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Animal Friends Blog


Meet Some of the Rescue Animals of Hopefield

Hopefield rescue animals

This year Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Essex is celebrating its 30th birthday. We have over 350 animals consisting of horses, donkeys, snakes, cows, pigs, alpacas, rabbits and much more. We offer a haven for animals that have been abused, abandoned or neglected. Over the past 18 months Hopefield has expanded from 200 animals to where it is today.

With rising vet and feed bills, we have to raise more money each year to keep running. Hopefield has lots of plans for the future, and as well as buying another site so more animals can be rescued, we hope to buy a new horsebox, new stables and in the future be able to hire an onsite vet to deal with all the medical problems of the Hopefield animals.

Hopefield is a non-profit charity (800211) who relies solely on donations to keep running. All money raised goes towards the care of the animals and upkeep of the sanctuary and helps us to continue saving countless lives.

Meet some of Hopefield’s residents:

Meg & Stardust:

Meg                  Stardust

This is Meg and Stardust who are lucky to be alive at all. Meg came over from Ireland in a packed lorry and when it arrived in England most horses aboard were found dead or very ill. Meg managed to survive and luckily she didn’t have as a miscarriage as she was heavily in foal at the time. She went straight to a sanctuary but when Stardust came along a few weeks later they weren’t able to keep her and both Meg and her little foal came to live with us at Hopefield. They are both very cheeky ponies and adore greeting all Hopefield’s visitors. The horrors of what Meg endured are very much in her past and she loves nothing better than a good gallop around the field.


Juliet is only 2 years old, although you wouldn’t believe it from looking at these pictures. She was rescued from a field with 200 dead horses in it and came to us when there was no other sanctuary that could accommodate her. She has irregular patches on her which suggests she has been bleached and she is blind in one eye. She was found with shoes on and it is believed she has been raced. She is slowly starting to engage more and show more interest in life and we are hoping with the love, care and attention she receives at Hopefield she will come on leaps and bounds and be a happy and healthy horse in no time at all.


Scruffy was abandoned at the top of our gate in a box and lucky he wasn’t eaten by a fox. He is an angora longhaired rabbit and he was so matted that his fur had separated into four big clumps, most of which had to be cut off. He was also blind in both eyes and in the last year he had to have one of the eyes removed due to a severe eye infection because of previous scarring from his last home. Scruffy came with his friend Mrs Ben, and both were severely emaciated and were lucky to pull through. Recently we have had lots of abandoned rabbits come to Hopefield as the recession has hit, and rabbits and pets have been the first thing to be got rid of.

Other animals in our care:

Bill the duck and Ozzy the iguana are just two of the animals we care for other then horses. Birds, mammals and reptiles come to us needing help and a home. Bill struggles to eat as his beak had been snapped, so we have to watch his weight and he is seen by the vet regularly. He is prone to getting sores at the side of his beak and is just lucky he has found a safe home at Hopefield. Ozzy came to us after the local police found him in an evicted house where the electricity had been switched off for the last three days! He was found in a dog cage which was just large enough to hold a small terrier and his ex-owner had tried to amputate his tail but had not succeeded and it had got badly infected and needed to be amputated when he arrived at Hopefield. He was also extremely emaciated and very scared of people.

Ned & Bella

[Bella & Baby Peggy]

Bella and Peggy

Ned and Bella came to us when their advert on the internet was drawn to our attention by our supporters. We could see from the pictures that Ned was neglected with overgrown hooves and he had a dull coat and looked underweight. We went to visit Ned and we discovered he was with a female donkey called Bella who was in foal. They were both in an appalling state and we agreed to take them both straight away to the safety of Hopefield. Not long after Bella gave birth to a foal who we named Peggy and the three of them all live happily with our other donkeys.


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Hello, fellow animal lovers! I’m Elena, and I take care of social media for Animal Friends Insurance. I’m here to share the latest on animal welfare, our charity work and pet care. I foster and adopt rabbits and have a rescue dog called Luna.