Eleanor, 11, takes on walking challenge for animal rescue centre
- Credit: Cheryl Smail
An animal-mad 11-year-old who loves dogs but is unable to have one of her own has made dozens of four-legged friends and wants to fundraise to help them.
Eleanor Smail spends every Sunday with the animals at Faith in Hickling, walking them and giving them a taste of the love and comfort they will hopefully find in their ‘forever’ homes.
Having already staged a string of events the Cliff Park High School pupil is embarking on her biggest money-spinner to date - an 11 mile sponsored walk from Winterton to the charity’s base in Stubb Road.
Her mother Cheryl Smail said she was proud of her daughter who was a passionate ambassador for the charity and animal welfare issues.
She said she had suggested volunteering at Faith as a second-best option, knowing that Eleanor really wanted a dog of her own.
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However, it had worked out better than anyone could have imagined with Eleanor revelling in her role which looked set to give her a lifetime of working with animals.
Mrs Smail said: “We travel a lot and we both work so I gave her the option to volunteer to appease her. I thought it would not go down well and that she would go a couple of times and but she really promotes the centre and a lot of people we know have gone there to get their dogs.
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“She is animal crazy. She walks the dogs and sits with them and has collected towels and newspapers.
“She is a real natural with them. She has just got the vibe that they need.”
“So far she has raised £540 but she would really like to get to the £1000.
“It is something she is really ambitious about, I think she has a lifetime of working with animals ahead of her. It is amazing the effort that she puts in at such a young age.”
Eleanor who lives with her parents and brother in Bernard Road, Gorleston, will tackle the 11-mile walk on Sunday.
The centre has up to 60 dogs at any one time and currently has around 30 kittens and 15 adult cats.