The manager of the Ark has thanked racer and TV star Guy Martin for a generous £10,000 donation - and has denied vicious rumours circulating on social media.
Sue Rice, who runs the animal rescue and retirement home in North Somercotes, said that Guy Martin - who lives locally - visited the Ark last month to find a dog to keep his Labrador, Nigel, company.
The special visit came just days after he donated £10,000 to the Ark, helping to fund its continued existence.
Sue told the Leader: “Guy is a lovely man; I had never met him before. We showed him round and he was amazed at our good work at the Ark.
“It’s not only fabulous to have well-known people like Guy supporting the Ark, but everyone else who donates too. We could not survive without these donations.”
Sue gave special thanks to other recent donors including Niiki Malone from Louth who collected shoeboxes full of treats for the animals before Christmas, and Charlie and Elaine Fawn who collected £1,000 through car boot sales over the last year.
On Christmas Eve, the Ark also received FedEx delivery full of sausages and chicken for the animals to enjoy.
Sue said: “It is really heartwarming to receive these amazing collections.
“I always say that the Ark is like a big jigsaw. I may be a corner piece, but our volunteers and fundraisers are needed to fill it in. Thank you all so much.”
However, Sue admitted that Mr Martin’s generous donation had been marred by vicious rumours on social media - which claim that she had used the money to buy herself a new car, a holiday, and lavish gifts for her pet horse.
Sue said: “My car is two years old, and I have bought my horse a new head collar and travel boots for Christmas with my own money.
“I am going to New Zealand for a month later this year, but my long-term friend has funded all the flights.
“I am going as a travelling companion, and I haven’t paid a penny towards the trip.
“Our bank statements prove that Guy’s donation is still sitting unspent in our bank account.
“With big donations, I suppose there will always be a few bad eggs and Chinese whispers will start going around, but I don’t really understand why or where these rumours come from.”
Sue said that Guy’s cash, along with other donations both big and small, will be used to help the day-to-day running of the Ark, and to alleviate the rising costs of land rental and public liability insurance - both of which have almost doubled in the past year.