Sarah saves animals from life of misery

PUBLISHED: 11:25 28 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:29 05 May 2010

Douglas, a three legged Lurcher with his owner

Douglas, a three legged Lurcher with his owner "Three Legged Sarah" at the Wag & Bone Show in Windsor Great Park.2/8/2008.

A SELFLESS woman who lives on a shoestring has dedicated her life to rescuing more than 750 animals. For more than 10 years Sarah Sheldrick, 40, of the Chells area in Stevenage, has helped to rehome dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, geese, chickens and swans.

A SELFLESS woman who lives on a shoestring has dedicated her life to rescuing more than 750 animals.

For more than 10 years Sarah Sheldrick, 40, of the Chells area in Stevenage, has helped to rehome dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, geese, chickens and swans.

The mother-of-one, who is also known as Three-Legged Sarah because she has rescued three-legged dogs, grew up with animals and had rescue dogs as a child.

She said: "For the last five years I have received phone calls from people that have been looking to rehome animals. Some are literally on death row so I work with rescue centres to rehome them.

"Last year I helped rescue some donkeys in France that were due to be sent to Italy to be hung up by a hook through their tendons and left for two hours before being slaughtered. But we brought 14 donkeys back to the UK and they have now got homes."

Sarah currently has 27 dogs in foster care, four dogs in kennels and in the last two years she has got 56 dogs adopted.

At home she also has three three-legged dogs including a lurcher called Douglas.

Douglas was found on a rubbish site in Ireland by dustbin men. He was tied up and had six breaks to his lower limbs and had been beaten by a flat instrument which smashed his shoulder into his rib cage. As a result he was scared of people and had to have his leg and shoulder amputated.

She said: "A rescue centre contacted me and I agreed to look after him. I'm not a dog trainer or animal behaviourist but there's something about me that must work because he's a completely different animal now and even won Best Rescue Dog at the Wag and Bone Show in Windsor."

Sarah continued: "It feels brilliant when I have rehabilitated animals - I get joy out of doing it. You take something so fragile that has been beaten, cast aside or hasn't been loved and you give it a safe environment and a good quality of life.

"Some people think so little of their animals. I got a call from a lady who was going abroad and was going to put her two dogs down because it was cheaper than putting them in kennels - it's disgraceful!

"People should think very long and hard before buying an animal. I'd encourage anyone to get a rescue animal because there are thousands across England that need loving homes."

Over the past two years Sarah, who also carries out home checks for Mutts in Distress, a dog rescue and animal shelter in Bishops Stortford, has raised around £4,500 through fun days, auctions and raffles for rescue animals.

She said: "I would like to thank all the businesses and individuals in the area who have been good enough to donate things to me to raffle and auction off. Without them I wouldn't have been able to raise the money I have!"

Sarah, who uses Wrayfield Agility Club near Stotfold to help rehabilitate the dogs that come into her care, is also an advisor for BIGGSD, an internet forum which helps to rehome animals and give advice to people about caring for their animals.

If anyone would like to rescue an animal or would like Sarah's help, email her at threeleggedsarah@hotmail.co.uk

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