Nov 222016

Suzanne Kelly reports the latest claims from controversial commercial farm-cum-rescue for farm animals – an alleged break in, vandalism and deliberate ‘poisoning’ of a young Shetland pony.

open-day-july-15-sign-says-all-farm-animals-and-shows-animals-northfield-actually-slaughterAs has been demonstrated in previous AV articles, Northfield Animal Haven owner, Kelly Cable has engaged in some bizarre fundraising schemes, and animals have been injured, frozen to death and overfed to death at the New Pitsligo premises.
On the afternoon of 15 November 2015, a woman named Jackie Dow posted on facebook that Northfield Animal Haven had suffered a break in on the night of 14 November.

She wrote:

“hello to the evil people who went to Northfield Animal Haven last night. hope you are proud of yourselfs as you cut all the wire so the sheep could get out. and you poisoned my pony who sadly died today. call yoursels animal lovers. I don’t think so. This vendetta needs to stop before any other animals suffer and thanks to you I will have to spend a fortune on vet bills. what did my boy do to deserve it…. and if the people who did this are reading this hope you are proud of yoursels.” 
– Jackie Dow on NAH’s facebook page, 15 Nov 2016.

Aberdeen Voice sent Ms Dow an email to clarify why she thinks she knows who did this act, why she thinks they are animal lovers and what vendetta she is referring to. When / if she replies, we will print her response.

Northfield also echoed this allegation; on its Facebook page owner Kelly Cable wrote:

“got up this morning to find fencing cut out onto main road for the sheep and horses, lovely little auguero who everyone met at the Super Saturday locked in a portacabin and sadly he was very toxic, no gut sounds at all so he had to be pts [put to sleep]. Very evil twisted people out there and when they get caught I hope they throw the book at them.”
– Northfield Animal Haven Facebook page.

It seems that Ms Dow and Eric Cable had suspects for this very odd crime in mind – and Eric decided to name me and blame me for this event:

“Well the haters have really done it this time. A 22 month old Shetland pony poisoned last night after locking it in a feed store I hope that cowbag Suzanne Kelly is f**king happy with her work now the most evil bast///on on this planet I believe that she is now encouraging activists and it looks like they decided to pay a visit last night cut fence wire let sheep out locked a trusting wee pony into a portakabin and poison the wee toot… the vets want to speak to the police when they arrive.”

The Cables assert in their posts on the incident that the press and police were informed. 

However, when alerted to this development, I telephoned the Police Scotland media arm – the spokesperson could find no such report. On Monday 21 November the police now have an incident report – which only concerns a fence. No pony is mentioned.

The police have been asked to say when this incident was reported considering there was no such report on their books when Eric Cable’s post claimed the vet wanted to speak to the police when they arrived. It currently seems that while Cable wrote those words about police arriving, the police had no information whatsoever about the incident. 

Sources associated with local newspapers were unaware of anyone contacting them about a poisoned animal or vandalism. No news reports have been published about this alleged incident which was meant to have happened 6 days ago. There was no outreach from Northfield to other shelters in the area to warn them of potential vandals in the area.

The very idea of the crime is a bizarre one. There are many incidents of livestock being stolen, and last year there was a horrific attack on a mare in a field.

But to cut a fence and then, oddly, to sneak past the CCTV system it is understood operates at NAH, for the purpose of taking one of the 170+ animals and locking it inside a feed store beggars belief.

In the past, two animals at Northfield were allowed to overeat with fatal consequences. In a separate incident, an elderly horse was left to freeze to death in a field. Could this possibly be yet another instance demonstrating that a woman with health issues (in her own words) might not be best able to look after 170 animals?

Things took a dark turn following Eric Cable’s post. Several people made threatening posts, and one man who had in the past made threats, shared Jackie Dow’s post over 2 dozen times. The threats were reported to Police Scotland. Many have since been deleted from facebook.

Two of the more concerning threats were:

“They won’t be so smart when we get hold of them. Silent justice and as for that f**king reporter and her pals it’s on f**kers”

and …

“I will find you. I will hurt you.”

