Combe Martin’s woman’s appeal for help to get her cats back from France receives fantastic response from North Devon public.

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SIX cats stranded in France have been reunited with their owner thanks to the generous people of North Devon.

Nina Hanson, from Combe Martin, had contacted the North Devon Gazette to appeal for help after her beloved pets were kept stuck at a Normandy veterinary clinic for more than three months - the bill increasing daily until it stood at more than 4,000 Euros.

In desperation she appealed for help - and the response has astonished her, with the full amount raised in just three weeks.

North Devon Animal Ambulance driver Diana Lewis kicked the fund off with a personal donation and numerous contributions of £20 or £30 were received, as well as several of more than £100.

The target was £2,400 after Dr Francois Borel offered to cap the bill at 3,000 Euros to resolve the situation.

Then to Nina’s amazement and delight she received a card which simply said ‘bring your babies home Nina’ - and contained a cheque for £1,400.

So with help from her brother Pano, last week Nina crossed the channel and returned on Wednesday with her precious pets.

“I would just like to thank all those people so, so much for helping me,” said Nina, 64.

“I have been astonished and amazed by the response from people and the help they gave so I could bring my cats home.”

Diana Lewis was equally delighted: “Once again the people of North Devon and the Gazette have come up trumps on what could have become a very sad story,” she said.

“It has been the instigator for saving six poor little cats that had already had a very traumatic start in life before being rescued by Nina. I believe Dr Borel also showed great compassion in keeping the cats for so long and at a much reduced price.”

Nina had been moving back to the UK after 20 years in Spain, but a series of mishaps and money troubles led to her cats being stranded.

The forgiving felines, it seemed, were delighted to see Nina: “They were meowing like mad when they heard my voice and as soon as I touched them they were purring like crazy,” she said.

Two had caught infections, but Dr Borel has given Nina tablets to continue treatment at home and they seem to be recovering. Nina is just happy to have them home:

“I was just astonished by how caring Devon people are,” she said.

“Thank you – you have made one lady very happy!”

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