We have two full time employees and one part time employee who work with the animals to maintain and safeguard their welfare. We have a small team of extremely dedicated volunteers. All administrative work is done by Janet, the Sanctuary’s founder, who also supervises the welfare of the animals and maintains their care at weekends with the volunteers. There are no administrative wages to pay. The website is maintained by volunteers. Every penny donated to the Sanctuary animals is spent directly on their welfare.
Janet Taylor – the Sanctuary’s Founder
“Walking into a Worcestershire livestock market one freezing, wet February morning 25 years ago I felt as though I’d passed through the gates of hell. The noise, the frantic bleatings of distressed animals mixed with the loud shouts of men. Sheep running and slipping as they were chased down dirty, wet concrete passageways into pens. Cattle making loud noises of incomprehension as they stood at the top of steep ramps too afraid to move, men moving towards them with sticks. I watched orphan lambs being auctioned, some of them only 48 hours old, hanging motionless as they were held aloft by their front legs to show them off. One small black lamb was carried in in a box by an elderly farmer. The lamb wasn’t moving so the old man was told to take him away as he wouldn’t last until the end of the sale. I handed over £1 and with the lamb held inside my jumper and the car heater turned up high raced him to our vets. He survived hypothermia and dehydration and gut infection. We named him Taro and he lived until he was 15 years old.
Each and every market I visited there were scenes of similar horror, except they weren’t noticed by the people who worked and traded there. Sheep with gangrenous mastitis, a tumour growing from an eye, burst abscesses, feet so crippled with footrot they were barely able to stand. An old ewe dying from pneumonia. Cows with distended, dripping udders and overgrown feet, calves a few days old shaking with fear and cold showing signs of severe intestinal infection, sold to dealers to be exported to Holland and France for veal rearing. Horses and ponies covered in lice and with ribs showing, others showing obvious signs of illness, unwanted and knowing it. Sad little featherless ex-battery hens with raw chests sold for 10p. Old ducks who had never seen water with filthy dirt clogged feathers.
I purchased over 60 of the sickest animals, nearly all of them survived with veterinary care, comfort and food. The story was taken up by the national and local press and the Sanctuary was formed, not just for the sake of the animals already rescued but to be able to make people aware that in spite of laws meant to protect them, the woeful lack of welfare considerations surrounding all farm animals. Meetings were held with veterinary officers from the State Veterinary Service, private vets, market managers, Trading Standard Officers and representatives from the farming world. All of them agreed that the evidence presented to them was unacceptable and that improvements were to be made.
Currently the Sanctuary is caring for 470 sheep, 3 cattle, 11 pigs, 2 ponies, 5 Shetland ponies, 9 horses, 7 rabbits, 9 cats, 5 dogs, 1 donkey, 1 parrot, 4 budgies, 4 ducks, 7 geese and 70 hens and cockerels! We need to raise £2,500 a week and need every bit of help we can get to keep these and future animals comfortable and safe.
Please browse this site to read more about the Sanctuary and its residents.”