• Aurora Collective

Say hello to the heroes at Oxford Animal Sanctuary, who have helped over 27,000 animals!

Updated: Nov 18

With every pet portrait session booked with us, 10% is donated to this wonderful sanctuary. Last year the team visited the sanctuary, this gave us the opportunity to meet the staff that worked so hard daily to make the animals comfortable and help them find a forever home. Check out our interview with Iain below!

When did OAS start and why?

In the very early days of The Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary Society, the founding members rescued stray animals and housed them in boarding kennels and catteries.

In 1967, during a very cold Christmas, the Oxford Mail published a picture of Miss Gray feeding hay to the ponies on Port Meadow. That picture was seen by Miss Sybil Morley who asked to meet Miss Gray as she was so moved by what the Society was trying to do for the animals.

Miss Sybil Morley made a gift of £1,000 and later she offered a further £5,000 hoping it would buy a place where the Society could have its own Sanctuary.

By good fortune, the South Oxfordshire Hunt had put on the market its property at Stadhampton, and Miss Morley’s gift enabled the Society to purchase the site. Volunteers helped to turn the stables and hounds’ quarters into suitable kennels and finally, in July 1970, 35 animals were moved from various boarding establishments around the County to become the first inhabitants of the present Sanctuary.

2. How many animals have you helped find homes?

Over 27000. This is roughly 500 a year.

Our records only became digital a few years ago and some of the records from the 70s to 90s are a little sketchy!

3. What are the perks of working at the sanctuary?

It’s great working with animals in general and there’s great satisfaction in rehoming animals to forever homes. Whilst this can be very rewarding, it is also very tough. It’s hard work for those working directly with animals and emotionally, a very tough job.

4. How can people help out?

Donations enable us to continue our work. We are 100% donor-funded so need all the financial support we can get. Setting up a regular donation starts from as little as £5 a month, so as little as one coffee and muffin for one day! This can be done via our website

You can also donate without it costing anything, with Give As You Live. Shop online from thousands of retailers and they donate a percentage to us.

We also accept towels and blanket as bedding donations and there are other ways to help here.

We do offer volunteer opportunities including work experience placements and cat/rabbit socializing. More details here. but due to COVID-19, we are currently closed to all visitors.

5. How long do the animals stay at your sanctuary?

We try to find homes as quickly as possible, ideally within a month or so, but sometimes it takes a little while, particularly for those who arrive with medical needs and/or behavioral challenges.

We are also a Sanctuary for some animals and have some dogs, goats, and a horse for whom this is their home. They are our sponsor animals.

6. How many animals do you have at the moment?

Typically, we have around 90 on-site at any time. At the moment, we have 65.

7. How do donations help the animals?

They are essential to our survival and our ability to help animals most in need.

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