Sanctuary Life

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

Jack Russell settling in

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We’ve had a great looking Jack Russell recently brought in, it’s because of domestic circumstances.  We’ve called him Topper and he’s small and neat and dainty with a playful and energetic nature.  J.R’s need a lot of exercise, especially when they are young and Topper loves to go out for walks.   We find that free running is great for them, a walk through a wood with lots of going in and out through the trees and looking for rabbit holes is a good way to use up all that energy.  We’re not quite at the ‘off the lead’ stage with Topper yet, but he’s a friendly little chap and it won’t be long.  We’re making do with some hectic football sessions in our exercise paddock – Topper is good in goal!

He’ll be going for a health check in the near future and having his nails clipped, he’s preferring not to have them done just at present, thank you very much!  A lot of dogs don’t like having a pedicure but we’ll coax him round in the end.

When Topper has been personality assessed, been to the vet and is calm and well behaved – we’ll offer him for adoption.  Watch this space ….

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Daz enjoys his breakfast

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Daz enjoys tasty treats for breakfast, a bit of carrot, sliver of apple and a piece of ryvita which he loves. He’s a  friendly rabbit who is always ready to say hello and be stroked.  Hand feeding is the way to keep rabbits tame, they’ll soon become used to coming to you for a titbit and a fuss.  Lots of fresh, natural food is best,  hay and grass should form the bulk of the diet, it keeps rabbits healthy and chewing on hay and twigs helps their teeth to stay ground down – read more on our Rabbit Care pages.

Thank you for the owl boxes

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A big thank you to Mark White who has made us some fantastic owl boxes.  Mark is a joiner in his spare time and has devoted himself recently to making this excellent owl accommodation for us.  If owls don’t have any suitable place to roost and nest it makes them vulnerable.  Lack of shelter is a big cause of owl mortality so these excellent well made boxes will save lives.   We conserve wildlife and owls and other birds we have released come back to see us most days – and to get a ready-meal – a dead day old chick usually  Earlier today we saw one of the kestrels we rescued and nursed to health.  We freed her last year and she’s still coming back, today she called to us as she circled – magic moments.

Mark has made these owl boxes with great attention to detail , we’ll put some turf in them and wait for Spring and laying eggs.   They are stained and waterproofed so they will last for many yearsx, the lids come open so we can clean them out after family life has finished for the year.   We suggested to Marl that he could get an owl box plan from the internet and this is what he did.   Owls like to get down and out of site in their shelter so the design is perfect.   Thanks Mark,  getting the owl boxes put up is our next job!

Team Leader Jo is seen here admiring the owl boxes.

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Affectionate cat needs a new home

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Zackary is a friendly, laid back cat who is looking for a new home.  He was abandoned and brought in because he was having to live outside.  He’s a lovely fella, clean and well behaved, a bit of a couch potato and will sit all day having a cuddle.  More details on our Pet Adoption pages.

Hungry hedgehogs can’t hibernate

hedgie - 19They should all be fast asleep and dreaming of Spring but we are still getting wide awake hedgehogs brought in every week.  It could be to do with climate change but we feel that it’s more probably due to lack of food.  Our recent arrivals are all thin and hungry.  Is it because they get trapped in gardens and can’t do their nocturnal roaming to find a meal?  Please leave some gaps in your garden fence for hedgehogs to get out.  It’s lovely to see them and to know they’re making their home with you but hedgies will travel a long way at night in search of food and will be miserable and hungry if they can’t go walkabout.

You can provide supper for them – they like sunflower seeds, meal worms, a bit of cat food, peanuts, bought in hedgehog food but not milk which they can’t tolerate.  Put a shallow dish of water out too, it’s surprising how thirsty they are when they arrive.  If you see a hedgehog sitting about outside during the day it will be because she is weak from lack of food or not very well.

The little lady shown above is doing well, we’ve checked her for ticks.  If you find any (grey pebbly looking blobs) they need to be removed as soon as possible.  They are blood suckers and can make hedgie anaemic and unwell.   The vet will remove them or you can buy a tick remover at most pet stores.  If you are removing ticks you need to have a pot of vaseline to hand.  Ticks are good jumpers and almost impossible to destroy unless you burn them.  Immobilizing them is best, they can jump on to humans and give you a nasty bite (with longstanding medical complications) too.

