Monique had always loved animals, her whole life revolved around them and their welfare.
From a very early age Monique wanted to take care of animals, her family had a selection of pets, rabbits, guinea pigs, goldfish, budgies, tortoises and 2 cats called Dinky and Cindy, Monique’s older sisters were tasked with cleaning them out but their interest soon faded and even though Monique was very young she took on these duties.
At the age of about 8 Monique and a friend were late coming back for tea and when they did return she informed her family that they had found a pig in the nearby woods, it was in the process of giving birth so she decided to help, as each little one popped out she cleaned it up and ‘attached’ it to a teat so it could get milk.
As well as family pets Monique had a keen interest in horses and started to learn to ride when she was 8, over the years she owned many horses, the first one was called Oliver when she was 15, then came Timpani, Chevron and Uncle Toby to name but a few. While still living at home Monique would often turn up with her pony, bring it into the family garden and tether it while having Sunday lunch. In her early 20’s Monique started her own riding stables.
In 1976 Monique moved into her first house with 2 cats, Katy and Susie, and very soon after a further 17 rescue cats followed, they came from a bungalow where the owner had gone into a home, little did Monique know that she would end up buying the very same bungalow a few years later and that rescuing these cats would be the start of something big,
Monique became friendly with a lady called Min who rescued animals, Monique helped out by fostering some at her bungalow in Clanfield in Hampshire, and with her Dad’s help she built 2 pens with a shed in her garden, one of her early rescues was a rabbit called Trifle who had been destined for the pot but happily with Monique’s help that didn’t happen.
In 1982 Monique met Nigel, he had moved into the area and lived next door to her parents, soon they were a couple and in December 1986 and with the sole purpose of rescuing cats and rabbits they bought and moved (along with Monique’s beloved pony Jasper) into Holborow Lodge in Sidlesham, Holborow Lodge had 4 acres of land, enough to rescue and care for many animals.