We hope this monthly newsletter finds each of you well, and you're all keeping warm now the Autumn chill has set in. This monthly newsletter starts off a little differently, with an appeal to help us continue our vital community work. Since the start of lockdown our Fundraiser has largely been writing to grant funders and applying for funds we need, that we would normally have been brought in by our fantastic events. All of you have been incredible throughout, and we have felt your support like an encouraging hand on our shoulder, as we've navigated through some difficult times, we truly couldn't have continued without you.  
Whatever you might think our day to day workload is at the Sanctuary, the reality is probably vastly different. Every week we answer the phone to people in desperate situations, weeping and begging us to help, with nowhere else to turn. Some have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have no one to take care of their beloved pets, some are needing to move into a care home or with family as they are struggling to take care of themselves, others are being offered a space in a shelter to escape domestic violence where they cannot take their precious pets. With every new week another major company announces it is reducing its staff and people who have never before been concerned for their livelihoods are being faced with a grim reality they hadn’t planned for. When they have exhausted every other option, they turn to us.

Our team is always there with a kind voice, sympathetic ear and reassurance that we will take care of their pets. Throughout lockdown, as other shelters stopped rescuing, we struggled to keep up with the strain on our services. Our small but mighty team of 15 staff members, (only 7 of which are full time) are not trained counsellors, neither are they paid high salaries, but time and time again have proved their devotion to our animals and compassion for their fellow human by making many personal sacrifices. With vet bills constantly escalating, we are used to financial hardship, and though we try to have one years running costs in our reserves, they are now dwindling and we have nowhere we can tighten the belt. If our financial situation doesn't improve we will have to consider reducing the number of animals we can help, which we really don’t want to do.

We provide a service for our community, but unfortunately are not recognised for the work we do by many funding streams, and are time and time again denied funds from "community pots"; making it difficult to raise the funds we so urgently need to survive.   

We are here to help cats and dogs and we promise never to spare them the treatment they need, a second chance at happiness or rehabilitation at any cost. As well as the 800 animals we rescue each year, we have also helped at least 1,600 people. Whilst we regularly see abuse and neglect cases, many of our rescues are beloved pets surrendered by desperate people faced with an impossible choice.

The reality is that most people never get a pet thinking that one day they will have to choose between feeding their family or getting their dog the dental he needs. For many people, having to part with their much loved pet is as traumatic for them as it is for their dog or cat, and we give them peace of mind that we will ensure their cherished pet will go to someone who loves them just as much as they do. We are here to ensure that each animal who needs our help gets the very best of care and is carefully rehomed to a loving new family. Our vital work allows people to make tough choices which help them achieve a quality of life everybody deserves, and their pets go on to be adopted by wonderful new owners. For the 28 years we have been operating and even more so now, we have frequently been told that their new adopted best friend gives a vulnerable person a reason to wake up every day.

We wish we didn't have to ask but, as we have been turned down by so many grant funders and there is still no government support for the animal welfare sector, we ask that if you see value in our community work and are able to, please give whatever you can, or share our appeal to your friends and family. We know the target of this appeal is a lot to ask and we are unlikely to meet this goal, but  to give some perspective, £30,000 is two months worth of vet bills for us. In such uncertain times it would mean the world to us if we knew we could always provide lifesaving care for animals in need and continue serving our community as best as we can.

We hope you never need our help but, if you do, we want to be there for you and your furry loved ones. If you would like to help us continue our vital work, or share our appeal please find it here. 

Minerva has been with us for six months! 

Minerva first came to Holly Hedge in March, we had taken her from a pound where she had been for several months, and her time was running out. Bengals are known for straying far and wide, so it is not uncommon for them to be picked up by pounds, and if they are not collected by an owner or offered a safe space by a shelter they are euthanised. Unfortunately Minerva wasn't microchipped, Minerva is a sensitive cat, who struggles when she feels unsafe or out of control, and can try to scare people away, so we believe she has been teased in the past by people, and learned to make space for herself the only way she can, with her claws. When she feels safe and in control however, she is a little lovebug and doesn't want you to leave. Minerva is 14 years old, and we know there is someone out there who could give this anxious lady the security and love she so deserves. If you'd like more information on Minerva please find her profile here.

Roxy's Search For a Forever Home

Five year old Roxy has been at the Sanctuary for a couple of months after being rescued from someone who was keeping her outside by a kind neighbour. Unfortunately her rescuer couldn't keep Roxy as they had a small flat, and advertised her online. We saw the advert and volunteered to take Roxy into our care.
Unloved and ill treated for most of her life, Roxy has made great progress since coming into our care in March. She experienced a phantom pregnancy after being spayed, and has shown some guarding issues that are a result of her trying to exert some control on a world that seems to be constantly changing around her. Roxy was rehomed, but became nervous of her new space and made the sofa her safe space, then reacted badly when she was asked to share it. 
Here at the Sanctuary where she feels safe, Roxy is a happy, confident girl who cannot get enough attention and loves to play. We are looking for someone very special for Roxy, willing to work with her to build her trust, and who will be happy to come and share her playtime, walks and create a loving bond before taking her home.
If there is a place in your heart for this special girl, or you would like to read more about her, you can find Roxy's profile here. 

The Big Weekend In! 

The total is in...we raised a whopping £2,705!!! This truly, truly means so much to us. At a time when our fundraising events have been cancelled, and there are still so many animals needing veterinary treatment, your support is keeping us going.

From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU! 

We still haven't managed to make contact with all our raffle winners, as Justgiving have not released any contact information to us. Below is the list of our winners we haven't managed to contact yet,  if you are a winner please get in touch with us on to choose your prize! 

  • Cara Shiner
  • Lorraine – donation reference 1668594
  • Kelly Vincent
  • Dale Parker
  • Rebecca Hahner
You'll find a gallery of all the winning dogs, cats and wonderful animals here! 
Thank you all for your kindness and generosity xx

Thank you to our NHS Heroes!

We want to give a huge thank you to our NHS heroes from Weston General Hospital, not only for taking care of all of us whenever we need them, but for their limitless compassion and desire to help.
Pictured is Gaynor Whiting (left) and two of her incredible colleagues with the mountain of donations they collected for our rescues. Thank you, you magical people, our rescues are so grateful to be loved by you all!
We are taking part in Doggy Lottery, where we are guaranteed to receive part of the funds raised! Help raise funds for us by voting for Roxy!
To enter just lick on the link:, enter for just £1.50 and vote for Roxy, who is our featured rescue this week.
The funds raised are divided between 5 different rescue centres and the more votes Roxy gets the greater share we receive, and you could be in with a chance of winning 30% of the total pot!
As always, thank you so much for your support.
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To contact us please email: Call us on: 01275 474 719
Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary, Barrow Gurney, Wild Country Lane BS48 3SE 
*Thank you for your ongoing support*

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Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary · Wild Country Lane · Barrow Gurney · Bristol, BS48 3SE · United Kingdom