The Story Of Camberley Kate: A Dog Rescuer Extraordinaire



Kate Ward’s nickname “Camberley Kate” is said to have been given to her by historian Sir Arthur Bryant in his book “The Lion and the Unicorn”. It became the title by which she became known to everyone.

Kate’s early history is somewhat hazy – When interviewed she stated that she was born in Middlesbrough on June 13th 1895, and remained proud of her Yorkshire roots. Orphaned before she was ten, she was brought up by an aunt in a strict religious atmosphere. As a young girl she went into service, in Yorkshire and eventually found her way to Camberley. In 1943 Kate bought a cottage in Yorktown, and soon afterwards took in her first stray, a dog which had been about to be put down due to lameness.

As word grew, the number of dogs in her cottage increased – some being tied to her door, some left in carrier bags, others brought in by the police or other agencies. At the end of her life she estimated that she had looked after more than 600 dogs and local vet Geoffrey Craddock, a great admirer of Kate work testified that they were well looked after. An entry in the 1957 directory FOR Camberley reads “Ward K 218 London Road., Cam., Dogs Home”. In 1976 she stated that she had 34 dogs, although by 1977 she had cut this down to 19, as she had been told to go easier at the age of 82! The growth of other dog rescue centres helped in this regard. She also had at least one cat.


Kate and her olive-green painted hand cart, labelled STRAY DOGS, was a familiar sight locally as she pushed it from Yorktown to Camberley each day, through the town centre and up to Barossa Common, on a route suggested by the police. Some of the dogs were allowed to ride in the cart, others were attached to it with lengths of string, and occasionally a favoured few ran loose alongside. Inside the cart, there was usually some meat for the dogs and a shovel to clean any mess away. The dogs were controlled with the help of a whistle. Locals became used to the sight of Kate pushing her cart along the busy London Road although it never ceased to amaze outsiders.

As a local celebrity Kate and her dogs were much photographed, a situation she tolerated as long as the photographer gave a donation for the upkeep of the animals. She also sold her own photographic postcards, and gave short shrift to those who tried to take their own pictures. Generous supporters gave money to assist her work and some even left bequests. She was scrupulous that this money should be used only for its intended purpose: the dogs had their own bank account, administered by 2 trustees. She left money in trust for the few dogs left at her death.

If you gave her some money, she would INSIST you take a photo. That way she could not be accused of begging.


A diminutive figure with her shock of white hair and her beret, Kate defended herself and her work passionately against her critics, such as those who wanted her out of the town centre or who regarded the dogs as dangerous or a health or traffic hazard. On one occasion she rammed a new car which was blocking her way. She also had a number of disputes with the authorities. These clashes were often recorded in the columns of the press. However she won the backing of the local police for her work in taking abandoned dogs in off the streets.

In 21 August 1969 Kate was in the Camberley News fighting plans to introduce a bye law making it illegal for dogs to be out without a lead. This followed complains from residents of new housing estates, and concerns about road accidents caused by stray dogs. In her customary forthright fashion she condemned “The Council is nothing more than a collection of dog-haters. I think this will be rotten. It means that dogs will be chained up all day”. A proposal to ban dogs from the new precinct in Camberley also met with a terse response, particularly since she was in the habit of shopping at Sainsbury’s and leaving some of the dogs tied up outside. When protests about the local drag-hounds running out of control when being exercised attracted her support Kate, in typical fashion, addressed her complaint directly to the King. The Royal family continued to be a favourite route for correspondence. When a local schoolteacher complained that she had seen her beat her dogs with a stick, Kate immediately wrote in protest to the Queen. This was not their first encounter – when Princess Elizabeth got married one of the dogs sent a present of a dog lead.


As these anecdotes show, Kate was an excellent publicist. A local policemen recalled that occasionally a dog would get loose and be brought to the dog pound. If the Police Station was empty she would pay the fine quietly and readily, but if there was an audience she would protest vocally!

Following a series of strokes old age and ill-health forced her to leave her cottage and her remaining seven dogs were put into kennels. Her last weeks were spent at Kingsclear residential home and she died on 4th August 1979. Her funeral was at St Michael’s, Yorktown.

Despite her avowed dislike of people, Baptist Minister the Rev Chris Russell who officiated at her funeral, remembers her private generosity to those in need. This aspect of her life she kept anonymous, passing on her donations through third parties.

