Willows Animal Sanctuary

It has been a while since we went out into the country for a Sunday outing because our weekends have been full of gardening, allotmenting, and kid activities. Today we had a free day and I decided to skip the allotment this weekend. I have had a helper sharing my plot and although she’s done a terrific job, she was a little too enthusiastic with the weeding and pulled out all my kale. That was previously the main reason I went every weekend – to harvest kale for us to eat. Now there’s nothing there I’ve lost of a bit of enthusiasm. She was very apologetic about it.

Instead we had a lovely day at Willows Animal Sanctuary just north of Aberdeen near New Pitsligo. The sanctuary takes neglected, abused, and unwanted animals. They have horses, goats, donkeys, cats, rabbits, chickens, pigs, owls, guinea pigs, sheep, turtles, snakes, cows … and more.

The cats have a lovely “hotel” area but can come and go as they please. Their beds are in a barn with some horses but the door is open and they roam all over the place and are very friendly.







This pig fell off a truck as a piglet en-route to the abattoir.




Willows is a wonderful, well-run sanctuary. The animals look well cared for and what I particularly liked is that the charity lives and breathes its philosophy and the cafe is completely vegan. There’s something that doesn’t sit right for me with animal sanctuaries that then serve animals products in their cafe.


The kids loved it and there were lots of other families there. They run on a shoe-string and depend entirely on donations. If you want to donate to Willows you can do so online.


3 thoughts on “Willows Animal Sanctuary”

  1. There’s something that doesn’t sit right for me with animal sanctuaries that then serve animals products in their cafe.

    I agree heartily. A local animal shelter threw a big fundraising fair yesterday, and the food booths served almost entirely animal products: hamburgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, and grilled meats,. Besides feeling like there was nothing for me to eat there (I settled for french fries and burned eggplant—it was supposed to be grilled, but they left it over the coals for too long), I felt like the shelter was sending the wrong message. I understand they need to raise money, and the majority of people still eat meat: but they could have used the opportunity to teach their supporters, especially children, that there are good alternatives to meat and other animal products.

    1. That’s bad. I had a similar experience at a horse welfare sanctuary here. We went for lunch and there wasn’t a single vegan item in the menu. Needless to say we won’t be going back. Did you say anything to the animal shelter?

      1. They had a comments/suggestions box at one of the tables. I wrote down what I wrote here and put it in the box, but whether anything comes of it, I admit I’m pessimistic. You would think in California, especially with so many vegans here, they would be more progressive: but I’ve been to many restaurants where almost everything is made from animal products. The most disappointing was the restaurant at Yosemite National Park, where there were no vegan entrees on the menu. Again, I wrote in the guest book that a national park should offer food that’s environmentally friendly and cruelty free. I haven’t heard from them since.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s