National Animal Sanctuaries Support League

So many great stories to tell...

National Animal Sanctuaries Support League - South West was founded in 2002 to help animals, both wild and domestic on a local and national level.


All around the South West of UK are small animal charities and rescues, working day in, day out for the welfare of animals. The NASSL organisation empowers these smaller animal welfare organisations to continue their valuable work.


Here are just some of the stories from the rescues and charities, great and small, that NASSL has helped over the years.

Phoebe's story


NASSL was contacted by a community PCSO in North Bristol, asking for help with a young female lurcher in great distress. The dog was badly injured - she'd probably been hit by a car. Her front leg was shattered, with a gaping open wound. Someone had put her on an old duvet, but they left her outside all night in the cold and wet, in excruciating pain. We called her Phoebe, a sweet name for a sweet dog. 

Our volunteers picked the poor dog up as gently as they could, but she was yelping with pain throughout the journey to the vets. When they got to the vet, Phoebe could'nt be moved without first aid, painkillers and bandages in the back of the car. Sadly, her leg was so badly damaged it had later to be amputated.

After a few days in the veterinary hospital, Phoebe was starting to recover and balance on her three legs, so she went to stay with an experienced rescue home in South Gloucestershire called Animals in Need. That might have been the happy end to the story, but there's more... Two weeks later, the carer noticed Phoebe was looking noticeably fatter around the stomach area, though she hadn't displayed any of the usual signs of being pregnant. Phoebe was so weak and thin, no-one had guessed her secret. 

Three weeks after sustaining her leg injury Phoebe started to go into labour, and gave birth to a pup very quickly, but she was exhausted and had to be rushed to the vet. Check the date; what else could it be but Friday the 13th? Poor Phoebe was struggling to deliver her pups, so the vet performed a Caesarean section to save mother and babies, five were born but sadly one died, but at least the 3 girls and a boy were ok. Phoebe was spayed at the same time. Her carer spent the next night on a mattress on the kitchen floor next to Phoebe, just in case - though with noisy pups around there wasn't much sleep to be had!

But Phoebe came through! She is a sweetheart and a great mum, and although she still looks dreadfully thin she's gaining strength every day. The pups are a boisterous handful but are thriving and of course, are a delight. Phoebe and her puppies are lucky to be alive! 

This happy outcome for Phoebe and her puppies needed the help and support of many people: PCSO, Vets, NASSL and Animals in Need. The treatment and multiple surgery cost around £3000 but not only was one life saved the day she was found but five, as things worked out.

Animal Stories

NASSL South West (Bristol Branch)