News ID: 278901
Published: 1138 GMT January 01, 2021

The north Wales couple who created an 'animal nirvana'

The north Wales couple who created an 'animal nirvana'
CAROL GRIFFITHS/BBC
Unlike most cats, Davy the rescue has no desire to kill the chickens or chicks.

A couple in north Wales has described how its home and surrounding land has become a "nirvana" for animals.

Carol and Ned Griffiths have two cows, two horses, three sheep, five dogs, four cats, 13 chickens and two cockerels on their 25-acre (10-hectare) smallholding in Talybont, near Barmouth, in Gwynedd, BBC reported.

They did have a lamb named Beaky, who could not suckle due to an "overshot mouth" and had to be put down at eight months after the couple hand-reared him from birth.

"Beaky thought he was a dog. He didn't even recognize himself as a sheep," Carol said.

"We have had people come here who say it's like a nirvana for animals. They feel safe here. They get to live a full life."

Carol said what started off as rescuing two kittens soon became a steady growth in their animal community.

The couple came to own a Highland cow named Franag after they met her owner at a country fair and learned she would be sent for slaughter because of her age.

Not wanting Franag to be lonely, Ned and Carol bought a "steer" — a castrated bull — named Aero, a Highland who is now five years old, to keep her company.

"They love each other — they stay together," said Ned, a tree surgeon.

Ned and Carol also own two horses: Gypsy, a 12-year-old Welsh Cob, and Holly, a six-year-old Gypsy Cob.

Gypsy was Ned's horse before the couple got married six years ago, and they adopted Holly from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to provide company for Gypsy.

Ned said Holly had been rescued from rising water after she was found tethered in a flooding field.

Despite having lost Beaky, the couple has three other sheep named Primrose, Bluebell and Cookie.

"The farmer said 'can you look after them?' I said 'yes, but on the basis we keep them'," explained Carol.

They own five dogs, including Lottie and Pip who were rescued from starvation in Cyprus, and Indie who was rescued from Swansea.

The couple has four cats named Davie, Gonzo, Pumpkin and Pebble, 13 chickens and two cockerels.

"It's really weird, they often all gather in the same field together," said Carol.

"We have got chickens and cats and you just see cats walking past one-day-old chicks.

"If you leave the door open then the chickens come in. I don't shoo them out unless they're in the lounge."

Unsurprisingly, the cost of keeping so many animals is high. So what motivates them?

"I'm a big animal lover. My dream was always to have a house with land and when we got married we were fortunate we had this house," explained Carol.

"Because we love animals so much, they just bring so much joy to see how they live together — they are safe and not going to slaughter, and they love each other.

"They do cost us a fortune but they give us back so much."

   
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