There are many times over the course of investigating how the Cables operate that I have been called a liar by Eric and Kelly Cable. I have asked them to apologise for the defamatory remarks – or to at the very least point out what portions of my articles they consider to be ‘lies’.

All of my claims have sources – very often I am quoting back contradictory claims that Kelly Cable has herself made over the course of time.

One day she will say NAH rescues all farm animals; the next she claims everyone knows they also sell animals at the Thainstone market and it’s not her affair what happens to such sold animals.

She will one day say that no animal will ever be put to sleep whilst her fundraising appeals clearly say that unless money is found, animals will be put to sleep. 

The Cables have been asked to apologise on Facebook, Twitter and to the Aberdeen Voice for publication of a full apology, or I will have no choice but to seek legal remedy for the ongoing, serious defamation – and not least this latest unfounded attack by Mr Cable which seems to have led to threats of violence.

In a previous facebook post, Kelly Cable had gave her permission for me to see her veterinarian’s records; I wrote to the vet at the time, who refused to release any information. 

After this alleged pony poisoning and Eric Cable’s post saying the vet wanted to speak to the police (who had not been told about a poisoned pony it should be remembered), I emailed the vet once again. A source made me aware of The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ position:

‘The duty of confidentiality is important but it is not absolute and information can be disclosed in certain circumstances, for example where the client’s consent has been given, where disclosure can be justified by animal welfare concerns or the wider public interest.’

Considering Northfield has been asking the public for money for years and, as previous articles demonstrate, sometimes doing so under false pretences, and considering the number of animals injured and neglected at Northfield over time, it is hoped the vet will release information.

Since this poisoning tale appeared on Facebook, someone was in touch concerning a pony that died there of blood poisoning – how many avoidable deaths and injuries will it take for the vet to raise concerns with the authorities and let the donating public know what is going on?

I posted this request for apology and many questions about the incident on the Northfield Animal Haven Facebook page. The page is now offline. 

Aberdeen Voice will follow this story and report any and all updates.

Aberdeen Voice is sorry to hear that yet another animal has had an avoidable death at Northfield. If indeed vandals cut a fence, snuck in, and put the animal in a feed store – then we are confident the CCTV will have caught them, and we hope they will be brought to justice.

Should it be conceivable that the truth is still to be determined and information has been withheld or warped, possibly to cover a further incident of fatal animal overfeeding and/or other form of negligence, Aberdeen Voice is equally hopeful that the truth will come out. In the mean time, we are receiving yet more stories from people who have had business/animal welfare dealings with the Cable family.

Anyone with any further information is invited to please contact Aberdeen Voice in strictest confidence.

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Aug 262016

AAM NSPCC (1)With thanks to Esther Green, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR

A £15,000 donation from Aberdeen Asset Management is providing crucial support to extend a leading child protection charity’s work in giving primary aged pupils the  knowledge and understanding they need to stay safe from abuse and neglect.

The NSPCC’s Schools Service in Aberdeen sees skilled volunteers working in city schools covering the difficult subjects of abuse, neglect and bullying presented in an age appropriate way.

Through assemblies and workshops, and by using different tools such as mascots, posters and kits, they give essential safeguarding information in a lively, interactive and memorable way.

Children are taught to understand abuse in all its forms and recognise the signs of abuse, know how to protect themselves from all kinds of abuse and know how to get help, and the sources of help available to them, including the charity’s Childline service.

Aberdeen Asset Management’s support has covered the total cost of operating the Schools Service in Aberdeen City for a year, enabling over 1,600 children to be  informed on how to stay safe from abuse and what do do if they have a worry.

Alice Adamson, Aberdeen Area Co-ordinator for the NSPCC said:

“We are hugely grateful to Aberdeen Asset Management Charitable Foundation for supporting the expansion of our service and this funding will support our skilled volunteers in delivering a vtial service which covers the difficult topics of abuse, neglect, bullying in a child-focussed and relevant way.

