Willows Animal Sanctuary | Animal Friends

Willows Animal Sanctuary

Willows Animal Sanctuary & Animal Assisted Therapy Unit is a centre of excellence for abused, unwanted, neglected animals and is a therapeutic unit for vulnerable people.

These are just a very few of the thousands of animals, birds and reptiles that have been helped by Willows in the past.

Early in 2012 Willows received a call about the plight of three miniature Shetland Ponies who had been abandoned on one of the Shetland Islands, their owner had neglected the ponies and then simply moved away and they had been seized by the Shetland Island Council and were now subject to legal proceedings.

We learned that one of the ponies was a young stallion (named Faramir) who had at an earlier date been rescued from being sold for slaughter. We were told that he was very badly behaved with other ponies and was about to be booked to be put down! Another of the ponies was named Carly and she was expecting a foal which had been sired by Faramir. The third pony (called Defiant) was also facing an uncertain future.

We agreed to save all three ponies and they undertook a fourteen hour boat trip from Shetland to Aberdeen and then were picked up and transported to Willows. (There is a short film of their arrival on YouTube.) On arrival they were checked by our vet and were so riddled with worms that they were visible on the poor ponies’ bottoms!! They have all settled in well and Defiant already has a new home; Faramir has been beautifully behaved and Carly is quietly awaiting a happy event!

Clyde was the deeply loved pet of a young woman who sadly had been diagnosed with cancer. Her distraught mother was desperate to find a safe home for this much loved pony and rang Willows in desperation. She had rung a large horse charity and asked for their help – only to be told that she should have Clyde put down!!! She told Willows of her plight (whilst sobbing her heart out) and begged us to take him as we were her last hope! We agreed (of course) and are happy to say that he has settled in well and is enjoying his time at Willows.

Boris is a very sweet natured and loving horse whose previous owner gave him to Willows after family changes meant that he needed a new home. Although Boris has recently belonged to kind and considerate people his early life was very traumatic as he lost an eye after he was attacked by a gang of teenagers. He now has a permanent retirement home at Willows where he has become a valued part of our Animal – Assisted Therapy programme.