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“Disturbing and dirty place” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre - CLOSED

Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre
Clifton Dykes | MOVED LOCTION, Clifton, Penrith CA10 2DH, England
+44 1768 866657
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Type: Other, Zoos & Aquariums
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Attraction details
Owner description: Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre is a small family run animal sanctuary now based at Thorpe Farm Centre near Barnard Castle having previously been situated in Clifton Dykes near Penrith since it started in 2006. The centre is currently home to over 1000 animals, many of which have been pets in the past and are now looking for new homes. Some of the animals are brought in from the RSPCA and other animal rescue organisations and centres.There is lots to see, and visitors have the chance to get close to many of the animals and even feed some of them.We offer talks and animal handling sessions during weekends and local school holidays, and we are always happy to go the extra mile for our visitors, so if there is any animal you'd like to hold or learn more about please just ask.
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Disturbing and dirty place”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

We visited here over the may bank holiday as we were staying near by. Upon arrival the place looked fairly normal, a nice little cafe at the entrance. charity or no charity there is no excuse for what awaited us behind the 'zoo' entrance door.... A place of utter horrors! The smell was putrid, beyond anything ive ever smelt before. Faeces and urine is the only way to describe the smell. It hits you like a ton of bricks as soon as you open the door and this is outdoors so it's even more shocking that the smell is so strong but when seeing the animals you'll soon understand why! Theyre living in their own muck. Infact I'd go as far as to say they look like they hadnt been cleaned out for months. There was a sheep with what appeared to be a broken leg but when I asked they said theyd 'check it later'... A parrot that was so distressed at it's living conditions that it was pulling out its feathers, was basically bald and was bleeding in certain places where it couldnt stop biting itself. The fox... Well there arnt the words for the place that is kept in. Cruel is the only thing I can say. Then there was what I consider to be the highlight of a very bizarre, unsettling day... Amongst the small, dirty cages of clearly distressed animals were a cage of cats. Nope, not big cats like you may be thinking. Regular domestic cats. With a plaque stuck to the cage stating that they were cats. One of them was desperately trying to get human attention and interaction, whilst the other was viscous and angry. Which is hardly surprising considering the circumstances in which theyve been kept. The entire place is filthy, smelly, and painful to see. How it is allowed to stay open I can not understand. From the nocturnal owls that had been locked in tiny cages and not ever taken out to fly, so we're wide wake during the day due to the trauma.... Right down to the poor unfortunate raccoon that theyd locked in a glass box barely bigger than a porter loo... This entire place is a place of horrors that as an animal lover I found truly upsetting to visit.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark T, Keeper & Administrator at Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre, responded to this review, June 14, 2013
Hi, i'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your visit to Wetheriggs. We always take reviews and comments on board.
Firstly about the smell you comment on, i'm assuming the strong smell you could smell was the many farms that surround Wetheriggs. At this time of year most farms are spreading on the fields, and this creates some very strong and often unpleasant smells. Of course there is also other smells coming from various animals/enclosures. All our animals get cleaned out but unfortunately some cleaning gets delayed until later in the day if we have fewer staff and volunteers working. Many of our keepers are very enthusiastic and some of our paid keepers (including myself) often work late and come in on days off to get extra jobs done.
Because we are a rescue centre, many of the animals that come to us are in poor condition when they arrive, with the parrots being one example. We get a lot of parrots such as African Greys coming into us which have been plucking their feathers, many continue to do this for several weeks after coming to us as it becomes habit for them. Most that have come in like this have recovered and grown all their feathers back, but a few recent arrivals still look a mess.
The fox you mentioned was rescued a couple of years ago when its parents were killed. We hand reared him at the centre, and we decided not to release him as many foxes get shot in the area due to the amount of farms around. The dog you saw in with the fox belongs to the family running the centre. The dog and fox get on well together and provides both with exercise and enrichment. The dog does not stay in the enclosure, she is just put in for short periods of time a few days each week.
The cats you mentioned are Bengal Cats, which can be kept as pets, and we are looking to get these rehomed as soon as possible. As I mentioned earlier, many of the animals are rescued and looking for new better homes. Staff go in with the cats each day, and both cats are friendly with people.
I'm not sure what you mean about the Raccoon locked in a glass box?? Our Raccoons are in a new large enclosure at the front of the site. I am not sure what you saw and which glass box you refer to?
If you would like to discuss anything further, or have any questions please feel free to get in touch. We are always happy to have a chat about anything. Thank you.
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135 reviews from our community

