Sanctuary Life

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

Homeless cat from Leeds

cats - lillieWe were told about this little cat who was living wild in a Builder’s Yard in Leeds, she had no shelter and was very hungry.   The office worker who had noticed her plight had been feeding her but was worried she’d be knocked down by the lorries coming and going.  Efforts had been made to find her a place in a shelter but everywhere was full, no one would admit her.   We agreed to take her in (St.Bernard is the Patron Saint of Rescues and Lost Causes) and a very kind lady arrived the next day, all the way from Leeds, with a carrying case and this pitiful skinny cat in it.

She’s a mostly white cat and we’ve called her Lillie, although she’s off-grey at present and her coat is dry and ‘staring’.   Lillie was stressed and worried but is being reassured by all the fuss she’s getting.  She likes her room and all the quilts and cushions but she is ravenously hungry and looking for food all the time.  Lillie is in bad condition which makes us think she has been living ‘rough’ for a long time.  Her coat is tight and dry, her fur harsh to the touch and she is very thin, you can feel all her bones.

In spite of everything she is a real sweetie, she’s been someone’s pet at some stage in her life.  She purrs and likes being picked up and cuddled, she’s litter trained and fastidiously clean.  What about the bulging tummy though???   Kittens?   Not at this time of year surely.  Watch this space……

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Thanks for help for Cristo

dogs - cristo in fleece

Cristo is still a frail little chap, he was shockingly thin when he came in – also he has a heart murmur and problems with his teeth – but that doesn’t stop him enjoying life.  Cristo is always pleased to have visitors and Val, who is one of our Pet Samaritan supporters, comes to see him every week.  The pouches she brings him are much appreciated, Cristo can only eat soft food but he loves the attention and fuss she gives him just as much.

We were surprised when Val told us she was having her beautiful long hair shaved off in order to raise funds to help Cristo.   It was a magnificent gesture of help for this little dog. Val has had lots of support, her hair has gone and through sponsorship she has raised the tremendous sum of £250 for Cristo.  The operation on his mouth can now go ahead as soon as he is well enough.  Thanks so much Val, you are a very brave lady – and by the way, the new minimalist hair do suits you!

Happy ending for Pumpkin

cats - pumpkin 2He’s a lucky boy and has found the perfect loving home.  Pumpkin was an abandoned cat, left behind when his people moved.  He was living ‘rough’ in the area, being fed and helped by neighbours until a kind lady took pity on him and brought him in to us.  He’s a lovely boy, very affectionate and here’s what his new family have to say about him:  I just thought I would send you an email to say that Pumpkin, who I adopted from you around a month ago, has settled well with my Bichon Esther.  He is such a laid back cat we call him ‘horizontal’!  Pumpkin is the ideal cat for me and suits our lifestyle perfectly, thank you.’

Thank you for letting us know, we do our best to match pets with people, it’s a heartwarming happy ending.

Thank you for the superb play paddock

dogs - playpen kimme3

Taking dogs for a walk is fine but they need ‘free’ exercise as well and thanks to local business man Paul Preston, we can now let them run to their heart’s content.  Mr.Preston, who is an amazing animal lover, has kindly donated a load of metal fencing panels, enough to make a large secure paddock.  The dogs love it.  We can take them in for a play and to fetch sticks and carry balls and they have a great time.

It’s beneficial for their health and helps in getting them ready for re-homing too.  When dogs have a run around and lots of exercise they become fit and calmer too.  It’s a dream come true for us, we’ve been wanting an exercise area for the dogs for a long time so a big thank you again for your kindness Paul.   Now the plan is to make an agility course and more fun for the dogs – and for us.

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dogs - playpen kimmeLots of room and chance to explore….

Bramble is a beautiful kitten ready now

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Bramble is another of the ‘garden’ kittens.  She was born outside but, like her mother Pansy, she is a survivor.  Bramble was happy to be rescued by a kind lady who would not let this little family be abandoned.  The kittens were nervous but she soon coaxed them to trust her and managed to catch them.

