The Birkett-Smith Animal Sanctuary
3 Templemans Ash,
Bridport.
Dorset
DT6 5NX.

About Us
We provide forever homes for domestic, farm and wildlife animals
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A Bit More About Us
We have approximately 150 animals which includes over 100 dogs
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Happy Beginnings
At The Sanctuary there are no endings, just Happy New Beginnings.
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Realising A Dream
Our Dream Becomes Reality And All Because Of You
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From The Heart
The 'Nobody Dogs' and the sanctuary
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  • About Us
  • A Bit More About Us
  • Happy Beginnings
  • Realising A Dream
  • From The Heart

A Rescue Chain Needs A Hero In The 'Middle'

Transporters Driving Dogs To Freedom

Rescue is a collaboration...especially when you take in the kind of dogs that the sanctuary takes in. In order to save these special dogs there has to be a chain of people, every link vital to the success of the mission. The sanctuary is always the end and the destination but often times there would be no journey, literally without a transporter. These middlemen/women are the forgotten heroes of rescue...the front-liners who are invariably the first rescue contact with the animals they carry to a better life. The transporters travel hundreds of miles, some of them every day and will drop everything when they get a call...it isn't a job it's a vocation and yet it's a sad fact that these heroes are all but invisible when it comes to the public and even more sadly sometimes vilified for taking fuel money for what they do. Oh yes there are some bad apples only in it for themselves but that happens in every walk of life and given the crucial work these people do they should not all be tarred with the same brush. Fuel money does not put food on the table of the transporter, fuel money does not pay the mortgage or the bills, fuel money does not buy vehicles or touch the costs of running repairs...fuel money just buys fuel for freedom rides, fuel money lifts animals out of hell. And hell is something transporters see...they don't read about it, they actually see it when they pick up abused, battered, starved, scared animals and they hear it's pain in the back of thier vans as they drive through the miles to get them to safety and without them many of these animals would still be in hell and probably remain there for the rest of thier lives.

Our main transporter and a vital link in our chain is Phil Lyons-John...Phil is a tireless transporter who travels up and down the country and sometimes even out of it to save animals. He transports for countless rescues and sanctuaries and the miles he must have clocked up are unbelievable. Last week he was one of two transporters who took the Monty's dogs on thier freedom rides, for once he spoke out and this is what he had to say...

"I very rarely post in public about things I see when I transport to or from rescues or kennels and I wasn't going to say anything about what I have seen at the rescue known as Montys. However, I'm told that all the dogs are safely out now (at least those that are coming out) and I feel I must say something. In the last few days I've been into the rescue centre 4 times and collected 17 dogs - the rescue owner made a big show about how dangerous various dogs were. Of the 17 I picked up at least 10 were said to be highly aggressive and several were (in his words) mental! All bar 1 of the 17 came out of my van on a slip lead, showing no sign of aggressive behaviour towards me or any of the staff at the kennels/rescues I dropped them off to. Indeed, most showed signs of being VERY happy at being somewhere else. That may change as they settle into the new environment. Only time will tell, but I was not convinced any of the dogs were hugely aggressive though several showed signs of fear - they were all big dogs, ddbs, rottie, ambulls or crosses of that type and seeing fear in the eyes of any dog let alone a large breed dog is always something I hate. Every dog was underweight Most males were entire Most had signs of healed cuts on the noses or faces (some fresh cuts too) Some had almost healed sores on their bodies The whole place stank - not just 1 or 2 days of poo and/or pee but weeks worth of smell that had seeped into every dog and every kennel. This place was NO rescue This place was NO safe place for dogs This place was hell - and I hope that's where the 'rescue' owner ends up!"

So why are we blogging? Well number one we wanted to highlight what these heroes face, what they do and how vital they are but we also wanted to directly help Phil whose van is falling apart and is far too small. He's had the offer of a larger van which will not only enable him to carry bigger dogs but also to do bigger runs, making that fuel money stretch farther which is ultimately financially beneficial to countless rescues including us.

Without Phil many of our dogs would not have a new home and safety here and we are but one. Without Phil the Monty's dogs may well be in that abusers hands still....without Phil many lives would be over because a chain is not a chain without a middle. So on his behalf we are appealing for donations to help him to reach his £5,000 target so that he can continue being a hero for so many animals.....we hope you will consider making a donation however large or small and help us to keep him on the front-line and on the road.

If you would like to donate you can do so here:

​Please mark your donation as 'Phil' and we will keep you updated on the total. Thank you from the animals x

Ways To Help Us: Get extra for every penny you spe...

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One By One Until There Are None

"If you have received love from an animal in your life then you are very lucky. Give back a little to this fantastic trust and see what YOU can do to make a huge difference. Love, shelter, healthcare and food. What an amazing gift you can give. Do it today. Thank you so much."

Helen LLoyd