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Animals in Care
The Animals PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simon Johnson   
Friday, 03 December 2010 15:17

This page is dedicated to all the animals, who for one reason or another, we have been unable to release back to the wild.   We have many animals in permanent care and it isn't possible to list every one here, but we have listed a few with their own story (Click on any photograph to see a larger, more detailed image).  Please remember that it is possible to help any of these animals by adopting them for a year of their life, which makes a valuable contribution towards their care.   If you would like to adopt an animal please visit our Adopt An Animal page.


Sam The Fox

Sam was taken into care by The Sanctuary in the summer of 2004. A vet from Hexham contacted us and asked if we could accommodate a fox that would be a permanent resident due to the extent of its injuries, having been hit by a car.  The jaw was so severely broken it would never be able to hunt itself again. As you can see from this photograph, he looks a little less than handsome, but he is alive and happily eats tinned dog food which he can manage very nicely thank you and he is just the sweetest, gentlest animal. When the vet telephoned, he said said it was a vixen so “she” was named “Samantha Fox”. Except she is a he and so he became Sam !

Sadly Sam passed away on the 24th October 2014. He spent over 10 good years here with us, a long time for a fox. He will be greatly missed.


Sasha The Fox

Sasha came into The Sanctuary the week before Easter in 2006 as a tiny young cub.  She was found by local railway workers trapped beneath railway sleepers on the local railway line.  It was thought that perhaps the mother cub was moving the cubs from the nest and Sasha became trapped, or she simply wandered away from the nest and became lost.  Fortunately she had begun her weaning and didn't need to be bottle fed, so she was put into an incubator for heat.  Once she no longer needed heat she was moved to the barn and eventually to the wildlife section with the hope of releasing her.  Unfortunately, because of the amount of human contact she had as a small cub, she became too humanised and the decision was taken that she would not successfully release and so she has remained with us.


Jess The Barn Owl

Jess is a captive bred Barn Owl.  She is an unwanted pet from Sunderland. At the moment we have 30 Barn Owls at the Sanctuary, all of whom have been captive bred.   Unfortunately it is illegal to release captive bred Barn Owls into the wild, as they are usually larger and stronger than their wild counterparts and take over their territories.


Carron and Chum The Donkeys

Carron is the grey jenny and Chum is the brown and white gelding.  Both were originally rescued  in Ireland by The Donkey Sanctuary where they had been badly treated.  To this day they are still frightened of  brooms. They have lived at The Sanctuary since 1994.  They do, in fact “belong” to The Donkey Sanctuary, but The Sanctuary is responsible for their care and upkeep.  A Welfare Officer from The Donkey Sanctuary regularly checks on them but it is a good practice which we welcome.  It is also beneficial for any members of the public with their donkeys who need advice or may even need to give them back to The Donkey Sanctuary if their circumstances change.


Charlie The Grey Pony

Charlie was brought here because his owner was unable to keep him any more.   He can be quite a bully and has one very bad habit – he chews all the fences and the newly planted trees ! He has, however, settled down very well and is very happy to give small children pony rides during the summer.


Caesar The Palomino Miniature Horse

Caesar was brought to The Sanctuary by his owners as they needed to sell their smallholding as it was becoming too much work for them.  Caesar is a lovely natured 3 year old miniature horse, but as yet he has not been broken-in for riding. Unfortunately, he can get a bit grumpy and kick out at the other pony and donkeys when there is food around!


Benwell The Goat

Benwell is a male pygmy goat who was around nine months old when he came into The Sanctuary. He was bought on impulse at a market outside London and taken home to a council flat in Benwell,Newcastle. A flat is not the ideal place to house a goat – no matter how small the goat may be - and the owner soon realised that he would be better cared for and in a more suitable environment at a sanctuary. He has been castrated because if not, billy goats can be rather smelly.

Benwell had a good life here at The Sanctuary, sadly he died suddenly in June 2014. Sleep well Benwell.

TJ The Goat

TJ came into the Sanctuary in spring of 2005 when we received a phone call from the police asking us if we could take a young goat.    Apparently a woman living in a suburb of Newcastle had opened her back door and found him in her backyard! He was very young when he came in, his horns were merely buds and he has settled down very well - especially when a young lamb came in a few weeks later and they became best friends!


Lilo and Stitch The Pygmy Goats

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Lilo and Stitch are pygmy goats and were 1 year old when they came into The Sanctuary in Spring 2008.  They were much loved and well cared for pets of a local family. Unfortunately, some people nearby did not like the goats and complained to the council to have them taken away.  The situation escalated and one day poison was found in their drinking water. The family then contacted The Sanctuary to ask if we could take them for their own safety and protection. They are wandering goats, but Lilo constantly jumps out of their enclosure in the barn where they are brought in each evening and escapes!


Sunflower The Sheep

Sunflower  came into the Sanctuary a few weeks after TJ in Spring of 2005.  Again we received a phone call from the police, asking if we could take a young lamb that had been found wandering through the town centre at Cramlington.

Sunflower unfortunately fell ill and died in July 2014.

Belle The Sheep

Belle was brought to The Sanctuary by  her owner in May 2009 when she was only 3 days old.  She is a Shetland lamb whose mother rejected her at birth, which is very unusual as Shetland Sheep are renowned as being good mothers.   Her owner did not have time to hand rear her and so he asked if we could take her. Although she looks small on this photograph, she is in fact tiny as Shetland are smallest of the British breeds of sheep. Take this link to a video of her being bottle fed by the owners' 9 year old daughter



We also have a large number of water fowl who have been brought in for a variety of reasons, some by people who have hatched them from eggs, some have been brought in as abandoned young and some for health reasons.   Most of them have decided this seems like a good place to stay, so when they can fly and leave - they don't!!  We have two swans who are kept in an enclosure, one is an old male who was having a tough time being picked on by younger cobs at Bolam Lake Country Park and one of the wardens asked if we could take him.   The other was brought in with such a severe wing injury that his wing had to be removed, leaving him unable to fly and very vulnerable.

Other Animals, Past and Present!




Unwanted Pets

Due to the Zoo Licence crisis we are currently unable to accept any unwanted pets



Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 April 2016 21:06

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