Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary is a registered charity situated close to Antrim in Northern Ireland. The sanctuary has been a registered charity since 1996 and is the only welfare and rescue organisation for horses and ponies in Northern Ireland.
We provide volunteering opportunities, work experience, Animal Assisted Therapy, Education.
To relieve the suffering and distress of animals in need of care and protection by reason of sickness, neglect or maltreatment, by establishing and maintaining a sanctuary for such animals.
To advance the education of the general public in the proper care of animals.
It is proposed that these objectives are achieved by providing:-
- An assessment of the animals mental and physical condition involving veterinary advice
- Physical and mental rehabilitation of the animals.
- Identify suitable homes and match animals accordingly.
- Provide educational opportunities for animal owners.
Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary (CLAS) is a registered charity situated close to Antrim in Northern Ireland. The sanctuary has been a registered charity since 1996 and is the only welfare and rescue organisation for horses and ponies in Northern Ireland.
Registered Charity No. XR16305
A Message from Our Founder
Once upon a time there were two horses called Kim and Candy. Sadly that was where the fairytale ended. Their story is the story of Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary, or at least the beginnings of it. The failure of the animal welfare system in Northern Ireland to look after Kim and Candy prompted me to apply for charitable status in 1996. The subsequent years have been full of heartache, tears, anger and ultimately triumph. I promised myself that, whilst Kim and Candy had been failed by the welfare system and the ignorance of the rescue centre they were placed in, the horses, ponies and donkeys who came into the care of CLAS would never be denied the love and attention they so desperately deserved.
We, and I stress ‘we’ as I always envisaged CLAS as everyone’s sanctuary, now have 40 horses and ponies in foster homes across Northern Ireland and another 20 with us awaiting adoption. The last 14 years certainly have not been easy but have made us all the more determined to improve the situation in Northern Ireland.
Ignorance is a great stumbling block and time and time again we have found ourselves up against it. It is ignorance that allows an eight month old terrified and starved filly foal to be walled up in a dark, dirty shed for months. It is ignorance that allows another filly foal to be exhibited at a horse fair event, even though she was so weak with malnutrition and dehydration she could barely stand. And it is ignorance that allows a trotting horse to be driven to his death on a public road. Old habits die hard and attitudes are firmly entrenched but we are determined to fight on to make Northern Ireland a better place for all animals.
In the meantime, however, we will continue with our educational and cross community approach to animal welfare. Through our workshops, training days and Saturday Club (for children), we hope that the next generation of animal owners will be wiser and more informed than this one.
Our story isn’t all doom and gloom though. We have the support of many kind people, friends and volunteers who keep the sanctuary running. We also have many success stories. The filly foal walled up in misery and filth now has a super home and the little foal from the fair is also now a strapping lass in a home. We may have helped these horses but their triumphs are down to them. They are a testimony to the resilience of animals to overcome psychological and physical abuse. Their ability to forgive mankind for the terrible deeds inflicted upon them is surely one of the most amazing phenomena of life.
Our work has taught us many lessons, some of them humbling, some of them inspiring, all of them worth learning. Our motto is ‘Hope for the future: Help us trust Again’ and it will be for as long as it takes to make a difference in Northern Ireland. We realise that we cannot change the world but that doesn’t stop us trying.
Lyn Friel; Founder and Manager of Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary
Frequently asked questions
I emailed you two days ago and you still haven't responded, why?
I phoned today but no one answered; is there no one there?
How are you funded?
Crosskennan is entirely funded by public donations. Our annual funding requirement is now approximately £200,000. We have no income from national or local authority and no national or parent charity to draw funds from. We rely solely on the goodwill of people such as yourselves to help us to take care of all our animals as well as grant giving bodies.
How can I donate things to the sanctuary?
What things can I donate to the sanctuary?
Animal Food: We can take advantage of most donated animal food. If for some reason we cannot use it ourselv es, we will ensure that other animals in need benefit from your generousity. Fresh fruit and vegetables are always welcome for our birds and equines.
Bedding: We have a never-ending need for bedding! This can be blankets, towels, sheets and other similar materials that we can use to make beds.
Items For Selling: The items we can sell include unwanted gifts, good quality bric-a-brac, household items, etc.
What animals do you have?
Do you ever put an animal to sleep?
Unfortunately this comes with life, but our policy is that we never put a healthy animal to sleep. We ethunaise only on veterinary advice as well as a consultation with the team.
Do you Rehome all the animals?
No, some of our animals are assessed as being unsuitable for rehoming. We offer sanctuary to these animals for their lifetimes - the same goes for animals that have been unsuccessful in finding a suitable home. The Sanctuary becomes their home and the staff and volunteers become their family. We treat every animal at the sanctuary like one of our own pets.
Why are some animals Permanent Residents?
Health complaints or injuries that make them expensive to care for.
Mental scars from previous experiences leaving them with behavioural problems.
Bonds with other permanent residents that cannot be broken.
Bonds with the sanctuary environment and the people there.
Where do your animals come from?
Each case is different but all of our animals have come to us as a rescue in some form. Most of our residents have been found abandoned or come to us after being rescued from their previous homes where they were mistreated or faced neglect. We also have some animals that come to us as private handovers/unwanted pets but we have to limit this if we can.
Why don't you take in unwanted pets?
Do you ever get puppies/kittens? Can you call me when they come in?
We do get puppies and kittens in at the sanctuary, but as you can imagine this is a very popular request and we don't have capacity to contact everyone. We will post on our Facebook page and on our website when we are looking for homes for Puppies or Kittens. The same rules apply for rehoming puppies/kittens as they do for adult animals.
If I am interested in a breed will you call me when one comes into the centre?
Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to do this. We would recommend keeping an eye on our website and our social media pages.
Is the sanctuary open all year?
What can I expect to see if I visit?
What is an AAT Visit?
Is the Sanctuary accessible to wheelchair users?
Can I bring my dog?
No, you cannot bring your dog into the sanctuary when visiting. We have a few events on throughout the year where well behaved dogs are welcome to visit the sanctuary. They must be kept under control on a short lead.
Can I bring my children to the Sanctuary?
Who can rehome an animal from you?
How can I rehome an animal from you?
We believe that there is an animal to suit everyone, but sometimes it can take time to find the perfect match. We recomend anyone interested in rehoming contact us via an application form if required or by email. We cannot guarantee we will have an animal to suit your requirements or skill level.
Why would I rehome a Rescue animal?
There are many reasons why re-homing a rescue from Crosskennan is more rewarding than purchasing. The main one being you are providing a better life and a secure future for an animal that maybe hasn't had the best start in life.
Are the rescue animals healthy?
All Animals at the sanctuary receive extra loving care and feeding program is devised. Vet checks, dental checks and treatment, and hoof care as appropriate. NO information is hidden from prospective adopters. Any past injuries/conditions and any little quirks or vices are made known in an effort to match every animal to the perfect home.
Can you give me a full history on an animal?
Can I fill out the equine rehoming application online?
Could I be turned down for rehoming an animal?
What is Home from Home Rehoming?
What if it doesn't work out?
Can I take my new pet home on the same day?
Can I rehome from out of Northern Ireland?
Yes, we have many animals that have been rehomed further afield than Northern Ireland. We have rehomed to the Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Germany and Austria!
Can you email me more details about an animal, or photos?
If we have anymore information we will pass that along. Unfortunately the Sanctuary can be extremely busy so it can be difficult to get more photos or videos.