Barby Keel is a legend in the world of animal rescue. She is known amongst animal-lovers as a woman who will take in any animal, no matter how abused, neglected or vulnerable, to care back to health at her small animal sanctuary in the Sussex countryside.
Barby is one of this country’s great survivors, having overcoming many personal struggles over the years with the help of scores of rescue animals. At the age of 28 she bought four acres of land for £1400, built her own home brick by brick, and took in animals who were often dumped at her door.
Born in the 1930s, Barby saw her home flattened by a German bomb during the war. She has survived two bouts of breast cancer, divorce and other health problems, but despite everything the constant in her life has always been her desire to rescue animals. At the grand old age of 83, Barby still carries hay up to the pigs, walks the dogs, and is hands-on with every animal on her site.
Over the past 54 years Barby has fostered thousands of animals, some she has re-homed, and some she has kept, all of them have helped her through difficult times as much as she has brought them back from the brink of destruction. Strong-willed and still formidable, her mantra throughout has been never to destroy an animal, no matter how broken, no matter how ill or damaged. She has a team of volunteers now but it is always to Barby they turn for advice. Barby takes great pride in speaking her mind and nothing stops her from championing an animal’s cause. Barby has seen some of the worst things humans can do to animals; dogs reduced to mere skeletons are pushed through the gate while their owner drives off; cats dumped at the door in bin liners.
Barby is the author of 3 books published by Orion in the summer of 2018. Each focuses on the sad but ultimately uplifting and heart-warming story of an abandoned dog. All Barby's profits from the books will go towards The Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary, which is constantly in need of funds to help keep the centre going.
Find out more about the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary here
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