Equine Day

International Non Ridden Equine Day 2019

Fri May 03 2019 23:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Thomas and Jake

Goodbye Old Friends

Tue Jan 22 2019 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Everyone who has visited Crosskennan has met Jake and Thomas, the long-term residents who helped so many people, whether it be with a child's first time pony ride or helping someone overcome their fear of horses. It is therefore with great sadness that we bring the news of their deaths. Jake and Thomas were great friends and it is fitting that they should both go together. Both ponies had developed Cushing's Disease, a dysfunction of the pituitary gland that causes, amongst other symptoms, laminitic changes in the feet leading to chronic lameness and pain. Sadly their condition could no longer be managed with pain relief and the hard decision was made to have them put to sleep together at Crosskennan.

Thomas came to us 20 years ago when he was about ten years old after a sanctuary volunteer, the late May Whitla, found him just as he was about to go for slaughter. Jake came to us about 15 years ago, when he was also about 10, after he was rescued from an uncertain future by a long time Crosskennan supporter Dorothy. Both ponies were great ambassadors for the sanctuary, helping teach young people to ride and groom as well as attending fetes, open days and school fairs.

We would like to thank everyone who has helped with Thomas and Jake over the years with particular mention going to Lily, Amiée and Cara who groomed them every weekend and provided them with extra care and attention in their last days. Also thank you to all the permanent staff at Crosskennan who cared for them and made sure their lives were filled with attention and love. Thomas and Jake will be greatly missed by everyone here and remembered fondly by countless other people across Northern Ireland. They will both be cremated and their ashes scattered at a later date at Crosskennan.


A Farewell

Mon Jan 07 2019 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

It is with a sad heart that we bring the news of the death of Spot, a long-term resident at the sanctuary, following a short illness. Spot came to us about 14 years ago after his owner managed to escape from an abusive marriage and wanted to make sure Spot had a place of safety as well. He was one of those dogs animal sanctuaries dread, the almost impossible to re-home. Due to his uncertain temperament and lack of socialisation with other dogs, he was passed over time and again.

We noticed a few days ago that Spot wasn’t his usual self and when he started to go off his food we took him over to Cedar Grove Vets in Belfast. Sadly his condition deteriorated rapidly and following a scan which revealed a lot of inflammation and infection relating to his pancreas the vet recommended euthanasia. Spot was an elderly dog, about 17 years old, and we felt that it would have been unfair to pursue further tests and treatment when the vet wasn’t confident of a positive outcome. He has been a part of Crosskennan for so long it is going to be very hard to adapt to life without him. He was first out of the kennels in the morning and he knew the routine so well. His day started early and ended usually well after midnight. He enjoyed rambling about the yard and through our recently dog-proofed fields and he was very content sitting in the sun under the trees. In many ways it is the end of an era and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Dogs Day Out!

Antrim Castle Gardens - 30th June 2018

Sun Dec 09 2018 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

What a brillant day had by all at our very first Dogs Day Out in aid of all the animals at the sanctuary. Wonderful day and despite the completely scorching weather we had an incredible turnout of pooches and their pawrents braving the heat and the sun. Lots of water bowls were about and the puppers were able to get a lovely frozen treat from Frozzy's.

Here's a Racing Tip for You!

The Grand National

Thu Aug 03 2017 23:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

The Grand National is one of the world’s most famous races, however, it is also one of the world’s most brutal races for the horses involved. Many horses won’t finish due to severe falls and injuries that essentially render them useless and end their racing career. Whilst some will lose their life on the course, discreetly hidden from view behind the ‘green screens of death’ used to shield the fatally injured horses being destroyed from the public. Can you think of any other sport on TV that shows a live stream of animals dying?

The infamous steeplechase will put horses through a punishingly long course, with a range of difficult, life threatening jumps. Many of the horses entered are not experienced or fit enough to take on such a huge challenge, but are deemed surplus to requirement and seen as an acceptable loss if they don’t make it – the owner of the horse will simply collect the insurance pay out, so they are guaranteed not to lose any money. Therefore, we are tipping the animal loving public to donate their stake to the organisations that step in, after the sport is over, to help those animals who did not make the grade. When the racing is over they are the odds on favourite to help those animals who did not make the grade.

Lucas and Solomon are just 2 of the many horses who were discarded from the race track once they were no longer profitable. Lucas came to Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary as a welfare case several years ago having been bred for the track across the pond in America and ended up in a terribly malnourished state in a meat yard much more locally in Belfast. Solomon was bred for racing but didn't make the grade; was abandoned in a field to starve with his 2 Thoroughbred companions - unfortunately he had to witness them slowly dying - yet kept vigil beside their emaciated corpses, knowing he would soon suffer the same fate. For his companions the call for help came too late, but thankfully we got to him in time! The pictures speak for themselves showing how these once highly valued horses can be cast aside once they are no longer seen as "winners". We slowly nursed both Lucas and Solomon back to health - recovery was slow, but thankfully both made a full recovery. Lucas has gone on to do very well in some local shows as well as helping with our group & animal therapy sessions. Lucas and Solomon are just two of the thousands of ex-racers and casualties of the equine welfare crisis but thankfully they are two of the lucky ones. Once again this year we are asking the punters of the Grand National to consider donating their stake to the charities that are left to pick up the pieces of this race and so many others like it across the world. Text BET to 70660 to pledge a donation of £5 or visit our page to help make a difference to the forgotten animals of this sport.

A Turkey is for Life!

Not Just for Christmas!

Wed Dec 21 2016 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

A TURKEY CAN BE FOR LIFE, NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS <3 Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary may be known for primarily rescuing horses, cats and dogs, however our latest arrivals have prompted us to ask people to “give the gift of caring” this Christmas by donating to our latest rescue mission! The lives of turkeys, HOLLY, IVY, BELLE, HOPE and NOELLE have been spared this Christmas, thanks to the sanctuary’s ongoing Chicken Rescue Programme which rescues and rehabilitates chickens - and now turkeys - that are deemed unsuitable for slaughter.

We’re also caring for 13 CUTE baby chicks that hatched in cramped broiler chicken house conditions and were ‘surplus to requirement.’ Crosskennan are delighted to have been given the opportunity to include Turkeys and baby chicks in their rescue programme. Speaking shortly after the rescue, our Founder and Manager, Lyn Friel said “We are very happy to have been in a position to offer these beautiful birds some compassion this Christmas. We have been working hard all year, rescuing broiler hens that aren’t suitable for slaughter, so when we heard these turkeys would also be killed and disposed of, we immediately offered to take them to be rehabilitated and rehomed as pets.” Crosskennan has previous experience of rescuing/rehoming turkeys and we're appealing to people who keep chickens as pets, with the added bonus of fresh cruelty free eggs, to consider introducing Turkeys to their flock. Lyn said “It’s become a big thing for people to take on battery hens, but we’re hoping people might also show an interest in broiler chickens or turkeys and will consider taking them on as pets too. We want to make them as popular as ex-battery hens!”

Research has shown that Turkeys and Chickens are just as intelligent as dogs and have the same cognitive abilities as a five year old child. They clearly demonstrate this with their excellent problem solving skills - a talent driven by their natural instinct to survive in challenging situations and inherited from their ancestral link to wild turkeys. Lyn explained the rescue birds have thrived, with each passing day as they were introduced to their new stimulating environment complete with their own garden, allowing them to live a naturally free lifestyle. “One of the things research told us is that these birds would have no personality. That’s NOT correct at all! Our birds are intelligent, inquisitive and they learn quickly. Within a week, they had learned to jump off the side of the horse box where they lived temporarily on arrival, and they now follow you out to the garden, which they’ve claimed as their own territory! It’s been so rewarding for all our volunteers to have played a part in giving these beautiful birds a much deserved second chance in life. We’re hoping the animal loving people of N. Ireland will make a donation to help give our Turkeys a very Happy Christmas – hopefully the first of many!” We are appealing for your help to cover the costs of rescuing and caring for the birds, now and in the future, by making a small donation towards their care: To pledge just 50p per week text CLUCK to 70660 to donate via text. *Texts cost £2 per month + standard SMS rate* Or you can donate via our justgiving page at – Alternatively, leave a message with us, including your contact details, on 02894 465384. THANK YOU :)

The 'Tail' of 5 orphaned pups.

10 years on!

Sun Mar 13 2016 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Last weekend marked a very special occasion for everyone at Crosskennan as we hosted the 10th Birthday Party for 5 beautiful Collie dogs that had come into our care as orphans 10 years ago. Lyn received a call asking for our assistance with some pups that were only a few days old. Their Mother had been killed in horrible circumstances and the fate of the pups now lay in Crosskennan’s hands. We immediately agreed to help but knew they had a long, hard road ahead of them and it would be a challenge to make sure we provided them with everything they would naturally have had from their Mum.

They required a lot of TLC, including bottle feeds every 2 hours, a constant source of heat until they could regulate their own body temperature and lots of cuddles to satisfy their need for maternal affection. Luckily all 5 pups survived and before long they had reached the stage of being able to eat solid food; their days consisted of playtime, cuddles, plenty of small feeds and even more naps! They were totally oblivious to the tragedy that had blighted the start of their lives and were beginning to progress with their toilet training and socialisation with other animals and people. Within a few weeks they were ready to rehome, but we knew we’d have to find extra special homes to trust with these precious little pups that we’d all become so attached to. It was very hard having to part with them, but one by one we found each of them a loving home with a family to call their own. We obviously kept in close contact with their new owners to make sure they continued to thrive away from their littermates and surrogate Mums. Before long it was their 1st Birthday, and to celebrate, we invited all 5 pups and their owners up to Crosskennan for a very emotional reunion! It was so rewarding to see how much they’d grown up and how adored they were by their new owners.

