Home   Haverhill   News   Article

Support shown to Jaybeth's Animal Sanctuary near Haverhill since the death of its owner has been praised




The man who has been running an animal sanctuary near Haverhill following the death of its founder and owner has said he couldn't have coped without the 'fantastic' public support he has received.

On August 10, 2020, Carol Harris died of cancer of the oesophagus at the age of 67, just three months before what would have been the 43rd anniversary of her opening Jaybeth's Animal Sanctuary in Barnardiston.

Her death led to a deluge of tributes, but it also resulted in her assistant of the past 20 years, Len Shackleton, having to take on the management of the sanctuary -with its 83 animals - himself.

Len Shackleton with Coco (Carol Harris's well known dog) and some of the food donated to Jaybeth's Animal Sanctuary. Picture by Mecha Morton
Len Shackleton with Coco (Carol Harris's well known dog) and some of the food donated to Jaybeth's Animal Sanctuary. Picture by Mecha Morton

With almost seven months having passed since Carol's death, Len said: "I really want to thank people for their support, in what has been a really difficult time for me.

"It has been absolutely fantastic from the local people, especially Haverhill.

"I could not carry on without that support.

Len Shackleton with one of the residents at Jaybeth's Animal Sanctuary. Picture by Mecha Morton
Len Shackleton with one of the residents at Jaybeth's Animal Sanctuary. Picture by Mecha Morton

"I have worked here for the last 20 years and I'd known Carol for a long time and suddenly I found myself without volunteers (because of Covid restrictions) and without Carol and with 83 animals here and I did find it really difficult."

Help has continued to be forthcoming however, with essentials like food and bedding, straw and cat litter, continuing to be donated regularly.

A friend has also created an Amazon wishlist of items that are needed by Jaybeth's.

The late Carol Harris, from Jaybeth's Animal Sanctuary, with Elvis one of the many animals that she looked after
The late Carol Harris, from Jaybeth's Animal Sanctuary, with Elvis one of the many animals that she looked after

This, plus bank details are available on Jaybeth's Facebook page for anyone that would like to donate money straight to the sanctuary or to its vets, David Unwin & Associates.

Len has vowed to fulfil Carol's dying wishes and ensure every animal at Jaybeth's, of which there are now about 70, is either rehomed or can live out its finals days there.

He will, said Len, still take the odd animal in, but only in an absolute emergency.

"There is nobody to carry on with this place," he said. "There probably never will be so I'm here for as long as I'm needed for the animals.

"This place was absolutely heaving with animals. Everywhere you looked there was a pair of eyes looking back at you. It's sad it's not that way any more, but i can only do what I can do in the circumstances."

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk