I have always been passionate about animals and loved all animals from a very early age, at the age of 6 I took on a baby goat whom I called Nanny and I had to feed her regularly with a babies bottle. My parents always had family dogs including Poodles, Golden Retrievers, Afghan Hounds and a Weimaraner and not forgetting 2 Siamese cats. As a youngster I owned my own Donkey, followed by a Shetland Pony and from the age of 10 I would volunteer at my local riding school and work weekends for a free ride! I competed in show jumping and won over 200 rosettes. At the age of 14, I moved to Newmarket with my family and started working after school in a Racing Yard. I was then offered a 3 year apprenticeship and rode out horses in Dubai and Belgium. At the age of 18 I rescued my first horse who was off to slaughter, I named him Wilby and he lived to the age of 30 years old!
I became passionate about rescue work and in 1995 I opened a sanctuary for New Forest Ponies and saved and rehomed over 57 from slaughter over a 5 year period. This was so rewarding and totally voluntary and I had to raise over £80,000 a year to keep it going. I took on Chelsea who was 6 months old, she was riddled with lice and worms and would attack any man who came near her, we had a special relationship, and decided she was my own pony! I had a lot of difficult ponies, young foals that I rescued who had been taken away from their homes too early. Wild mares, and many sick foals who needed calm and understanding and ongoing veterinary care. Body language played a very important part and I had over 30 volunteers helping on a rota, this is how I met my best friend Hannah. Chelsea is on permanent loan with friends near Yarmouth and she actually got to compete at Burghley. I also published a book called Shelly finds her dream pony Chelsea, 2 years ago.
In August 2012 myself and Hayley took on Jasper a 6 month old rescue dog who had been shut in a kitchen, abused and had half of his tail chopped off. Jasper had severe fear aggression. You can read all about him in ‘My stories’. In November 2012 we met Karen at a healing session who founded Helping Paws and we all clicked instantly and since then we have continuously raised funds to help animals in need all over the world. We help fund neutering and spaying schemes and also support sanctuaries in Portugal and Spain. We are always coming up with ideas and only a few days we walked over broken glass, fire and broke a ¾ inch of wood and raised over £8,400. Via Helping Paws we have bought a lot of dogs over from Portugal who needed FOREVER homes in the UK. This is also where I realised I needed to study INSIDE A DOGS MIND so that I could help as many dogs as possible as they do not have a voice, WE ARE THEIR VOICE.