Sanctuary Life

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

Robins at the Animal Sanctuary

We were delighted to see two little Robins appear at the Animal Sanctuary recently. We’d like to think it was Joan and Pete coming back to check on all the animals as they have been seen everywhere from Kitty Kabin to the stables. They appear to be inspecting everything and keeping a watchful eye on the comings and goings.

Sanctuary Robins

Here’s a poem from Henry Scott Holland in memory of Joan and Pete who helped so many animals and people over the years.

Death is Nothing At All

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.

Owls are having a hoot at the animal sanctuary

Thanks for sending in these lovely pictures of Hansel and Gretel, our sanctuary owls. They are best of friends and love all the attention at the animal sanctuary in derbyshire.

Did you know there are around 200 different owl species. Owls are mostly active at night and are nocturnal. There wings make no sound so they can swoop down on unsuspecting prey while hunting. A group of owls is called a parliament. Most owls hunt insects or small mammals and sometime other birds but some species hunt fish. Owls have powerful talons which help them catch and kill prey.

Thanks for all the knowledge Hansel and Gretel. They really are wise you know!

Animal Sanctuary Owls


Happy New Year 2017 Pet Samaritans

It’s been a lovely time at the Sanctuary over christmas. Thanks to all those kind Pet Samaritans who have helped with the animals. Lots of cats and dogs have foung new owners, so a special thanks to everyone who got in touch. We still have some lovely cats looking for love, so please give us a call if you are looking for a feline friend.

We are currently having lots of works done to improve the facilities at the Sanctuary so if you are coming to see us, please excuse the dust while the works are ongoing. The sanctuary no longer runs the boarding kennels and this is now a seperate business. All the sanctuary animals and cats have been relocated next door. Jo and Kate are still at the Sanctuary but are no longer working in the kennels.

If you would like to drop off food, blankets and other items for the animals, please do not leave them at the old blue portacabin that was used as reception. All items should be brought to the visitor centre reception now, located next to JJ’s Cattery. Just ask for Kate or Jo if you are unsure. Thanks.

We are open as normal but our reception is now located down in the bottom yard. New signs are on the way, so you should be able to find us more easily. For parking, we now use the bottom car park next to Polly the Pig with disabled parking through the double gates next to JJs cattery. Look out for the new signs….

Pet Samaritans

Thanks to the Shoebox Appeal Teams

It was a lovely suprise when the team at the Chesterfield Homeless Shoebox appeal contacted us to say they had made loads of doggie and cat shoeboxs for the animals at the sanctuary. Christmas can be such a lonely time for animals too that have lost their owners and find themselves alone through no fault of their own. The shoeboxs really brightened up christmas for the cats and dogs.

Toby can’t believe his luck at so many presents from the kind volunteers at the appeal.

Homeless Shoebox Appeal for Pets

shoebox img-20161226




For more details about the Chesterfield Homeless Shoebox appeal and how you can get involved helping homeless people, please visit their facebook page.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017

On behalf of all the animals at St Bernard’s Animal Sanctuary in Derbyshire and the Pet Samaritans, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2017.

Many thanks for all the help and kindness from all the Pet Samaritans out there in 2016. We couldn’t have done it without you.





Polly the Pig Looking for Adoption

They say pigs love mud and Polly the pig is no exception. She is a gentle KuneKune (we think) pig and very tame and well mannered. She loves to be fussed and our volunteer Michael says she has been known to shake hands and sit down when asked. KuneKunes are domestic pigs from New Zealand. Kunekune are hairy, with a rotund build and may bear wattles hanging from their lower jaws. She has impeccable manners and is very clean around her pen. Gardening is her passion and if you have some land you would like well cared for, Polly is ready to dig in.

A super home wanted for this very special lady. Please get in touch via email or give us a call 07432 071122.

Polly the Pig for Adoption

Pig for adoption at the Pet Samaritans

What’s Up Pussy Cat?

Did you know? Cats conserve energy by sleeping an average of 14 hours a day. They have flexible bodies and teeth adapted for hunting small animals such as mice and rats. A group of cats is called a clowder, a male cat is called a tom, a female cat is called a molly or queen while young cats are called kittens.

