Sanctuary Life

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

Thanks to Cygnet Hospital Sheffield

Cygnet Hospital came out to visit us recently and we had a lovely day showing their group round the sanctuary. Cygnet supports women through the care pathway from low secure to locked rehabilitation and helps users regain independence, maintain family links and prepare for discharge back into society. It was a real pleasure to connect with the wonderful ladies and support the great work the team do at the hospital.

Are you involved in local communities. Would you like to arrange a visit to the sanctuary and meet the animals? We’d love to hear from you. Give us a call on 07432 021111. We do apologize if we don’t pick up the phone first time – it usually means we are busy with the animals but you can always send us an email and we’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Mr Big

Tom Cruise lands big role in new hit movie Cockatiel

Okay so its not actually the real movie star of Hollywood fame, but we think our latest arrival at the animal sanctuary is a true A list movie star. Meet Tom, (aka Tom Cruise) a beautiful Cockatiel that was brought into the Sanctuary recently. He’s dashing, handsome and quite the actor and already a big hit with the ladies. His favourite movie is Cocktale and we think he’s just like his hero, Tom Cruise. He’s about 1 year old now and has started to mimic and we are hoping he will learn his lines soon.

Cockatiels are very sociable birds and form a strong bond with their owners. They make great companions and often groom and preen their owners. Their species name is Nymphicus hollandicus and they weigh between 80 and 180 grams and grow to about 12 – 14 inches long. They have quite a long life span and it’s not uncommon for them to live 25 years. While they are not as talkative as parrots, they love to whistle. We’ll let you know how Tom settles down over the coming weeks but if you are coming down to the Sanctuary, stop by and whistle him a tune.

tom cruise cockatiel



cockatiel at the animal sanctuary

Goats Do Roam

Our anglo nubians love to go out for a wander around the fields but they always have one eye on the lookout for the feed bucket. Broken biscuits are their favourite when they are allowed some as a treat.

The girls spotted the Duke of Edinborough volunteers at the sanctuary with a feed bucket in hand and made a mad dash for the stables. They are well mannered most of the time but once they spie a bucket, you’d better be quick. The trick is to keep the bucket out of reach until they are in the stable or chaos breaks loose. Well done girls. You survived the goat challenge!

Fancy a go at bucket dodging with the goats at the animal sanctuary? Give us a call and ask about our open days and come and say hello to the girls.

anglo nubian goats


What a storm for the Ponies

Doris blew up quite a storm at the animal sanctuary. A few trees were brought down by the winds but thankfully no major damage was done. The minature ponies had to be brought in as it was much too windy to stay out. They enjoyed all the excitement and were glad to come in for a feed while the worst of it passed. Talk about fly away manes and tails. Here’s a quick video we managed to take on the way down to the stables. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people that weren’t so lucky in the storm.

Kat Kabin In Memory of Joan Bentley Pet Samaritan

Joan Bentley, founder of the Pet Samaritans Animal Sanctuary passed away just before christmas. She had been battling illness with cancer for sometime but was determined to carry on with rescuing animals and wildlife right up until going into hospital. She was an animal lover and devoted her life to rescuing animals and campaigned to the well being and happiness of all animals through education. She was particularly fond of cats and was never seen without some feline orphan in her arms or by her side. In 2013, she was recognised for her service to the local community by winning a prestigous Peoples award.

In memory of Joan and her last wishes before she passed away, we would like to rebuild the ‘Kat Kabin’ she spent most of her days in, tending to cats and rescued animals. She left drawings and instructions for the project and we would like to dedicate it to her in memory of all the animals she saved and the lives of people she touched. We are optimistic with your help, we can make something truly special for her and the animals at the sanctuary.

Pop up to the sanctuary to find out more about making a donation towards the cost of the project. You can pledge a donation in person or via our donation page online.

Joan had started writing a book about all the happy endings from the Pet Samaritans Animal Sanctuary. We hope to make this available soon in book form with all profits from its sale going to the animal sanctuary. We thought we would share an extract from one of the stories with you now.

Tiny Tim
Left to freeze to death
Stories from Safe at Last by Joan and Daniel Bentley

We’d stayed up till after midnight on New Year’s Ever, not to celebrate but in case of fireworks. We had one or two dogs in who were terrified of them. It turned out to be a quiet night though and it wasn’t until just after 4.0am that we were woken up by the phone ringing. On and on it went until I stumbled out of bed to pick it up. “Hello,” I managed to say. I was still half asleep.

“I’ve found a dog,” a gruff voice told me. “Oh sorry, we don’t open till ten,” I began. He broke me off, “You’ll have to tek him, he might be dead.”
There was panic in the man’s voice. “Has he been knocked down?” I asked thinking about a road traffic accident. “No, he’s frozen stiff. Been tied up, all night by the look of things.”
“Good heavens.” I found it hard to contemplate this, it was a bitterly cold night with a hard frost. “Bring him – straight away.” The man knew our address, he was on his way to work when he’d noticed the dog tied up to a lampost. Only the yellow light had saved the dog, if he’d been in shadow he wouldn’t have seen him and would have driven past…

If you would like to read more about what happened to Tiny Tim and Joan, let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

Thankyou Cat

Hay time for the Animals

The minature ponies (bibby, grace, sundance, dorrit, bridget the midget, pixie, day dream and chloe) and sheep are making the most of the winter months with lots of fresh hay. We are not sure if the sheep think they are minature ponies or the minature ponies think they are sheep, as they all love each other and graze together as one big herd. Looking after all the rescued and permanent farm residents at the Sanctuary is no small task during winter. A big thanks to the local farmers who put hay out for us – without your tractors we couldn’t do it.

mini ponies at the animal sanctuary

Running costs are especially high during winter as we supplement grazing with feed and hay. A big round bale of hay costs £25 and we get through 4 bales every two weeks. If you would like to make a donation of food to the horses, sheep or goats, they would be ever so grateful. A big thankyou from Starlight below.

Sheep Picture

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.