Meet our much-loved permanent residents who have a home here for the rest of their natural life. If you feel you would like to donate towards their care please click on the button and "Fill a Dish"

Our Horses

HOLLAND is a friendly giant. At 17.2 hands he is the biggest of our equines, a 21 year old Sports Horse with a lovable, sweet nature. Holland has ringbone (like really bad arthritis) and he was given up by his owners because of this condition. He loves his food and shows his impatience at feed time by banging on his stable door. He slops his food all over his door and his other equine friends slurp it up. He is inseparable from Bella, his very best friend.

BELLA is a 17 year old horse. She came to us because her owner found her difficult to ride and her future was very uncertain. Bella has injuries to her back legs which cause stiffness, but she enjoys her quiet life with Holland. She is super-friendly and very well-behaved. Bella has had an eye removed, as she suffered from uveitis, inflammation of the iris, a painful condition which sadly didn't respond to medication. She manages really well with one eye.

Our Ponies

SHADOW is a Welsh Section A breed. She was an unwanted pet. A 16 year-old, she is cheeky and can be bossy. Patience is not her strong point – she makes it quite clear that the staff don't do anything quickly enough for her, whether it's feeding, leading her in and out or starting her grooming. She loves being brushed, and can't get enough cuddles. She's well aware that she's a pretty girl, and poses readily for the camera, looking over her shoulder and showing off her beautiful eyelashes.

At 33 years old, MINDY the Shetland Pony is our oldest equine. She can be grumpy (can't we all?) probably due to her age. She has a condition called 'Cushings' – a problem with the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. She loves kisses and cuddles and we love her independent streak. Her previous owner was moving home and couldn't take her with her.

TEABAG (so-called because he decided he liked the taste of teabags when he first came to us) is a 14 year old Shetland Pony. He's cheeky and mischievous, and loves his carrot and apple treats (no tea-bags allowed!). His confidence shines through, so he needs a strong leader to keep him in line. He loves going to fundraising events for us, as he basks in all the attention he gets. He came to us with Mindy.

BASIL is our 4 year-old mini Shetland, super-cheeky and full of fun. As he's still young, he can nibble at times, and especially likes chewing the backs of people's knees! He was abandoned, and hard to re-home because he needs special fencing because he's so tiny. He loves Teabag, who treats him like an annoying little brother.

BAILEY is a Welsh Cob X Shetland. He was an RSPCA cruelty case, found abandoned in a field, having rocks thrown at him. No wonder he gets a little nervous – Bailey has been through a lot. When he gets to know you, he loves cuddles and is sweet and gentle. He had to have an eye removed, as he came to us with cataracts which had deteriorated and become painful. He can be a cheeky 'bruiser' with the other ponies.

DOMINO, who is Bailey's best friend, is a Welsh X breed. He had been abandoned and came to us via the RSPCA. He is 11 years old, cheeky and completely obsessed with food. He's had to have laser treatment for benign skin tumours on his underside.

Our Donkey

DAISY is 10 years old, and was rescued from slaughter to be a companion for our now deceased old donkey, Zoe. Unusually, because she thinks she's a horse, Daisy doesn't miss the companionship of other donkeys and loves being in the fields with all her horsey friends. She loves being around humans, and likes biting people's hair. She'll playfully pull down your hood if you stand too close. She loves bear hugs, and rests her head on your shoulder to get the best thrill. She enjoys coming to our fundraising collections, especially at Christmas, when she gets to wear her special bells. Her best friend is Shadow.

Our Site Cats

Because they're not ideal for re-homing (with some exceptions - please enquire), our site cats live with us furrever and  have lots of freedom to roam all around the Sanctuary and beyond.

NAZARETH aka SNAZZYPANTS is a 6 year-old stray who came to us one Christmas. He suffers from IBS and heeds a special diet and regular monthly injections to help his condition. We are very much HIS staff!

RUDOLF just turned up at the sanctuary 7 years ago (he knew what he was doing!). He's shy, but loves his food and is best caught at breakfast time if we want to vaccinate or worm him. He's often found curled up asleep in the kitchen.

JOSIE (11-ish) was found, semi-feral, in a lorry engine with her 2 kittens. The kittens were re-homed successfully, but Josie is still very nervous and can't be stroked. Her grey markings are distinctive and she's a very beautiful cat.

RAGS was abandoned at our gates. Now 12 years old, she was re-homed at one point, but didn't settle. She's a shy one, but she loves her best friend Josie. They are always close together and greet each other with friendly head butts and lots of licks. Rags has had a thyroidectomy and extensive dental treatment.

BARNEY is a stray – he just turned up. Lengthy exposure to the sun had badly infected his ears and he needed surgery to remove the tips. He now has a very cool distinctive look. He's 15 and in morning staff meetings he greets everyone with a cuddle. He's a dribbler though so watch out for wet knees!

MITTENS is our oldest cat resident at 17 years old and she has lots of attitude. She has mellowed over the years and can be lovely – on her own terms - and accepts cuddles when she feels like it. She has a wheat allergy and is on a special diet.

NESBIT came to the sanctuary in 2008, semi-feral and very nervous. He has a slight 'cat-nip' addiction! He has his favourite humans, and picks and chooses whose knee he'll get on for a cuddle. He loves one particular volunteer to bits, and follows her to the gate with a sad expression when she leaves.

