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 for the Postcard

What a wonderful surprise we received when the post arrived.

thankyou sanctuary postcard

It brightened our day so thanks to the anonymous sender for the kind thoughts. It’s been an especially busy month at the sanctuary and we’ve mostly been inundated with requests for helps with cats, dogs, horses and wildlife. Priority is given to pets from bereaved homes. We don’t always have room to take them all in, but we do our very best to help in any way we can. We are hopeful our new cat facility will be finished very soon which will transform our ability to help.

We’ve been struggling with food bills, worming, vaccinating – they are all expensive. So many thanks for all the good things you bring in and for your donations to the animals. It makes such a difference, we couldn’t keep going without your help, our heartfelt thanks to all.

Food donation to the animal sanctuary

Lamb Grand National

Is race time for the lambs. And they are off to a good start. They are quite adventurous now and love sprinting around the fields at top speed but it’s soon back to mum for a cuddle.

Did you know? There are estimated to be over 1 billion sheep in the world. Adult female sheep are known as ewes. Adult male sheep are known as rams and a group of sheep is known as a herd or flock.

Cat Cabin Update

We are pleased to tell you work on the Cat Cabin in memorial of Joan Bentley is well underway and starting to take shape. Thank you so much for all the kind donations. Without your help this wouldn’t be possible. It will mean so much to the cats and the work we do at the Sanctuary, so God Bless all you Pet Samaritans out there.

Roofing materials and cladding are the next order of business before the final stage of internal cat housing is completed. Once complete, it is going to transform our facilities and enable us to help and support many more cats in need of our help.

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” -Amelia Earhart

Thanks to long time supporter John seen here handing a donation to Kate for the cats. How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it!

Donation animal sanctuary


Tallulah the Tiger Cat – Happy Tails at the Animal Sanctuary

We love a happy tail for cats brought into the animal sanctuary. It’s why we do what we do. We are against euthanasia and determined to give every animal a chance at a happy life no matter what problems they might have.
People might think unwanted dogs account for most cases at an animal sanctuary. It’s true there are very many dogs needing help but we’ve always found that there are far more unwanted cats. One such case was Tallulah who was brought into the Sanctuary a couple of years ago. She was the largest cat we had ever seen and also the most aggressive. Nobody could do anything with her. She was destined for death row when we agreed to take her into the sanctuary. We were her last hope.

Right from the start we new she was a special case. We tried to make friends with her but she was a deceptive and unpredictible creature. A warning sign had to be placed on her room as she was prone to take swipes at random and attack on sight if the mood took her. Bandages became an essential part of sanctuary life with bloody fingers and scratches galore. She was lightning quick and those huge paws had razor claws at the end. It was difficult to clean her room out even with make shift body armor. She looked so sweet and innocent, everyone admired her, you just wanted to take her into your arms and give her a big cuddle. Not a chance.

Tallulah didn’t look like any domestic moggy we’d seen before, she was an aristocrat and could have been a Maine Coone due to her size but we thought her more like a Norwegian Forest cat. They usually have the most wonderful friendly and docile temperaments. She had the looks but not the nature. She was a hunter and wild. She hated to be in and wanted to run free.

After giving up trying to tame her, we decided to take her to live with some of our permanent resident animals on the farm. Freedom was what she wanted most and as soon as she was let out, she was off. We thought that was the last we would probably ever see of her but sure enough she stuck around and made a home in the hay barn next to the stables. We fed her every day under an elder flower bush she liked to hide in during the day but there was no chance of getting anywhere near her. One day, we were going up the fields on the 4×4 mule to water the horses and all of a sudden she appeared and jumped onto the seat next to us. She rode all the way up on the vehicle, jumped off while we watered the horses, ran into the hedgerow to wait and then jumped back on as we set off back to the stables. This became a regular event. Everyday Tallulah would appear from nowhere like clockwork, ready for her ride up the fields to water the animals. You have never seen such a sight as a giant cat riding on a buggy. When the jobs were done, she would disappear again back to her hunting grounds.

After a few weeks of this comical occurence, we were late one day making the run up the fields and she ventured into the kitchen. Everyone froze ready to be attacked by the tiger cat but she jumped up onto a chair and made herself at home. Well the rest as they say is history. From then on she decided we were okay and she allowed us to live in the house with her. She loved farm life and everyone loved her too.  She still disappears for days on end ‘wild-wooding’and comes back covered in sticky buds from hunting expeditions. She hates other cats and all the dogs are terrified of her. Tallulah doesn’t need to be petted or fussed over, she can look after herself. She really is one in a million. Perhaps she really has come from a Norwegian Forest but even the wildest of cats will sometimes give their love to you and want to come in out of the cold.

