANY indicator of how this 'lady' has operated in the past, then none of this is a surprise. The site is constantly deleting folk for having an honest opinion, a real mess.

It's well known locally that she took more and more animals on with no hope whatsoever of being able to take care of them - good heart but absolutely no business acumen. A real dreamer.

I'm afraid this lady has rather given us the impression that the funds that she has clawed in have not been well spent. Read some of the comments and you'll see the measure of alarm over the whole thing. I certainly will not be donating until I know where my money is going.

It's a shame but better placed in the hands of someone who actually can add up on a month to month basis. Duty of care and all that....doesn't just stop at buying cat food for crying out loud.
Okay so the handling of this has been dreadful.....accordi ng to the Northern Wrecko.....so this story is probably so far away from the truth..... But to be blunt. I have just had the misfortune to check on facebook....and yes, if the way their facebook page is run is ANY indicator of how this 'lady' has operated in the past, then none of this is a surprise. The site is constantly deleting folk for having an honest opinion, a real mess. It's well known locally that she took more and more animals on with no hope whatsoever of being able to take care of them - good heart but absolutely no business acumen. A real dreamer. I'm afraid this lady has rather given us the impression that the funds that she has clawed in have not been well spent. Read some of the comments and you'll see the measure of alarm over the whole thing. I certainly will not be donating until I know where my money is going. It's a shame but better placed in the hands of someone who actually can add up on a month to month basis. Duty of care and all that....doesn't just stop at buying cat food for crying out loud. Copley23
  • Score: 11

9:26am Mon 3 Feb 14

Copley23 says...

LUSTARD wrote:
no comments. its heart rending, anyone with compassion should leave your home in their will today for this cause
Are you mad!

I'd tear my eyes out first. And believe me, I have compassion. But I also have common sense and can see a sensible investment when I see one......by that I mean it is 'managed' well.

She should have sorted this years ago instead of bleating when the kaka hits the fan! It's been going on long enough!
[quote][p][bold]LUSTARD[/bold] wrote: no comments. its heart rending, anyone with compassion should leave your home in their will today for this cause[/p][/quote]Are you mad! I'd tear my eyes out first. And believe me, I have compassion. But I also have common sense and can see a sensible investment when I see one......by that I mean it is 'managed' well. She should have sorted this years ago instead of bleating when the kaka hits the fan! It's been going on long enough! Copley23
  • Score: 9

10:55pm Thu 6 Feb 14

LUSTARD says...

copley, you wouldnt believe how many people do leave vast amounts to organisations like this, cutting out thier families, in a perhaps moment of madness, or spite or maybe constant bombardment when they could be at a low edge. it is big business for those that find the end of the rainbow, and populated by people that will prey on your compassion, much like the daily bombardment on the telly of mothers in africa letting thier children drink sewer water, and telling us their is no option etc
copley, you wouldnt believe how many people do leave vast amounts to organisations like this, cutting out thier families, in a perhaps moment of madness, or spite or maybe constant bombardment when they could be at a low edge. it is big business for those that find the end of the rainbow, and populated by people that will prey on your compassion, much like the daily bombardment on the telly of mothers in africa letting thier children drink sewer water, and telling us their is no option etc LUSTARD
  • Score: 0

11:01pm Thu 6 Feb 14

LUSTARD says...

and the amount of people in this country swindled out of their homes and put on the street by certain quarters that goes untold. is shocking.
and the amount of people in this country swindled out of their homes and put on the street by certain quarters that goes untold. is shocking. LUSTARD
  • Score: 1

5:04pm Fri 7 Feb 14

jan1957 says...

Those comments that Redstone are unscrupulous are very true. They are not a mortgage lender at all, they are a glorified debt collection agency. I have been fighting them for the past 7 years, since being duped into taking on a sub prime mortgage. The company is run by faceless robots.
Those comments that Redstone are unscrupulous are very true. They are not a mortgage lender at all, they are a glorified debt collection agency. I have been fighting them for the past 7 years, since being duped into taking on a sub prime mortgage. The company is run by faceless robots. jan1957
  • Score: -1

12:07am Tue 11 Feb 14

GillyGillyOssenfefferKatzenellenBogenByTheSea says...

