An Evening with Christopher Timothy January 20th 2013 - click here
What was our ABC Santa doing in London in December 2012 ? - click here
August Bank Holiday Open Weekend 2012 Report & Photos - click here
An Evening with Virginia McKenna March 4th 2012 Report & Photos - click here
Christmas Fayre 3rd December 2011 Report & Photos - click here
Firewalk Challenge 10th September 2011 Report & Photos - click here
Royal Air Force Association Visit August 2011 Report & Photos - click here
Our Supporters Mini-Open Day August 2011 - click here
Our Open Weekend June 2011 and photos - click here
Mill at Sonning Concert, March 11th 2011
Our gala evening at the Mill at Sonning was a lovely occasion. The show was called "Love is in the Air" and it really seemed to be. There was a warm glow about the whole evening which seemed to emanate from across the footlights and embraced the whole audience. The actors - all 16 of them - gave their services for nothing and the members of the audience clapped so enthusiastically and donated so generously. In fact kindness was the order of the day. Simon Mulligan, the international concert pianist, received a standing ovation for Rhapsody in Blue and Virginia McKenna had us all in tears with her story of Poli Poli the elephant she and her husband befriended. However all the actors were fantastic and a thoroughly good time was had by all. We were so lucky to have the support of Sally Hughes at the Mill at Sonning and all her staff and the good news is that both our ABC Sanctuary and All Dogs Matter charities are now able to pay off our outstanding vets' bills.
Our thanks go to all the actors - in no particular order: Lorraine Chase, Anthony Valentine, Simon Slater, Jenny Seagrove, Liza Goddard, Richard Briers, Anne Davies, Virginia McKenna, Susan Jameson, Caroline Langrishe, Simon Shepherd, Nickolas Grace, Robert Daws, Amy Robbins, Alexandra Bastedo, Peter Egan and international concert pianist Simon Mulligan.
We will be doing the show again at the Riverside Studios Theatre in central London later this year (possibly October) - and our Open Days at the Sanctuary are the 4th and 5th of June with celebrities in attendance so watch this space for further info!
Pictures of the evening at the Mill at Sonning:
A new home for the four little pigs, Sunday 17th April 2011
The four little female Kune pigs who arrived homeless at the ABC Sanctuary late on a soaking wet January night left us on a beautiful warm Sunday morning in April for an ideal permanent home in 20 acres of woodland near Godalming. Best of all, they were all adopted together so we didn't have to split them up, which is something we desperately wanted to avoid doing!
Although they had only been with us for a couple of months or so, these four little pigs had become very popular with the volunteers, and showed an expertise in soil movement that would bring a tear to the eye of any JCB driver. Each pig was very friendly, had it's own personality, and all of them had an insatiable curiosity as to what was going on around them at the Sanctuary.Pigs are incredibly intelligent and if they saw Milly and Molly or Ant and Dec were getting treats they would not let up until they were gicven some too. We had all grown so fond of them that several volunteers made a special journey that morning just to wave them off. We of course had to persuade them that in order to reach this piggy heaven they first had to leave their present location and get in the trailer. There is a saying that you cannot catch a pig so this took some time and was achievedfinally by using a combination of cajoling and an endless supply of pig nuts!
They now have a beautiful home that will keep them occupied exploring all 20 acres, and can root down and around to their hearts content. We couldn't have asked for a better future for them and are so pleased that we were able to offer help when they needed it most.
Please see below photos of the pigs arriving, and of them leaving:
Our Mini Open Day for Friends and Supporters April 3rd 2011
Saturday 2nd April was spent baking cakes, buying tea and coffee, orange juice, organising games, erecting tables and chairs, re-organising the animals so that people could get up close to them and what seemed like 1001 other things that we thought we might need. We all then went home to study the weather forecast!
The weather on the morning of the 3rd was perfect. The sun shone and we all threw ourselves into our tasks. Not only did we have the prospect of a large number of visitors arriving at 11.00am, but we also had to complete the normal daily routine of mucking out, feeding, watering and grooming.
11.00am came quickly and all was just about ready when our visitors began to arrive. The sanctuary quickly filled with people - including lots of children, wandering leisurely around looking at our various birds, horses and donkeys, pigs, goats and the cats. Refreshments, including a grand display of home-made cakes, were available along with tombolas and a raffle. The time seemed to fly by as we talked with the visitors and answered their many questions. Several visitors adopted animals and the cats needing re-homing attracted a lot of attention - we were able to re-home five of them. Gretel, our elderly donkey, waa a particular attraction as she walks so much better now with her remedial shoes which have to be redone every 6 weeks by the farrier.At 1.00pm Alexandra Bastedo gave a short talk on the progress of the Sanctuary and thanked everyone for their continuing support, without which the Sanctuary couldn't function as it does.
As we neared 2.00pm the visitors slowly began to drift away and we began the task of returning the Sanctuary back to normal.
Everyone enjoyed the day and we hope to have more other "mini" open days for our abcFriends and Adopters in the future. However next on the agenda are our major Open Days on 4th and 5th of June. These promise to be even more exciting than last year, with plenty for everyone to see and do, a string quartet, lots of games for the children. Celebrities of stage and screen will attend on both days, with an outdoor Blessing of the Animals at 12 noon on the Sunday with uplifting hymns and the celebrities reading animal poems. We will be announcing the names of the celebrities shortly.