We have many cats at the Sanctuary all with their own story to tell. If you are thinking about adopting a cat, please give us a call. We have everything from knee warmers to bear grylls survivalists. We are sure you will start a magical adventure together.

You can also sponsor and donate directly to our permanent residents. With so many mouths to feed, all donations are so very gratefully received. You can popup to the sanctuary for food donations, blankets, cat biscuits, cat litter etc or donate directly through our secure online website to the cats.

Thankyou Cat

1 2 3 Triplet Lambs at the Animal Sanctuary

Apologies for the lack of updates on our website recently but it has been all hands on deck for lambing duties. Our small herd of sheep play a vital role at the sanctuary keeping all the fields neat and weed free. They make sure the grazing is top notch for our horses and make great companions for our mini ponies.

Some of our sheep are mums for the first time, so we have been keeping a close eye on them and helping out with the births. We’ve had some late nights with births occuring at 2am. Delilah started to go into labour in the early hours and had two healthy baby girls. We thought she had finished and then she gave birth to a lovely baby boy. Triplets. It’s quite an achievement and really unexpected. With triplets extra care is needed and we gave them all some extra colostrum. It is recommended that lambs receive 10 percent of the body weight in colostrum within 24 hours after birth. So bottles at the ready, we have them a dose just to help them along as the last one out often doesn’t receive enough. We are happy to report that all triplets are doing really well and Delilah is taking it all in her stride. She really is a brilliant and devoted mum.

We still are waiting on three more mums, so a few more late nights to go and cups of coffee are at the standby. Here’s some pictures of the proud mum with babies.

Lambs at the sanctuary

Triplet lambs


Sheep getting ready to lamb


Mr Big is a real life Garfield

Mr Big is quite a character. When he first came to the Sanctuary we thought he might tip the scales and break the Guiness World Record for the largest cat in the world.

Mr Big Going For Record as the largest cat in the world

We’ve tried to motivate him to get fit and he has lost a little weight but he just doesn’t like exercise. His favourite pastime is to lounge in a chair and watch the world go by. Even getting up for food is sometimes too much exercise for one cat. We think he might have watched too many Garfield cartoons as a kitten and taken it to heart. Wonder if he likes lasagne too?

Mr Big in Bed

Thanks for the Cat Food

Pet Food donation

What a lovely suprise. A kind person brought up some cat food and blankets for the cats and left it outside our gates. The animal sanctuary relies entirely on the kindness of Pet Samaritans just like you. Without your help we couldn’t keep going. We receive no state funding and with over 30 cats, pigs, goats, horses, sheep, owls, hedgehogs, dogs and birds, we get through an awful lot of food as you can imagine.

Any food is always very much appreciated and we are also always grateful for clean blankets, towels, cat cushions, baskets, cleaning supplies and pet products. We love jumble and household clearance items too but please give us a call first to see if we have room to store.


Spring Pig and Cat Cabin Underway

We’ve been enjoying the lovely weather at the Sanctuary over the weekend and it looks like Spring is here. The daffodils have come out and work has started on the Cat Cabin in memory of Joan.

Spring at the Animal Sanctuary

The wood arrived over the weekend for the enclosure and we hope to have the frame up by the end of the week. Many thanks to all those who kindly donated towards it. It means so much to the cats and will allow us to continue providing shelter and emergency rescues on a daily basis.

Polly our Pig came out for a wander and a spot of gardening over the weekend. She is so polite and well behaved. Here she is following Michael around the grounds.

Polly the pig

A lot of weeding to do Polly.

Spring grass. Yum.

Pig Gardening at the Animal Sanctuary

After a few hours gardening its time to head home.

We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the Cat Cabin. Once it is finished, we plan to have a grand opening at an open weekend event and all are welcome to come down and meet the animals.



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

In the follow up to the hit film Cocktail, Tom cruise is set to star in a new sequel titled Cockatiel. The film is about a bird working in a pet shop to pay for elecution lessons at bird college. Together with his co-star, a large African grey parrot, their showy tricks and charisma command large crowds and tip payments for their singing and talking routines. Tom said this is a dream role for him and he is looking forward to connecting with all his feathered friends out there.

Okay, you got us. 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