We are The Birkett~Smith Animal Sanctuary and we are unique in the UK as we are the largest sanctuary to take in both human and dog aggressive dogs and rehabilitate them. We have a large number of animals which includes just over 100 dogs, all of whom have their forever homes here with us. We also have SOS Rehabilitation spaces for UK rescues and owners seeking a place of safety and rehab for behaviourally affected dogs. In most cases this unique service offers them their last chance to gain help for animals which would otherwise be put to sleep.
The dogs we take in here at the sanctuary have ranging in depth issues: behaviour, aggression, age, disability, fear of humans and/or other dogs, guarding issues etc and some have been subjected to severe neglect, cruelty and abuse. The bottom line is we basically take the animals that stand little or no chance of gaining homes let alone the security of a forever home and we work with them to try to turn them around. We used our experience and extended our reach and started the SOS Havens in 2016 to provide a much needed service and a lifeline for rescues and thier at risk dogs needing safety and rehabilitation.
Our aim is to always get them back out again on their journey having been fully assessed and worked on, and with so that their rescues know the dogs inside out and back to front to make sure they go somewhere safely. Since we started we have been overwhelmed with requests from rescues to take in desperate dogs who have simply run out of chances and have nowhere left to go and our spaces are always full. We charge rescue an SOS Rehab fee which covers their care and rehabilitation and once (and if) the dogs are ready to be re-homed their rescue gives full rescue back up. Dogs like Navi:
Navi had not had an easy time and developed a few issues, she needed sanctuary, peace and space. But Navi needed a very special place where she could be given a last chance; without that last chance Navi's time would have run out despite the best efforts of the rescue that originally saved her. The Sanctuary SOS Haven was a lifesaver for Navi and she was funded by her rescue whilst we rehabilitated her. She did very well and bagged herself her forever home with a family that adore her.
The sheer number of requests we have received from rescues over the years for SOS spaces is sad testament to the over-breeding/throwaway attitude and abuse towards animals that has become more prevalent in the UK and the need for these spaces is more apparent than ever. In 2016 we worked hard to raise the funds to build more, upgrade our existing facilities and re-build the sanctuary and we now have 23 rehabilitation spaces which are all full and we always have a long list of rescues awaiting a space for thier dogs.
In 2018 we expanded our remit again and officially became The Birkett-Smith Animal Sanctuary and Canine Rehabilitation Centre to also help private owners with residential rehab stays for their issued dogs and we have never been so busy. We could fill the spaces one hundred times over and still the phone never stops ringing! But the hard work is worth it, seeing a dog relax into the safety of the sanctuary is our motivation and seeing the dogs thrive and become the loving creatures they were before society dealt them a rough hand is what drives us. Seeing them safely back home or into a forever home is what our dreams are made of.