AN animal rights campaigner who used his retirement fund to support a sanctuary is urging others to help save its 400 residents.

As reported in The Northern Echo on Wednesday, Paula Campbell has been given until Tuesday, May 3, to pay off her mortgage arrears if she wants to save her sanctuary in Willington, County Durham.

The Rainbow Ark Animal Sanctuary has been at Milkup Bank Farm for nine years and is home to hundreds of animals, including former factory chickens and horses.

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District Judge John Mainwaring- Taylor suspended an eviction warrant taken out by Redstone Mortgages to allow Ms Campbell to find the funds, although he banned the reporting of her finances.

Animal rights campaigner Stan Johnson, 63, has previously given his retirement fund to the sanctuary.

Mr Johnson, from North Shields, North Tyneside, who took up the animal welfare baton in 1993 after he saw a news report about Chinese bears, has led campaigns across the world and ran a magazine about the subject for 15 years.

He said: “I first came across Paula two years ago when I went down to Brighton to save 100 chickens from slaughter.

“I was told to bring them to her and as soon as I arrived, I knew Rainbow Ark was the best place for them.

“People who are dedicated like Paula are few and far between, so she deserves as much support as she can get.

“If they could not come here, most of these animals would have been slaughtered and that is what will happen if they are evicted. Paula is doing a tremendous job and is going beyond her means to save these animals.”

Mr Johnson said the sanctuary was also popular with children who wanted to learn about animals.

He said: “I can look after myself, but these animals rely on us.”

Ms Campbell said that for every animal she takes in, more will have been rehomed directly thanks to the sanctuary’s contacts.

To support the farm, visit fx-1.co.uk/rainbow