Sanctuary Life

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

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.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017

On behalf of all the animals at St Bernard’s Animal Sanctuary in Derbyshire and the Pet Samaritans, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2017.

Many thanks for all the help and kindness from all the Pet Samaritans out there in 2016. We couldn’t have done it without you.





Polly the Pig Looking for Adoption

They say pigs love mud and Polly the pig is no exception. She is a gentle KuneKune (we think) pig and very tame and well mannered. She loves to be fussed and our volunteer Michael says she has been known to shake hands and sit down when asked. KuneKunes are domestic pigs from New Zealand. Kunekune are hairy, with a rotund build and may bear wattles hanging from their lower jaws. She has impeccable manners and is very clean around her pen. Gardening is her passion and if you have some land you would like well cared for, Polly is ready to dig in.

A super home wanted for this very special lady. Please get in touch via email or give us a call 07432 071122.

Polly the Pig for Adoption

Pig for adoption at the Pet Samaritans

What’s Up Pussy Cat?

Did you know? Cats conserve energy by sleeping an average of 14 hours a day. They have flexible bodies and teeth adapted for hunting small animals such as mice and rats. A group of cats is called a clowder, a male cat is called a tom, a female cat is called a molly or queen while young cats are called kittens.

We love all our cats at the Sanctuary and think you might love them too. We have some super feline friends available for adoption. Puuuurfect princesses, fantastic mousers, curl up on your lap winter warmers, formula 1 purrers, weight watchers and slinki malinkies. We have a selection of beautiful colours and age ranges from young to adult all ready for a new adventure with you. We are sure you’ll fall in love, so why not pop up and see the clowder. Here are some of the cats at the Animal Sanctuary. Send us an email or give us a call on 07432 071122 for more details or to arrange to come and see them.

Cat for adoption St Bernards


Cat Adoption

Rehome a cat

Cat Adoption derbyshire


Cat looking for home


Cat Sanctuary

Cat with Pet Samaritan