Wish Can Help Bring Hope to Animals

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE MORGAN

CLIFF Spedding's Hope Animal Shelter at Whitecliffe Cottage near Loftus is "going from strength to strength."

The 52-year-old is dedicated to rescuing animals of all kinds and is backed by band of volunteer helpers.

The shelter received pounds 1,107.13 in last year's Gazette Wish Campaign, and has entered again this year.

Cliff said: "Last year I had a great response and spent my Wish cash on a new donkey and goat shed for animals which are rescued and brought in.

"It was a really good boost for me. "This year, I would spend money on more building materials so I can continue to enlarge and improve the sanctuary and house more animals."

Cliff's menagerie includes dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, ponies, llamas, wallabies, racoons and birds, as well as hens and swans on his own pond.

Five years ago, Cliff faced a jail term after a devastating RSPCA inspection following an anonymous tip-off. He admits being overwhelmed by too many commitments, with too little help.

He admitted causing unnecessary suffering to 61 animals found in appalling conditions without vet care at the sanctuary in March 2006.

But in October 2007, Teesside Crown Court Judge Peter Armstrong was so impressed by improvements to the sanctuary, he quashed an "unnecessary" jail term and a ban on keeping animals. …