The Phoenix Pet and Wildlife Sanctuary (formerly PAWS) is staffed by two dedicated
people with over sixty combined years experience in animal care covering most species.
The Sanctuary grew out of our concern over the rising tide of cruelty, and the vanishing
hedgerows and countryside that is destroying the native habitats of our wildlife.
It has been rather a distressing start to spring, still missing Ruby very much, and
with more losses – our three guinea pigs all close together, however they were all
pretty ancient; and our dear bearded dragon, Pogo. We had no idea how old he was
and most likely he was rather old too as the last few moults he did not grow at all.
Even so, it is sad to lose friends, and most traumatic was the sudden death of our
lovely crow, Corvus on April 19th. As he was fine in the morning, and not a sign
of anything wrong, we concluded it must have been his heart. Also didn't know how
old he was and were not able to find anything about how long crows live, in the wild
or in captivity, but thank you to Margaret we now have this interesting information.
We are pretty upset about Corvus and more so as Paul has now half built his aviary
and we were looking forward to moving him into it.
Our other crow, Colin, decided one Sunday that he would take the opportunity when
the door was opened for cleaning, to fly out and off. Although pleased he was able
to fly so well, it was a slight concern that he has only one one good leg, the other
was crippled by the dog that attacked him. Hopefully he will manage and other crows
will accept him.
Also distressing was the 'mystery' of the sale of the cottage of our one nice neighbour
adjoining the paddock. Dougie died in August 2014 and his cottage has been empty
since then. We have looked after his pond and fish – at our own expense – for all
that time and actually before, since he became ill early in 2014. His daughter handled
everything but strangely claimed she did not know even the name of the buyer as she
only dealt with the solicitor!!! The sale went through at the end of March and despite
ridiculous attempts to make sure nobody knows, everyone in the village is aware the
unpleasant people backing onto our paddock have bought it! Maybe secrecy means they
are actually ashamed that already having a large house etc, so no intention of living
in the cottage, they are greedily doing someone out of an ideal first time buy.
The first thing they did was get people in to put up a huge fence all along our boundary,
and we were just in time to stop them removing our fence, which we told the workmen
was definitely to stay as the new owner did not own that fence! We insisted they
put back what they had already damaged and made good, which they did. Since then,
nothing has been done apart from them sneaking round when we are not there to close
curtains or open windows. Most distressing, the pond is now being neglected and no
sign of the fish even being fed! Clearly they do not care about the fish despite
the wife claiming to be an 'expert' in animal welfare; whereas Paul is a fish expert
having trained in his youth at a then renowned fish emporium in London, where he
travelled all over attending to the maintenance of fish units in the homes of many
rich and famous folk. We actually offered to take all the fish but Dougie's daughter
said the buyer wanted to keep them! Why, when they are not caring for them?
The whole thing is quite bizarre but even more distressing, Dougie's daughter told
us on her final visit that she was 'putting something in the post for us, for caring
for the pond/fish all that time'. Nothing has arrived! It would have been better
if she had said nothing rather than deliberately lying. And of course, we could
have done with it.
Now to nicer events, more pigeons taken in, two wood pigeons on the same day! Apple
and Pear settled together and doing well. Pear may need to stay as there is doubt
about one wing, but Apple, like some of our other pigeons, decided he had recovered
enough and released himself when the door was opened, flying straight up into a huge
tree. It was rather nice to see three other wood pigeons (former residents?) join
We also have another 'character', a beautiful white pigeon called Walter. Walter
was hand reared and has no fear of humans. Like Walnut, he is an avid hand nibbler.
Proving to be a lovely companion for Moonlight, he enjoys daily interaction with
us too. Each pigeon is different, they all have their own special behaviours. They
are certainly not dumb or lacking intelligence and it is interesting to see how each
Our 'Wood Pigeon Cafe' attracts quite an array of visitors now, from small birds
to crows, jackdaws and magpies, plus a cheeky squirrel. And of course, our released
birds know where there is a food and water supply should they need it.
Our usual April birthdays were sadly reduced this year due to losses, however, the
triplets celebrated their third birthday in style, with the usual treat of shortbread
We introduce a lovely new resident. As we had the ideal unit that came with Pogo,
Paul totally revamped it and we now have a baby bearded dragon, Jaffa, who has a
slightly deformed rear foot. Jaffa is a tangerine dragon, very pretty and he is
doing well, eating well, has doubled in size already and enjoying attention. Photos
of Jaffa follow here.
Finally, another first for us, our first pheasant! Phil the Phez was brought in
by a lady who found him in the road, unsure if he was hit by a car or what happened
to him. She was able to just pick him up, unusual, but maybe he was raised in a
hatchery for the awful shooting mob? If so, he is safe now. Phil seemed unhurt,
apart from his poor tail, or rather, what should have been his beautiful tail. He
has a rather ragged stump and will need to stay with us until it regrows. What a
stunning bird, the colours of his feathers are amazing. He is very calm and now,
over any shock, is eating well. At the moment he shares a unit with Hermione the
tortoise, and they get on fine, he seems to like her and sits beside her, but on
completion of the new aviary, we will now have our first occupant.
The weather is still a bit uncertain, with some nice sunny warm days but also a lot
of rain and very strong winds, and sometimes cold again. Our wild birds and animals
still need some help with food and water put out for them, many of them rely on a
regular supply with young to feed and ever disappearing habitats. We have several
hedgehogs turning up nightly to help themselves from food we put out for stray cats;
hedgehogs particularly need a lot of help now, their population has declined hugely.
However, even with the cold weather, the swallows are returning and we have a pair
nesting again in the stable.
Our thanks to all our supporters and fund-raisers. Back soon with more news from
SANCTUARY NEWS - SPRING 2016
Registered Non-Profit making Organisation, No. 4914413 (Est. 29.09.03)