BIG-HEARTED animal lovers in Belbroughton have saved a miniature mule from death - rescuing her just 24 hours before she was due to be put down.

Buttons the mule has been given a new lease of life after being taken in by animal lover Anthea Frisby and her team who work tirelessly to run Animal Sanctuary and Protection in the village.

The young black-furred mule, who has settled in well at The Glebe in Belbroughton, is the latest in a long line of four-legged friends rescued by the sanctuary which relies on donations and the help of villagers to keep saving unwanted horses, ponies and donkeys.

Volunteer Gaye Hadley said: “One of our volunteers had a phone call from somebody who said if we don’t take this little mule she’s going to be put down so Anthea said ‘of course we’ll have her’.”

She added: “We’ve had so many little ponies come in this winter through neglect due to the economic climate.

“We could do so much but we’re stuck for cash.”

The sanctuary is now on the look out for a school, community group or business to sponsor Buttons.

Gaye said: “She’s so happy now and so sweet. We didn’t know what her name was so we’ve called her Buttons as she has long black fur and a white button nose.”

Dedicated new volunteers are also being sought to help feed and groom the sanctuary’s animals.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Buttons or helping out can call Gaye Hadley on 01562 730539.