We have many bovines living at The Retreat,  all have been saved from the slaughterhouse. The cows natural lifespan is around 20 years. These are wonderful, family animals who form very strong bonds, have remarkable memories, can 'problem solve' and are full of joy and love. 

Very little exists for bovines apart from the horrors of ruthless exploitation and slaughter. Our rescue family may be just be a drop in the ocean but it means everything to them to be offered a place of safety and have a life worth living.

At The Retreat Animal Rescue & Sanctuary we have all different types of animals that have been rescued from almost certain death.


Our large family of pigs come from many different backgrounds. 


Some were family pets no longer loved, others found stray, friendly little souls abandoned because no longer the cute attraction they once were.

Some are ex-breeding pigs and some saved from markets.​ Pigs are as intelligent as dogs but are treated with no respect. 


The 'underdogs' of animal rescue. Poor chickens are kept in tiny huts in gardens to produce the daily egg with very little idea of the needs of these wonderfully clever birds.


At The Retreat we can see their special bonds in the groups they choose, our birds live in a safe 24hr-free-range enclosure so that they can have as near to a natural life as possible.


There is also a steady flow of male birds coming to us.


​Same old stories, breeders telling people the chicks they are selling are girls when in fact they are boys, then neighbours complain when the boys are noisy.

The lucky ones make it to The Retreat. 


There is also a steady flow of birds coming to us. Many turkeys live with us, their natural lifespan is around ten years.


Contrary to popular myth turkeys are intelligent, social animals, they like to play and have a large vocabulary, they recognise each other by their voices and individual features.


At The Retreat live a number of dogs who have failed in almost all other environments. The Retreat offers dogs the time to recover from the malice of man.


No dog is ever rushed, or given up on, during their journey to rediscover a friendly and loving hand of help. The picture shows some of our canine residents enjoying a dog walk.  

Please note at The Retreat's rescue sites we have no facilities for stray or unwanted dogs. In order to help dogs we support grass root no-kill rescues in the UK, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Ireland and Puerto Rico.


We have lots of feral cats come to The Retreat.​


Ferals are constantly having to be trapped and neutered to avoid even more babies who would struggle to survive.

Volunteers from The Retreat also participate in overseas projects where street cats are trapped, vet checked, sterilised and released back to their colonies.


At The Retreat, we have a large number of equines who were unwanted for different reasons. Generally the dear, loyal horse is regarded as a much loved pet, or sports equipment, until the day they cannot be ridden, then are disposed of like outgrowing a bike or replacing an old car. 


Some of our horses were found sick and stray, abandoned by their guardians. We try to rehome as many as possible to free up room to help more.


Most of The Retreat's sheep were either strays or unwanted pets.

Sheep are easy animals to love and look after, they have very good memories, are ingenious, are interested in everything you do and simply love each other.

Some of our nursing mothers have taken on orphan babies as if they were their own. Their natural lifespan is 8-15 years.

Ducks & Geese

At The Retreat, small groups of ducks come to us

not wanted for one reason or another. There are also big old geese who are too noisy or scary so again they are given up.

All these birds need runs, ponds, houses etc, this all costs money which never arrives with the birds!


Ferrets are cheap to buy so when they are being used for hunting and don't return from down a hole, or if they wander off, they are simply left behind.

We get our fair share of these wonderful creatures, they do not remain at The Retreat but are neutered and then re-homed.


The comediens of animal welfare. Goats usually arrive at The Retreat from being failed pets. They will make a meal of anything apart from what you want them to eat.


​Goats accept new members to their family and the love affair is like its been for a lifetime. Extremely clever animals who need very little to keep them happy.

Small animals

We offer placements to unwanted pets such as rabbits, mice, rats, chipmunks, fish etc. 

We feel education is vital to the well-being of these amazing creatures so advice on housing, diet, company and lifestyle choice is something we take very seriously, for the sake of these souls who will spend the rest of their lives in captivity.

Memorial Garden

The memorial garden is on your left as you enter the Retreat and is dedicated to all our animal friends that have passed away. 

Leave a lasting legacy by planting a tree, a plaque, or free of charge write on the memorial book.

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



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 |