Sanctuary Life

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Find out about the dogs, cats and four legged friends at the Pet Samaritans Animal Sanctuary in Derbyshire.





We are closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day – open again on Saturday 27th December.



ponies - sundance 4A big thank you to Cadmans feed store, based in Tibshelf, who support us and have just raised £79 for the animals.   We always ‘trot along’ to them for all our pet and pony food.  They stock a full range of everything we could ever need and have the keenest prices around.   You’ll always get a friendly welcome.

Wishing everyone at Cadmans a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Cadmans Animal Feeds

2-4 Chesterfield Road


DE55 5NL

01773 590777

 Open :  9.0am to 5.30am










Cadmans Animal Feeds supply products from top brands at great competitive prices. A few of our top suppliers are shown in the attached slideshow below.

We supply products for your small furry friends such as Hamsters and Guinea Pigs to Wild Birds right up to Horses and Cows. Not forgetting Billy the Goat!

Our range of accessories stretches from dog leads, toys and shampoo to Jolly Balls for your playful pony and even treats and toys for bunny rabbits!

For any additional information please call or see our contact page and we will be only too happy to help, or pop in next time you are in the Tibshelf area.


Thank you for your kindness

dogs - pepperpot 4

Thank you so much for the wonderful donations of pet food and other goodies – all the dogs and cats will have a Christmas Feast and some left over.  It’s a great feeling when we see pouches, biscuits, complete, cans and treats in Reception.   We don’t always see you arrive, it’s like the Christmas Elves have been!   It soon goes though and please don’t forget us when the holiday is over.   We’ve had more cats come in, some because of bereavement and we try to help whenever we cat.  Funds for another half dozen cat pens would be nice!

If you join us (only £10 for a year) it helps us such a lot.  We’ll send newsletters, emergency pet care card and we’re here for advice and info.   Let us have your name and address, a cheque, paypal or donation and we’ll do the rest.

If you can’t get up to the sanctuary you can buy pet food and hay for the ponies on the website.   dogs - Jack & n.


Please help us care for them

derbyst - kittenThis little kitten has such a sad face – but at least she is safe now.   We’ve taken her to the vet but she has a problem with her heart so we have to take her back to be seen again.  This is the front page picture in the Derbyshire Times this week and highlights the problems we are facing with all the extta cats we are taking in.   Please help us if you can, we need donations to help with vet bills and to keep the cats warm.   Donations of pet food to feed all our residents are urgently needed also.

If you have any spare blankets, fleeces and towels, we would be very glad to have them.   A big thank you to the Derbyshire Times for featuring the problems we are facing at present.


Derbyshire Times Featuring the Sanctuary

derbys times Dec 14

‘Cats are not just for Christmas’ is the headline in today’s Derbyshire Times – it’s a feature about the dozens of stray cats who have been brought in or dumped here in the run-up to Christmas.  The photo shows volunteer Jodie (on the left) with Leo (a Maine Coon) and Jo, who is a Sanctuary Manageress and also Adoptions Co-ordinator.

Jo is holding Sapphire who was left for dead in our yard a few weeks ago.   Thankfully both cats are recovering now.   A big thank you to the Derbyshire Times who have highlighted the plight of the unwanted cats and featured our need for cat food and donations to help care for them.

Lonely Pony Rescue

pony - rufus

This little pony is in a dreadful condition.   We’ve recently rescued him and will try to improve his well-being.   Yes, he has been sadly neglected, but no, it isn’t a cruelty case.   His owner has had dementia for some years and it’s worsened, she is now in hospital.  She loves horses and all animals but hasn’t been able to care for them.   Sally, the little Westie we took in, is from the same home and is now safe with us and on the road to recovery.

Rufus may not look too bad at first sight.  He has many serious health problems though and it will be a long time before recovers.   One of the most distressing aspects is that he’s lived on his own in a back garden for many years – he’s 18 years old now.   When we were alerted to his plight he’d been shut in a stable for a long time.  He couldn’t see out and was knee deep in muck.   It seems that his owner, who is ill, had not allowed anyone to help her look after him or give him the treatment he so badly needed.   Perhaps she didn’t want him to go outside because she feared he would be taken away from her if anyone saw his terrible condition.

So, what’s wrong with him?   He is very thin except for a huge ‘pot’ belly.   Looks as though he is full of worms.   (we wormed his straight away).   He can’t walk properly – his feet are deformed, the front hooves are like ‘slippers’, the hind hooves are even worse, he walks on the tip of his hooves and doesn’t seem able to put the sole of his feet to the ground.   These problems are caused in part because he hasn’t been allowed out to get any exdercise.    We have a very good farrier and our first call was to him, then it’s x-rays of his hooves to see what can be done.