“Being able to teach children at primary school about abuse enables schools and children to identify problems sooner and ultimately make sure that children with problems in this area get the help they need to have the happy childhood they deserve.”

The charity offers the programme freely to schools to help ensure all children aged 5-11 learn essential safeguarding information and so that pupils feel empowered to speak out and stay safe as a result.

One Grampian volunteer who delivers the programme in schools  says that children respond well to the approach taken and the tools provided, including a mascot and a bag of worries, are essential in the delivery to children as it keeps them fully engaged throughout.

After one recent session, the volunteer was handed a note from one of the children showing they clearly knew what was inappropriate behaviour – and would know exactly what action to take if they were in that situation.

The volunteer added:

“I admit to feeling quite overwhelmed when I read the note and I was completely reassured that this child knew exactly who their ‘trusted adults’ were and where to seek help if they needed to. This act and many other comments from children during our deliveries, keeps me passionate in my volunteering role and further cements my belief in the importance of the NSPCC Schools Service.”

Dominic Kite of Aberdeen Asset Management, said:

“This programme uses specially trained volunteers to talk to primary school children about abuse and with £15,000 from our Charitable Foundation they will be able to extend this essential work and have the materials they need to support the effective delivery of this programme in Aberdeen city schools.”

The Aberdeen Asset Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally.

The Foundation seeks partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact and the firm encourages its employees to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects.

The main focus of the Foundation is around emerging markets and local communities, reflecting the desire to give back to those areas which are a key strategic focus of the business and to build on the historic pattern of giving to communities in which Aberdeen employees live and work.

A number charities supporting children have benefitted from the Foundation recently including the Northsound Cash for Kids Bed Appeal, the National Deaf Children’s Society for its work with deaf children and their families, Hopscotch which was able to provide a welcome respite holiday for vulnerable children in Middlefield, Aberdeen, and the Teapot Trust’s for its art therapy work at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.

For more information visit

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Aug 262016

No activity, however benign it should be, is safe from scams and frauds. Before assuming that every photo of an animal to be rescued is genuine – before assuming any charity is genuine, here are some points to bear in mind. By Suzanne Kelly.

willowsgingerEveryone who loves animals can have that sentimentality turned into a powerful weapon by scammers and fraudsters.

Reputable animal charities, animal welfare organisations, consumer protection bodies will all warn you to be careful who you send your money

Scambusters identifies the seven most common types of animal charity frauds on its website.

Top of the list is people soliciting donations for animals that do not exist or that are nothing to do with the charity. Aberdeen Voice reported on one such story locally.

Northfield Animal Haven used photographs on several occasions in its fundraising – and the photographs turned out to be animals that had no connection to this organisation at all.

Despite bluster, threats and denials from Northfield, the facts remain:  the photos used were of other people’s animals which had no connection to NAH.

Some of the owners were extremely displeased at the use of photographs appropriated from their own websites without permission – which would not have been granted.

John Robins of Animal Concern Advice Line said:

“Regretfully the time is long overdue when all animal sanctuaries and rescue centres need to be licensed, inspected by an independent authority and maintained to high minimum standards. A true animal sanctuary does not send any animals to slaughter, does not breed animals and does its best to find good homes for life for the animals it rescues.

“Numerous times a year we hear of “sanctuaries” which are really no more than well-meaning animal hoarders where one or two people, without the necessary space, financial resources or expertise take in numerous cats and/or dogs and sometimes farm animals and horses . Before long they discover they cannot pay for vets’ bills or even for food for the animals. The animals end up ill, emaciated and infested with worms, ticks, fleas and other parasites.

“Sometimes by the time the authorities realise there is a problem all they find are dead and dying animals. If you are requested to donate to an animal sanctuary there are several questions you should ask first. Is the sanctuary a registered charity? If the answer is ‘yes’ double-check with the Charity Regulator. If the answer is ‘no’ ask why not and how can they survive without the extra money charity status provides.

