Easy changes to help make it a season of goodwill for all animals this Christmas

The tree is up. the lights are twinkling and you’re getting in a Christmas mood… Sadly for a lot of animals it’s not such a merry time of the year, but here’s how you can help:

Not only do we rescue and rehabilitate animals that need us most here at Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, but we also like to try and help people understand how they too can better animals lives wherever they can, so we’ve put together a small but important list of the ways you can make this festive season a brighter one for all kinds of creatures…


    • Around 14 million turkeys end up as a table centrepiece on Xmas Day, but with so many amazing meat-free alternatives available, why not give one of them a try this Xmas? There are a whopping 162 vegetarian Christmas dinner options in this guide by BBC Food, and 102 vegan Christmas recipes on this guide also by BBC Food so plenty of delicious ideas that don’t involve animals. Food for thought.


    • We’ve had lots of enquiries in the lead-up to Christmas from people looking to hire our donkeys and reindeer as props for their celebrations, nativities, fetes and parties. We’ve also seen more events than we would like in the area using live animals in their displays. This antiquated practice normalises using animals for entertainment and we would ask that you do not support any such activities. Please do read this informative guide by Animal Aid who have done research into how this kind of exploitation affects reindeer, and have also created a link you can use to report a festive event using live animals.


    • Please, please do not buy a pet as an Xmas present. We take so many calls every year from parents trying to offload pets that their children have lost interest in, and never more so than in the months after Christmas. If your child (or you) wants a pet then do your research, make sure that you can commit (both financially and time-wise) and then choose a pet together rather than as a gift. Peta have lots of reasons why giving an animal as a present is a bad idea for you to read here.


    • Support your local rescue centre or sanctuary. Winter is always the toughest time of year for animal shelters, so find your local one and either donate your time to help out, some money to any ongoing campaigns they may have, or take them a practical Christmas gift for the animals. Many rescue centres have sponsorship schemes which make a wonderful gift for any animal lover. Here at Hopefield we have a specific Winter Campaign to help keep our animals warm and cosy through the colder months, and we know how much every penny means.


So there you have it: four easy ways you can really make a difference to all kinds of animals this Christmas. Now all that remains is for us – and our 600 residents – to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a peaceful 2024.





Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up here for the fun updates from the animals, information about the latest news at the sanctuary and exclusive offers and events.

Join our mailing list

Join Hopefield’s mailing list to be the first to know about all things happening at the sanctuary and exclusive offers and events!