About The Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary

The Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary admits & rehomes over 500 animals every year. Since opening in 1967, we have proudly managed to help over 25,000 animals find their forever home.

At any one time, we have around 60 dogs, 90 cats and kittens plus a number of rabbits and guinea pigs. We also care for our permanent guests of goats, a horse and a little Shetland pony.

We were founded to be inclusive, understanding and a place where any animal was welcome.

Many of our animals come to us from difficult backgrounds. Some arrive with acute behavioural needs and some have immediate medical needs. We deal with each case individually and start by earning their trust and understanding their needs.

We hold our ’non-destruction policy’ as a core principle for our work. This means that we will never put a healthy animal down and work to find each one a forever home.

Where this is not possible, due to behavioral issues for example, the Sanctuary is their home and our staff and volunteers give them as close to a pet’s life as possible. They are our sponsor animals.

The Sanctuary Family

We have just 21 employees (some full and some part-time.)

We’re dedicated to our animals and 85% of our staff work directly with them. This way, we dedicate the majority of our income to one-to-one animal care. We rely on only three people to manage all administrative tasks, so you can be assured that your donation goes straight to where it counts – our animals.

Many of our animals simply need love and someone to spend time with them. We prefer to keep the ratio of staff to animals as low as possible so we can uphold this way of working. This is particularly important given that some of our animals are long-term residents and have become part of our family.

We have a dedicated team of staff who work 365 days a year and all are committed to delivering health, happiness and ensuring our animals thrive.

We love what we do and are eternally grateful to our staff, donors, supporters and volunteers for the amazing contributions they make to benefit our animals.

Image credits: Chris Lord, Marie-Claire Parker Photography, Alex Agass and all Sanctuary staff – Thank you

Our History

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.

Since then, thousands of animals have found a refuge at Stadhampton. Some have been with us only a short while before being adopted by a new owner. Others have had to wait much longer, whilst for a few, the Sanctuary has been a “home” for the rest of their days.

Over the years, as more and more strays and unwanted pets have been brought to us, the Society has had to increase the kennelling at Stadhampton.

Financial problems have plagued us all too frequently, but somehow, with your help, we have survived.

Through the generosity of Sybil Morley and thousands of other friends, we are today caring for more animals than ever before.

Sadly, Miss Gray passed away in March 2017, aged 100 but her legacy lives on and we continue to deliver the best level of care for our animals thanks to the support of the people of Oxfordshire and beyond.