Crime writer Peter James, who shares his home with 70 animals, becomes patron of the RSPCA Brighton branch

Best-selling crime writer Peter James has shared his love of animals after being announced as the new patron of the RSPCA in Patcham.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 4:17 pm
Updated Monday, 19th April 2021, 4:18 pm

Combining his passion for animals and his love of Brighton, Peter said he was delighted to become patron of the branch which rehabilitates and rehomes hundreds of animals every year through its animal rescue shelter in London Road.

Peter James is best known for writing crime and thriller novels and as the creator of the much-loved Brighton-based Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, with the first of two adaptions from his series airing on ITV on March 14.

Peter said: "Myself and my wife Lara are huge animal lovers. We have a whole menagerie - two dogs, two cats, four pigmy goats, 30 hens and 35 ducks. My wife Lara has just qualified as a canine massage therapist.

Best-selling crime author, Peter James, has four pigmy goats

"I grew up with pets and I find animals endlessly fascinating. We had a duck that hatched from an egg that spent his first five months living in the house with us, sitting on the sofa and watching TV.

"I am delighted to become patron of RSPCA Brighton because of the work the branch does to help local animals. Brighton will always be part of my life so it is important to me to support local charities that reflect the things I believe in.”

RSPCA Sussex, Brighton and East Grinstead branch chairman, Doug Taylor, added: “We’re over the moon to welcome Peter as our new patron. We’re all huge fans of his work, and love that we have a shared connection to Brighton and a shared love of rescue animals.

“We’re really looking forward to having a chance to welcome Peter to the rescue centre for a visit in the future.”

Peter James and wife Lara are 'huge animal lovers' and share their home with two dogs, two cats, four pigmy goats, 30 hens and 35 ducks.

Support needed after pandemic

The team at RSPCA Brighton branch has appealed to fellow animal-lovers to also show their support as the team struggle with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In line with government requirements, the animal charity had to close the shelter to the public - but still faced the challenge of caring for animals who have come into the centre after facing cruelty, neglect or abandonment.

The charity is a separately registered branch of the RSPCA, who raise all funds locally and run RSPCA Patcham Animal Centre. The rescue shelter cares for dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, reptiles, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, chickens, ferrets and various birds, both wild and domestic, and last year rehomed 594 animals.

Anima-lover and author Peter James is the new patron at the RSPCA Brighton branch

Doug added: “Our main sources of income sadly dried up with all events cancelled so we’re desperate for all the help we can get.

“We need more than £720,000 a year to keep the shelter running, and we desperately need support from kind-hearted members of the public to continue to provide care for animals in need."

There are still lots of ways local people can help the RSPCA branch’s animals, including donation through their Amazon Wish List and fundraising by holding an online event.