Latest News



July 3, 2015

When this rescued hen first arrived, we weren’t sure what we were looking at! She has large growths on her forehead, above both eyes. She has hardly any comb, just a little white peak. The back of her head is smooth and flat and featherless, like a helmet. When she has her head down, like in the first photo when she’s eating, the growths make her look like a hammerhead shark! (see part 2 below)

hammerhead vet1


The other hens pick on her and don’t allow her to eat, so I’ve separated her. I took her to the vet this week. The growths are solid. No fluid could be extracted. We’re considering having them removed. This would improve her vision, and hopefully the other hens would stop picking on her. Hammerhead is a total sweetheart. She snuggles into my neck, and loves to bury her head under my hair. Naturally, she’s totally stolen my heart.

hugo tooth


July 2, 2015

Hugo’s had a consult at Lynfield Vets today, and we have a plan. Because of the stress of the work that needs to be done, we’ll break his surgery into two different sessions. Tomorrow morning he will have a general anaesthetic; clip the top tooth and remove the two lower front teeth; check his tear ducts and do a saline wash of his sinuses (because of a discharge around his right eye); groom and flea treat (because the poor baby is still crawling with fleas, even though Dayna has treated him and is grooming him 4 times a day); trim his nails; do a fecal test to make sure there are no other parasites; and check his back teeth (They couldn’t be checked today because his poor mouth can’t open properly with those big front teeth crossing. Including meds, this will cost, $550 – $670.



Once Hugo recovers, then he’ll have a second surgery to neuter him; remove that top tooth; and do any work needed on back teeth (which we hope is none!). Thank you very much to Catherine and Renee for offering to make a donation. The account is ASB, The Animal Sanctuary Charitable Trust, 12-3026-0327945-00 And a huge thank you to Dayna for being the BEST bunny foster carer EVER!! I can’t imagine that any human being allowed this poor rabbit to suffer like this. Perhaps they didn’t know what to do about his teeth… but that massive flea infestation has clearly gone on for a long time. Poor Baby!! Hugo, we’re going to see you through this, and then you’ll have a great, happy, wonderful life. xoxoxo

pig george


June 30, 2015

Last week must have been “George Week”. For several months we’ve been working to rehome a lovely friendly pig named George, and on Friday it finally happened. His “mum” got him as a tiny rescued pig, and adored him. But George had to live in a small dark concrete pen, and she wanted a better life for him. We found a great home on a private sanctuary, but months went by without being able to finalise his move. One hold up was that George needed to be neutered, but the husband didn’t want to spend money on a pig he was going to give away for free. We offered to cover the costs of the vet bill, and finally got the ok to rehome George. On Friday Bunty made the long drive to pick him up and bring him to his wonderful new home. She says “George got home safe and sound. He went straight into a large enclosure with real earth on the ground! And he loves his thick hay bed. He wasn’t even particularly interested in much more food. He buried himself into the hay for the night. Jules gave him plenty of scratches and rubs, which he loved, of course! He had lots of happy purring grunts for us. One very contented happy George!” I couldn’t be more delighted. George will be neutered this week, and then he’ll get to go out to explore large paddocks… AND meet his two new girlfriends! It’s going to be a great life. Thank you to Jayde for allowing him to move to a new home with wonderful conditions, and to Bunty for providing the new home that will be filled with happiness and love.

wild boy


Well, no sooner did we celebrate finding a home for the pig George, than his wild twin showed up at our sanctuary. High Drama Indeed! I was heading up to feed our kunekune pigs when I heard Rosie (the female) screaming. I dropped everything and ran, and saw a large boar riding her. There was no sign of Jose, and I had a terrible fear that the wild boar had killed him to ‘win’ the right to Rosie. I ran toward Rosie, but as she and the boar moved toward me, and I realised he could be dangerous. I screamed for my husband and ran back for a pitchfork. Then I decided to try to get Rosie through a gate to separate her from the boar. The goats were happy to rush out, and Rosie came behind them. My husband had appeared, having heard the screaming and run quite a distance. Thank God he didn’t have a heart attack. We went into the paddock together, and I was so relieved to find that Jose was there. The boar showed interest in him now that Rosie was gone, but Jose was wise enough to head straight for us and out the gate. Michael chased the boar out of the paddock and away into the bush, but he returned several times. We locked up Jose and Rosie in the barn, and whether they like it or not, they’re staying in for a couple of days. We thought that was the end of it, but the boar reappeared at the end of the day. I came out of the hen house in the afternoon and was shocked to find him standing right nearby. Wow! All the other animals were terribly agitated when the boar was around, even Sparky. But truth to tell, that boar never showed any aggression toward us at all. I think he was just smitten with Rosie and wanted to get to her. (Is there a morning after pill for pigs?!) Even though we chased him repeatedly and brandished weapons, then tried to capture him in a barn, the boar never charged us or even seemed angry. He came within inches of me a couple of times, and I straddled the fence just in case, but he just wanted to get past. Of course, my instinct is to feed him, neuter him and befriend him! Michael just wants him to go away. We’ll see what today brings…


As usual, when we have the most going on and heaps of news to share, that’s also when we have the least time to post it! It’s been a busy busy time, so I’ll post a number of stories over the next couple of days. For the past two days we focussed on adoptions, because we had lots and lots to cover: 100 hens, 60 pekin ducks, 30 fantail pigeons, a couple of guinea fowl… I was waiting for the partridge in a pear tree! In the midst of all the busyness, here’s a photo of the some of the wonderful wonderful students from the Auckland University Animal Rights Group, who came up on Saturday to volunteer. They did some great projects for us, and we’re very appreciative. Without any doubt, our new Get Gates security gates are ALWAYS open to this fabulous team of energetic students!!

old george

Gorgeous George Part 1

June 24, 2015

Most of you know the story of how our beautiful, friendly arapawa sheep, George, was stolen from The Animal Sanctuary in February. Recently I told Starfish Bobby Calf Project that I wanted to sponsor the rescue of a bobby calf saved from slaughter, and they said I could choose a name. I asked that the next calf rescued be named Gorgeous George, after my own missing boy. Read below to see what happened…