Ask for copies of its constitution and most recent accounts. Find out what animals it has and how it rehomes them. Are the animals neutered and is the sanctuary registered with a local vet? If you re-home an animal from a rescue centre, expect to pay a realistic fee to cover veterinary costs such as neutering, vaccinations and micro-chipping. Do not agree to pay a rescue centre large sums of money for pedigree dogs or fashionable cross-breeds.

“Expect the rescue centre to home-check you to ensure your premises are suitable for the animal you are taking on. If they do not do a home check they are not doing their job properly. Do not confuse animal sanctuaries with commercial enterprises such as working farms with visitor facilities, petting zoos or commercial falconry centres.”

Hoarders too masquerade as rescues. Any person or organisation that takes in more animals than it can support or continues to take in animals while unable to afford basics for existing rescues may well be a hoarder. Best Friends Animal Society has this to say on the subject:

“Collective denial – of individuals, of the whole group – may have contributed to the cats’ suffering. “It’s becoming a common thing,” says Dr. Gary Patronek, a veterinarian, epidemiologist and director of animal welfare and protection for the Animal Rescue League of Boston, and the founder of the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC).

“We really don’t understand how groups of people, as opposed to individuals acting alone, could ignore suffering and death in a shelter or rescue environment. At least three different types of hoarders have been identified: overwhelmed caregiver, rescue hoarder and exploiter hoarder. It is the latter that is the least likely to have good intentions.””

One final word: any reputable charity will always make measured, logical, precise responses to the public’s concerns. Does your chosen charity answer questions in a suitable detail, or does it make an emotional, threatening, illogical response? Your clue is in the charity’s behaviour.

Always check a charity is registered, how old it is, and the owner/operator’s background may also offer further clues as to its reputation.

How to help animals? Choose transparent shelters; do not buy pedigree breeds when you can adopt animals instead (our area Scottish SPCA rescue is a great place to find a pet). Get your dog or cat neutered. And – be careful where your charity pounds are going.

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Apr 082014

The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after a heavily pregnant dog was abandoned outside Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Sophie_and_pupsThe dog, who has been named Sophie, went into labour while in the care of the police and gave birth to ten puppies but, sadly, two passed away.
Sophie and her surviving puppies are now receiving the attention they need at the Scottish SPCA’s Aberdeenshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Drumoak.

Staff wish to stress that they will not be taking any rehoming enquiries about Sophie or her pups at this stage of the investigation.

Inspector Fiona McKenzie said,

“Sophie was put in an incredibly vulnerable situation and we’re glad she was rescued before she gave birth on the street.

“It was clear she was heavily pregnant which is why several passers-by were concerned that she had been tied up outside the court.

“Thankfully, Sophie and her eight pups are now doing well and she is proving to be a very protective mother.

“She was wearing a bright pink collar and a red leash but had no identification so we are asking anyone with information on who owned her to come forward as soon as possible.”

Abandoning an animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.

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Jun 192013

Willows Animal Sanctuary invites you, your friends and family to its next Open Day – 22 June.
Come join the staff, farm, domestic, exotic and wild animals living at Willows.  There will be loads to do and see, and animals to meet.

New arrivals at Willows include a family of Shetland ponies. Penny the Shetland mare, rescued from a very uncertain fate earlier in the year, has given birth to a beautiful colt foal. Bertie was born on the 30th April 2013 and is an absolute treasure. He currently lives with his mum Penny and his sister Daisy.

Here is Penny’s story.

We were contacted recently by a very desperate lady who urgently needed help with two Shetland pony mares and a filly foal. The lady suffers from an auto immune disease and has become allergic to daylight which had made looking after her ponies very difficult.

She also expressed concern that the paddock they were in, which had looked good in summer, was now so wet that the ponies were sometimes up to their hocks in mud and she feared that two of the ponies were again in foal. Her only other option had been to put the ponies into a market which would risk a very uncertain future for them.

The ponies were quite a way from Willows on the border between Perth and Angus, but Animal Health were extremely helpful with facilitating the move to Willows. It was also some time since their feet had been trimmed and all in all Animal Health felt that the sooner they could be removed the better.