We love all our cats at the Sanctuary and think you might love them too. We have some super feline friends available for adoption. Puuuurfect princesses, fantastic mousers, curl up on your lap winter warmers, formula 1 purrers, weight watchers and slinki malinkies. We have a selection of beautiful colours and age ranges from young to adult all ready for a new adventure with you. We are sure you’ll fall in love, so why not pop up and see the clowder. Here are some of the cats at the Animal Sanctuary. Send us an email or give us a call on 07432 071122 for more details or to arrange to come and see them.

Cat for adoption St Bernards


Cat Adoption

Rehome a cat

Cat Adoption derbyshire


Cat looking for home


Cat Sanctuary

Cat with Pet Samaritan

In Memoriam of Joan Bentley Animal Lover and Pet Samaritan

goats - grazingIt is with great sadness we regret to inform you, Joan Bentley – founder of St Bernard’s Animal Sanctuary and the Pet Samaritans passed away  on 28th November, 2016 at the age of 73.   Joan started St.Bernard’s many years ago and was a dedicated animal lover from an early age. She devoted her life to rescuing animals and wildlife. It was reciprocated – all creatures loved her too. She was particularly fond of cats and was never seen without some feline friend in her arms or by her side.  In later years she formed the Pet Samaritans, an organisation she dedicated to the well being and happiness of all animals through education, campaigning and rehabilitation at the animal sanctuary at Old Whittington in Derbyshire. In 2013, she was recognised for her services to the local community by winning the Peak FM Local Peoples award.

She was gentle, kind and caring and will be sadly missed. A prolific writer, Joan wrote many poems often about animals under her pen name Daphne Shepherd. A collection of her poems will be available soon through the Sanctuary website and Amazon kindle.

A Memorial Service for Joan is to be held on Tuesday, 13 December, 2016.   All are welcome to attend. Please contact the Sanctuary on 07432 071122 for more details or send an email to  Joan requested no flowers for the service but any donations to the animals in lieu of flowers can be made to the Pet Samaritans, Broomhil Mews, Broomhill Rd., Chesterfield, S41 9EA or via our website donation page.

Joan Bentley with her beloved cat Grondahl

We’ll leave you with one of Joan’s poems about her favourite horse, John Peel.

Phantom Hoofprints

I saw a set of hoofprints
As I walked a lonely share
I followed them and thought they seemed familiar,
Paused and saw a moving shadow
Cantering ahead – a fleabitten grey…
John Peel? My childhood friend,
Alive. Not dead.
I smile.
Still temperamental too,
Nipping and shying at the horse alongside
Lochinvar? Is it really you?
Whoa lad. No doubting it,
Sixteen hands, brave, bold, bright bay,
Full fired up and go all day.
Such times we had together,
When I was young and we rode out
Across moors and mountains, sandy lanes,
In sun and rain and storm, all weather.
Life then held neither fears nor doubts,
I wish I could go back, live it again.,
Or mount now, ride through crashing foam,
And wash away my grief and pain,
The endless partings, little gain….
But my horses turn and splash,
And with last roll of eye they leave me,
Canter back to hallowed meadows,
Clean and sweet….
On some Celestial favoured track.





Teddy The Mighty Chihuahua Enjoying His New Home

Thanks to Teddy’s new owner for sending us these lovely pictures of Teddy in his new home. It’s so wonderful to see pets get another chance at a happy life. It makes what we do all worth while.
Apparently Teddy has some new girlfriends in his life, Paris the Jack Russell and Bella the Labrador and is enjoying lots of walks with the family. God bless you Teddy and owners.
teddy rescue dog


chihuahua rescue




Hansel and Gretel Fairy Tale Owls

Our two owls were having a hoot today at being moved to their new location near the St Bernards Wildlife Rescue visitor centre. They love to watch the goings on at the sanctuary and take a keen interest in all the new arrivals. They are still quite shy around strangers but have started hooting whenever they see people they recognise. They are the best of friends and cuddle up together. We are hoping to build a new large aviary for them soon with lots more room so that they can strengthen their wings and get fitter. The timber and wire is estimate to cost £800 but the good news is we have a volunteer joiner who has offered to help with construction. If anyone would like to sponsor Hansel and Gretel or could help towards the material costs, please get in touch or pop up to visitor centre anytime between 10am and 3pm. You can also help direct on our donations page.