Angelica the therapy sheep vying for two national awards

Lora Steggle with her ewe, Angelica Lambsbury, who has been nominated for two Animal Star Awards. P

Lora Steggles with her ewe, Angelica Lambsbury, who has been nominated for two Animal Star Awards. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A rescue sheep that dodged death twice to become a therapy animal for people in Norwich has been nominated for two awards. 

Angelica Lambsbury stole the heart of owner Lora Steggles when she was just an hour old and fighting to breathe and drink. 

Miss Steggles, from Marlpit, Norwich, was working at a farm and watched the lamb beat the odds. She later bought Angelica to save her from being sent to the slaughterhouse.

Lora Steggle with her ewe, Angelica Lambsbury, who has been nominated for two Animal Star Awards. P

Lora Steggles with her ewe, Angelica Lambsbury, who has been nominated for two Animal Star Awards. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Their bond led to the launch of Angelica's Rainbow Sanctuary in 2016, a not-for-profit enterprise, on Hellesdon Road, supporting animals and people in need, through education and therapy.

Now Angelica, five, has been named a finalist at the Animal Star Awards for Rescue Animal of the Year and Assistance Animal of the Year.

Miss Steggles said the bond she developed with the sheep saved her life when she was suffering with her mental health.

The 36-year-old said; " I rescued her and she rescued me.

Lora Steggle with her ewe, Angelica Lambsbury, who has been nominated for two Animal Star Awards. P

Lora Steggles with her ewe, Angelica Lambsbury, who has been nominated for two Animal Star Awards. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

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"It's amazing that she is getting recognition for her work, what she has been through, her story. She was a little lamb I held in my hand and told it was not worth it. She's so strong, so healthy and has no health conditions.

 "When she was a baby I used to call her my angel, I was told if I couldn't get her to drink I would have to let her die.

"I was hugging her, begging her to drink and she did, that was the first time I called her Angel but as she grew she was no angel - she was so naughty and cheeky, she is boisterous."

And while sheep's name bears a close resemblance to actress Angela Lansbury, it is actually inspired by Angelica from the cartoon Rugrats, and while "cheeky" was made a therapy animal, bonding with Miss Steggle and visitors at the sanctuary.

Animals at the sanctuary can become therapy animals if they show signs of good temperament and an enjoyment of people's company.

To date, Miss Steggles and volunteers have rescued 43 animals and run a series of services including therapy groups for young people.

Lora Steggle with her ewe, Angelica Lambsbury, who has been nominated for two Animal Star Awards. P

Lora Steggles with her ewe, Angelica Lambsbury, who has been nominated for two Animal Star Awards. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The sanctuary is now trying to raise funds for a bigger site to take in more animals, but would need to find a new premise 10 times the size of the land they have at Hellesdon Road.

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