They all arrived safely and have been checked and blood tested by our vets. The filly foal has been named Daisy and the two mares are called Ruby and Penny.

The events run from 11:30 am through 4:30pm; they include:-

  • Live music,
  • Bottle Stall,
  • Tombola,
  • Plant sale,
  • Lucky ducks,
  • Gift shop,
  • Coffee Shop,
  • Raffle,
  • and Home-bakes.

Willows Animal Sanctuary, Lambhill Farm, Strichen, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire AB43 6NY

Reg. Charity No. SCO29625
Tel. 01771 653112

May 092013

The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after an emaciated and wounded dog was found collapsed on a Stonehaven street.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity was called to help the two year old lurcher after a member of the public discovered him lying on the ground at Carron Gardens on Sunday afternoon (5 May).
The dog was dehydrated, starving, covered in painful wounds and suffering from a skin infection.

Animal Rescue Officer Karen Hogg collected the dog and took him to a local vet for treatment before transporting him to the Scottish SPCA’s Aberdeenshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre at Drumoak, where he has been given the name Conan.

Assistant Manager Debbie Innes said:

“We don’t know whether Conan has escaped from home or been abandoned by his previous owner, but it’s clear he has been severely neglected. A dog of Conan’s size and type should weigh around 28kgs but he’s only just 20kgs.

“He was very hungry and thirsty when he first arrived but we’ve been giving him small, regular meals and he’s eating well. His skin is red and inflamed and his wounds are painful to touch indicating he is likely to have been kept in dirty living conditions and on hard ground.

“Conan is responding well to treatment and painkillers are keeping him comfortable.  We can’t understand why anyone would treat an animal in this way, it’s heartbreaking.

 “Despite everything he’s been through Conan is a sweet-natured and gentle dog who has lots of love inside him and, once he’s recovered from this awful ordeal, we’ll be looking to find him a loving new home.”

Causing an animal unnecessary suffering is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. Anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life. Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.

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Mar 282013

By Suzanne Kelly.

It’s the Easter Open Day at the Willows on Sunday, 31st March, with a coffee shop, gift shop, and second-hand book stall.

There are all sorts of other attractions: a raffle, tombolas, live music, Lucky Ducks, and bottle stalls.

There’s also a Body Shop stall, homebakes, a craft table, and lots more. So come along and join the fun!

Willows Animal Sanctuary is at Lambhill Farm, Strichen, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire AB43 6NY.

Further information: –

Reg. Charity No. SCO29625 Tel. 01771 653112 email

Mar 212013

By Bob Smith.

Neist time yer doon in the cinter o Aiberdeen jist hae a wee keek at the filthy state o the pavements. Fit ye’ll see wull fair scunner ye.
Chuddy, fag eyns, bitties o polystyrene, pyocks an at the wikk-eyns lots o spue. Noo fin fowk are in their ane hames am bliddy sure they widna chukk ony o iss stuff doon on the kitchen fleer or in the livin room.

They’d maist likely git a richt owergaan fae their mithers, better-haafs or pairtners an telt ti pit it in the waste or kitchie bins, so fit wye div a nummer o orra tykes fling aathing doon on the grun fin there’s waste bins about ivvery 50-75 yairds or so on the pavements o the main streets.

If fowk wint tae hae their daily “fix” o the nicotine drug aats their business, aa jist wid ask them nae tae leave ahint their discardit bitties o “needles”. A maan say a fin it keerious fin fowk huddle aroon the doorwyes o their placies o wark even if it’s cumin doon hailwatter an puff awa like choochin billies, syne throw their tabbies doon near the doorwye fin they cwid stub it oot an tak it back inside an pit it in a  waste backet.

Lazy buggers the lot o them!!

A sometimes think  the hail o Aiberdeen’s chuddy chawers maan walk up and doon Union Street, either aat, or a gang o pinters wi  dreepin tins o emulsion. The amoont o fite splatches on the planesteens is myn bogglin.