Is that it?   No, sadly it isn’t.   Rufus is a stallion, he was never gelded as a youngster.   So, does this matter?   Yes and no.   He has an undescended testicle, probably this is why the operation to geld him never took place.   It can be done but it is major surgery, dangerous and is very expensive.

Because he is old and frail and unwell, he couldn’t be gelded at this late stage.   The problem is that stallions, even little ones like Rufus, are difficult with other ponies.   They want to get the girls in foal and fight with the boys.   The idea of eventually turning him out in the fields with the herd is unlikely to happen.  Perhaps we can find him a single pony friend he will get along with – ponies are herd animals and we don’t like the idea of a solitary life for him.  But we’re a long way off that – one step at a time and we have to tackle the other problems first.

pony - rufus hooves‘Slipper’ feet.

ponies - rufus 5

ponies - rufus on grassFreedom, fresh air and grass – that is so good.


rufus - hooves 3

He’s walking on the front of his hooves.

Poorly Westie has a haircut

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We all feel better for a wash and brush up and having our hair done and Sally is no exception.  She had a quick wash in warm water and then we trimmed her hair – and doesn’t she look much better?   We don’t do too much with dogs or cats when they first come in and are in a frail condition.  It’s better to let them settle for a day or two.  Just moving to a new home is stress enough, even if they are in much better circumstances.  Sally has settled in well and is much more confident, she knows us all now and loves a fuss and a cuddle.  She has a walk round and is beginning to explore.   She lets us put her cream on and then she goes back in her room and snuggles down in her duvet.

Sally is a sweet and well behaved little girl.   Can we see tiny hairs beginning to grow through the leather skin?  Too soon to say, maybe it’s wishful thinking…

dogs - sally 22

dogs - sally 23

Thanks to Kate and the rest of the team who are giving Sally so much love and care.

Barn owl is on his feet

birds - merlin 5

He’s on his feet!   This is such an encouraging sign and that he’s still eating.  He helped himself to a chick for breakfast and took only a few minutes to gulp it down.  An owl’s beak might look small and their mouth is hidden but they actually have a big gaping throat and their food goes down quite easily.

We’ve called him Merlin, he’s a magical bird, an amazing creation of nature.   Merlin’s feathers are intact, he’s still very thin and much too light.   He hasn’t had enough to eat and this is the problem that late chicks face.  There aren’t so many small rodents around for them to catch.   Present day farming methods, big fields with no cover for small creatures, have a ‘knock-on’ effect on the wildlife food chain.   Hopefully though we’ll be able to save this young owl.

Another problem is his right leg which he doesn’t want to use, nothing to see but it’s obviously damaged.

Pretty kitten for adoption

kittens - mimi 6

Mimi is ten weeks old and was born at the sanctuary .  She is a beautiful kitten and although she likes to play, she has a quiet and gentle nature.  Mimi is a tortieshell coloured kitten so there was no doubting her sex – all torties are female..

She is vaccinated, flea-ed and wormed and has had a vet health check, so she is fine and ready to go to her new home.  Her markings are exceptional, shades of cream, orange, beige, brown and black.  Mimi is fully litter trained and is eating well, she likes to be cuddled, picked up and sit on your knee.

If you’d like to come and meet her please get in touch.

kittens - mimi 3

Injured barn owl brought in

birds - barn owl 5

We’ve had an injured barn owl brought in, he’s a youngster, looks like one of this year’s chicks, a late hatching perhaps as he’s quite small for the time of year.  He can’t walk or fly but whether that is an actual injury (there’s no wound that we can see) or just that he is weak from hunger.  He feels very light and thin.  Just one day and night without food is enough to cause a young owl to give up.  There isn’t a lot of natural food around at this time of year.  We are still feeding the Little Owl we released earlier in the year and are very happy to be doing so.  We put chicks out for him on the stable roof – if we can get him through to the Spring he will be alright, there will be more mice and voles around and he will find his own dinner.

This young barn owl is being kept warm and being hand fed.  We wrap him in a fleece, open his beak and pop a morsel of chick down.  At first he protested but it’s life or death.   After a couple of sessions he took the meat more easily.  If he  survives the night……if he can stand and take food for himself tomorrow…….it’s all in the balance at this stage.

Aren’t owls stunningly beautiful?