Spencer Bell, the man who got out of his car in the middle of a busy motorway to help someone who had fallen from a bridge, had helped rescue thousands of animals during his lifetime.

The 71-year-old also clocked up more than 100 blood donations, and was given an award for his loyalty.

Mr Bell and his wife Wendy ran the popular Bushey K9 Training School, which holds lessons on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The couple also rescued thousands of battery hens and even set up a website to help people take care of them.

Mr and Mrs Bell were heavily involved with the Corfu based Ark Dog Rescue when it was set up in 1997 to make life better for animals on the island.

The Bells met Cameron White, a previous director of The Ark, through their Bushey dog school and were the organisation’s only UK representatives.

They handled a ton of dog and cat food a month, shipped for free by the Greek shipping firm Mondial.

In 2006 the Watford Observer reported how the couple adopted four ex-battery hens for £2, just days before the birds were due to be slaughtered.

Mr and Mrs Bell adopted their hens from the Battery Hen Welfare Trust, an organisation that contacts battery farmers shortly before the hens whose egg production diminishes are due to be slaughtered, usually at the age of just one year.

Mr Bell said: "If people really knew how battery hens lived they would never buy battery eggs again. If people can give four chickens a home every now and then it helps."

The couple’s work with rehoming chickens made headlines again in August 2008 after Mr Bell and his wife had visited a farm in Norfolk.

They saw stacks of tiny, overheated cages, each filled with up to eight chickens that had lost their feathers.

Despite voicing disgust at the conditions, the couple were welcomed in by the farmer and invited to free 1,700 hens.

Mrs Bell said instead of receiving five pence for slaughtering a chicken, she and her husband paid the farmer 50p each to take them alive.

Following the rescue, the birds were bought by people up and down the country, eager to get their hands on an increasingly popular pet.

The couple set up a successful internet forum to give advice on keeping chickens for prospective owners.

Speaking at the time, 66-year-old Mr Bell said: "People think chickens are stupid but you can train them. They are clever, friendly and funny."

Then, in April last year, the Watford Observer carried an article about two loyal blood donors from south west Hertfordshire, who have donated more than 100 times.

Mr Bell was one of those men and was commended at an awards ceremony in the Hilton Hotel.