Sanctuary Life

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

Dogs home alone when owner is gone

dogs - teddy

It’s tragic for relatives when a family member passes away, this is also true for the dogs, who suddenly lose their carer and their home.   Teddy (shown above) and Sammy (photo below) were made homeless and had no one to look after them when their owner died.   A family member tried to keep them but work commitments and objections from one of her own dogs meant that they could not stay.   They are lovely little terrier crosses, rough coated and both with a friendly nature.   They are thin and their coats are matted but they are eating, don’t mind being groomed and we’ll soon put that right.

dogs - sammy

dogs - sammy 8


Rufus has a new stable door

rufus- head onlyu

Rufus is too small to see over stable doors – he’s only 25inches tall and when he’s inside he’s miserable because he wants to know what’s going on.  One of our kind supporters decided to solve this problem and has made a door with a cut out front so Rufus can get his head over.  It’s perfect and Rufus loves it!   Thank you so much to Mr.Preston and family for making this happen – you have made this little pony so happy.

rufus - new door

Rescued cats are cooling down

cats - honore 5The cats are recovering and looking better.  They’ve both had something to eat but are still resting and keeping cool.   They were vaccinated yesterday and the vet thought they had been caught in time and would make a full recovery.  Another hour in the plastic cat basket and it would have been too late though.   It was a small carrier, nowhere near big enough for two cats especially in such extreme heat.

The kitten Elsa is about six months old and she has every chance of achieving good health.  She looks slightly anaemic (a very pale nose)  and we’ll be worming and checking her for fleas today.   She isn’t recovering quite as quickly as her mother though.  Honore’s prognosis is not so good.  She has a heart murmur so will have to be monitored.  It may not cause her any problems but she will need further tests when she’s feeling a bit better.   Her ears are sore too, almost as though she’s been out in the sun too much.

Preventing sunburn in light coloured cats and dogs is vital – suncream smeared over ears, nose area, any thin hair patches, does the trick – and keeping pets in the shade when it’s very hot.

cats - elsa 5These two cats have a lovely nature and are gentle and pretty, we’re so glad they were brought just in time.


Cats suffering from heatstroke

cats - heatstrokeThis mother and daughter were brought in as an emergency earlier.   Their owner’s domestic situation meant that they could not be kept any longer and had to go.  The alternative was to abandon them, which horrified us.  We rushed round and managed to find a room – if only we had more pens.

Unfortunately these poor cats had been in a plastic cat basket for hours before they arrived here.  When we first saw them they were lying down, stretched out and looked lifeless. It’s so hot and it looked too late.   When we lifted them out we saw that they were suffering badly with heatstroke.

When we gave them a bowl of water, the mum (who we’ve called Honore) put her whole head in it straight away.   The kitten (Elsa) was just as distraught and anxious to drink and cool herself down.   The water we offered was tepid as very cold water might be a shock to the system.    They drank their fill and now they are cooler they are feeling better.  It’s the vet next and hopefully they will recover.

Tiny pony Rufus is doing better

rufus-field june 2015 7

Rufus is doing well – he improves gradually and gets fitter every day. The sunshine and going out on the grass is helping him get better, his muscles are building up and he can walk around for longer. He’s getting more content in himself and not so lonely, he knows the other ponies are nearby although he still wants to get in the field with them. We all need friends and Rufus is no exception. He looks quite a regular size pony in the first picture – but the others show how tiny he really is. The sorrel plants are bigger!

rufus- with docks

Kittens feeling better

kittens - farm tabbies 2

Some tasty food, a good night’s sleep and lots of cuddles – what a difference some t.l.c. makes!  The kittens have settled well, they’ve made themselves at home and are looking much better.  There’s still a wistful ‘where’s my mommy’ look now and again but they are friendly and responsive and are even starting to play.

We’ve wormed and flea-ed them and next step is to take them to the vet for a health check and to be vaccinated.  They are all females and the other kittens who’ve been brought in are too.  Some years it’s big litters and all boys, this time it’s a year for small litters and mostly girls.  I think there’s only one male kitten in all the other litters.  It’s strange how there are trends from year to year,

kittens - farm tabbies 4

Abandoned kittens are safe now

kittens - farm kitsWe’ve had three unwanted and abandoned kittens brought in today.   These are girl kits and old enough to be without their mum – but only just.   They were found out in the country, what would have happened to them if they hadn’t been found and brought to us?  There are too many predators out there for a kitten to survive for very long.  They were tired, frightened and very hungry when they arrived.  After some meat, a warm dish of milk and a big cuddle they have perked up.   It’s hard to know which was the most important.

Thanks for all your help

cats - yum yum with kitsCats with kittens, rescued dogs, ponies, injured birds – we couldn’t do any of this without your help.  We have over 100 animals to feed every day and it’s heartwarming when we find food and other useful items in Reception.  We make use of everything that is brought in and thank you for your kindness and thoughtful generosity.  Our dogs lounge around on duvets, cats have cushions and pillows and we manage to feed everyone – it’s brilliant!   The cat above, who is called Yum-yum, has two kittens and they are doing well.   They are fatter than normal because this is a small litter and they are getting more milk.  Both are boys – they will be as big as her soon!

Your help makes a huge difference, enabling us to say ‘yes’ when we are asked to help in an emergency and desperate situation.  Joining the Pet Samaritans costs £15 per year – it’s regular income that is vital for us to keep going.  Members receive a FREE newsletter every two months, a FREE emergency pet care card and a FREE Pet Sams keyring (choose from dog, owl, cat, pony).  Get in touch and we’ll send you an application form.  Makes a nice gift for an animal lover too.

Brave Fundraiser is Doing a Bungee Jump

volunteers - kirstie

Brave volunteer Kirstie Owen is doing a Bungee Jump on 4th July and if you’d  like to sponsor her it will help the animals.   Proceeds from the event (where a lot more brave/foolish/scared people will be jumping from a great height) will come to us and another local good cause.  Kirstie told us she’s never done a bungee jump before but thinks it’s a great way to raise funds for the sanctuary.  We’ll give you more details on about the event in the near future and hope lots of people will sponsor Kirstie and go and see her jump.

Rescued hedgehog family

hedgehogs - family

It’s hard to see these tiny baby hedgehogs in the tangle of their nest.  Thankfully their mother was saved too and is still with them.  There were four babies when they were first brought in but one died almost straight away.   A gardener found the family in long grass as he was mowing it so they had to be moved.   We’ve tried to disturb them as little as possible, we’ve put what’s left of their nest into a safe pen with them still in it.

We were worried that Mum would abandon her babies which often happens when there’s a disturbance soon after birth but she is still feeding and loving her little family.  The babies are snuggling into her and suckling and she is eating herself – coming out for a feed and then going back to nurse.   These are the tiniest hoglets we’ve had brought in alive, hopefully they are doing well and will survive.

We’re still hand rearing the four orphan hoglets brought in a week ago – every two hours with a bottle!  It’s much easier when Mum is around.