A Lords date for exotic pet refuge owner Pam

Pam Mansfield with six-week-old squirrel Tilly.
Pam Mansfield with six-week-old squirrel Tilly.

A CHARITY worker from Deeping St James is to have her dedication to animals recognised at an awards ceremony at the House of Lords.

Pam Mansfield, who set up the Exotic Pet Refuge, is due to travel to London today to pick up the special award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Pam (61) set up Exotic Pet Refuge in 1984 with her late husband, Mel.

She said: “I don’t know who nominated me but I received a letter saying I had been put forward for this award.

“I had been quite ill when I got it so it was a really nice surprise. We don’t do this to get recognition but it does make it worthwhile. It makes you feel very humble.”

The refuge now houses more than 350 different animals, taken in from zoos, wildlife sanctuaries and owners who can no longer look after them, as well as injured native wildlife.

It is currently home to 30 primates, two lynx, two wolves, a porcupine, an ocelot, otters, raccoons, snakes, reptiles, birds and an alligator and there is always a long waiting list of animals that need a home.

Currently costing more than £50,000 per year to run, the refuge receives no Government funding so relies on raising money from donations and six open days each year, when the public are invited in to see the animals.

The refuge is run by Pam, her son Darren and a small team of volunteers.

Pam says she will be taking Darren and friend Julie to the awards ceremony.

“I‘m very excited about going,” she said. “I’ve bought a new outfit and I’m going to have my hair and nails done.”

Robbie Marsland, UK director of IFAW, said: “We are very pleased to be able to reward Pam’s amazing dedication to rescuing and caring for exotic pets and other animals over so many years and wanted to recognise her outstanding work with our Pet Rescue Award.”

The Animal Action Awards will be hosted by Baroness Gale.