After her death, Camberley vet Geoffrey Craddock was quoted in the Camberley News as saying “Camberley has lost its most celebrated and best known character. She will be greatly missed by those of us who had the rare privilege of knowing her”.


During her lifetime, Kate’s fame spread far and wide. She featured In the national press and on television programmes such as “Nationwide” and “Tonight”. was featured on NBC in the United States and her story appeared in publications across Europe from France to Rumania. She also received the ultimate accolade of a feature in “Time” Magazine, and was photographed by Lord Snowdon. To her surprise, in 1967 she received an award from the magazine “Dog’s Life” for her work. In answer to the inevitable question, why she did it? her invariable reply was that she preferred dogs to humans.



Her home at 218 London Road was just a few doors along from the former Lamb pub, near the present Meadows roundabout, but Is no longer standing. The Katherine Court retirement flats were named after her at the suggestion of a local resident in 2000.

There are so many great lessons we can learn from the life of Kate Ward, both as responsible dog owners, human beings, and as pet rescue charities. Most of all Kate recognized the value of a photograph and how it could be used for the positive influence of others, to bring light to a cause, and to help raise money.

Please share for others to enjoy.

ANIMAL LOVER LAUNCHES FUNDRAISER TO BUILD A CENTRE FOR DISABLED ANIMALS

Some of the dogs that Victoria has saved (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)

When lockdown struck, Victoria Bryceson was in the process of pulling together funds to build an animal centre for disabled dogs and cats. The founder of the animal welfare charity, Miracle’s Mission, had planned a series of vegan festivals in the UK, with the aim to use the profits to launch her latest project. Unfortunately, as the pandemic has put a halt to all events, the charity is quickly running out of money – and all plans for the centre have been put on hold. This means that canines across the country are currently at risk of dying from disease, abandonment or due to vets being forced to put them down.

‘Ninety per cent of disabled dogs that are seen by vets are euthanised unnecessarily so there must be literally thousands of dogs killed like this in the UK,’ Victoria said. To save their lives, the charity founder is now turning to the public with a campaign to raise £20,000 – the equivalent of the centre’s property deposit.

Miracle’s Mission already has a waiting list of dogs in urgent need of help, such as those with missing limbs or who are paralysed. Once open, the centre will provide care for the vulnerable dogs and cats, offering veterinary assessments, MRIs, surgeries, the fitting of prosthetics and doggy wheels. Each pup will also be given a personalised rehabilitation plan with physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, as well as daily massages and TENS machine stimulation. Additionally, they will be able to play with each other in a sensory garden and given educational toys for mental and physical stimulation. Victoria said: ‘At the moment amputation of one leg is common practice with UK vets, as dogs can live very well and still be very active with three legs, especially if it is a back leg, as most of the weight is on the front legs. ‘However, when it comes to a double amputation, leaving the dog with two legs, the general vets that I have seen in the UK have said it’s definitely not possible to do this as the dogs won’t be left with a good quality of life.

‘The specialist hospitals seem more open to it as they have more experience in the area, but even they have problems where most of their dogs in these conditions are euthanised, not because they need to be but because in their words it is the owners of the dogs who can’t cope with the thought of a two legged-dog. ‘So there is a huge need for education in this area, amongst the public, dog owners and vets. ‘The animals coming into our care will initially all be stray dogs with nowhere else to go and no one else to help them. ‘They will either have been born with some sort of condition, such as a bent leg that they can’t walk on or they will have been in an accident – for example hit by a car or they will have been abused.’ Once the dogs (and cats) have recovered, Miracle’s Mission will then find them a forever home – but to be able to do this, people’s attitudes towards disabled animals need to change, explained Victoria.

She said: ‘We will offer a full rehabilitation programme right through from assessment to surgery to rehabilitation, recovery and re-homing. ‘This is again why education is so important, so that people become open to adopting disabled dogs. ‘If we don’t re-home the dogs, the centre will be full on day one and then we won’t be able to help any more, so it is really desperately needed that the dogs be re-homed.’ So far, the campaign has raised £5,355. Once she reaches her goal, Victoria can build the centre in Yorkshire, which she hopes to open in 2020.

Here is the amazing transformation of some of the dogs that Victoria has already saved.

