Thursday, December 2, 2010

For once, Ann is doing the dragging: Miss Widdecombe discovers how Anton felt after tussle with difficult donkey


Strictly Come Donkey: Ann Widdecombe takes asses Teasel and Dove for a walk as she launches the Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land charity's Christmas campaign

Now she knows how Anton Du Beke feels.

Faced with a stubborn partner who’ll move only when prodded, Ann Widdecombe did the only thing she could.

She cajoled, wheedled and finally resorted to muscle power to get this donkey trotting along.

The Strictly Come Dancing star led two of the animals through Newton Abbot in Devon as part of a Christmas campaign by the charity Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of neglected and abused donkeys in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

She said: 'I've supported SHADH for many years as the work they do is amazing.
'I've spent time at the donkey sanctuary in Israel myself and know that too many donkeys in the region are treated cruelly or abandoned.

'It's terrible that these gentle animals, which play a key part in the Nativity story, should be so badly treated.

'SHADH is the only charity in the area helping these lovely donkeys.'

Don't be shy! Ann tries to encourage the donkeys to pose for the cameras

Ann added: 'I'm hoping to attend SHADH's 10th Anniversary dinner this year but it's the same night as the Strictly Come Dancing Final.

'I've promised to come along if I can but that will be up to the public in the end.
'I am hoping to visit the sanctuary again soon - it's incredibly inspiring to see the work they do there and I love helping out with the care of these lovely animals.'

Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land rescues injured, neglected and abused donkeys in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

No, I don't want to waltz with you! Ann tugs at Teasel who looks determined to stay where he is

I'm not going anywhere! Teasel refuses to budge as Ann and the sanctuary worker try to coax him towards them

Ann has been a patron of the charity for many years and spent a week working with founder Lucy Fensom at the sanctuary in near Tel Aviv, Israel.

Donkeys are still beasts of burden in the Middle East but sadly many suffer from neglect, cruelty and abuse.

The harsh political climate can mean that these innocent animals end up the victims of the poverty and violence which sadly dominates the region.

My new best friend: Ann cuddles up to Dove as she raises awareness of the charity

Since 2000, SHADH have rescued over 1,000 donkeys and horses and run free mobile vet clinics and education programmes in the region, to teach both children and adults how to care for their working animal.

Those who adopt a Safe Haven donkey in the Holy Land will receive presentation folder, portrait photo of your donkey, record card and an adoption certificate plus a cuddly donkey and updates on your animal through the year.

'Flying canary': Brave Anton Du Beke attempts to lift Ann off the ground in their disastrous samba on Strictly Come Dancing last weekend

source: dailymail

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