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English first
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“I understand that It is a charity but that makes no excuse for how filthy the place is.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

I do understand that this place is clearly inadequetly funded but it seems as if the people there do not care much for the animals.
There many enclosures that are far too small for the animals that were in them, the drinking water was mostly dirty and the outside enclosures were covered in large amount of faeces. The animals themselves did not look that badly fed but the entire place smelled and looked disgusting. Although I do understand the strain on your resources this is no way to keep animals, the duck pond was full of mud and where the ducks themselves should've been white they were a filthy shade of brown.
Finally the smell inside the discovery house was vile. I am not being unfair, I understand the circumstances but I am worried for the animals. Before you say that it was "an overcrowded time" or a "bad day to come" I would like to point out that if you can't look after the animals then you shouldn't be keeping them.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark T, Keeper & Administrator at Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre, responded to this review, June 14, 2013
Hi, i'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your visit to Wetheriggs. We take all comments and complaints on board.
I agree a small amount of our animals could do with larger enclosures, but sometimes animals arrive at the centre with very little notice, and we have to accommodate these animals somewhere while a new home is sorted. If the animal will be staying with us we will usually try to build new enclosures for the animals to go in to. Some of the animals will get moved to other animal centres and zoos and many get rehomed as pets. We are always trying to build new enclosures and improve current ones. The person who does most of the building and maintainance work is a volunteer who works at the centre most weekends. He gives up a lot of his own time and spends his own money on trying to improve the centre, and like everyone else at Wetheriggs, he wants to give the animals the best lives and best homes possible, but as he is usually working on his own, he can only work on one enclosure at a time.
I agree the ponds are quite muddy right now as we have been having quite a few problems with the pump and filter system. I am trying to get this sorted as quick as I can, but it is quite a big job and as I need to concentrate on feeding animals first, I don't always get time to get it sorted.
The Discovery Centre can sometimes smell due to the many various animals kept in the building, and the heat the building needs to be kept at. The animals are frequently cleaned out in here, and on warm days we have the doors and windows open.
If you would like to discuss anything further or have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.
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South Shields, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great way to spend a few hours”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

We were looking for somewhere to go over Easter weekend whilst staying with family in Carlsle. We decided to visit Wetheriggs as our 21 month old daughter loves going to see animals.

We got there mid-morning and the first place we visited was the reptile house. As we entered, Billy the cockatiel flew over and landed on my husbands shoulder. My daughter was enjoying watching him dance and was petting him. Unfortunately he then nipped her on the thumb with his beak. She was extremely upset and we went straight back to the cafe to try to settle her down. The staff checked to make sure her skin wasn't broken and immediately put Billy back into his cage. They assured us he is a friendly bird and hasn't done this before.

We continued with the visit and our daughter loved seeing the baby cows, feeding the lambs and seeing all the other animals there. At the end of our visit we went back to see Billy and my daughter was fine with him. We think he was just overly attracted to my husband and jealous of our daughter :-)

We would go back and didn't let the incident spoil our time there. Had the staff not been so great, this may not have been the case.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark T, Keeper/Administrator at Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Thank you very much for your kind review. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to Wetheriggs. I'm sorry Billy bit your daughter, and i'm glad to hear she is okay and still wanted to see him again later. If you visit again and you and your daughter would like to hold any animals, please just ask me or another member of staff who will be happy to make your visit as enjoyable as possible. Thanks again.
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Marbella, Spain
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Surprisingly good visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

We were staying at the Center Parcs nearby and decided to break out of the parc to have a look round the area.

Chanced upon Wetheriggs Zoo and decided to pop in past for a cup of tea and and to let my 2 kids 6 & 8 see some animals.

We ended up having some nice cakes and food and then we went for a look round the zoo and the kids had fun feeding milk to the lambs and then there was a very interesting and remarkably large display of birds, reptiles, mammals etc etc.

Great value for money and a good way to let the kids have some fun for a couple of hours and they might actually learn something too!!

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark T, Keeper/Administrator at Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Thank you very much for your lovely review. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your visit to Wetheriggs. We always appreciate visitors taking the time to let us and others know about their visit. Wetheriggs is always changing with new animals on display so next time you're in the area I hope you can call in for another visit. Thanks again.
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“day out”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Small animal sanctuary for rescued animals. Appeared a bit run down. A variety of animals to see horses, donkeys, pigs, alpaca, meerkats, cows, tarantula's and a variey of birds, other mammals. Children got to feed the lambs they had. The owners children very enthusiastic and happy to let you know about the animals

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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