AN animal sanctuary best known for rescuing the disabled bullock Duke needs to find new premises to secure its future.

The CALF animal sanctuary in Wharram, near Malton, is run by Sharon Lawlor and her family. They took in Duke last year after he was found ailing in a field, having had an accident.

Duke, born a dwarf, now has a specially-made shelter with a built-in lifting hoist, plus a “wheelchair” to help him stand and walk in his field.

However, the sanctuary’s lease is not being renewed in July so CALF needs to find another farm.

Ms Lawlor said: “We’ve had a real rollercoaster year, but the letter about our lease not being renewed was a bolt from the blue just before Christmas.

“We’ve searched high and low for a suitable alternative smallholding, but with no joy.

“Ideally, for long-term security we need to buy our own permanent sanctuary that CALF can call home. We’d like a home we can open up to the public to come and visit and get involved in, have accommodation where people can stay, and the potential to open a cafe and shop so that the sanctuary can be self-sufficient. That’s the dream – which we now have just a few short months to realise.”

As well as her family and Duke, Ms Lawlor also has to find a home for the other rescued animals – Kevin the lamb, five more cows, 30 sheep, five pigs, 12 chickens, three turkeys and four goats.

Ms Lawlor and family are pooling their savings and selling assets, and have also started a “crowdfunding” campaign to raise the money for the move.

She added: “Failure to find a new home would bring unthinkable consequences for the animals in our care.”

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