Animals have been removed from this hovel by the RSPCA on WELFARE GROUNDS and people want this woman to keep any animal let alone over 300....possibly far more beggars belief?
I have personally been to this hovel a number of years ago. The animals were kept in tiny cages some wooden, stained with urine and feaces. Many had insufficient bedding over the stinking floor surfaces others had a thin layer of fresh bedding over dirty, soiled bedding. Those that had both food and water bowls were placed next to feaces and soiled litter trays. Many water bowls were beyond filthy with dirt that was accumulated over a sustained period of time. Almost none of the animals could not walk or run or perform any of their natural behaviour because their enclosures were too small or over crowded, there was rubbish and junk everywhere, every enclosure stank so much it made us want to wretch and too many other issues of neglect to go into here.
From my personal observation this place is no 'sanctuary' for any animal it was HELL and I would not have left a cockroach up there then and from what I have continued to hear, and has been reported in this very paper the conditions for the animals have got FAR worse the financial problems and court cases have spiralled out of control but the number of animals have continued to increase, which demonstrates the highest level of irresponsibility and 'professional' incompetence.
I pray to God that every animal unfortunate enough to have been incarcerated in this awul place is RESCUED and pu in the safe and professional protection of REGISTERED CHARITIES that are ACCOUNTABLE and have the HIGH STANDARDS of provision, accomodation, HYGIENE and medical care that these poor creatures deserved but nver got at the hell hole that was Rainbow Ark....sadly it is not the only private, unregistered, unaccountlble animal 'sanctuary' that lacks the vast funding, staff, facilities, knowledge and professional expertise required to CARE for animals in the way they need and DESERVE.
Animals have been removed from this hovel by the RSPCA on WELFARE GROUNDS and people want this woman to keep any animal let alone over 300....possibly far more beggars belief? I have personally been to this hovel a number of years ago. The animals were kept in tiny cages some wooden, stained with urine and feaces. Many had insufficient bedding over the stinking floor surfaces others had a thin layer of fresh bedding over dirty, soiled bedding. Those that had both food and water bowls were placed next to feaces and soiled litter trays. Many water bowls were beyond filthy with dirt that was accumulated over a sustained period of time. Almost none of the animals could not walk or run or perform any of their natural behaviour because their enclosures were too small or over crowded, there was rubbish and junk everywhere, every enclosure stank so much it made us want to wretch and too many other issues of neglect to go into here. From my personal observation this place is no 'sanctuary' for any animal it was HELL and I would not have left a cockroach up there then and from what I have continued to hear, and has been reported in this very paper the conditions for the animals have got FAR worse the financial problems and court cases have spiralled out of control but the number of animals have continued to increase, which demonstrates the highest level of irresponsibility and 'professional' incompetence. I pray to God that every animal unfortunate enough to have been incarcerated in this awul place is RESCUED and pu in the safe and professional protection of REGISTERED CHARITIES that are ACCOUNTABLE and have the HIGH STANDARDS of provision, accomodation, HYGIENE and medical care that these poor creatures deserved but nver got at the hell hole that was Rainbow Ark....sadly it is not the only private, unregistered, unaccountlble animal 'sanctuary' that lacks the vast funding, staff, facilities, knowledge and professional expertise required to CARE for animals in the way they need and DESERVE. GillyGillyOssenfefferKatzenellenBogenByTheSea
  • Score: 8

8:01pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Char491 says...

I think the press need to start focusing on the disgusting conditions these animals were in. Let all the people who support this vile excuse of a 'sanctuary' about the animals that are being put to sleep after years of suffering. No vaccinations, no neutering, no safe, warm places to sleep. Nothing but utter neglect.

I challenge anyone who has supported this woman to look in to the eyes of the broken souls that have left this hell hole. Trust me, it wasn't pretty.
I think the press need to start focusing on the disgusting conditions these animals were in. Let all the people who support this vile excuse of a 'sanctuary' about the animals that are being put to sleep after years of suffering. No vaccinations, no neutering, no safe, warm places to sleep. Nothing but utter neglect. I challenge anyone who has supported this woman to look in to the eyes of the broken souls that have left this hell hole. Trust me, it wasn't pretty. Char491
  • Score: 7

1:24pm Mon 24 Feb 14

53664337 says...

I see the Northern Echo hasn't opened commenting on the latest article about the ladies appeal??
Following the updates via social media it seems that very few of the animals that left Rainbow Ark were actually in good health.
So far 8 have passed away - and mainly from conditions that could've been treated if a vet had seen them earlier!
Most animals not neutered and kept in mixed sex groups so many animals have left the Ark pregnant.
Lots have fleas, worms, mites, mange and various other conditions that could've been treated if ANY of them had EVER seen a vet!
This woman should not be allowed to keep animals and I hope that this appeal fails - not that it should have been allowed in the first place!
I see the Northern Echo hasn't opened commenting on the latest article about the ladies appeal?? Following the updates via social media it seems that very few of the animals that left Rainbow Ark were actually in good health. So far 8 have passed away - and mainly from conditions that could've been treated if a vet had seen them earlier! Most animals not neutered and kept in mixed sex groups so many animals have left the Ark pregnant. Lots have fleas, worms, mites, mange and various other conditions that could've been treated if ANY of them had EVER seen a vet! This woman should not be allowed to keep animals and I hope that this appeal fails - not that it should have been allowed in the first place! 53664337
  • Score: 3

1:27pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Copley23 says...

53664337 wrote:
I see the Northern Echo hasn't opened commenting on the latest article about the ladies appeal??
Following the updates via social media it seems that very few of the animals that left Rainbow Ark were actually in good health.
So far 8 have passed away - and mainly from conditions that could've been treated if a vet had seen them earlier!
Most animals not neutered and kept in mixed sex groups so many animals have left the Ark pregnant.
Lots have fleas, worms, mites, mange and various other conditions that could've been treated if ANY of them had EVER seen a vet!
This woman should not be allowed to keep animals and I hope that this appeal fails - not that it should have been allowed in the first place!
I noticed that too. No comments allowed - - I was furious!

So yes, I agree entirely. This lady is her own worst enemy!!

Crossing fingers that it all goes pear shaped!
[quote][p][bold]53664337[/bold] wrote: I see the Northern Echo hasn't opened commenting on the latest article about the ladies appeal?? Following the updates via social media it seems that very few of the animals that left Rainbow Ark were actually in good health. So far 8 have passed away - and mainly from conditions that could've been treated if a vet had seen them earlier! Most animals not neutered and kept in mixed sex groups so many animals have left the Ark pregnant. Lots have fleas, worms, mites, mange and various other conditions that could've been treated if ANY of them had EVER seen a vet! This woman should not be allowed to keep animals and I hope that this appeal fails - not that it should have been allowed in the first place![/p][/quote]I noticed that too. No comments allowed - - I was furious! So yes, I agree entirely. This lady is her own worst enemy!! Crossing fingers that it all goes pear shaped! Copley23
  • Score: 2

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