Jake, Ben, Toby, Poppy and Mac had all landed firmly on their furry feet. We were delighted when just a few weeks ago Jake’s owner, Mary, got in touch to remind us that their 10th Birthday was coming up and suggested we have another reunion party to celebrate the extraordinary lives of all 5 dogs. We loved the idea of being able to see them all together again after all this time, so with Mary’s help, their 10th Birthday Bonanza was organised complete with their very own special doggy birthday cake! It was an absolute delight seeing all 5 dogs together again – all having led healthy, happy and contented lives! We’d like to thank Mary for helping to organise the day and their cake, and also thank each of the pups owners for taking the time to bring all 5 rascals back to the sanctuary to celebrate their landmark birthday together. We could not have hoped for a happier ending to their story! #loverehoming Would you like to help us continue to rescue animals in need? If anyone can commit to just £1 a month, please text HELPCLAS to 70660 If you can give £3 a month then please send CLAS to 70660 For other amounts via direct debit click the link below and tick the "make this recurring" option THANKS!

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Raise Money

No Cost to You Donations

It costs you nothing!

Sun Feb 02 2014 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

If you make on-line purchases, at no additional cost to you, CLAS could benefit from a percentage! Interested? Please read on. How often do you shop on-line? Did you know by shopping on-line through the” Give as you live” website you could be earning lots of money for Crosskennan at absolutely no cost to you at all. Think of all the money you spent on-line last year, as I did, – it makes me cross that I did not know how much of my spending could have gone to help animals in Crosskennans care!!!!

Here’s a selection of companies and the donations they make:- Holiday Bookings Last (6.5%), Expedia (6%), ebrookers (2.5%), easyjet (1.5%), jet2 (1.5%), Aer Lingus (1.5%) and Flybe (0.45%), etc. Everyday Goods Next ((0.5%), Currys/PC World (1%), Apple Store (1%), Asda (2.75%), Tescos (1.5%), Sainsburys (3%), Body Shop (6%), Cartridge People (5.75%), wowcher (6%), vistaprint (£3), groupon (4%), living social (5%), Moonpig (7.5%), etc.

By logging onto the “Give as you live” website you can purchase all your on-line goods and help donate all these percentages of your on-line spend to helping save the life of an animal. Just log on, join the site, select Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary as your choosen charity and search for the store you intend to purchase from. With just two purchases that I would have made anyway and at no cost to me I have donated £12 to CLAS!!! Go on take an extra minute and join the site and help Crosskennan!

Thank You!

Cogry House Preserves!

Sun Sep 08 2013 23:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

A big annual thank you to Robert from Cogry House Preserves who raised some much needed money for Crosskennan. Cogry House had their annual open day before Christmas which was supported so well by all their usual followers and friends. Everyone had a lovely day buying Christmas presents from all the lovely goods on offer. Robert always makes everyone so welcome and a lovely cup of tea/coffee plus buns is welcomed by all the customers on the day.

Donations given by customers for the tea/coffee/buns/etc was donated to Crosskennan and a marvellous £104 was raised. Thank you so much Cogry House Preserves who you can find on facebook!


Before and After

Mon May 06 2013 23:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Lyn Friel, the sanctuary manager, was contacted by a PSNI constable based in Belfast who was looking for help with a horse in the area. As an experienced horse owner the constable was able to assess the severity of the horse’s problems and after failing to get help from another organisation, they contacted CLAS and arranged to bring volunteers to the horse. Some days are memorable and for a variety of reasons. This was to start as a memorable day as it was the first day that we used our new 4 x 4 vehicle that had been donated to us by a generous supporter and for which we are truly grateful.

However, the rest of the day will be etched in our memory for very different reasons. Forza, as he was named by his rescuers, was barely able to stand in his stable in a large barn. He was skeletal, completely emaciated, his body score was zero. He was suffering from rain scald,mud fever, was coughing very badly and was riddled with worms. How could this be acceptable to anyone? The owner signed the frail animal over to the police and Forza was taken into Crosskennan’s care.

At the sanctuary his care and rehabilitation began with his deep shavings bed, tailored re-feeding scheme and veterinary care. His bloods were taken by the vet and a topical treatment prescribed twice daily for his many painful sores. His chest was badly congested and he will be on breathing supplements for quite some time. We discovered that he also has a dust allergy and have adjusted his hay intake to steamed or soaked hay. He was building up his strength very slowly; he was so weak initially that only very short walks were possible. Forza needed a rug to keep warm but was so thin that the rug stuck to his bones causing pressure sores. To avoid this happening his rug was regularly changed. Recuperation was initially slow for Forza but we were with him all the way; encouraging him and providing all the care he needed. As you can see, one year on, he now looks like a different horse; he has truly humbled us with his ability to connect with people and learn to trust them again. He and Becky have struck up a wonderful rapore and together they have continued to excel with his riding career. We're so PROUD of how well he's done!The PSNI team that were instrumental in his rescue collected feed and donations among their colleagues and friends and have visited Forza at the sanctuary. We are grateful for all their continued help and support. We will continue to keep you updated on his development - hopefully one day soon he will be ready to go to a riding home; it will be a very lucky person that will be able to enjoy Forza as much as we have - he's a true character.