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A History of Easterleigh from our original founder, Mandy Leigh


Easterleigh was originally opened as a livery stables in 1995 by myself, Mandy Leigh. I have always had all sorts of animals and so, while my cats were curled up on the sofa at home, my dogs would come to the stables with me while I looked after my own—and clients—horses, one of which was a beautiful Thoroughbred called 'Easter Girl'. Gradually other animals seemed to turn up needing a home too: sheep, goats, pigs, ducks; all beloved by the livery clients as much as myself. Other domestic pets like dogs and cats started to be abandoned at the gates, so of course we cared for them and found them homes.

In early 1998 I was asked to take in 2 Jack Russell's, as the elderly owner had a house full of them and could not cope. I agreed, but before they arrived I received another phone call, from the lady trying to home them all, distraught as no-one else had wanted to take any at all. Understandably she was terrified of what was to happen to these 27 Jack Russells (puppies, adults and oldies). I couldn't abandon them, so agreed to take the lot! Quite an undertaking and not one we were really set up for, but take them we did and they were all successfully re-homed. It was clear that this was turning into more of an animal sanctuary than a stables, so the decision was made to open the doors to the public. With the best will in the world, rescuing and re-homing animals cannot be done for free and—unless you are lucky enough to be a millionaire, which sadly I am not!—public donations are always going to be the only possible resource.

So, while continuing to take in an ever-increasing number of unwanted animals, I set about getting Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary set up as a registered charity. The name was picked in memory of my much-loved horse, Easter Girl, who was herself rescued by me. She lived for for 16 happy years in my care and passed away aged 31.

Eventually we closed the livery stables and devoted our time solely to rescuing unwanted animals. In October 1998 we received charity status so Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary was then officially opened.

Since that time we have been through a lot, but have been able to help 100's of animals; dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, gerbils, degu, chinchillas, hamsters, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, parrots, budgies, canaries … even a few snakes and lizards!!

We will continue to do so for as long as we are able and are very grateful to all our supporters and volunteers for making this possible. Enjoy browsing the rest of the website to see the animals we currently have to re-home; others that have successfully been found new homes; lots of regular queries answered on the FAQ page; plus how you can help us, be it via fundraising or volunteering.

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