An Inspirational Couple

In Raw, near Whitby in North Yorkshire, there is a couple who have an inspirational story to tell.

Dennis and Norma Carrick spend their retirement caring and rescuing abandoned and injured animals, whether they are wild or pets.

The couple have been helping abandoned and injured animals for 16 years and they never have a day off.

Mrs Carrick, 73, said: “We started at Whitby Dog Rescue and we have been here for 16 years now and every animal here is rescued.”

Dennis, 80, was the second coxswain on the lifeboat in Whitby and took Norma on a tour across the world.

In order to feed all the animals, the couple spend roughly around £60 to £100 a week on food alone but receive no financial help except for donations.

“We do hold some events in order to raise money including through jumble sales,” Mrs Carrick said.

The 73-year-old even went so far as to do a parachute jump and raised around £2400.

“I gave some of the money to other charities as well but never got a thank you or anything,” she said.

Across the six acres of land there are a whole host of different breeds on animals, from geese to sheep and goats to cats, all of which were rescued by the inspirational couple.

They do not breed any of the animals as that is not what the rescue centre is for but instead they look to re-home some of the animals (depending on age) and never put them down until they are too old.

Compared to other charities who charge around £100 for a dog, Raw Animal Rescue Centre give them for free.

Mrs Carrick said: “People ring up to tell about abandoned or animals that are going to be put done.

“We rescued sheep who were supposed to be put down when they were three but have lived until they are 13.”

As well as local residents getting in touch, the police are also frequently engaging with them and brought to their attention the nine puppies that were scattered around Whitby.

Mrs Carrick said: “Social services got in touch with us about a cat whose owner had to go into hospital.

“When we got it, it was so malnourished and skinny we don’t think it had been fed for a while so we put her in the attic and now she is called the cat in the attic.”

Some of the animals were obviously injured including a goat with one horn and ducks with Angel Wing (who are easy targets for foxes).

“We do get a lot of fox attacks especially this time of the year when they are breeding,” Mrs Carrick said.

As well as the inspirational couple, there is also a team of volunteers who take time to help with the caring and cleaning of the animals.

“Volunteers throughout the week but the workload is continuous and there are always jobs to be done,” Mrs Carrick said.

Despite the help of the volunteers, they are always looking for help around the farm and there is continuous DIY/manual labour work.

As said, their weekly spend of food alone is costly but they are always in need of appliances, equipment and materials to keep the farm up dated and secure.

After fifteen years of having no trouble, in September 2014 there was an incident that caused the couple to install CCTV.

Mr Carrick said: “We had an issue with the fox hunters who came onto our land and disturbed the animals resulting in having to put a sheep down.

“I was accused of firing a gun but the case was dismissed but since then a whole host of trouble has occurred.”

What happened after this incident was truly shocking to hear.

These included the tail and mane cut off a pony, the gate was lifted off its crooks and left open, intruders were on top of the stable and a sitting goose was disturbed which resulted in her leaving her eggs and as a result there were 13 dead goslings.

As well, there have been a few disagreements with the local vets who are called out to help the injured animals.

“If we find an animal injured during non-surgery hours, the vets we have dealt with the in past would refuse to come out and therefore we would have to put the animal down ourselves,” Mrs Carrick said.

The couple now have a vet that will come and check on the animals but they used to deal with Cleveland Vets but no more.

“I am sure vets have an obligation to treat wild animals as well as pets,” Mrs Carrick said.

This truly inspirational couple are always looking for and in need of any help and donations from people and businesses.

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