Holly Hedge

Providing shelter from harm and the promise of a brighter future

A Brief History

Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary was first registered as a charity in 1982 and was known as ‘Animal Concern’ it was run by Pauline Leeson (our founder) who worked from her own home with the support of foster carers – her aim has always been to provide a safe haven for cats and dogs (and sometimes rabbits) until loving, permanent and responsible new owners can be found; and this continues to be the purpose of the Charity today.

Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary (as it is now known) in Barrow Gurney, opened its gates to unwanted, abandoned and often mistreated animals in March 1992, up until this time the site at Barrow Gurney had been run as a private kennels. This transformation from private kennels to an animal charity was due to a large financial gift from one of our most generous benefactors, Esmi Berni, her gift enabled ‘Animal Concern’ to purchase the site and become ‘Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary’ as we know it today (registered charity number 294606).

A further gift, again very generously left to us by Esmi Berni in her Will, enabled us to knock down the dilapidated and run down kennels and buildings and replace them with more up to date, efficient and comfortable quarters – since that time the charity has saved thousands of animals and continued to update, revamp or replace old kennels and cat pens. This has also been made possible by the support of a local corporate supporter, without their support in recent years we wouldn’t be the Charity that we are today.

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