Meet the remarkable Rex Harper, a combination of St Francis of Assisi and The Birdman of Alcatraz, James Herriot and Doctor Dolittle. Few men in Britain know more about the amazingly diverse creatures that inhabit our islands
In AN OTTER ON THE AGA, Rex Harper brings to life the story of the incredible animal sanctuary that he and his family spent over forty years building. From small beginnings, the Harpers' haven became a magnet for an extraordinary array of animal waifs and strays and was designated the official RSPCA centre for Cornwall in the late 1970s, taking in more than 50,000 abused and abandoned creatures by the time Rex and his wife retired. In this tale he introduces us to the colourful cast of characters that have become his family - Patti the unlikely guard dog poodle, Odin the Machiavellian raven and One Eye the seemingly indestructible cat. He describes, too, the dark side of his work as an RSPCA warden, chronicling some of the inhuman cruelty he witnessed during his years at the forefront of animal welfare in Cornwall. Inspiring and poignant, warm and witty, AN OTTER ON THE AGA is an evocation of life close to nature, a book that will touch - and sometimes break - the hearts of animal lovers everywhere.
'A highly engaging, sometimes poignant and sad chronicle of this remarkable man's devotion to abused and abandoned creatures during some 40 years tending these waifs and strays in Cornwall' - Bookseller
'Avoids any cloying sentimentality while remaining rich in anecdote and humour' - Sunday Express
Rex Harper set up home in Cornwall in 1958 after serving in the RAF as a police dog handler. He worked in a local woollen mill and post office whilst building up his farm with his wife Julie, becoming the full-time RSPCA warden of the Perranporth centre in 1987. He was awarded the MBE for services to animal welfare in 2003.