Sanctuary Life

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

Silkie cockerels need a home

birds - toni & guy

This is a difficult one – but is there anyone out there who would like a pair of Silkie cockerels?   They’ve been brought in because they crow – as all cockerels do – and the neighbours complained.  A little boy had incubated a clutch of eggs and then hand reared these two cock birds.  They get on well with each other but most cockerels fight with other cocks so they need to be kept on their own – or even better with some hens.

So if you live somewhere where the neighbours won’t mind countryside sounds, or even have no neighbours and can give these two cheeky little characters a good home then please come and meet them.  They are beautiful birds, just like a pair of powder puffs!   We’ve called them Toni & Guy and no, we can’t tell them apart either.

We’re open every day between 11.0am and 3.0pm – please contact by email via the website or phone – Tel:  01246 455777 or call.

Buffy is slightly better

goat - buffy injury We’ve managed to get her up on her feet, her leg is swollen and she doesn’t want to put it to the floor but she did hobble a few steps.   All her leg is lacerated but the main wound goes round the top of her leg and to her shoulder, it is very deep. She doesn’t want to move. The antibiotics will, hopefully, combat infection and she is still having painkillers twice a day.  It’s going to take a long while to heal.  We wonder if she will ever feel brave enough to go out to graze again.  Poor Buffy.

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Lucky cat looking for a new home

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She’d had a traumatic time before she was rescued and brought in but Lucky has now settled well and is looking for a new home.  She’s about a year old, a small, neat, dainty girl, short haired, black and white and who has a lovely nature.  She isn’t an outgoing cat and likes a quiet life but is loving and well behaved.  We have tried her in a home with other cats but they were a bit bolshie with her and it didn’t work out.  So a home where she is the one and only might be best – she is timid with cats she doesn’t know.

Lucky has been vaccinated and has had a vet health check – if you can give her a home please get in touch.  Contact by email, phone – 01246 455777 or we’re open between 11.0am and 3.0pm every day.

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Dog Attack on Sanctuary Goat

goats - buffy

Buffy is a gentle, kind natured goat who has been in the sanctuary for the past eight years.   She was placidly grazing but is in a bad way now though because a dog has got over the fence and savaged her.   Her leg and shoulder have been ripped open and the wound is down to the bone.  The vet has told us that another fraction and he would have had to put her to sleep.

She can’t stand or put her leg to the floor and  we are very worried about her.  Only the heroic action of our neighbours, James and Jenny, saved Buffy’s life.  Thank you so much for your bravery. James was bitten by the dog as he pulled it off her.

We do not blame the dog – only the owner who could not or would not keep his dog under control.   He watched poor Buffy being savaged.  His dog was untrained and out of control and would not come back to him.

All dogs should be trained, obedient and socialized with all other animals.   There is no excuse for not doing this.   When walking through farmland or anywhere there are animals please keep your dog on the lead.   This would not have happened if the owner had done this.

We ask for your prayers for Buffy, we are so worried about her.

Barn owl flying to freedom

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The young barn owl who was brought in recently did well to survive.  She was exhausted and underweight and had an injured foot.  She made it though and and when she was fit, flying and up to weight, we took the decision to release her.   We always release animals and birds back to the wild but getting the timing right is essential.   A fine day and good weather to come gives the bird the best chance.  We find safe land with plenty of cover and food and then we’re set to go.

We have many resident barn owls in the area so we knew our youngster would be with her own species.   Still, it was an anxious moment when we opened the carrying box and gave her the option to go.  Our barn owl friend flew straight off and that was a wonderful sight.   Later that night we heard more owl calls than usual – was she making friends?   We hope so.

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Rufus has a roll-over

rufus - rolling

We were able to let Rufus out in the field for a short while this week, it was a lovely sunny day and we’d brought the herd of ponies in to have their feet trimmed.   We’re not able to let Rufus out with them until he’s had his operation, but even so he loved it.  He rolled straight away, over and over which is a good sign and must have felt great after all the years he spent cooped up in a stable.  Horses love to roll, it’s one of their natural instincts, it’s exhilarating for them and gets rid of the itches on their backs.

Our fields are too big and have too many ponies in them for him to go out every day but when he gets his own paddock he’ll be able to roll all he wants to!   If you can help with the paddock appeal for Rufus please go to and read the latest news about him – even a small donation will be a big help.

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That was good!

It wasn’t to be ……

squirrel - postie 5We were hopeful of him surviving but our baby squirrel passed away in his sleep during the night.  He wasn’t injured, he felt warm, yesterday he was moving around, drinking and all the signs were good – but it was not to be.  It’s so sad that this little life has been lost  ….. but at least he was warm and not lying in the road, he knew he was loved.

There’s a great forest in the sky where you will be safe to play in the trees forever …… we hope we’ll meet again one day little friend.

Squirrel Special Delivery

squirrel - postie

When the postman brought our mail this lunchtime, he brought us a special delivery – a baby squirrel!   This little one was wrapped up in the postman’s jacket.  He’d been found at the edge of a road on the outskirts of Chesterfield, people passing by didn’t seem to notice him lying there, this alert postman spotted him right away.   He was flaked out and comatose, here was another one but sadly it was too late for him.

We’re always at the ready for injured wildlife and within minutes we had him wrapped up and snug.   He had a drink straight away but hasn’t had anything to eat yet.   He’s (or she is) a beautiful creature and is plump and well fed.   There is a good mommy around somewhere unless she is a road casualty.  There was no sign of her where he was found.

This little squirrel is showing no outward sign of injury and is able to move around.  All he wants to do is snuggle up in his blankets, keep warm and go to sleep – and that’s the best thing for him to do right now.  It’s early days, we’re praying he survives the night.

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Happy days for Amy

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We’ve known Amy, the Jack Russell terrier, for several years.  She used to come and stay with us in the boarding kennels when her people went on holiday.  It was a sad day for them when they had to give her up which was because of ill health.   Amy settled well with us in the sanctuary but a permanent loving home was what we wanted for her.

Matching the right people to the right dog is what it’s all about and eventually that’s what happened.  Amy has an excellent country home now with a loving and caring family whom she already adores.   They brought her back to see us at the weekend and it was great to have a fuss again and see how well she is looking – thank you so much –  another happy ending which is fantastic!

Friendly ferret needs a new home

ferrett - fenalla

Fenella was found wandering around on a country lane – had she been dumped there?  There were no houses nearby so it seems likely.   She was tired, ragged and very hungry when she was brought in but is looking much better now.  Ferrets eat meat and Fenella tucked into a bowl of meat strips with great enthusiasm.  You can also buy special ferret food for them.

Fenella is friendly and likes being picked up, she is sedate and likes to sleep a lot.  She tucks herself up in a towel and makes a snug little nest for herself.   A large rabbit hutch is fine for a den but then they need an exercise area with climbing frame,, shelves, nooks and crannies for play and hiding.  Provide some tree branches, rocks and stones for a natural environment.  A ferret home can (and should) be made very attractive.  A stoneware pot for the water is best or you could give a stainless steel bowl – avoid plastic if possible.

Ferrets need regular handling to stay tame, they soon get to know their carer and are friendly and responsive.  It’s easy to give Fenella lots of attention as she is a delight to know.

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Happy girl!