By Kristina Rideout
Pop star Leona Lewis has taken to the internet in an effort to help save an organization close to her heart: the Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Brentwood, UK. Lewis, along with other stars including Kelly Clarkson, Mel B and Colbie Caillat, are encouraging fans and supporters to sign a Care2 petition in an effort to prevent Hopefield from losing its land to supermarket company Tesco, from whom they have been renting since 1992.
Hopefield is home to hundreds of aging and ill animals who are at risk of losing their lives should the sanctuary no longer exist. “At Hopefield, these animals get to live out their lives peacefully and free from abuse,” Lewis said. “Losing the land to building development could mean that almost 400 animals currently in the care of Hopefield will lose their home — we simply can’t let this happen.”
The Care2 petition was started by Lianne Angliss, who runs the organization with her partner David Schlaich. Angliss describes Hopefield as “an amazing place to work with friendly staff and volunteers [who all have] one goal, and that is to save animals from abuse and neglect, and educate to try [to] improve animal welfare.”
Lewis is utilizing her social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter to tell Hopefield’s story and raise awareness about the petition, which will ask the Brentwood Council to reclassify the land as a leisure and recreation area, which would reduce the value of the land. This would give Hopefield Animal Sanctuary the opportunity to buy it, in order to save the animals.
“Hopefield has been saving animals for almost 30 years,” Lewis told the Brentwood Gazette. “I believe it is one of the pinnacles of the community. To even think that it may not be there in the future, is utterly heart-breaking for me, as so many of the animals there would not survive moving to other land because they are too sick.”
The petition currently has just over 202,000 signatures and can be signed here.