Animal magic – Elaine shares her home with more than 40 pets

DR Doolittle might have talked to the animals – but Elaine Dunphy is sharing a home with them . . . including pigs, giant rabbits and love birds.

The mum-of-four has always loved animals and expanded her collection when she moved to Lennoxtown.

Elaine’s husband, Steve, built a large shed - which they named Dingley Dell - in the garden to house her growing collection of ifferent pets.

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Among them are four giant rabbits, three skinny pigs (an almost hairless breed of guinea pig), a further 14 guinea pigs and five chickens.

There’s also 10 budgies, three cockateels, and two love birds in an aviary.

The Dingley Dell is fully equipped with heating, fans and insulation - as well as a sofa, kettle and even a television so Elaine can spend time with the animals and relax.

Elaine said: “I’ve always had pets, you get so much joy from them. Since I got the Dingley Dell the number has grown.

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“It’s an enchanting place. When the boys are watching the football, I go out to there.

“The garden is huge and is fenced in, so there’s plenty of space for the animals to run about.

“My sons love having their friends round. It’s great for the pets as well.”

Elaine also fosters rabbits for the Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care charity and shares seven horses with her mum and sister at a farm in Milton of Campsie.

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The animals inspired Elaine to write stories about their adventures - Dingley Dell Tales and Dingley Dell Diaries.

Her passion has led to her setting up her own business - Dingley Dell Pets.

She will take some of the pets to show children in nurseries and schools and as well as old people’s homes and garden centres throughout East Dunbartonshire.

Elaine added: “I was talking to a friend who came to see the animals and she said it was fascinating.

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“She was on the PTA for a nursery and said she thought the kids would love to see them.”

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