SEVEN animals have found a new home at a rescue centre thanks to a pair of animal lovers.

Starting the new year with a bang, wildlife rescuers Jojo and Tony Johnson of Pennines Wildlife Rescue in Carrshield spent several days coming up with a plan to rehome three Tamworth pigs, two mules, and two alpacas which had been spotted wandering round Silloth in Cumbria.

Public concern was raised last month about the safety of pets, children, and general property - as well as the perils the animals themselves were facing.

The RSPCA visited and found that the animals had been put in a pen and that there were "no obvious welfare issues".

But Jojo and Tony became aware of the situation via social media and decided to seek a more secure future for the animals.

A Cumbria County Council Trading Standards spokesperson said: “We visited the site and subsequently facilitated the rehoming of the pigs to Pennine Wildlife Rescue.

"We are pleased to learn the alpacas and donkeys have also been rehomed.”

After Jojo and Tony received permission to take the animals, the couple worked out how to bring the animals back from Silloth to the Northumberland rescue centre on Blackcleugh Farm.

Unfortunately, salvation came too late for one of the alpacas. A member of public discovered that the animal, which locals thought had gone missing, had gotten stuck in a nearby 'swamp-like' field and had likely drowned.

Hexham Courant: Tony about to rescue the animals from SillothTony about to rescue the animals from Silloth (Image: Pennines Wildlife Rescue)

But reflecting on the situation regarding the remaining animals, the pair said: "We are relieved that we were able to help them.

"The situation where they were was absolutely unacceptable.

"We drove with four people to Silloth and set off with two vehicles towing trailers from Carrshield to Silloth to rescue the two mules and two alpacas.

"As well as transporting two large pig shelters that had been donated to us.

"When we arrived the animals stood knee-deep in mud and water with no feed or grazing or anything to eat/graze on.

Hexham Courant:

"They needed to get out as soon as possible.

"So we loaded them up and drove them home.

"When we got home, we used our pressure washer on the pig shelters called pods, which were filled with algae and were very disgusting.

"We then made sure they had some food and put them out to the field."

"They are all happy and in our quarantine field."

Hexham Courant:

With news about the couple's intention of saving the animals, many have been invested in the rescue missions by offering to help with feed and collars.

Many have also donated to the charity to help with the cost of the mission. The pair hope public support will continue to help with the rescued animals.

Hexham Courant:

Jojo and Tony added: "So far the rescue cost has exceeded £500 and we would like to thank everybody who has donated so far to this slightly complicated rescue.

"Please keep up your support, we really need it.

"We would just like to say a big thank you to all who have donated so far and made this rescue possible!"