The Sanctuary was founded by Alexandra Bastedo over thirty years ago, and she led the Trustees until her recent death in January 2014. Her first animal rescue was a donkey, and since then the Sanctuary became home to unwanted donkeys, ponies, miniature shetlands, sheep, goats, cats, pigs, poultry and wild birds. Since moving out of the flood plain near Chichester in 2001 and buying a smaller house with a much bigger acreage for the animals on a hill near Pulborough in West Sussex, the number of animals at the Sanctuary has increased enormously and we are now always full to capacity. In some instances, where the animals are very old, need permanent special diets or have personality disorders through ill-treatment they are guaranteed care and protection and a home with us at the Sanctuary for the rest of their lives. We also always try to help rehome other unwanted animals - including dogs - through our animal network, if we are unable to take them in ourselves.
To look after so many animals and birds the Sanctuary has the support of it's trustees - Di Humphries, and Cheryl Tofield-Cook - and the un-stinting help of over sixty volunteers of all ages, who between them cover every day, of every week, of every year and in all weathers, and without whom the Sanctuary certainly could not operate.
Alexandra was passionate about animal welfare. She was a Patron of Compassion in World Farming, Wildlife Aid, The Animal Welfare Trust, Greyhounds in Need and Naturewatch. She was also President of Chichester Cat and Rabbit Rescue, Vice President of the Brent Lodge Bird Hospital and Patron of Paws Animal Rescue,Findon, All Dogs Matter and Cat Rescue, Gibraltar. Alexandra resigned as President of her local R.S.P.C.A Branch, Mount Noddy, as she felt she wanted to devote more time to our own expanding rescue operation.
The Sanctuary provides practical tuition and hands-on experience for students doing animal care courses, those taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, and A-level science students planning careers in veterinary medicine. We accept visits from schools - and we visit schools - to teach children and young adults the importance of properly caring for animals, and we offer students of animal husbandry and trainee vets hands-on experience working with different kinds of animals. We also accept volunteers who are recovering from brain damage and mental health problems and who find working with animals very therapeutic and beneficial in combating depression.
Alexandra wrote a regular blog for local newspapers and magazines which included day-to-day information and stories about the animals. Our new President, actress Susan Jameson, has now kindly taken over the writing of these articles for the local newspapers and all these articles are now exclusively available through a subscription to abcFriends.
Alexandra also published 'The Healthy Dog Book' and 'The Healthy Cat Book', which are veterinary approved and the first volume of her autobiography "Beware Donkeys, Dobermanns and Ducks".
Visit our on-line shop for signed author's copies of these now out-of print titles.
The ABC Animal Sanctuary has no secure funding and we are entirely dependent on donations to keep the sanctuary running and to ensure its long-term future. All of the staff at the Sanctuary are volunteers, so there are no salaries to pay and all donations we receive are spent completely on our animal care. Please click on the link below to see a breakdown of our running costs and how you can help us.
Why not visit 'Our Shop' which has our current range of animal sponsorships including special offers and pocket-money sponsorships for children or you can become an abcFriend and have access to all of Alexandra's blogs, Pip's Diary, and the serialisation of her best selling book - 'Beware Dobermanns, Donkeys and Ducks'. You will also receive advance notice of any future events we are planning.
Please help us raise the necessary funds to allow us to continue to help animals in need by making a donation to our page on the "Virgin Moneygiving" website. Just donate via Virgin Moneygiving or Paypal - see icons on the left hand side of this page - and insert the amount you would like to donate in the donation box. We will receive your donation in full, and if you tick the Gift-Aid box we can claim a further 25p for every £1 you donate - from the taxman, without it costing you a penny.