Exotic Pet Refuge owner to pick up award

Pam Mansfield owner of Exotic Pet Refuge
Pam Mansfield owner of Exotic Pet Refuge
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A WOMAN dedicated to rescuing animals will be rewarded for her efforts when she picks up a top award on Tuesday.

Pam Mansfield, 61, who runs Deeping St James Exotic Pet Refuge in Station Road, will receive an Animal Action Award at a ceremony at the House of Lords in London.

The awards are given annually by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Pam said she was surprised and delighted to receive a letter in the post informing her of her win.

She said: “I didn’t expect to win an award for doing what I love, which is looking after animals that need help.

“I was just amazed to find out that I was a winner. I don’t even know how they came to find out about me.”

Pam and her late husband Mel, who died in 2004, started caring for animals when they rescued a snake in 1984. It grew from there and the refuge became a registered charity in 1984, before moving to its current premises in 1996.

The refuge now houses more than 350 different animals, taken in from zoos, wildlife sanctuaries and owners who can no longer look after them, as well as injured native wildlife. It is home to primates, two lynx, two wolves, a porcupine, otters, raccoons, snakes, birds and an alligator.

The latest animal to have moved into the refuge is grey squirrel called Tilly, which Pam is bottle feeding five or six times a day.

As well as caring for the animals, Pam also fundraises to meet the £50,000 a year running costs, including holding six open days.

Pam’s son Darren, who works at the refuge, will accompany her to the ceremony along with her close friend Julie Sneeth.

She said: “I am really quite excited about the ceremony especially with it being at the House of Lords.

“It’s not everyday you get to go to something like this.”