Bramble is in good condition and eating well, she is a friendly little girl and is now fully litter trained.  Tomorrow she will go with Parsley, her brother and her two sisters to be vaccinated and health checked.  Then she’s ready for her new home.

If  you’d like to come and meet Bramble please get in touch.  We’re open 11 to 3 every day.

Pretty Kitten for adoption

kittens - parsley

Parsley is one of the kittens rescued from their home in a garden.   She was living without shelter until brought in to us.  Parsley has two sisters a brother and they are all going to be vaccinated and health checked tomorrow.   She’s a lovely little girl cat, about nine weeks old and very sweet.  She is happy now that he is indoors and has a heated pad to snuggle up on.

Parsley is litter trained, she was very hungry when she first came in but now it’s back to normal appetite – she loves pouches.  She’s a chunky little kitten and well marked, she’s going to grow into a handsome cat and a fabulous friend for some lucky people.

If you’d like to come and meet Parsley, we’re open every day from 11 to 3.0pm.  Please press bell on Reception (on right) when you arrive.

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Baby rabbits need a new home

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These sweet baby rabbits are from the same litter and are good friends.   We call them the three amigos and they feed, sleep and eat together.  They are friendly and tame and will make lovely companion friends for some lucky people.  Sylvie is the grey one at the back, Saffron is a lovely beige colour and Midnight is the jet black boy at the front.

Rabbits should not be kept on their own, they are social animals but you have to make sure they will get on with an existing pet.  It takes time and patience and housing next door to each other till they are friends.  Of course, it would be lovely if someone could take all three!

They will need a secure, sturdy hutch with two layers preferably so they have plenty of room to move around.  Rabbits like to climb and jump  – they need a large, well fenced run and if they have a climbing frame they will be very happy – and sitting on the top shelf within minutes!  Some digging space also is appreciated, it’s natural for rabbits to burrow so if you can provide a natural earth area they will love it.   A few tunnels (drain pipes?) will complete the happy rabbit habitat.

Rabbits are lovely pets and these three amigos are real charmers – you are welcome to come and meet them – we’re open every day between 11.0am and 3.0pm.  Please press bell on Reception (blue cabin on right) when you arrive.

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rabbits - sylvie

Happy Ending for Rescued Dog


He was thin, ragged and nervous when he first came in to us but just look at Wally (we called him Errol) now!   He loved his new people and he’s having the time of his life.  Not only does he have the best home ever, he’s brought a lot of joy and happiness to his new family.  A big thank you from us for taking him in – a lovely happy ending – makes it all worthwhile.


Poorly pets and how to look after them

dogs - cristo 12

We always have poorly pets in the sanctuary.  Sometimes they are frail and unwell, or they might be badly injured and need stitching up.  Their recovery care can make all the difference.  Lots of t.l.c. is obvious but keeping them comfy, clean, warm and encouraging them to eat is vital.  We do have a secret ingredient – chicken soup (home made slow stewed with the carcase) is not only good for the soul, it helps pets to get well again.   Read more in our dog advice section.

Cat & kittens without a home

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A cat with four tiny kittens has been rescued by the kindness of a cat loving lady, who has caught them and brought them in to us and safety.  This little family was living outside in a garden but without proper shelter, the mother is friendly and affectionate, no problem picking her up, but the kits were another matter.  Because they didn’t have handling in the crucial first weeks, they were scared and going wild.  It took bribery and patience to catch them.

The first to arrive was Mum with one tiny kit.  A day or two later another kitten was caught and brought in.  The final two came yesterday.   It was a difficult decision to take mum away and hope that the kits would be alright, but if she had stayed with them and kept on feeding them, it’s doubtful they would ever have been captured.  Hunger and missing their mum did the trick – they eventually came out  from their hiding place for food and were grabbed!

Mum is fine and purring away, the kittens are already becoming friendly and liking life with regular meals and a heated pad!  It was a rescue just in time.