Meet the extraordinary woman who shares her home with more than 300 animals – many of which have been saved from almost certain death.
Tamara Lloyd has dedicated her life to caring for the huge menagerie of 38 horses, 38 dogs, 34 cats, seven pigs, about 100 pigeons, 20 chickens, 15 rabbits, 15 geese, three ducks, two turkeys, five terrapins, 38 mice, 15 Russian hamsters and 17 gerbils.
From Hannibal the ‘stroppy’ turkey with an insatiable appetite for cat food, to ‘Precious’ the lovable Staffordshire bull terrier with a traumatic past – The Alternative Animal Sanctuary at New York is a haven for abandoned animals. “I prefer animals to people,” said Tamara, 42. “I am happy with my life – the only thing that is difficult for me is the increasing number of people not looking after their animals – I only have limited space and funds.”
Some of the lucky ones she has resuced include several large pigs, abandoned after they turned out not to be the micro pigs their owners hoped for, horses saved from the meat market and turkeys originally destined for the Christmas table.
“All the dogs are from pounds where they do seven days then they have to be put down,” she said. “Many have been left with ‘issues’ and no-one else will take them.”
Tamara points to the increasing number of people selling puppies and kittens online – adding to the numbers of abandoned pets in the long run.
“England is no longer a country of animal lovers,” she added.
Originally from Hertfordshire, Tamara’s life-long dedication to helping abandoned and disabled animals has been no mean feat. Her struggles have included racking up £40,000 in debt, suffering the heartbreak of a fire, living in a caravan with no heating or running water and breaking her leg.
“I was told by everyone to give up and walk away, but I had promised the animals I would be responsible for them for their entire lives,” said Tamara, who relocated to the Boston area five years ago.
“Everyone said I couldn’t do it, I was on my own and the farm was virtually derelict and full of rubbish.”
Since then she has managed to clear the debt and created a well-equipped site for the animals.
“I am very happy here and in the main have found the local people to be helpful and supportive,” she added.
With future plans to expand the sanctuary and incorporate a safe visitors area, Tamara is now in desperate need of volunteer fundraisers.
If you can help call 07818 406619.