SPANA sits down with Anne Paul, a long-time supporter to talk about what leaving a legacy to working animals means to her.
Why did you first start supporting SPANA?
I was in the kitchen eating breakfast and we have a TV in there. I saw an advert with an overloaded tiny white donkey. It broke my heart – it really did. I hadn’t heard of SPANA then, so I looked you up.
What is it about working animals that interests you?
I’m an animal lover through and through, but particularly working animals because of the people they support. When I saw SPANA’s work in action in the Atlas mountains of Morocco, I remember seeing people who live hand-to-mouth. They have no savings, no pension. I could see how much they rely on their animals for everything.
Is there any part of SPANA’s work that stands out for you?
I think the focus on educating the young people is so, so important. It’s different too – I haven’t seen anyone else doing it. Education provides the momentum to improve things in the future. I remember seeing the school children visiting the SPANA clinic in Marrakech.
You could see how interested the children were and so engaged with what the SPANA vets and technicians were showing them. I just knew this was really going to make a big difference.
Do you support other charities?
Yes, three others. One is Guide Dogs charity. A family member has a guide dog which makes a massive difference to her life. I suppose guide dogs are working animals as well.
Why did you decide to include a gift to SPANA in your Will?
The mobile clinics – I was inspired when I saw the difference they make. In the Atlas mountains, I saw owners who had walked up to 10 miles to get their animal to the clinic. What I remember clearly is how the SPANA vets also instruct and help the owners. They were very straight-talking but everything was said respectfully. The SPANA staff are so passionate about what they were doing. Everyone is focused on making life better for the animals and their owners.
I have all the material things I need and I’ve been lucky in life. I just want to do some good and, with SPANA, I know my legacy will do just that. I know the running costs are not over what they should be and it looks well run.
What would you say to anyone who is thinking of writing their Will?
It took a lot of planning but once you’ve done it, actually you can relax. I’d say, bite the bullet and get on with it because it does give you peace of mind!