Our New President: Harry Redknapp

We are delight to share with members the amazing news that our organisation is extremely honoured to have football manager Harry Redknapp accept our invitation to become our President!

The story begins when one of our Trustees Mrs Pat Earth saw Mr Redknapp on BBC TV giving an interview about his football work and the various teams he has managed over the years.  The interview later revealed other interesting facts including he had a keen interest in wildlife and that one day when time allowed he would like to run a wildlife sanctuary!

Mrs Earth thought this a great opportunity to contact the Queens Park Ranger manager inviting him to become our President.  However she was not even sure her letter would reach Harry Redknapp.  Imagin her delight when she received a reply from his secretary inform her that her letter had been received and that it had been forward on to Harry.  He then replied to his secretary asking her to contact us and let us know he would be delighted to come on board and join our organisation!

Mrs Earth immediately informed the Chairman, Trustees and staff of the wonderful news and as you can imagine we are thrilled to add his name to our work.   We hope that in the future his connection will encourage others to support our important educational and wildlife rescue work!

Below is Harry Redknapp’s acceptance:

To the Trustees and all supporters of Animals’ Voice

It gives me great pleasure to accept the invitation from Animals’ Voice to become their new President.

Having a keen interest in animals myself, I want to offer my support and help raise awareness for all the good work that this educational trust and wildlife rescue organisation carry out throught the year.

I look forward to doing my bit to help as and when I can in the future.

All the best.

Harry Redknapp

Celebrating 60 Years!

It is hard to believe but this year Animals’ Voice will be celebrating our 60th year since the Animal Service and Blessing began!

The Service was brought about by a wonderful man, the late Canon William Barnard who had foresight all those years ago in bringing animals/humans together in church and his quest was for all men to be compassionate and have an understanding towards our animal kingdom!  We feel he would be extremely proud and overjoyed that the service started by him still continues today.

Our organisation has been connected with the service since the 70’s and it was the late Ted Cox founder Chairman of Animals’ Voice association with Canon Barnard and who later became a Trustee of the organisation we became involved with the Service and since then we have helped arrange the event annually.

This year is indeed no exception and we would love for members and friends to join us with or without animals for this very special 60th year where for one afternoon both animals and owners can enter the church together to celebrate the life of all animals worldwide.  However with one exception, the larger animals such as horses will be blessed outside the church.

The Service will begin a 3pm and will take place for approximately 30-40 minutes in the beautiful village church of Hinton Martell, Nr Wimborne, Dorset.  The event will be signposted on the Cranborne to Wimborne Road and various junctions leading to Hinton Martell.  Should you need guidance on how to get there please get in touch and we will be more than happy to advise!

This year due to Reverend Anne Gee’s retirement and the parish awaiting someone to fill the position, William French has kindly offered to take the Service and Christopher Barnard will once again undertake the roll of organist for the afternoon.  The Service has a special place in his life as it was his father who pioneered the service and of course Christopher and his family have been connected with the church and village for many years having grown up there!

Our Guest Speaker is to be confirmed at a later date as we are awaiting a reply to our invitation.  After the service we hope everyone will join us for afternoon tea in the village hall next to the church were you can enjoy a cup of tea and home made cakes along with a slice of our special anniversary cake provided by the Trustees of Animals’ Voice.

We hope that many of you will be able to join us for this special occasion and we look forward to seeing you there on the day with your pets or if you have none just bring yourself along and meet everyone for a wonderful relaxed afternoon with like minded people who love animals too!

The Chairman Writes…

At last some warm sunshine and it is such a joy to smell the wonderful roses as they filter through my kitchen window.  Is summer here at last I ask myself.

Dear friends I can not describe how incredibly busy it has been over the past few weeks and first to arrive was a tiny duckling who I have named Buttercup.  She is growing fast as each day passes playing in her pen on my back lawn.  Next came a telephone call asking if I could care for a small dog for a week who I hasten to add was fourteen years of age.  The couple did not wish to put her into kennels and so Millie arrived at my house!  She was such a dear sweet little dog.  David and I loved her from the first moment she stepped inside the house.  She was absolutely no trouble at all and she followed me everywhere.  The week went so quickly and suddenly there was an empty basket.  We had both grown accustomed to having Millie around and we missed her.  We told the couple that when ever they go away Millie will always be welcome to come and stay.

