The Animal Sanctuary Wilmslow has been in existence for over half a century and is run by the Humane Education Society (charity number 1159571).

It was founded by Arthur Thompson (the father-in-law of our current Chair of Trustees), and in the beginning it focused almost entirely on education.  Arthur and other members of the committee gave lectures at factories, schools, clubs etc. about the humane treatment of animals and how to care for our pets. At this time the charity owned no land, and rescued animals were looked after by foster carers until they could be re-homed. In 1970 this changed as the charity was able to purchase an old turkey farm on Newgate in Wilmslow, and the Animal Sanctuary came into being. There were two barns (one of which is still in use as our horse barn), a garage, a cold storage room and a small office (our current offices and storage areas). In the early days all the work at the Sanctuary was done by Arthur, his son Ian and a few volunteers, and its income was almost entirely from donations and legacies.

Arthur also devoted himself to another charity, the Mabel Spur Cat Foundation, and in 1999 this smaller charity was incorporated into the Humane Education Society. This merger boosted the finances of the Humane Education Society considerably, and in the year 2000 one of the old barns was replaced with the current Cat Barn. Over the next 19 years various additions were made to the existing buildings, notably the Isolation Unit (2011), the Rabbit Ranch (2014), the Mother and Kitten Unit (2017) and the community area (2018). The old garage was also remodelled to create a spacious reception/office and toilet.