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July 27, 2014

Around 1000 people turned out in Auckland to protest Factory Farming, and send a message to our politicians that this IS an election issue. Protests were held at the same time in Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton and Dunedin. I was so proud to be part of this positive action to alleviate animal suffering in New Zealand. There was such a wide cross section of the general public at the Auckland march. It’s clearly an issue at the heart of caring New Zealanders, and I thank everyone who participated for making it so visible.

rally shawn


People are horrified when they hear Benji’s story: he was kept in a basement, on a concrete floor without a bed or blanket, in his own feces and urine. They get upset, saying “How can anyone treat a lovely dog like that? I hope the person was punished! That’s absolutely disgusting!” Yet they are able to distance themselves from the knowledge that factory farmed animals live like that every day of their miserable short lives. After a few stories showing how similar intelligent sensitive pigs, curious battery hens, etc are to our beloved cats and dogs, we called for a moment of silence to acknowledge the millions upon millions upon millions of factory farmed animals that were suffering at that very moment. It was an honour to speak at the protest, and to be a voice for these animals.

rally benji


Benji is an old hand when it comes to protests to protect animals, improve animal welfare, and promote animal rights. He always gets lots of attention with his protest banners. We like to make the point that if you wouldn’t consider it humane to do something to a dog, then you shouldn’t do it to ANY animal. Factory Farming is inhumane and cruel.



July 23, 2014

It’s too awful to even contemplate. We had calls from people saying there was a rooster dumped at the wharf who looked like his rear end had been set on fire. It took us a few days to find and catch him. He had no tail feathers, and sure enough his bum was hard and dark black and looked “melted”. We’ve never allowed roosters to physically come here (with all our rescued battery hens, we can’t take a chance of fertile clutches)… but for the first time in 12 years, I brought a rooster home with me. I just couldn’t leave him to suffer. Gregory was clearly handraised, because he was calm during treatments, and literally purred when we scratched his neck. He’s healed really well, has a nice fluffy bum where his feathers are growing back, and now desperately needs a home. Gregory is beautiful and friendly, so I’m praying someone out there wants a lovely boy to care for their girls. He will keep your hens from fighting, protect them from hawks, and look like a stunning piece of garden art. Please contact me (Shawn) on or 09-422-7322 if you’re able to adopt Gregory. If you can’t adopt him, would you please share this so that other people might? Thank you so much.

rat resort


July 22, 2014

We’ve been inundated by rats, but in a good way! All at the same time, several people asked if we would ‘babysit’ their beloved rats while they travelled overseas. Just as their human companions are no doubt enjoying their time in exciting places like Sydney and Brazil, our 10 guest rats seem to be loving their own holiday at our “Rat Resort”. Fascinating smells, different toys, new places to explore, special treats, lots of cuddles and pampering: what’s not to love?! Some people wouldn’t think that turning your guest bathroom into a rat play area each day is a good idea, but we think it’s brilliant!! And with this cold weather, it’s been great to have a couple of warm rats snuggled up inside my hoodie throughout the day. We’ll miss these dear sweet ratties when they go back to their real homes soon.  (For our second rat story, see below)

jess rats


If our Rat Resort story {above} reminded you that you’ve been wanting to adopt a couple of these snuggly creatures for yourself, then please consider Darth and Vadar. They are two sweet rats who were rescued and are now in need of a loving home. Both are males over a year old, and love attention. With good fostering they are now pretty friendly and enjoy being stroked and scratched. Soon they’ll be full-on cuddlers. The fosterer’s cat has been traumatising them, though, so we’d love to see them go to a caring home soon. If you can give these boys a wonderful life, please contact Jess at or 0220884621 (The rats are in Wellsford, but we could transport to Auckland if necessary)



July 21, 2014

Here’s something exciting for us: A lovely lady named Danielle came up for a working bee. She wanted to meet the animals and see what we were all about. Since then, Danielle has organised her own working bee with friends and family… AND she has announced that she’s holding a fundraiser called “Fight 4 the Animals”. It turns out that Danielle has been taking boxing lessons, and is going to hold her first public fight in September. She decided to turn it into a fundraiser for our animal sanctuary. Now THAT’S a first for us! If you’d like to support Danielle’s efforts with a small contribution (or a large one, hee hee), click on this link:      And for a very different animal event, read the story below…

shifting colours


A special event is being held for Fiona Sussman’s wonderful new novel, “Shifting Colours”… and the funds raised will be donated to our animal sanctuary. MMK (Matakana Market Kitchens) is putting on a beautiful morning tea – the menu looks delicious; Fiona will be there to read segments, talk with us, and answer our questions; and well-known literary personality Graham Beattie will MC and interview Fiona. I’ve read her book, and was spellbound from cover to cover. It’s a rare chance to get up close and personal with the author while enjoying scrumptious food. All for $20. Friday, 15 August, MMK (2 Matakana Valley Rd) You can buy tickets at Imelda’s Shoe Store in Warkworth; The Village Bookshop in Matakana; or phone 09-423-0315 to book with credit card. Tickets limited to 80 people. I hope to see you there. (Thanks to Sanctuary Supporters Glenys & Linda for making our animal sanctuary the charity recipient of this fabulous event!)