Our grateful thanks must go to all the abcFriends and Supporters - along with their families - who took the trouble to come and see us today- many of whom travelled large distances - and who said such lovely things about the work we do and the animals we care for. Thank you too for your donations which will help us complete the outdoor cattery runs which will be so necessary if there is a hot summer this year as the catteries can get very warm. We look forward to seeing you all again soon.
Adopters get access to Exclusive Web pages
We are in the process of giving Adopters access to the exclusive abc Friends Home Page. This is quite a large task and on renewal we will issue each Adopters with a username & password. This change will give Adopters access to:
Alexandra's sanctuary blog (published monthly)
Library of past blogs
The serialisation of "Beware Donkeys, Dobermans and Ducks"
Regular Sanctuary news (by e-mail) & early notification of organised Sanctuary events (by e-mail).
Jan 3rd 2011 The sad tale of Myfanwy the cat
Myfanwy the cat was brought to us in the middle of last week. Just two years old, she had apparently lived her life trapped in squalor, and at some recent time her back legs appeared to have been immersed in hot water and her skin on her legs had become bonded together. Seeing her desperate condition and recognising she needed immediate care we took Myfanwy into the Sanctuary and made her as comfortable as possible. She was examined by our Vet the following morning and on Friday underwent an operation to try to separate and straighten her back legs which were giving her a lot of pain . As the operation progressed it rapidly became clear that there was a lot more involved than had been previously thought and despite the best efforts of our Vet, she sadly didn't survive the operation. When you take in so many animals you have to accept that you lose one occasionally through old age or ill-health but it is always more difficult to accept when the animal is young and otherwise healthy.
We would like to thank all those who have enquired after the welfare of Myfanwy, and also the gentleman who has kindly come to our aid by donating the £320 cost of the operation.
January 19th 2011 Escaping Pigs Appeal
Yesterday was an eventful day at the ABC Animal Sanctuary as we received an urgent call from Southampton Police to take in the 4 pig escapees that were in the national newspapers and had also been mentioned on the BBC News (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-12207785). They had been roaming around the streets of the city - a danger to traffic and also to themselves. Several volunteers rushed over to the sanctuary and in the pouring rain put up electric fencing and moved the goats out of their home to one of the pony stables. Theirs was the only one appropriate for the pigs. The goats can only stay where they are as a temporary measure as the ponies and donkeys are now having to share the barn and they would rather not! There was an absolute deadline as we were told the little sows would be put down if we did not take them immediately so it has all been a terrible rush. However the little girls are very sweet and, although naturally a little nervous, are eating well and settling in. The future? Well, we are very fortunate to have located a new home that can take all the little girls together, so we won't have to split them up. They will have acres of woodland to root through and will be very well-cared for. They will leave us by the second week of April.
See below photo of the little pigs arriving at the Sanctuary and getting their first view of their temporary home.
22nd December 2010 Not a wonderful Christmas......
I am afraid for me personally it is not going to be a very good Christmas as my husband Patrick Garland has been very ill in hospital with pneumonia for the last 2 weeks. I apologise therefore for not writing much news. Animal -wise there have been quite a few things going on: Misty the beautiful grey pony who is always highly allergic to dust is having to be on an inhaler twice a day and amazingly is letting us administer it without any problems. Kylie our black sheep slipped on the ice- we thought she had broken her leg but it was merely a sprain so with anti- inflammatories she is improving and we have taken in one new exquisite cat that has had such a horrible life that her 2 back legs are actually stuck together. We are at present researching the possibility of an operation that would enable her to walk properly. Young, silver in colour with blue eyes she is very sweet considering her past and very pretty. Apart from that we have had quite a bit of movement with rehoming and taking in cats which is encouraging. However life at the sanctuary with the vet bills and feeding all these unwanted animals is expensive so if you can help with a donation or sponsoring an animal we and they will be most grateful. Many thanks to the gentleman who just had delivered a large consignment of Bozita our preferred 83 per cent meat content cat food. The wonderful thing for me amongst my personal woes is how fantastic all the helpers have been at the sanctuary. It runs very well without me and all the animals are beautifully looked after even when I am not there. However I do miss them and hope to be back at the helm shortly. Here's wishing you all a happy and healthy new year. All the very best, Alexandra Bastedo
Our Christmas Fayre 2010
Thank you to everyone who supported the work of the Sanctuary by coming to our Christmas Fayre. We had a splendid turnout - despite the snow and ice doing its best to keep people indoors. The stalls were kept busy with people buying last minute Christmas presents and the mulled wine with mince pies and cake turned out to be extremely popular.
The hall was quite crowded with people looking for bargains...
The fact that so many people came was wonderful, and the money we raised will help keep the animals warm and fed during this cold weather. News of the success of our Christmas Fayre last year spread far and wide, and visitors came from all directions this year - some further than others...........
Darth Vader found some bargains..... ...and Santa called to say hello and hand out presents
Our little pygmy goats enjoyed the excitement and all the fuss that was made of them....
Thanks, too, must go to everyone who gave their time and energy to making it such a success - an incredible amount of their hard work went into the Fayre.
If you couldn't get to the Fayre and you're still looking for that last minute stocking filler, an ABC 2011 Calendar might fit the bill - you can buy one here. And don't forget the ABC Animal Sanctuary Christmas Cards - why not buy a pack or two to keep handy and send to those people you forgot to put on the Christmas Card list! You can buy cards here.
Once again, thank you to visitors and volunteers for making a real difference.
Our Open Days June 2010 can be found by clicking Here
Click the donkey if you would like to to donate - every £ helps
Every penny raised in spent on the animals in our care