Miracle, who inspired the charity’s name (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)
Look at Miracle now (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)

Many disabled dogs are euthanised but thankfully Nacho was saved (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)

Look at Nacho now – furry beauty (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)
Prince was badly malnourished when Victoria first met him (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)
Look at Prince’s happy face (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)

Willow had injured her legs (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)

Willow now has a wheelchair so she can be more independent on her walks (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)
Ella has lost one of her legs (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)
Ella in the hydrotherapy pool (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)
Ella proving that dogs can still live a full life on three legs (Picture: Victoria Bryceson)

If you would like to donate to this wonderful cause, you can do so on the Miracle’s Mission GoFundMe page.

Alternatively, if you want to host a fundraising event of your own, email Victoria for more information.

Daisy The Dog Was Saved From Euthanasia And Now She Happily Runs Around In A Wheelchair

DAISY NEVER LETS HER DISABILITY STOP HER LOVING LIFE

Sheena was looking for a special needs dog to adopt and found Daisy in the summer of 2011. Daisy was born with a congenital deformity in her front legs and uses a wheelchair to assist her walk. After learning that disabled dogs have a difficult time finding a forever home and are usually the first ones to be listed to euthanize at the shelter, Sheena was heartbroken.

DAISY MUST BE ONE OF THE HAPPIETS DOGS YOU WILL EVER SEE

In Sheena’s eyes, Daisy is a strong girl and she doesn’t pity her disability and feel the same way about all disabled dogs. She decided to use social media platforms to share Daisy’s story and raise positive awareness for all disabled dogs.

HITCHING A RIDE

With Daisy’s sweet nature, spunky attitude, and underbite smile, she has gained many fans from all around the world and I am beyond grateful. I hope that Daisy’s story and photos will continue to spread, and more people will open their hearts to dogs with special needs.

You can help dogs just like Daisy and other disabled animals by supporting Miracle’s Mission who are opening a UK centre to help rescue, care for, and rehabilitate sick, injured and disabled animals worldwide. For more details about the work of Miracle’s Mission and how to help them go to Help Build The Disabled Animal Centre.

“Animals using wheelchairs and prosthetics can live as good a life as fully able-bodied animals and that is what we want to show people” ~ Victoria Bryson, Miracle’s Mission founder.

Please SHARE so that others can enjoy this happy-ending story and perhaps encourage others to adopt disabled animals. Thank You.

HELP KANGAROO ISLAND WILDLIFE PARK TREAT ANIMALS INJURED IN THE AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRES

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park

The Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park has been overwhelmed by the kindness, good wishes and support from the Australian and international community for the wildlife icon, the Koala.

At least 25,000 Koalas are believed to have died in a horrific wildfire in South Australia that may have devastating consequences for the survival of the species.

Four dead Koalas lie on a vet’s table in Lismore

The fire on Kangaroo Island, which was considered a Koala safe-haven because its population had escaped a devastating chlamydia epidemic, was described as “virtually unstoppable” on Saturday by firefighters.

Koala rescuer Margaret Hearle stated that another important Koala population, nicknamed “the gene pool” because of its good health, had been “wiped out” in Crestwood, New South Wales.

Due to the recent tragic bushfires, the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park has received a lot of concerned phone calls and messages regarding the impacted wildlife from these fires.

Over the past few days they have started to see a large number of injured Koalas, along with other native species heavily impacted by this event. They have been treating these victims as best they can to supply pain relief, antibiotics, treatment to wounds and basic husbandry requirements. They spent most of January 3rd building extra holding enclosures as well as defending the park from the immediate threat of the fire and will continue to prepare more infrastructure to house the extra wildlife they expect to see over the coming weeks.

A KOALA RECOVERS AT THE KANGAROO ISLAND WILDLIFE PARK

They need much-needed funds to help with veterinary costs, Koala milk and supplements, extra holding/rehabilitation enclosures, as well as setting up a building to hold supplies to treat these animals.

Donations go directly towards the Koalas and other wildlife that they have coming in from the fires for their care, triage and ongoing treatments, housing, essential equipment, feed and more.

They are working around the clock with a highly experienced, qualified and dedicated team of volunteers including qualified vets, vet nurses and wildlife carers to rescue, rehabilitate and care for all of the animals coming in from the bushfires.

Sam Mitchell, owner of Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park

On admittance to the unit, all efforts are made to rehydrate, treat and assess the wildlife by their vet care team. Many are being treated for severe burns with most burns being to their hands, feet and rumps.