Eence mair a pit iss doon tae sheer laziness cos they canna be ersed leukin fer the nearest waste bin or they’re ower bliddy thick tae ken ony better.

As ma mither wid hae said, “They’re showin their upbrochtness”.

Fin it cums tae the bitties o polystyrene an pyocks, iss is aften doon tae skweelkids faa aet on the hoof. Noo some o them hiv gweed intinshuns an bung the mait containers an pyocks in the airt o the waste bin, bit mair than afen miss. The win dis the rest.

Some fowk blame the faist grub placies, sweetie shoppies, an fag sellers fer aa iss mess bit it’s nae them faa fling fit they sell ye doon on the pavement!!

Fit ye fin on the planesteens  an in shop doorwyes efter a wikk-eyn o binge drinkin bi the young an the nae sae young wid hae an auld spinster fintin on the spot.

Lots o spue, used dick hats, signs o piss, even the odd pair o knickers. Noo I hinna  bin brave aneuch ti stroll doon Union Street or aroon the ceety cinter on a Friday or Setterday nicht fer ‘ears an ‘ears bit a hiv aa iss on gweed authority fae  a younger freen faa noo an again his a dander aroon at the wikk eyns.

We keep hearin Aiberdeen maan move intae the 21st century. If we canna tidy up oor act maybe it’s time we turn’t the clock BACK. 

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Nov 302012

You can help brighten the cold, dark winter months by attending the latest events and fundraising at Willows Animal Sanctuary. Attractions include a Victorian Fayre and an auction featuring a guitar donated by the legendary Brian May. With thanks to Suzanne Kelly

VICTORIAN FAYRE on 01 December

Willows Animal Sanctuary is Aberdeenshire’s largest shelter for wild, domestic and farm animals of all kinds.

Normally closed during winter months, it will hold a Victorian Themed Christmas Fayre on Saturday 01 December from 11.00am-3.30pm.
The event will be held rain or shine under cover in the barn.

Santa will be there 1.00-1.45pm at a cost of £2.50 per child!

 The following treats will also be on offer:

  • Holly & Ivy for sale!
  • Home bakes!
  • Live music!
  • Body Shop Stall!
  • Festive table!
  • Treats for pets!
  • Book clearance!
  • Re loved toy table!
  • Jewellery!
  • Mulled wine and mince pies!
  • Roasted Chestnuts & Tatties!
  • Raffle & Tombola!
  • Community carol singing 2pm!
  • Victorian Style Decorations!
  • Lots of great gifts for sale!
  • Stocking fillers!
  • Calendars & Cards!
  • Handmade Christmas cards & gifts!



Legendary Queen guitarist (and astrophysicist) Brian May has donated an autographed guitar for which the sanctuary is holding an open auction. People are asked to bid either by post or email and the auction ends on 23 December.

Stay informed on current bids on the Willows Facebook page:

Jenny Gray of Willows said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have Brian May’s support. It is so very kind of Brian and we hope it will attract lots of bids!”

May contacted Willows following the involvement as a Patron of the sanctuary of his friend Paul Rodgers.

May commented on his support for Willows:

“I hope this trusty guitar will contribute to improving the life of these wonderful animals.”

May is not only known for his music but for his unflagging work across a number of charities and animal issues. He has recently lent his support against the proposed badger cull meant to help combat bovine TB. The controversial culls have met widespread criticism, not least from scientists and bovine TB experts.

