Kind-hearted Barby still puts animals first despite her cancer battle

Barby Keel, who runs the animal sanctuary that bears her name, has been diagnosed with breast cancer again.

The 85-year-old driving force behind the long-running charity, which is based in Freezeland Lane, will be going into hospital this week.

A statement issued by the sanctuary said Barby remained in good spirits and was keen for people to make donations for the animals instead of ringing or visiting.

“The good news is the cancer has not spread around her body so she will have an operation to remove the tumours,” it said.

Barby has been rehoming abused, abandoned and unwanted animals since 1971. When this isn’t possible, they are given a permanent home at the sanctuary.

Barby clapping for the NHS workers earlier this year

She remains very much hands-on in the running of the sanctuary and is responsible for key roles such as finances and fundraising.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a significant blow to its finances with the annual August open day, which raises around £10,000, having to be cancelled.

A large slice of this cash goes to pay for all the hay and straw it needs for the year so the sanctuary is expected to struggle to find the money needed for such essentials.

A spokesperson said: “We really appreciate it is a hard time financially for so many people at the moment but please spare what you can so the sanctuary can continue to care for the animals.”

If you’d like to help then all the information on how you can donate or adopt/sponsor an animal can be found on the charity’s website.

A superb behind-the-scenes look at the charity’s work

Photos: Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary

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