Food, warmth and then a hay box is next for our rescued hedgie.  They come out each day to feed but don’t usually attempt hibernation at this time of the year.  The days are lengthening and soon (on a warm day in Spring) it will be time for them to be released back in to the wild.

Wish list thank you’s

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Our Amazon Wish List enables you to send us a practical donation – a bag of cat food for example, or a dog coat, some medication or vitamin supplements or even a rabbit hutch –  whatever takes your fancy.   At the top of the page of every item sold by Amazon is an icon that says ‘wish list’ – if you press that you can get to our page – Pet Samaritans – and choose a present for the animals.

It’s always a wonderful surprise when a bag of kitten food arrives, or special nourishment milk or a wooden hedgehog hut (one came last week!) or even some chew sticks or toys.   We like to thank you individually and Amazon used to send a slip with the item to tell us who had sent it.   Just recently, however, we haven’t had this information – so we don’t know who has sent what.   We’re trying to get this corrected by Amazon so we can send out our thank – yous again.

So to all the wonderfully kind and generous supporters who haven’t heard from us – our apologies.  If you’re sending a wish list gift we’d love to have an email telling us as otherwise we don’t know who it’s from – and a huge thank you to everyone who sends a wish list gift to little Cristo (above), the hedghogs, cats, kittens and all our other dogs, birds, goats and ponies.

Please browse our wish list and help if you can – it’s a wonderful way of supporting us and we are very grateful for your kindness.

Successful hunting means cat cull

cats - tallulahWe love cats in the U.K. even though we know they are good hunters and wild at heart.  In some countries though, their success at survival and self sufficiency has been so outstanding that they are now being regarded as a pest.  Cats first arrived in Australia on British ships carrying convicts.  Life in the outback suited them and over the years they have thrived.  Their descendants live in feral colonies and have grown bigger and menacing over time.  It’s what these expert hunters are doing to native species, who are their food source, that is giving rise to most concern.

Feral cats are believed to number between 4 and 20 million and are said to be Australia’s number one wildlife killer.  Over  20 species of small creatures are now extinct and cats have been given the blame.   It seems that these fierce felines have few natural predators, now the government is planning a massive cull of cats with 2 million feral cats culled by 2020 and huge cat free zones created.

We love cats and the idea of them living free is great, but we love wildlife too.  It’s obvious that something has to be done or else the outback will just have cats.   If it goes ahead we hope that the cull will be done as humanely as possible.  There are a lot of high profile objectors to it, including animal lover Brigitte Bardot.   Will the remaining cats learn to stay out of the new ‘wildlife’ safe territories though?  We hope so.

Best friends rabbits for adoption

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We have two beautiful Lion Head rabbits in who are best friends and need a home together.  Dazzle (shown above) has been neutered so there is no chance of a population explosion.   Dimity is much smaller, she’s a dwarf lop eared Lion Head – they get on just fine together.  More details on our Pet Adoption pages.

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Lovely cats for adoption

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This lovely ginger middle aged lady cat came in because of emergency domestic circumstances.   She is a beautiful cat, not only in looks, but in temperament only.   Her sister, Pebbles, is also with her and these two cats have been together since kittens.  Both are vaccinated and spayed, they are friendly, clean and affectionate.   More details are on Pet Adoption pages, please come and meet them and give them a fuss.  They will be faithful forever friends for some lucky family.

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Pebbles is fussy and friendly.  Conker, shown top, is just the same.

All creatures great and small

mice - four 2We have huge dogs brought in, seventeen hands high horses, goats and sheep – and then there are the tiny mice!   We do our best to help all creatures both great and small.  Four pretty little beige and white mousies came in recently, they are youngsters and around ten weeks old.  Keeping mice is pet keeping on a small scale but they still need the same care and love as the bigger animals.

These little mice have already been well handled, they are all females and are complete with their own accommodation.  There are more pictures of them on our Pet Adoption pages.   They are ready to go to a new home now and if you’d like to come and meet them please get in touch.