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Founder of city's RSPCA mourned.

Byline: EMMA SNODGRASS

AN ANIMAL-LOVER who helped thousands of abandoned dogs and cats find homes in Coventry has died, aged 66.

Margaret Howell was the first manager of the RSPCA's centre at Brownshill Green Farm in Keresley.

She also won Cruft's obedience championships with her rescued sheepdog Tanzy in 1975 and went on to demonstrate dog obedience on Blue Peter.

When she retired from the RSPCA in 1987 she became treasurer of the Coventry branch of the Cats Protection League.

Her husband Brian, 66, who lives in Bennetts Road South, Keresley, said: "She was one of the founder members of the Coventry RSPCA branch.

"When she started it was a derelict site and we had to live in a caravan while they built it so she could supervise the building of the kennels.

"She was there for more than five years and when she retired and we moved here, she started a cattery, and boarded cats for elderly people and local people.

"We moved from the RSPCA with seven dogs, two cats, an aviary and two tortoises - it was difficult to find a place where we were allowed to have seven dogs!

"People would ring her up all the time to ask advice on their pets and the local vets used to ring her up to ask her to look after injured birds or owls to get them well before releasing them back into the wild."

Mr and Mrs Howell used to run the Hawkesmill Dog Club.

Mrs Howell contracted cytosis from a parrot while she was at the RSPCA centre and was forced to stop working there as the illness developed in her lungs.

She is survived by one daughter, Louise, 39.

Anyone who knew Mrs Howell will be welcomed at her funeral, which will be at the Charter Chapel at Canley Crematorium on Monday at 1.45pm.

Donations can be given to Pet Care and Wood Green Animal Home.

emma.snodgrass@mrn.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

CARING: Animal-lover Margaret Howell with Titch, a bantam she helped save back in 1985.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 19, 2003
Words:342
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