Love for animals passed on

ANIMAL Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) spokeswoman Linda-Louise Swain is dedicated to the cause of animal safety in the Bay, a passion she shares with her mother, Iris.
Iris, 85, and her late husband, George, built their home in Prospect Road, in the early 1950s.
But after Iris was diagnosed with chronic renal failure, she moved in with Linda-Louise, who lives down the road.
Iris’s house is now looked after by a family friend.
Iris is one of the founding members of the Animal Welfare Society, which meant there were always dozens of stray cats and dogs scampering about the Swain’s home in Walmer.
Having been surrounded by pets her whole life, Linda-Louise, 52, has always had a great love for animals and got involved with the AACL in 2007.
“In 2006 I decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for several animal societies,” said Linda-Louise.
“When I returned, the Animal Anti-Cruelty League asked me if I would like to work for them.”
Linda-Louise balances her time between her AACL duties, teaching at the Rother Swain Drama Studio, which she co-owns with Sharon Rother, directing productions, and teaching drama at schools.
“My love for animals comes from my mom. When I was young there were lots of animals at home because the Animal Welfare kennels weren’t open yet.”
The Prospect Road residents look after 11 pets – five dogs and four cats live with Linda-Louise, and two foster dogs are kept down the road at Iris’s home.
Iris helped found the AWS in the1970s and kept about 40 animals at their family home before there were kennels.
“I have always been fond of animals ever since I was a child,” said Iris.
Linda-Louise’s other passion is theatre. She said this was “inborn” because Iris, who used to be a shorthand typist for a legal firm, had no involvement in theatre at all.
She said her interest for the stage began when she was five, when she took part in Sunday school plays.
“I really got into theatre after school. I used to be shy at school, but when I was on stage I would get into character.”
Her late father, George, also got involved by making props for her, because he had a practical mind, said Linda-Louise.
“I always encouraged her and watched her shows,” said Iris.
Linda-Louise lives with her partner Gary Cooper, a freelance photographer and videographer, and his mother, Sue.
Looking after their moms means the couple do not have much time to get out of the house.
But when they do they enjoy going for a walk on the beach, especially at Sacremento.

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