Sanctuary Life

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

Tiny dog is a cruelty case

dogs - cristo 3He doesn’t look too bad with his woolly coat on but take it off and this little dog is in a shocking state.  He was a stray and was brought to us when he wasn’t claimed.  We’ve called him Cristo and he’s a pitiful sight, emaciated and just skin and bone.  He has sores all over him and his teeth are about the worst we’ve ever seen.  Even so, Cristo smiles at us and wags his tail, he hasn’t become like this overnight but dogs are eternally forgiving aren’t they?

Cristo has wolfed his soft food down, it’s good that he is hungry.  We’ve already wormed and treated him for fleas and he’ll go to the vet tomorrow.  What he’ll do about those teeth we can’t imagine.  His front ones at the top are missing anyway.  After that it’s lots of t.l.c., good food and love.  He is a charming little fella, when he first came in we fed him and then he ran straight to his bed (a big fluffy duvet) and curled up to go to sleep.   Lots of love here Cristo, we’ll soon have you well again.

We’ll need help with Cristo’s vet bills and ongoing care – any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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Our guests support the sanctuary

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When Jerry Lee comes to stay with us he is supporting the sanctuary, his friends Magic and Oscar come too.  These are lovely dogs and great friends together.  Jerry Lee is a handsome fella and quite a poseur, he likes having his photo taken.  He’s shown here having a pause on a walk, he enjoys going up the fields and having a run about in the play area.   Many thanks go to his owners, Mr & Mrs. Preston who are wonderful sanctuary supporters and have recently donated a lot of fence panels so we can make an exercise area.  This will make such a difference to our dogs who will be able to run free, get rid of all that excess energy and practice their football skills!

Exercise is the key to good behaviour in dogs – we’re planning an agility course so it’ll be fun while we train. Thanks again to Jerry Lee, Oscar and Magic and their family, Mr. & Mrs. Preston.

jerry lee walks 2

Poppy is a cat who likes freedom

cats - poppy 20 Poppy came to stay with us a couple of years ago.  She was a house cat who didn’t behave herself – she was a lovely feline friend but not clean and her habit of spraying in and around the house was hard to cope with.  Who knows why cats spray?  Male cats do it to mark territory but that shouldn’t be the case with the girl cats.  Poppy had a wonderful home with lots of love and affection and no stress whatsoever.  Still she would spray – on the beds, the furniture and all over the place.

When she first came to stay she was just the same.   Although she appeared to settle well and get on with everyone, she would spray in the most unlikely places.  Watching out for where Poppy had been became a routine!   At first she had to be kept indoors so that she could familiarize herself with her surroundings.   We put butter on her paws, which is an old fashioned (but effective) thing to do with a new cat.  She didn’t like living in a cat pen, some cats love the heated pad and the regular meals but Poppy was indifferent – she wanted to explore.

Eventually she went in to Barn living, where she had hay to sit on and made friends with the ponies and goats.  The spraying gradually become less of a problem.  When the doors were open we let her have a wander out, making sure to get her back in for tea.  It became a routine and Poppy loves it.  She can go wherever she likes now, the goat shed is her favourite place and she sometimes has a trek down the fields to do some hunting in the hedgebottoms.  Does she still spray?   If she does, she don’t see any signs of it.  The best things in life are wild and free and this is a what suits Poppy  she is a great hunter.   Poppy soon turns in to a pet cat again when she’s picked up for a cuddle or it’s time for supper and bed.

cats - poppy 21A beautiful girl.


Friendly dog needs a home

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Diesel was a stray with no home and no one to care for him.  He was picked up by the dog wardens and eventually came to us.  It’s hard to understand what happened to him because a nicer dog would be hard to find.  He’s good natured, kind, agreeable, well behaved and hasn’t put a paw wrong since he’s been here.  Diesel is clean and walks nicely on the lead, he gets on well with other dogs and is sociable and friendly with everyone he meets.

He’s been for a vet health check (passed) and to be vaccinated, we think he’s around six years old.  He likes to go out for walks and to have a fuss and car rides are good.  Diesel looks like a cross between a staffi and perhaps a labrador.  He’s smooth coated and dark brindle with one or two small white splodges.

Diesel is ready for adoption now and will make some lucky person a great forever friend – please come and meet him – we’re open every day from 11.0am to 3.0pm.  (press the bell on Reception – on right – when you arrive).  More pictures of Diesel on our Adoption pages.

Pets for adoption

cats - snowy 7Snowy has a lovely home all ready for him, thank you.   We don’t offer our rescued animals for adoption until they have had a health check, been vaccinated and we’ve assessed their personality and behaviour.  Matching people to pets is vital, we want you both to be well suited and happy!

Many of our dogs aren’t available for adoption until they have settled down and are behaving well.  Some have health problems and we have to get these cleared up before they can go to a new home.  Not all animals brought in can be adopted, they stay here for a long time, sometimes the rest of their life.  Quirky animal behaviour doesn’t bother us!

We have cats here who are too feisty for domestic bliss.  Others spray or are unpredictable.  We never put any healthy pet to sleep and these misfits stay with us.  We actually have a cat called Misfit but she is becoming calmer.   Most of the behavioural problems have been caused by their owners cruelty or inability to provide a good environment.  Sometimes the wrong people get the wrong pet.

