Charities month: Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary



Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary is a tiny, local charity with no government or lottery grant funding.  All the money they receive to run the centre and look after the animals comes purely from the kindness and hard work of their supporters.  Many supporters have carried out fundraising events for them, from sponsored dog walks, to classroom (or office) cake sales, to swimming with sharks!  Unfortunately, there is no end to the costs involved in caring for and re-homing animals. Easterleigh would not be able to operate without their supporters’ help.

At present, Easterleigh desperately needs: loving homes for all their animals; fund-raisers to bring in urgently needed funds; any donations of tins of cat or dog food; sponsorships for any one of their animals; volunteers giving their time to help out and helpers to promote their good cause.  Visitors are welcome to see the good work Easterleigh does and can buy their Christmas tree at the same time!

Christmas trees will be available for sale at Easterleigh from 25th November.  They are open daily from 10:30 to 16:00. Trees are the non-drop pines and the suppliers always provide fantastic quality trees.  Prices vary according to size but start from as little as twenty pounds.  They can deliver, although a small delivery fee is requested if they are asked to travel outside of the immediate area.

You can contact them here: http://www.easterleigh.org.uk/visit_us.php

‘Every year I say to myself this has been the worst year ever but 2012 has truly been horrendous for unwanted animals.  I have had continuous calls for cats to come in, and the dogs are queuing up almost as badly.  The financial cost for the sanctuary is five thousand pounds per week, not including any extra, urgent veterinary care.  We still carry on as best we can.  Let’s hope next year will be better for all the animals.’

Mandy – Chairperson and Owner of Easterleigh.

At the time of writing Easterleigh has 21 dogs, with a further 3 adults and 13 puppies being cared for by 2 very kind boarding kennel owners until they have space to take them.  They also have 58 cats and kittens, 16 rabbits, 9 horses and ponies and 2 pigs at the sanctuary.

‘The vast majority of our horses come to us because their owners can no longer carry the financial burden of keeping them.  They are almost all of retirement age, or otherwise unrideable, so live out their lives with us happily at pasture.  Even though we only have a small number of horses and ponies they probably outrank the other species in cost!  On average it costs us an incredible nine thousand pounds per year, per horse.’

Sharlene – Animal Welfare Assistant and Horse Keeper.

The horses and ponies are usually there permanently; it will certainly take a special home for their Saddleback pigs, one with very strong, deeply buried fencing!  Many of their dogs have come in because their owners cannot cope with them any more either because of their behavioural issues or due to changing circumstances.  Staff at Easterleigh are extremely careful to re-home them appropriately where they can receive whatever level of care and management they require.  There has been an explosion of large litters of black and white kittens born in the back streets this year and they still have a lot of them left, now between 4 and 7 months old, plus all the other unwanted adults.  Many of their rabbits were found as strays too.  Staff encourage rabbit owners to neuter, vaccinate and micro-chip their rabbits. To that end, they will microchip the publics’ animals for a reasonable £10.

‘We take care of every cat we possibly can at Easterleigh and though a restricted space in a noisy sanctuary is never going to be perfect, mostly all the cats have to contend with is boredom and don’t forget cats are expert sleepers!  Sadly there are always more unwanted cats than we have space for.  Resources will always be finite, what we need is more people to look at the long-term responsibilities of pet ownership; primarily neutering and only taking on as many animals as they can comfortably care for.’

Naomi – Animal Welfare Assistant (also known as The Cat Lady.)

A lot of people like to provide physical objects that can directly go toward the care of the animals, namely food!  With the current economic downturn they are in more need than ever of tinned food for the cats and dogs.  They do use dry as well, but it is very difficult to store without coming to the attention of rodents so they respectfully request that the public bring them tins.

‘Dogs are brought to Easterleigh for a wide variety of reasons, from financial and property dilemmas, to health and behavioural problems, and we cater for any dogs individual needs from medical treatment to training.  We aim to find all dogs loving new homes, so their stay is always temporary, and I see it as my duty to make their time with us, however long it may turn out to be and as stress free and enjoyable as possible.’

Macca – Animal Welfare Assistant and Dog Behaviourist.


Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary can be contacted on: 01253 789185 or by the website: http://www.easterleigh.org.uk/

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