A Pembrokeshire animal rescue centre that has helped more than 25,000 animals is celebrating its 16th birthday today, Thursday, July 4.

Greenacres was founded by Mikey Lawlor who 16 years ago brought three dogs, a German Shepherd, a German Shepherd cross and a Jack Russell Terrier to Greenacres Animal Rescue.

The all animal rescue, which takes everything from hamsters through to horses, was the first of its kind in Pembrokeshire.

Since then it has rescued more than 25,000 animals.

The rescue was Mikey’s childhood dream.

“I would collect worms and beetles pretending I’d rescued them, pray I’d find a bird that I would need to take home,” he said. “Our house was always filled with every waif and stray I could my hands on.”

On July 4 2008 that dream became a reality but there was no way Mikey could imagine how the need for the rescue’s service would increase.

“I was an inexperienced but determined 26-year-old and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we would be where we are today,” he said.

“So much has happened in that 16 years, a rollercoasters of emotions, I’ve made lifelong friends and a few enemies but we have always stayed true to our aim and that’s to help those that cannot help themselves.”

Mikey says that when he was young he believed that one day animal rescue wouldn’t be needed.

“I know it’s needed more now than ever before as for every person saving animals there are 10 more doing the opposite,” he said.

“The sector is very different now, harder than it ever has been but I am immensely proud of what Greenacres is and what it stands for and I want to thank each and every person that’s ever helped our animals in anyway.”

Mikey paid special tribute to his late mum who he said was his biggest fan and supporter.

Despite the anniversary, today is no different from any other for Mikey. He was up at 5am doing admin, then off to the vet’s and after that to collect more dogs that need rescuing.

He is hoping that people will help the rescue celebrate by contributing towards its current £20,000 vet bill or towards its general running.

“If you can make a small donation for our birthday, my birthday which is in a few days, or the vet bill, it would be very much appreciated and also help us remain active for the next 16 years,” he said.

If you’d like to make a donation directly towards the vet bill, call Fenton Vets on 01437762806 and press option 2 to be put through to reception, who will help you do that.

You can also donate through the birthday fundraising campaign on Facebook, www.facebook.com/teamgreenacres.