Merlin Unwin Books

"Merlin Unwin Books are lively, innovative countryside book publishers.

Their well-produced range of rural, wildlife, fieldsports and fishing books never fail to inform and entertain."

Philip Dunne MP
co-founder of Ottakar’s bookshops

Innocent Victims

Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe's farm invasions

In December 2002, Meryl Harrison moved a large audience to tears at the BBC Animal Awards Ceremony, having been flown over from her native Zimbabwe to receive their Special Award. There she told her tale of the rescue of countless animals caught up in five years of the Zimbabwean land invasions, as farmers and families were forced from their homes to make way for Mugabe’s ‘war veterans’. Many had to leave their animals behind, and it was Meryl’s mission on behalf of the under-funded ZNSPCA to go into these destroyed farmsteads to rescue countless domestic animals and wounded livestock.

Nandi, pictured on the book-jacket of this heart-warming account of her animal rescues, is just one of the many ordinary pet dogs she managed to save.

The bravery of Meryl and her small team, as they overcame huge obstacles to find and return these traumatised pets to their loving owners, has earned her world-renown. But she didn’t do it for any human praise – she did it for the animals, the innocent victims of human folly.

Author: Catherine Buckle
ISBN: 978 1 906122 07 2
Published: March 2009
No. of pages: 352
8 page b&w plate section
Price: £6.75

look inside this book
Innocent Victims by Catherine Buckle
Shumba the Staffie rescued from Chipesa Farm
Shumba the Staffie rescued from Chipesa Farm

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Reader reviews

Reviewed by Bernie Stevens in May 2009

An excellent book if you love animals and truly care for them. Meryl Harrison is a saint and she deserves for this book to become a best seller.I could not put this book down. May God bless you Meryl. Rating 5 out of 5 *****

Press reviews

Reviewed in Mercury in March 2009

'An extraordinary story.'

Reviewed in The Zimbabwean in April 2009

'Innocent Victims is Cathy Buckle's enthralling account of a rescue mission of mammoth proportions... a dramatic portrayal of a professional, courageous and dedicated woman... When you pick up Innocent Victims, make yourself comfortable, because you won't want to put it down. It's a riveting read.'

Reviewed in SPVS in May 2009

'I was totally absorbed. The book describes in graphic detail some of the horrors encountered by Meryl Harrison as she rescued animals in Zimbabwe but, despite the painful realities of those experiences, the book has been written with wit and an overwhelming sense of optimism.'

Reviewed in Your Dog Magazine in August 2009

'9/10. In the unlikely event of the words failing to move you to tears of both sorrow and indignation, the photographs surely will.'

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