They are providing the best care possible for our injured wildlife and due to the significant habitat loss they will be building exhibits to hold the treated Koalas until arrangements can be made to release them back into the wild where possible.

SOME OF THE KOALAS WHO SURVIVED THE FIRES IN THE RECOVERY UNIT

Kangaroo Island is well known for its thriving Koala population however over 150,000 hectares has been lost due to recent events, this will effect our Koala population dramatically. We ALL need to pull together to save this Australian icon. Once conditions improve and they are granted access to fire ground, a qualified team will be going out to rescue wildlife caught in the fires and relocate those left without a food source or home.

PLEASE HELP RAISE MUCH-NEEDED FUNDS FOR THE KANGAROO ISLAND WILDLIFE PARK

To help raise funds for this vital project we are donating ALL proceeds from the sale of Badges, Brooches, Car Stickers, Tote Bags, Jewellery and Conservation Packs to help the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park treat animals affected by the #AustralianFires.

They are available from the Protect All Wildlife store at http://protect-all-wildlife.ecwid.com

KANGAROO ISLAND WILDLIFE PARK

Animal Advocacy, Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Environment, Wildlife Conservation/ Tags Australia, Bushfires, Dying Wildlife, Kangaroos, Koalas

The Touching Story Of A Man Who Rescued An Orphaned Moose In Distress

When Erikas Plucas came back home one ordinary day he found a baby moose lying all by herself just outside his gate. “The first sight of her was heart breaking,” said Erikas, who lives in Lithuania. “She was starved, dirty, sad, her fur was infested with flies, and she was so terrified of me when she first saw me but was too weak to run away, to even get up.” Once he established that the calf was all alone, Erikas approached it ever so carefully so as not to frighten it. On closer inspection, he noticed that it was a female moose who was no older than two weeks. She was in bad shape, and that’s when Erikas figured out what had happened to her mother.

Emma, The orphaned baby moose

Erikas believed that the female moose’s mother was killed by hunters, and in search of safety, the baby moose ran onto the property of the farm to evade the hunters. It also looked like the calf got injured on the way.

Like most people would have done, Erikas called up family and friends to ask for advice and tips, but he was met with aggression. “‘It is illegal, you should not do it. Let nature take care of it,” were the kind of comments Erikas received.

Erikas decided to keep her, and a magical friendship formed between the animal and the man. He was excited to keep the female moose and named her Emma. The first few weeks were very challenging for him; it was as if fatherhood crept up on him from nowhere. Emma needed to eat every few hours and couldn’t be left alone for too long.

erikas with emma

At first, Erikas would feed her every four hours, and even sleep next to her in the barn or outside to make sure the animal felt safe.

Eventually, it was time to release the moose back into the wild. At first, Emma was terrified of the forest, but she felt safe with Erikas and therefore followed him into the wild as he helped her search for food. He hoped Emma would learn how to fend for herself like any other moose in the wild. So, would Emma finally move into the wild?

emma in a local lagoon

Erikas was thrilled to see Emma roaming free in the woods, but he knew that she could fall victim to the local hunters just like her mother did. He couldn’t stand the thought of losing his beloved Emma, but he couldn’t keep her on the farm either.

To avoid the inevitable, Erikas invited the local hunters over to try and get them on his side. “I had some hunters over for them to see her as not just a nice, warm steak with potatoes and vegetables on the table, but as a very intelligent and loving animal,” he said. Would his plan work?

Erikas’s plan went surprisingly well, and after the hunters witnessed the relationship between Emma and Erikas, they had a complete change of heart. Some of the hunters agreed not to hunt her, while others promised not to hunt moose at all.

The biggest victory for Erikas was that some hunters decided to put down their weapons and stop hunting altogether. He was ecstatic to hear the news, but then Emma showed up with an even bigger surprise than he could have imagined.

Emma visited her ‘dad’ every single day!

After Emma moved back into the wild, Erikas noticed her stomach looking rather round and significantly bigger. It was clear that she was pregnant, and at that moment, Erikas was reassured that Emma really was doing well in the wild. She was starting her own family! Soon Erikas will get even more visitors – and he couldn’t be happier about it.

emma is starting her own family

“She turned my life upside down. Being a man, I became a mother to a moose,” Erikas said.  “I’m her world now and she is mine,” Erikas said. “Sometimes I wonder was it me who saved her or is it the other way around?”.

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