At present we have some lovely cats and a dog ready for re-homing.  Diesel is a super staffi who hasn’t put a paw wrong while he’s been with us.  Snowy is a gentle young cat, Mr.Frostie is a blue and white cat who is well behaved and intelligent.   We have several ducklings who need a home.  A beautiful pink canary who was rescued from near death and now entertains us with his singing.  We have lots of kittens, which is surprising for this time of year, they must be second litters.   Some are tiny but others will be ready for adoption later this week when they’ve been vaccinated and had a health check.

Our Adoption page has all the details.


We’re open today

preloved - dog plaque

We’re open today between 11.0am and 2.0pm, have a cup of tea and a chat, talk about re-homing and have a look in our Sanctuary Store – lots of bric-a-brac, gifts, useful and decorative items, pictures, pet beds and accessories etc.  books, clothes – jeans, top label and most at £1.00.  Plenty of room to park – look forward to seeing you.

Monday morning updates

cats - cinders 22Another busy weekend, several baby pigeons and injured adults brought in.  They are all doing well and set to survive.  The same with the hedgehogs, not so many babies this year and the ones brought in have made good recoveries.  We’re fattening them up for the hibernation and will make sure they are up to weight before release or we’ll keep them through the winter.

Hope, the kit with the injured eye, continues to improve but slowly.   We are still waiting to see whether her eye can be saved.  If it heals and there is no infection there is a good chance.

Cinders, the stray in shocking condition, is getting a bit better, she has only just begun to come out of her nest though.  All she’s done so far is sleep.

Suzie, the cat with 7 kittens, lost one of them, it was very small and didn’t make it.  The other six are doing well, she is a wonderful mother.

We have four more kittens who are nearly ready for adoption, they are going for a health check and their first vaccination later this week.

Misty, the barn owl, is becoming calm, she’s eating well and will take a chick from our hand now.  Thanks for the donation of frozen mice – they provide variety and she loves them.  You can buy frozen food (mice, chicks, rabbits, rats etc.)  from our local pet superstore who keep freezers full of food for birds and reptiles.  Our birds (including the ones we have released) eat large quantities of frozen fur and feather – donations much appreciated.

Please join us and help us to keep going – £2.00 a month by standing order makes a big difference – download our standing order form, fill in and send to your bank – mark with whatever cause you like best – owls, hedgehogs, cats, dogs etc.  Let us have your name and address and we can add to our Friends List and send you a keyring and newsletter.  Many thanks.

Ponies have an aromatherapy shampoo

ponies - sundance bath  It’s the end of summer and the ponies have dusty coats so we like to give them a wash and brush up before they start to grow their winter coats. This is Sundance covered in soap suds.   Ponies and horses, have fine hair during the warm weather and then grow thick, dense hair to keep them warm in winter.  Our dogs and cats do the same to some extent – because they are mostly kept indoors it isn’t so obvious.

We use aromatherapy shampoo on the ponies, we find lavender or tea tree are best.  It’s a good opportunity to look for scratches or fly bites, so we check them out all over.  The blacksmith trims their hooves in Autumn and the equine dentist checks teeth.  Then they’re all set for winter.

The ponies enjoy their shampoo, the water is warm and it’s a soothing massage.  It has to be done on a sunny day.  When we’ve rinsed them off, we towel them dry and then they walk around in the sun to get completely dry.   All of them were good and stayed clean except for Bridget the youngster, who rolled as soon as we let her go.  There’s always one …

ponies - daydream bathDaydream was well behaved as always

ponies - pixie bath 2Pixie wasn’t so sure ….

ponies - pixie bath

But then he gave in ….

ponies - Bridget 10Bridget rolled as soon as we let her go …

Hens showing off fine feathers

hens - legbars

Our latest hens are out and about enjoying the sunshine today.  We’ve been incubating eggs recently and these are some of our successes.  It’s not the easiest thing to do, often the eggs don’t hatch.

When they do make it through 21 days of turning in the incubator, the chicks go into the brooder where they keep warm and eat chick crumbs.  Then they progress to a sheltered pen but without heat and then it’s outdoors in a hen hut.   Chickens grow quickly and the big beauties shown above are Light Sussex, they are only a few months old but quite tall.

The brown speckled hen in the background is a Blue Lace Wyandotte.  The Cream Legbar hens are somewhere around but are a bit shy.  They lay coloured eggs, cream, blue tinged and green – and yes a green egg does look a bit odd- looks the same inside though.

We also have some young ducklings and they are growing well and four of them are ready for new homes.  They are Indian Runners and will be good layers when they reach maturity.  Ducks can become very tame and make great pets if you can keep them safe from predators and that is the biggest problem.


Mr. Frostie likes a routine

cats - frostie breakfast

Mealtimes are important to Mr.Frostie, he doesn’t like to be disturbed when he’s eating.   A pouch is good and he’ll eat a full one each time.  He also likes a bit of fresh food, mince or fish and a dish of biscuits (Royal Canin) are on hand for snacking.

When he’s eaten his fill it’s time for a bit of fuss and then a snooze – it’s a good routine for a well brought up cat.

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