Grandmother who rescued 30,000 chickens turn life into a children's book

Karen Burnett has dedicated her life to rescuing animals and has written a children's book about it.

Karen Burnett has dedicated her life to rescuing animals and has written a children's book about it. Picturres: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

A grandmother who estimates that she has rescued more than 30,000 chickens has turned her life into a book for children.

Ever since Karen Burnett was little, she has been passionate about helping animals and as a schoolgirl used to bring home and care for injured critters, from chickens and ducks to even a pregnant cat.

Her passion led her to a career in animal rescue, which saw her work for the RSPCA and, while living in Ireland, she founded her own chicken rescue operation.

Karen Burnett has dedicated her life to rescuing animals and has written a children's book about it.

Karen Burnett has dedicated her life to rescuing animals and has written a children's book about it. Picturres: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodham

Now living in Norwich, she has turned her life of rescuing animals into a book for children, aiming to share her passion for wildlife and teach them how to respect animals.

She said: "My parents had two red setters when I was growing up called Ruby and Rufus and to be honest I was not happy with how they were treated.

"So I wanted to dedicate my life to treating animals the right way.

"I rescued my first animal when I was only about nine years old. I used to bring home chickens and ducks that were injured and nurse them back to health."

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At one point during her childhood she found herself looking after chickens, ducks, budgies and goldfish all at once.

Karen Burnett has dedicated her life to rescuing animals and has written a children's book about it.

Karen Burnett has dedicated her life to rescuing animals and has written a children's book about it. Photograph of Millie the dog the last dog she helped. Picturres: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Ms Burnett estimates that over the course of her life she has cared for more than 30,000 chickens.

She said: "I would take them in when they were in a bad way, rehabilitate them, then help to find them a new home."

The mother-of-four is now living in Norwich having previously also lived in Bury St Edmunds, but her current living arrangements have meant she is unable to take any animals.

Her final rescue was a two-and-a-half-year-old dog called Millie, who she guided into the care of the Dogs Trust, after agreeing to take her off the hands of her owner at the time - who she says she witnessed beating her with a stick. 

She added: "The book is mostly pictures of the animals I've saved over the years."

The Girl Who Grew Up Saving Animals is available on Amazon, which proceeds going to The Dogs Trust.