Nick Herbert visits animal sanctuary in Findon

A team of volunteers who run a busy animal sanctuary in Findon have been praised for their work by Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert.

Mr Herbert visited the PAWS Animal Sanctuary in The Oval on Friday (22 October) and was shown around by Stacey McSpirit who runs the sanctuary with her neighbour Sheila Steere.

During the visit, Mr Herbert met ‘Widget' the cat who needs a new home.

The MP also met ‘Princess', a 14-year-old miniature horse who lives in a paddock at the sanctuary.  She is one of the smallest horses in the country and was mentioned in the 1997 Guinness Book of Records.

PAWS is home to over 100 animals at any one time and, in a typical year, the charity will rescue around 650 animals.

Sometimes the animals have been abandoned.  In other cases, the owner has gone into a home, passed away or moved into a property where pets are not allowed.

In March, Stacey McSpirit and Sheila Steere attended a ceremony at the House of Lords to receive a Wetnose Animal Aid Award in recognition of their work with animals.  The event was attended by a host of celebrities including Nick Knowles, Jenny Seagrove and Ann Widdecombe MP.

PAWS also won the award for Charity of the Year at the 2010 Splash Awards.

Stacey McSpirit, who has been rescuing animals for 30 years, commented: "We were delighted when Nick Herbert our local MP said he would like to come and visit our animals.  It was such a lovely day and Nick was genuinely interested in all the animals, asking their names and ages and how long they have been waiting for homes.  He is an obvious animal lover."

Nick Herbert commented: "I was delighted to visit the PAWS Animal Sanctuary and see what wonderful work they are doing.  Most people look after their pets responsibly but regrettably a minority treat them badly.  It's sad when people no longer want pets and simply awful when animals are abandoned.  Thank goodness we have tireless and dedicated people like Stacey and Sheila here in Findon who care for our animals and find good homes for them."

The sanctuary is open to the public every Sunday from 12pm to 4pm (free entry for members, £1 for non-members).

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Notes for Editors

1. The PAWS Animal Sanctuary is located at Squirrels Cottage, 15 The Oval, Findon, West Sussex BN14 0TN. For more information, visit http://pawsanimalsanctuaryfindon.co.uk/.

Joe Coombes