We hope this monthly newsletter finds each of you well, and you're all keeping warm, it's certainly getting chilly! 
At the Sanctuary we are getting ready for Fireworks season and Christmas, and are now able to take donations of towels and blankets again (though we do ask for none with holes in please, as little paws can get stuck in them!)

It has been a strange few months, something has shifted within the rescue world, and all over the country shelters are seeing a reduction in the number of dogs coming in. We believe people are privately selling their dogs, calling it "rehoming" to deceive well-meaning folk looking to adopt and give a rescue a better chance at a long and happy life. We are concerned about the future of these dogs, what will happen to them once they are no longer useful? How many will develop separation anxiety and be brought to shelters when they're no longer cute puppies? There are still dogs in need of our help right now, often these little soul's owners have passed away, or they have lost their livelihood and they want to ensure their dog goes to a loving home, and know they can trust us. 
We have also been working with another charity to rescue a few dogs from kill shelters in Romania. These dogs have all lived in horrific conditions, and narrowly escaped death or many months of pain and trauma. Though they all arrive terrified of human touch and nervous of their new surroundings, many of them never having experienced comforts we take for granted, the change in them once they realise they are safe is incredible. They are different dogs to when they first arrived, and though for some of them training takes a little time and patience, when they leave us they are ready to love and be loved forever. 

There are so many cats however, that we can barely keep up! Due to veterinary clinics and shelters not rescuing, or stopping TNR programmes, there has been a boom in the number of strays needing our help. We ask that if you notice a cat in your area you haven't seen before that looks thin and is timid, after checking missing groups and with your neighbours he or she isn't a new family addition, please put down some water and food for them and contact us. Of course if you see a cat physically injured, please do not delay, take them to a vet immediately. We want to help as many as we can, and as you'll see below in Felix's story, resources are stretched for stray cats at the moment. By building a routine with a stray and earning their trust, you will be instrumental in their rescue, or a happy reunion with their owner.

Meet Felix, the cat who has defied all the odds and is determined to live

This beautiful cat with eyes that look straight into your soul is Felix. Felix's life now is a stark contrast to what it was two months ago, and in that short time living on the streets Felix went through so much pain and trauma that is is nothing short of miraculous that he is here today. 
Felix was brought to Holly Hedge in September as skinny as a rail, his bones jutting out and bringing up pieces of large rubber that he had eaten. He was hours from death, either from suffocating on a piece of rubber or starvation, so we acted quickly and rushed him to Vale Vets Portishead. He had an X-ray which showed more plastic in his stomach, and to our dismay, his organs had all been pushed into his chest cavity and he had a hernia...these injuries are usually sustained when a cat has been kicked. He had been through so much that even when he pulled through surgery the next few days were critical. 

But Felix wasn't done with life yet. Every day he showed us all his incredible spirit and love for life, by waking up and demanding his breakfast and chin scratches. He was placed in foster care and grew stronger every day, relishing every moment of having a warm lap and comfy sofa to snooze on. 

Though Felix has been Felix's journey to recovery has been long, expensive, and by no means plain sailing, we couldn't deny him every chance at a long and happy life. Whilst his treatment has cost us thousands, seeing him play for the first time, sleeping without a worry in the world, and asking for more fuss with a gentle outstretched paw is priceless, and this second chance at a forever home isn't something we could deny him of. 
Felix's journey is in a video below, and you can find the special appeal we've run for Felix here. If you would like to contribute towards this stoic boy's treatment or share his story we would be forever grateful, as it will help us care not just for him, but for so many more animals to come. Thank you xx
Meet Felix, the cat dermined to live.

Could you foster Yogi?

Hello English people. I would like to say first of all that I am so happy to be here. Holly Hedge welcomed me and some of my friends into the fold, but I would like to just tell you a little bit about me right now as I have been told the sad news that I may not have long in this world. If you haven’t been put off and are still reading my “tail” of woe I would like to tell you more about me.

I was born in Romania where I was not wanted and became a street dog like so many others fighting to survive. I was subjected to cruelty and abuse and struggled to find enough food to eat - my life was a living hell, but I won’t dwell too much on that as it is in my past life, and a life I want to forget. I will never forget the caring group of people though, that took pity on me and lots of other street dogs, and made it possible for me to make the 3 day journey from Romania to Holly Hedge in the hope of finding a new beginning and a much brighter future. I am so glad I braved that journey because now I am in a place where I am warm, well fed, get the nicest walks and playtime with lots of toys, and best of all I feel safe and loved because I have never known such kindness. Everyone here at Holly Hedge made us all feel so wanted. I couldn’t believe the soft, clean cosy bed I had to cuddle up in, and the food is so delicious I could eat for England!

On arrival my carers knew there was something wrong with me as I was dripping blood in a very embarrassing place and I walked quite stiffly.  I saw the vet and was given antibiotics, painkillers and booked in for neutering, x-rays and tests the following week, which I have to say I wasn’t so keen on. It was discovered I had a dislocated hip which the vet thought to be advanced hip dysplacia, and there was also a suspected cruciate ligament injury that healed without treatment. I had to endure the pain for most of my life as I had no other choice, but the worst news was that I had a tumour on my penis, and although it was all removed there is a chance that it will return as it is was very aggressive. But for now, I am stable and not in any pain, and Holly Hedge promise they will not let me suffer. 

