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Munlochy animal shelter's life story is finally told

By Hector MacKenzie

Iona Nicol
Iona Nicol

WHILE many people talk about writing a book and never quite seem get around to it, Iona Nicol has better reason than most for putting if off.

The stalwart of the Munlochy Animal Aid shelter on the Black Isle has helped find homes for thousands of creatures over the course of the past 40 years since her family made the life-changing decision to improve the plight of strays and unwanted animals.

Now, finally, she’s found time to write the story she’s wanted to tell for years. In Folk We’ve Met: The Story of Munlochy Animal Aid, she reveals how an animal-loving family began to give sanctuary to cats and dogs in response to what they saw around them.

Taking in unwanted, abandoned and mistreated animals, the shelter plugged a massive gap in provision filled this gap, at times struggling with the authorities and finding innovative and sometimes unconventional ways to get things done.

The shelter, which has running costs of up to £3000 a week and gets by with two full- and two-part-time staff along with a small army of, can expect to find homes for up to 400 dogs and 100 cats a year.

Goats, sheep, horses, pigs, otters, deer, squirrels, birds of every shape and size and exotic species such as iguanas have also called the shelter home.

Mrs Nicol said she had intended to write the book for many years. She said: “If you like animals, I hope you will love these funny, touching stories, although some are, sadly, depicting the cruelty and thoughtlessness of humans.”

Mrs Nicol said: “The telephone rings constantly, visitors come and go throughout the day delivering or collecting animals or bringing donations of bedding or much needed cash raised in various ways. Add to that the numerous veterinary appointments, farrier visits and general maintenance around the site and you get the feel of what it is like to be in the midst of it all.”

Copies can be purchased for £7.99 plus p/p from www.bassmanbooks.co.uk or send name, address and cash/cheque for £10 to include p/p to FWM, Munlochy Animal Aid, Woodend, Munlochy IV13ZD.

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