One evening there as a knowck at the door and upon opening it I foud two people with a box.  I could not believe my eyes when I opened the top of the box and saw a little owl just like my Harry.  He had been found by the couple in the middle of the road and had been hit by a car.  It appeared his back was badly bruised which meant he could not fly.  I am pleased to report that he is doing extremely well and I have named him Humphrey!

Twinkle the baby wild rabbit is now fully grown and doing very well.  She is an absolute delight and loves her cuddles and the warm sunshine.  Then came Digby the young crow who most certainly keeps us on our toes and who calls very loudly for food or until he gets his own way, even if its not feeding time!

Finally a dove who I have named Lucy has been our most recent arrival.  She is such a gentle bird and unfortunately arrived with very few tail feathers and we can only assume she was attacked by one of the hawk family.  She is unable to fly properly but is enjoying living in the large aviary where food is available at all times and it has several nice perches for her to sit on an preen herself.

As the days and weeks continue we are in undated with new arrival and these wonderful animals and birds keep us extremely busy and fill our days from dawn to dusk but they also bring us joy and smiles.

Thank you dear friends again for your wonderful donations, letters, cards, stamps, gifts and bedding.  The above items help us to look after the animals and I know many are struggling to make ends meet at the moment but your kindness does make a huge difference.  Thank you so much.  Finally, thank you all for your good wishes and for your continued support.  My good wishes to you all.

Betty xx

Obituary: Dinah Sheridan

17 September 1920 – 25 November 2012

photoDinah Sheridan, whose acting career began in the 1930’s and continued until the late 1990’s, was best known for her appearances in television comedies and films.

Married four times, Dinah had two children with her first husband Jimmy Hanley, Jeremy and Jenny, the latter of which presented the hugely popular children’s television series Magpie in the 1970’s.

Though famous for her many film roles Dinah will be most fondly remembered for her films Genevieve and The Railway Children.

Dinah was first introduced to our work in July 1982 when we were then known as Animals’ Vigilantes. She became a Life Member in November 1982 and in November 1988 was invited to become a Patron of our work. In October 1989 Dinah found time in her very busy work schedule to give the address at our annual Animal Blessing and Service for animals as our Guest Speaker at Hinton Martel Church.

Over the years Dinah regularly corresponded with our organisation with hand written letters. She divided her time between homes in England and California whephotore she spent six months at each address. She would often write about her love of animals and birds and as well as describing the more exotic looking birds that visited her garden in California she would take photographs to send to us.

Second from right in photograph Dinah with her dog and husband John Merivale front, when he accompanied Dinah at our Animal Blessing and Service at Hinton Martel.

Animals’ Voice is privileged to have had Dinah as a Patron and supporter of our work for many years and our thoughts are with her family.

Jenny Pulling Writes…

photoMany tourists to Sicily finding a feral cat which gives them concern, have traced me via this website. As I am not always ‘on the spot’ I have tried to help them with advice.

Such a couple were Natalya and Terry who first called me last year. They were concerned about a small cat they called Ginger. Ginger was then not more than a kitten and the couple who went daily to feed the colony were concerned about her eyes. This is a kind of conjunctivitis and is common among the Sicilian feral cats. I advised them to use a product called Pensulvit.

photoWhen I returned to Sicily, last October, I searched for the colony and believed I had found it but there appeared no sign of Ginger. I was overjoyed, as were they, when on their second visit they found Ginger alive and well. We met in Shoreham by Sea and agreed that on my next visit she would be neutered. During this time, Laura has been caring for and feeding another colony of cats and I have been delighted to be able to send her money to help with her work.

jennypulling3Elke continues her sterling work with feral cats. I was able to give her enough money, last autumn, to feed several colonies of cats over the winter. Recently, she contacted me when a friend had been taken ill and was in hospital. She had left behind ten unneutered feral cats and Elke was anxious to have them neutered in order that she could find them homes.

During a recent telephone conversation with Laura, she reported that the colonies she cares for are all alive and thriving. Thanks to donations from kind people in the UK, many of them readers of Animals’ Voice I was able to send them some money.

Catsnip is so grateful to women like Elke and Laura who continue to work for these unfortunate felines.

My next visit is planned for this autumn when we’ll be carrying out more treatment and neutering of the cats.

Please contact me if you are in Sicily and have concerns by visiting