The Retreat was born in 1989 out of frustration at the way the human race treats animals. A rescue centre which would save tormented, abused, sick, injured and unwanted animals from certain death was therefore founded.

Some of our residents include: ex-race horses, ex-riding school ponies, injured live export sheep, cows saved from slaughter, ex-petting farm goats, injured birds, ferrets, Christmas turkeys, worn-out battery hens, disabled non-releasable wildlife, fish, small domestics, old or feral and FIV cats, and dogs who have failed behaviour tests in other dog homes.

We offer specialised care for the animals who we take in. We are a not-for-profit organisation and all the Trustees and most of the volunteers being vegan.

All funds raised go to the welfare of the animals, being cared for. We also use the funds for The Retreat's facilities and where possible, animals are re-homed in permanent, loving homes.

The Retreat operates a genuine no-kill policy.

Our site accommodates our main rescue centre and, wildlife hospital to deal with most animal intakes and emergencies, together with our permanent horses, cows and sheep residents.

We now have ample room to care for more animals, our intensive and equine re-homing centre, along with care-for-life wildlife and exotics.


The number of animals being cared for by The Retreat is over 1,000 at any one time.

We believe all animals deserve to be equally treated and free. 

We strive for a vegan world where no animal suffers and all live a happy life.

Our Mission

The Retreat finds the continued exploitation, abuse, bullying, violence against and murder of animals in today's society totally degrading and unacceptable.

We are pressing for a more enlightened world where humans remember their dignity and show  compassion and love to all others, regardless of sex, race, age, gender, disability or species.


Our Aims

The Retreat offers much needed support to all animals - farmed, domestic and wild. Our aims are to educate the public that all animals need commitment, love and respect, also that animals should be neutered to avoid more unwanted litters, and are given the care they need. 

​By rehoming animals we can free space to rescue more abused animals.


All the animals are given the time, veterinary care and love they need to recover before being re-homed.​ If a suitable home cannot be found they are never killed, they simply stay at The Retreat for the rest of their lives.

The Team

Billy | Founder & Project Director

Lil | Trustee & Cafe Volunteer

Scott | Duty Manager

Neil | Head Chef

Rose | Duty Manager

Alfie | Youth Volunteer Coordinator

Kate | Horse Carer

TB Sue | Transporter

Gina | Horse Team Secretary

Sandra, Amelia, Sophie, Cathy & Ellie | Weekend Horse Carers

Sally & Mark | Field Marshals

Sue and Ronnie | Fundraisers

Harry | Cafe's Chief Bottle Wash

Pj | Wildlife

Yvonne | Cafe Team Leader

Sorrell | Farm Animal Carer

Angie | Senior Horse Carer

Charlie | Part-time Horse Carer

Kathy | Trustee & Saturday Thrift Shop Team

Mandi, Pash and Sam (left to right) | Saturday horse team

Sam | Farm Animal Carer

Sue B | HR & Sunday Thrift Shop Team

Marion | Horse Carer

Morag | Farm Carer

Matthew | Animal Carer

Cara | Treatment Zone and Trustee

Will | Maintenance & DIY

Dave | Maintenance & Photography

Jo | Maintenance & Photography

Val | Thrift Shop Coordinator

John | The Retreat's Digger man

Shelley | Animal Care Assistant

Chris | Café

Poonam | Senior Cat Fosterer

Zoe | Treatment Area

Jan | Cat Team

Sarah | Horse Team

Thirza | Horse Team

Fran | Horse Team

Janette | Transporter

Leeanna Rose | Horse Team

Sophie | Cat Team

Lloyd | Farm Team

Ann-Marie | Thrift Shop & Craft Artist

Nicky | Hospital Area

Jeneen | Homechecker

Sam | Farm Animal Carer

Let's double in size

With 1,250+ animal residents and 20,000+ animals saved over our 30 years of operation, there's land on sale next to The Retreat and we have to double in size so we can help many more animals! For them.
All they need is your help <3

HELP us help them AT:


We Need Your Support Today!

The Retreat Animal Rescue & Sanctuary
est. 1989

The Retreat

Brickyard Farm, Cripple Hill
High Halden, Kent, TN26 3LJ, UK



For generic enquiries:

+44 (0)7514 114613

For animal rescue emergencies:

+44(0)7720 495238

Registered Charity: 1105654

Visit Us

Free Entry & Parking

Thursdays 12:00 - 16:00

Fridays 12:00 - 16:00

Saturdays 12:00 - 16:00

Sundays 12:00 - 16:00

(March to November every year)

Go to our Visit page for more info

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The Retreat offers much needed support to all animals - farmed, domestic and wild.

© 2020 by The Retreat Animal Rescue. Registered Charity: 1105654

Kathy | Trustee & Saturday Thrift Shop Team