Heather Mills is patron of county animal charity

A Northamptonshire animal charity celebrating its 20th year has revealed that Heather Mills is its new patron.

Animals In Need in Little Irchester revealed that the renowned charity fundraiser and animals rights campaigner, who used to be married to Paul McCartney, was its new figurehead yesterday.

Charity spokesman Roy Marriott said: "Heather has always campaigned for the humane treatment of animals and is herself a vegan.

"Her ethics and lifestyle are a perfect fit with the aims and ambitions of the charity and we're honoured she has agreed to be our patron.

"We are looking forward to working with her."

Ms Mills is also well-known in Northamptonshire as the owner of Redwood Foods in Corby, which produces vegan and vegetarian foods.

Animals In Need was launched in a house in Northampton in 1990 and its sister charity Maxicare was launched six years later.

The charity now operates out of Pine Trees Farm in Little Irchester and last year its volunteers rescued, treated, rehabilitated and rehomed more than 2,300 animals ranging from hedgehogs, swans and ducks through to rabbits, birds, dogs and cats.

For more information visit www.animals-in-need.org.