Tributes paid to kind animal rescuer

Tributes were today paid to a woman who helped nurture hundreds of animals over the last two decades.

IPSWICH: Tributes were today paid to a woman who helped nurture hundreds of animals over more than two decades.

Julie Abbott, 54, who lived in Camden Road, Ipswich, died suddenly following heart problems.

In 1984, she set up the Joan Abbott Animal Home to help care for lost or unwanted pets. She began the home in memory of her mother, who died in 1976.

For more than 20 years she helped to care for hundreds of lost or unwanted pets, including snakes, dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, rats, ponies and goats.

She even looked after a pair of snapping turtles, which became unpopular when they took to biting, and managed to house 50 rabbits and 20 guinea pigs which she had been asked to care for.

Her sister, Carol Veal, said: “She took the animals in and fed them and raised money to feed them and this all happened in a little house in Camden Road.

Most Read

“She had a love for animals and lots of her neighbours loved her. She took in chickens and fed them and gave eggs to everybody up the road.

“People called her the 'animal lady', even the police used to call her up to collect snakes from across the town.

“It was very rare that she turned anything away.

“It's the end of an era.”

Mrs Abbott's funeral was held on September 21 at Ipswich Crematorium's North Chapel following her sudden death on September 2.

“It was a terrible shock,” said Mrs Veal.

“She will be missed by everybody but she would not want us to mourn.”

Mrs Veal also expressed her thanks to her sister's friend, Robert Watling, who has looked after some of Mrs Abbott's animals while they are in the process of being re-homed.

THROUGHOUT her colourful life, Julie Abbott was often featured in the Evening Star.

In 1999, she dressed up two ponies as Children in Need mascot Pudsey Bear and took them through Nacton where they met youngsters from the village's playgroup.

She also appealed to Star readers in 2002 after a stray cat made a Houdini-type escape from her home. Sniffy the cat pulled the air vent cover in her bathroom with its claws and climbed through a small hole before jumping 12ft to the ground.

And following the murders of five women in Ipswich in late 2006, she planted a remembrance garden. The body of Anneli Alderton was found dumped in woodland just metres from the field where her horses grazed in Nacton.

Speaking at the time, she said: “Those tragic events really upset me and I have wanted to do something to remember the five victims for a while.

“Anneli's body was found so close to the paddock I have kept horses in for the last 30 years that I felt involved in the whole event.”