Meet our own ‘Dr Dolittles’ who each have 100 animals at home!
AN ANIMAL-loving duo from Grimsby and Cleethorpes are on a mission to help wildlife of all shapes and sizes.
Aaron Goss and Linda Bass - the area’s own Dr Dolittle’s - each have around 100 animals living at their homes as part of Cleethorpes Wildlife Rescue.
While they aim to nurture the creatures they rescue back to good health so they can be released back into the wild, not all the animals they help can safely be returned and stay with them for the long haul.
Currently, the pair have more than 100 animals living in their houses, with Linda even looking after a Muntjac deer named Spirit. Aaron, 22, said he’s always on call and rarely stops working. He will go out to any call, regardless of time or distance.
He said: “We used to go out to around 50 calls a year however, we’re now going to about 50 a month. Since then, we’ve been expanding our operation and improving our facilities to be able to continue doing what we do. Both Linda and I now have aviaries in our houses to look after the birds we bring in.
“At the moment, we have ave more than 100 animals between the two houses. It’s very time consuming but we’re just glad to both be back out there saving what we can now lockdown has eased.
“A life is a life, whether it’s human or an animal. If we can help them then we should, just like we would if a human was in danger.”
However, running a wildlife sanctuary isn’t cheap as their current vet bill is around £1,000 a month.
Public fundraisers help towards the costs but both Linda and Aaron contribute from their own money too. Aaron said: “We do sometimes get exhausted being on call at all hours of the day. You might be called at 3am in the morning and we have to go because that’s our motto. It’s just the two of us going non-stop. “Seeing an animal come back to health makes it all worth it though. We recently took in some fox cubs and they’re finally starting to get back to full fitness. It’s great to see.” To further the sanctuary, Aaron and Linda have set up a JustGiving page to raise money for specialist incubators to improve rehabilitation for the animals.
Aaron said: “These incubators will let us take care of those with more advanced needs or for better treatment of animals affected by shock.
“Currently, we have basic heat pads, but they’re just makeshift. We really need incubators to regulate specific environments for the different animals.”
Linda Bass, 67, has been rescuing animals for nearly 50 years. She said: “I started looking after birds 47 years ago and just built it up from there. Nowadays, it’s like a little team.
“Since I was a kid, I’ve been mad about animals. Even though I’m retired, it feels like I’m working a full time job at the centre. “We’re kept busy by all the animals we house here. For example, I’ve got swans and seagulls in my shed and there are some owls and ferrets in my garage too.” Linda said the most treasured animal she cares for is a deer called Spirit. She said: “I was called out at around 2am in October last year about a deer on Donnington Street in Grimsby. I went across and found he had been attacked by a number of dogs and was cowering away in a shed. If I’m honest, I didn’t know if he’d survive at that point in time.
“The vets told me he might need to be euthanised but I refused to let them do that and now he’s fit and healthy. I’m hoping to train him enough to be able to take him for a walk on a lead in the future.” Sadly, in January of this year, Linda suffered a cardiac arrest and nearly had to give up on the rescue centre all together.
Luckily she recovered and is now slowly getting back to rescuing again.
She said: “I’ve had to be really careful since the accident. I’ve made sure to take it slowly, but I’ve loved getting back out there and rescuing the animals.”