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Your Champions: Capricorn Animal Rescue founder Sheila Stewart nominated for award

A REAL-LIFE Dr Doolittle who has dedicated her life to caring for animals has been nominated for a Trinity Mirror/ScottishPower Your Champions award.

Sheila Stewart founded Capricorn Animal Rescue in 1983 at a site just off the A5104 in Padeswood.

She takes in all kinds of creatures from kittens and ferrets to owls and hedgehogs from a huge area spanning from Conwy and Shropshire to Liverpool, Chester, Wrexham and Flintshire.

Sheila works tirelessly to keep the sanctuary she set up 27 years ago up and running.

“I was just four years old when my interest in animals began to show itself. I hand-reared a rook and since then I have always worked with animals, taking up jobs as a dog trainer, in a poodle parlour, volunteering at animal rescue centres in Manchester, fostering animals, finding them homes and fundraising, working as a veterinary nurse and in boarding kennels.”

Sheila is constantly fundraising so that the doors to the centre remain open.

“We have constantly got to be out there to bring the money in. We have to raise funds to feed the animals. It costs £100,000 a year to remain open. There are currently more than 200 animals at the centre who need looking after – they need our help.”

Sheila’s son Robert Stewart nominated her for the award and said: “Sheila works extremely hard and is constantly fundraising. She has now raised £150,000 to rebuild and upgrade the sanctuary, which will provide new housing for all of the animals and birds in her care.

“Even though her husband, my father, passed away after losing his battle with cancer just over a year ago, she has never wavered in her aim to transform the sanctuary and improve conditions not only for the animals but for the volunteers and work experience students.

“She just never gives up working for the animals.”