Advice centre.

There is a lot to consider when re-homing an animal. The Thornberry Animal Sanctuary Advice centre is designed to give you everything you need to know, all in one handy place.

Prospective Pet Owner Advice

How do I begin the adoption process?

To begin the adoption process, you will need to come and visit us at Thornberry, chat with staff to find out more about the animal you are interested in, have a ‘Meet and Greet’ and fill in an enquiry form. The ‘Meet and Greet’ is designed to allow you to interact with animal and get an idea of their character, behaviour and energy level. It also allows you to ask any more questions you may have about the it. Our enquiry form is designed to ask specific questions regarding your home life, experience and reasons for wanting to adopt. Your answers will help make our staff determine the suitability of the animal you are applying for.

How to get in touch

If you have any question regarding volunteering, fundraising or adopting at Thornberry Animal Sanctuary, check the FAQ section to check your question has not already been answered. From there you can call, email or visit us at the sanctuary to have your questions answered by our team of animal carers. Alternatively, you can read any of the related articles to find out more.

What can I expect as a first time cat owner?

Cats, although considered an easy pet to keep when compared to dogs and rabbits, still require care, time and money. Cats will become destructive if not provided with the suitable scratch posts, cat litter or diet and even then may still scratch your new curtains to pieces. A cat’s natural instinct is to mark their territory using their pads and claws and for some cats that doesn’t just mean their scratch posts. The average cost per year to keep a cat is according to, is between £200 and £700. Cats can be kept mainly inside or have free access to explore outside, both having pros and cons. For more information, please contact Thornberry Animal Sanctuary for more information. Should you decide to do further reading please check your sources as only reputable sources will have accurate and reliable information.

What can I expect as a first time dog owner?

Dogs are a big commitment and every year dogs of all breeds and ages are rehomed because their owners were not prepared for their demands. The basic requirements for any animal to be kept are set out by law in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and require you to provide the animal with sufficient suitable food, water, comfort, care and exercise. Larger dogs will require more food and are usually more expensive than their smaller counterparts. The average price to keep a dog, according to, is between £600 and £1,100 pound per year. Not only is there a financial cost but also a time contribution. All dogs requires a certain amount of daily exercise, mental stimulation and some initial training. Failure to contribute to your dog’s energy needs may result in destructive and dangerous behaviours forming. For more information, please contact Thornberry Animal Sanctuary. Should you decide to do further reading please check your sources as only reputable ones will have accurate and reliable information.

Other Advice

When Can I Visit Thornberry and What Can I do there?

Meeting any of our animals is now appointment only. If you would like to meet one of or animals in view of adopting them, please complete an Adoption Enquiry form. Visits to our Equine Centre are appointment only.

Please be aware that we cannot allow any visitor’s dogs on site, except for Guide/Assistance dogs. This is for the safety of you, your dogs, and our animals.

At our Todwick Road site, we have an onsite Café & Deli, where you can enjoy a hot drink, a piece of cake, and delicious meals and light bites. We have two large charity shops filled with clothes, books, gifts, homewares and much more. If you become a volunteer, you’ll be able to walk our dogs, groom our cats and small animals, and help clean their living spaces clean and inviting. We additionally have volunteers in our charity shops and in our fundraising team, too. Items we receive as donations from the public are sold in our charity shops giving us 100% of the profit. Your donated items and visits really do help fund our operations and we’re so grateful for your support.

How can I help the animals at Thornberry?

  • We have an Amazon wish list dedicated to any urgent items we need for our animal care – these items are then delivered directly to us.
  • You can donate items in person – we accept donations for our animals Monday-Sunday, 11am-3pm
  • If you live near a supermarket with one of our collection boxes, leave your donation there for us to collect
How Can I Get Involved?

There are many areas in which we always welcome volunteers – such as the following: Café, Charity Barns, Yard Duties, Animals, Corporate Days or Fundraising. 

How can I help the animals at Thornberry?
How can I fundraise for Thornberry?

Our animals are always in need of certain items and there are several different ways you can get these to us if you wish to donate them.

Legacies & Memorial Donations

Create a lasting legacy by helping the animals at Thornberry by remembering them in your will.

Every gift, especially those in memory from our supporters are gratefully received.

We do offer a free will writing service for those wishing to remember Thornberry in their legacy. If you would like to help the animals through your legacy then please contact us.

Volunteering FAQ

What age limits are there to volunteering?

From your 16th birthday you can join us in our retail, small animals and cattery care roles and from your 18th birthday you can also support us in our kennels and farm roles.

For personal fundraising activities (such as a sponsored walk) there is no lower age limit but we do are parents and family to get involved to provide support.

There are NO upper age limits so long as you feel fit and well to perform the role

Can I bring my child with me when I volunteer?

No. Children are not permitted in the animal care areas unless on a meet and greet (a prospective family meeting an animal) and the retail area can become very busy making volunteering while also being responsible for your child impractical.

Do I need any previous experience with animals or retail?

No. We will provide you with a full induction and buddy you up with an experienced volunteer or staff member so that you can learn as you volunteer.

I want to volunteer with my friend: is that okay?

Yes, providing that you are both capable of performing the volunteering role. Sometimes we may need to ask you to cover different areas but we will always try to accommodate requests to work together.

I work shifts, is there flexibility to the roles?

There is some flexibility to the roles, dependent on what you have wanted to do. We will discuss this in more detail when we meet you for the first time.

Is there a uniform?

This is dependent on the role: while we will provide PPE (if required for the role) we ask that you dress appropriately for the work being completed and make sure that any slogans would not be considered offensive by others.

Do you provide transport?

At the moment we are unable to provide transport to either of our sites (based in South Yorkshire).

Relinquishing Your Animal