For those interested in the guitar, its features include:

• Brian May printed signature on headstock.
• Brian May real signature on lower left bout of the guitar
• Mahogany body (with acoustic chamber) with Pinstripe binding
• New two-piece scratch plate
• Mahogany neck
• 24″ scale (Depth: 22mm at 1st fret … 24mm at 12th fret)
• 24 fret – ebony fingerboard (width 45mm at 0 fret … 57mm at 24th fret)
• Grover GH305 locking tuners
• Dual truss rod
• Graphite nut
• New Wilkinson bridge & steel saddles
• New bridge & brass saddles
• BM Custom Vibrato arm
• 3 x Burns Tri-Sonic pickups (series wired)
• Master Volume & Tone controls
• Original BM switching system
• Individual pickup IN/OUT phase plus Individual pickup ON/OFF
• Plush-lined guitar carry bag

For further details, call Willows at 01771 653112 or email

You can also check their website at

Willows Animal Sanctuary is situated on the B9093 between New Pitsligo and Strichen

May 172012

With thanks to Suzanne Kelly.

Kate at Willows Animal Sanctuary has updated Aberdeen Voice with the latest news, including an open day and some dramatic equine rescues.

An open day will be held on 26th May at Willows Animal Sanctuary from 11:30 to 5pm.

You are invited to come and meet the staff and residents of Willows and enjoy:

  •    LIVE MUSIC!
  •    GIFT SHOP!

Come along and meet all your favourite furry friends!

While animals all over the UK are experiencing problems, here are some tales of equine work that Willows has been doing locally:

Early in 2012 Willows received a call about the plight of three miniature Shetland Ponies that had been abandoned on one of the Shetland Islands.  Their owner had neglected the ponies and then simply moved away, with the result that they had been seized by Shetland Island Council and were subject to legal proceedings.

We learned that one of the ponies was a young stallion named Faramir, who had at an earlier date been rescued from being sold for slaughter.  We were told that he was very badly behaved around other ponies and arrangements were about to be made to have him put down. Another of the ponies was named Carly and she was expecting a foal which had been sired by Faramir.

The third pony, called Defiant, was also facing an uncertain future.  We agreed to save all three ponies and they undertook a fourteen hour boat trip from Shetland to Aberdeen where they were picked up and transported to Willows. They were checked by our vet and were so riddled with worms that the worms were visible on the poor ponies’ bottoms!

Here is a short film of their arrival at Willows.

They all settled in well, and Defiant already has a new home, while Faramir has been beautifully behaved and Carly is quietly awaiting her happy event!

Tor came to Willows because he suffers very badly from sweet itch, which is an allergic response to midge bites. His owners were desperate to find him a home where there were not too many midges.  He is a lovely gentle horse, but when he arrived and was inspected by our vet it was agreed that he was the most overweight horse that any of us had ever seen.

He was immediately placed on a restricted diet as he was in imminent danger of developing laminitis, a disease which affects horses’ feet, and is linked to over-feeding.  When he has been reduced to a more svelte outline Tor will be available for rehoming!

 Humphrey’s neglected feet were beginning to turn up and he was riddled with both worms and lice.

Humphrey the donkey came to Willows with a Shetland pony companion called Dennis because they were no longer wanted.   He had been bought – with much enthusiasm but little knowledge – as a children’s pet, and had ended up just being left out in a muddy field all winter.

No proper attention had been paid to him – his neglected feet were beginning to turn up and he was riddled with both worms and lice. Humphrey and his shetland pony friend Dennis will become permanent residents here at Willows and will be able to enjoy the happy life that they deserve.

Prince was the much loved pet of a lady who, due to a change in her circumstances, found herself unable to keep him.  Prince travelled down from Shetland with the three rescued miniature Shetland ponies and has settled in well.

Clyde was the deeply loved pet of a young woman who had, sadly, been diagnosed with cancer.  Her distraught mother was desperate to find a safe home for this much loved pony and rang Willows in desperation – she had rung a large horse charity and asked for their help, only to be told that she should have Clyde put down!  She told Willows of her plight, whilst sobbing her heart out and begged us to take him as we were her last hope!

We agreed of course, and are happy to report that Clyde has settled in well and is enjoying his time at Willows.

As a registered charity, Willows relies on your donations to continue its ever-increasing work supporting rescued wild, domestic and farm animals, and all contributions will be welcomed.

See how you can donate by visiting our website at

Willows Animal Sanctuary is situated on the B9093 between New Pitsligo and Strichen.