Heather and Willow arrive at Hillfields

As your can imagine, life at the Sanctuary is ever changing, the older animals passing away is always so sad for us. 'At least we were able to give them comfort and care for a time' is what comes to our minds - their existence was not totally lived in the horror man has created for their kind.

New residents are coming to us all the time, seeking true sanctuary. Recently, two more geese have come into our care.

Most weeks we attend and monitor the car park at the local Henley-in-Arden market. We do this in an attempt to stop the cruelty shown to the animals as they are loaded on to vehicles. The first impression one gets of this place is of a medieval market. It's an impression that never leaves you. On a recent visit we came across these two poor wretches in a clear state of absolute terror:

Heather and Willow, as we have named them, are two geese that it would appear have been a breeding pair. As such they would have been together for many years, and we clearly witnessed their distress when we had to separate them for a short time whilst Willow was in sickbay.

Now, too old to be of further profitable use, they had been sent to market. They had been sold to a man in the meat-trade for just �6 per bird. But at the end of the sale he obviously realised that they were too old and tough to be of any use to him and he left with out paying.

It was clear that as soon as our backs were turned the "market staff" would kill these two in a brutal fashion - simply custom and practice at medieval Henley!

We started negotiations with the auctioneer and a higher price (of course) was exacted from us than the original bid, but at least we saved these two. They, because of their age, will probably not live much longer, but while one or both is still alive we will care for them - true sanctuary in the evening of their lives.

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Sunday 30th March - Our first Open Day of 2008

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