My many human friends say they must find me a foster home quickly as they want me to have the joy of a loving and caring owner with all the comforts of a real home and all the love in the world for whatever time I have left. I do like the sound of that, and it is my dearest wish to find that special someone who will take me into their home and their heart – and for the first time in my life there is hope in my heart that I will know the sheer joy of being loved and wanted instead of being just a street dog with no worth. I would be the happiest chappie in the world if my last wish could be granted. Thank you for listening, I can’t wait to meet you.

Yours longingly,
Yogi xxx 
Aged approximately 3 yrs old 
Please note Yogi is looking to be the only pet in the home, and as he has always lived on the streets and we have no history of him with children, he is looking for an adult only home. If you could foster Yogi for the rest of his days and give him the home he so richly deserves, please email our rehoming team on with "Foster Yogi" in the subject line, or call our team on 01275 474 719
We've reached our first £2k target in our "Help Holly Hedge Be There for Our Community Appeal" 
To celebrate, here's a video of Casper leaving us for his Forever Home! Thank you, truly thank you. If we could reach into our screens and give each of you a hug we would, your continued support and belief in us is flooring, and means so much to us and each and every one of our rescues.

Reaching two targets already means the world to us, and we are so grateful to each of you, who read our emotional appeal and has shown us that you care so deeply.

We are still a way off our target, so please keep sharing the link below and if you can give, please do. You may remember we introduced incentives to help us reach our target, and as we've already reached our second goal, everyone who has donated will be emailed and asked to vote for a name for a stray cat that has come into our care! We can't wait to share the results of this soon! If you haven't donated yet and want to

have a vote, you can find the link below.

Spartacus needs a home! 

Poor Spartacus is one of the hundreds of stray cats we've rescued over the last few months, and his story is all too familiar. He was found with a large wound on his neck, potentially from fighting with another cat over limited resources or with a rat as he was desperate for food.
We don't know how long Spartacus has been living as a stray, but he is between 4-6 years old, and unfortunately due to his severe neck wound he had to be taken to the vets immediately. Heartbreakingly, his first human touch in years was associated with pain, and he didn't understand we were trying to help him. Our cattery team have been working on building his trust slowly and now Spartacus does enjoy a gentle fuss and being handfed chicken, but he is still a little traumatised and nervous of loud noises and sudden movement. We have been told the way to his heart is fancy cat food, and after surviving on scraps for so long we think he deserves nothing less! We believe that in a calm, patient home with someone who is willing to put the time in to making him feel safe and loved, that Spartacus will learn to love again. 

If there is a place in your heart for this boy, or you would like to read more about him, you can find Spartacus' profile here. 

A huge thank you to everyone who donated their Zoopoints to us!

Thank you to everyone who donated their Zoopoints to us last month. Two whole pallets of cat food were dropped off to Holly Hedge, feeding our cats for months to come! On top of these fantastic donations, some of the Zoopoints were converted into cash, so we also received £1,386.41!!! These funds couldn't come at a better time, so we are so deeply grateful to all of you who shopped with Zooplus and donated your points to us. 

Thank you all for your kindness and generosity xx

Have you seen our Happy Furever After stories, featured on Monday evenings on our Facebook page?

Have you rehomed one of our animals? Then WE NEED YOU!

It is one of our favourite weekly features on our facebook page, and we know how much you love them too, and we would like to keep this as a regular feature, but we only have enough stories to last until Dec 14th 2020.

If you have EVER rehomed an animal from us, and want to tell your story, then now is your time.

We love to hear the whole story...

  • Why did you choose each other?
  • How was the rehoming process?
  • Have there been challenges?
  • What have you learned about their characters since?
  • What do they love?
  • What cheeky little habits have they developed?

We loved them whilst they were with us and we love to hear all about them now. 

If you are interested in providing your Happy Furever After story, please send it to us at, including the photos you want to include or send us a facebook private message here. 

Thank you! We cannot maintain this feature without you.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Doggy Lottery! The total of the winning charity pot was  £1,520.10 and as Holly Hedge ended in 3rd place (15%).  We have received £228.02! 

The incredible ladies at Kelsey's Pad Dog Grooming salon are holding a Christmas Raffle in the salon, with some lovely prizes to win, first prize being a hamper containing dog toys, treats, doggy perfume, slicker brush, bath voucher & a festive collar hanger, plus more! Tickets are just £1 each!

Not content with a raffle, they're also doing a food collection bin. and will also going to be doing doggy photos, with a special Christmas backdrop, so if you would like one of your beloved dog, please get in touch with them on their facebook page here.
Small businesses have had a tough knock over the last year, so we are so grateful for those who have continued to support our vital work. Thank you Kelsey's Pad!
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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 
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Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary · Wild Country Lane · Barrow Gurney · Bristol, BS48 3SE · United Kingdom