DAPHNE was 3 years old when she came to us from the Vet in 2017. She was found at Sale Golf Club with a tail injury. She's frankly a bit eccentric, very playful, but not keen on being stroked. She's laid claim to her own room where she can hide away from the other cats.

DUNCAN is a giant of a long-haired cat at 7 kilos. He and his previous owner were devoted to each other. Sadly the owner was evicted from his property in 2014 and the two were split up. Duncan wouldn't allow anyone else to touch him and re-homing was not an option. He became a site cat early in 2015 and promptly ran away. For 3 or 4 months there were reported sightings but nothing concrete. Then he realised which side his bread was buttered on, and returned to us. He's now a huge softie and loves his strokes but will let you know when you're in his way.

CHARLIE is 10 years old. He was abandoned at our gate in 2008, very shy and nervous. In summer, he loves to be out and about in the fields, a real wild child. In winter he loves cuddles and hogs the radiator.

INCA is 9 years old and came in to us with Aztec. They were re-homed, but it didn't work out, and Inca was returned to us some months later. She's now settled with us after a long period of jumpiness. She's a dribbler and loves a fuss – but on her own terms.

MADI is a 1 year old Bengal who came to us via the vet. She has suffered spinal trauma which has made her doubly incontinent, but she's gradually showing improvement. She is a beautiful young cat, very friendly and affectionate but also very naughty. She loves to poke her nose into everything so we have to be very careful not to shut her in one of the containers or cupboards when we lock up.

The Barn Cats

Some of our site cats are extra timid, and live in the horse barn. They generally keep out of the way of visitors

FLUFFY is a sweet little long-haired cat. She is best friends with MARLEY. They love to sleep together on their heated pads in the barn. ELLIE joins them from time to time. All girls together, it's very rewarding to see them getting a little more confident every month.

Our Pigs

GILBERT is something of a TV star, as he featured on Granada Reports some years ago (see our Facebook page). This was because Gilbert, who is a X Pot Bellied pig, started life as a house pig. He was brought up with 2 dogs, treated just as they were, rolling over for a tummy tickle and loving dog biscuits. He came to us in 2013 aged 2 years and we began the process of encouraging him to be a pig! We're getting there. More facts about Gilbert:

  • He's very popular with visitors - and with our big horse Holland, who loves to lick him.
  • He snores, loves splashing in his paddling pool and being brushed with a yard brush. Because of his light colouring and the fact that he doesn't have much hair, we smear sun tan lotion on him in the summer.
  • His dental hygienist has to scrape his tusks down every year to keep him comfortable.
  • He sometimes has a weight problem (he weighs 85 kilos) and has been on the occasional diet, but generally he has gourmet dinners of fruit and veg. He particularly likes plain popcorn, and scrambled eggs with peppers and courgettes! He also loves being fed yoghurt (low fat of course) off a spoon. Because he's a smart cookie, we make him work for his treats by putting them in puzzle boxes. It doesn't take him long to break in!

BELLA, not to put too fine a point on it, has terrible manners and a real attitude but we love her. She seemed very sweet when we saw her first as a possible companion for Gilbert, but she had a personality transplant when she came to us. She is the BOSS. She weighs 110 kilos and proceeded to trash her paddling pool when she first arrived. She loves to pull the straw out of her bed, walk it round the field, then put it back in her arc. She eats for England, and especially likes yoghurt and popcorn. We give her super-difficult challenges by hanging her food up in boxes where she can let rip and tear them to bits. When the mood takes her, she flops down on the floor for tummy tickles. She likes wallowing in the mud, and despite her moodiness, she loves Daisy the Donkey.

Our Feathered Friends

We have Garth the cockerel, 11 hens and 6 ducks who are enjoying a happy retirement with us.

Garth and the hens

Gwen, Bertha and Doralee are aged between 7 and 9 years. The 5 younger hens are Rachel, Alma, Hyacinth, Goldie and Gladys. Rachel, Alma and Hyacinth had spent the first 18 months of their lives in a tiny cage, kept as battery hens, almost bald, then discarded when their egg yield fell. They have fine plumage now. Myrtle, Mavis and Marge – all about 7 years old – came to us recently when their owner died, and have settled in beautifully with the others. Garth, the cockerel is a perfect gentleman, and looks after his girls with great care. The hens are very cheeky and confident, coming into the cat barn through the cat flaps and eating grapes, corn on the cob and whatever other goodies the staff have in their lunch packs. They're big fans of mealworms and come running at teatime when the staff clap their hands. They all mix well with the site cats.

Pedro and the ducks

Our biggest feathered friend is Pedro, a male Muscovy duck. He weighs 5 kilos and was found stray in a garden (Muscovy ducks are tree ducks in the wild). His favourite food is shredded kale. His friend Paloma was brought to us after cruel treatment. The 4 Indian Runner ducks are Pancake, Crispy, Hoisin and Puddle. Like Duracell bunnies these 4 are always on the go, burrowing in mud for tasty titbits, and they are at their happiest when it has been raining and there are puddles all over the Sanctuary. They love mealworms and corn on the cob.

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