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Cheyenne Attacked

As many of you will have heard, in August we discovered that our oldest equine resident, Cheyenne, had suffered a brutal attack out in one of our fields. The details of this attack are too unpleasant to go into here. When we noticed that Cheyenne was too frightened to be caught and then we saw all the blood on her tail, we knew something truly awful had happened to our sweet old lady...
When the Willows vet examined Cheyenne, she immediately urged us to call the police.

The police were incredibly kind and did all they could but it's clear that without evidence or witnesses, we will probably never catch the person who assaulted her.

Although Cheyenne recovered from her original attack, the stress and all of the medication she had to have to help her recover took a massive toll on her liver and kidneys. The whole willows team and vets worked around the clock to try and save her. For a while we thought we had won, but she went into multiple organ failure and we had to make the devastating decision to let her go. She didn't know anything about it and our vet did a fantastic job of helping her to slip peacefully away.

Cheyenne was very old, but she was generally in good health prior to this incident and although all living creatures must die, there is no doubt in our minds that this horrible attack is responsible for her death.

Since she died, we have had lots of people contacting us with absolutely appalling stories of their horses being brutalised by strangers and it's become very clear that such attacks are more common than you might think. For example, in 2015, a horse, quite local to Willows, was viciously attacked and killed. The Willows horses safety feels very fragile now. We don’t want any of our residents to be put at risk ever again so we have been gathering quotes on having more surveillance cameras installed and more secure fences. It’s going to be a big and expensive project but it's imperative that we protect all the equines here from any future attacks.

Willows is initiating a fund-raising programme for the £35,000 needed to purchase security fencing around two of its fields—about 18 acres in total. Also included in this cost is a special multi camera security system that will cover the whole area. We believe that these measures will ensure that no future attacks on the vulnerable equines in our care are possible—at least without the perpetrators being exposed and subsequently reported to the police.

If you are able to make a donation towards our security project, please do so by clicking here. If you are aware of any organisations who would be willing to help us with this, please let us know.

Thank you for reading this.


Please Donate to Willows

25 Years Rescuing Animals

Willows Animal Sanctuary, founded in 1998 and obtained charity status in 1999, is the largest, ethically managed, equine, farm and domestic animal sanctuary in Scotland and will try to help any animal in distress. We operate a strict no kill policy and only euthanise an animal on veterinary advice. We look after over 500 animals including over 100 horses, ponies and donkeys, approximately 50 cats, dogs and many reptiles as well as over 200 farm animals and birds.

We are totally dependent on donations, legacies and grants from benevolent organizations to keep the sanctuary running. Unlike larger charities we have no reserves of money and are always desperately short of funds. We specialise in helping elderly or more vulnerable animals that have already been refused help by well-known large national charities, but we can only continue to help needy animals with your support.

Marmalade's New Friends!

Our Christmas newsletter features Marmalade with his new friends. Here he is pictured with the very cute little Berry!

New Cats for Adoption!

This is Pumpkin, one of several new cats that we have for adoption - click on his picture to see the others.

More Socks & 2024 Calendar!


Cat Hotel

The Cat Hotel is a truly amazing and unique facility for cats, at Willows, that aren’t suitable for normal homes because they are either feral, not house trained, elderly or have health issues. Such cats are often forgotten and usually rejected by larger charities because they are very unlikely to find a good home.

At Willows, we are strongly committed to helping disadvantaged cats live their best lives. We make sure that they all have constant access to this special facility and they are free to roam the 54 acre sanctuary. Every cat is health checked, neutered, vaccinated, has constant access to food and a cosy bed.

Some of our cats cats have come from loving families who suffered a change of circumstances but many of them were facing death or had simply been forgotten by society. Not by us though! To us, they matter hugely and we are here for them.

Please, please help us to continue our good work by sponsoring a cat, spreading the word about our good cause or by holding a fundraiser.

Rescued Sheep

Willows currently provides a life-long home more than 80 sheep.

Registered Charity No: SC029625 this site is designed and maintained by Nick Robinson