For years, writer Carla Lane was TV's undisputed sitcom queen.  But Carla's heart was always with the animals she loved and whose suffering she could not ignore.


Over the past 15 years, she has poured her time and money into caring for animals with a passion that has made her an animal rights champion.

Carla, 63, turned her back on the celebrity circuit in the early 1990s to devote all her time to the cause.

Over the years, she headed protests against animal exports, battery farming, vivisection and foxhunting. In 1991, she set up her first animal sanctuary on an island off the coast of North Wales in 1991.

It is now run by her sons Nigel and Carl.

These days, she channels all her resources into the Animaline sanctuary she opened eight years ago in the 40-acre grounds of her home in Horsted Keynes, West Sussex.

Each week 500 animals, ranging from cattle saved from abattoirs, to sick bats and rats and including more than1000 birds are nursed back to health by Carla and her team.

She bought her sanctuary from the profits she made from her massively successful sitcoms, including Bread, the Liver Birds and Butterflies.

But Carla's selfless crusade to help dumb animals has not come cheap.

Animaline costs more than £2,300-a-week to run. Carla estimates that she has spent more than £500,000 of her own money to make sure it stays open.

Not that the mere matter of money is likely to stop her. With her usual wry determination, she says: "If I need to get more money to pay for this work, I'll just write more scripts."


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