Desperate plea made to help save private animal sanctuary in Minster

Katie with one of her sanctuary foxes

A privately run animal sanctuary in Minster is facing closure unless enough funds can be raised to buy the land they currently rent or to purchase another nearby site.

Katie Leverett currently cares for two horses, four foxes, three pigs and six cats and takes in some 60 wild birds or foxes for rehabilitation and release every year.

But the landowner now needs to sell and Katie must raise some £100,000 if she wants to remain.

The 36-year-old has been at the four to five acre site in Minster for almost five years. Initially she rented it as stabling for her two horses but says the excess land meant she could provide a site for rescue animals, something she has been involved with for some 15 years.

Now Katie fears what the future will hold for the animals at her sanctuary, She said: “I have until the 16th April. I’ve looked everywhere and can’t find anywhere to rent.

“I have MS and epilepsy so can’t drive anymore so need somewhere in Minster ideally and nowhere is available. Some of the animals in my care just would not cope being rehomed and I wouldn’t cope losing them either.

“I am fundraising to try and buy the land or see if there is anything available to rent in Minster, Monkton or Acol areas as I could get to them by mobility scooter.

“I’m desperate and very frightened and would just love to save this site.”

Katie says she has been overwhelmed by positive responses on her social media sites but the task she is facing is still huge.

Of the four foxes, two male and two female who have all been neutered, one is blind and another has had a stroke.

Katie, who self-funds the rescue, said: “The animals have nowhere to go, finding homes for the foxes in particular would be extremely difficult and traumatic for them.”

Katie, who set up the Zio the Fox Foundation in 2022 named after the first fox she brought to the site, has now created a fundraiser in the hope people will help her save the sanctuary.

She said: “If we can do this it provides the animals a home for life and allows us to build more enclosures in order to help more disabled foxes and improve our current facilities.

“We will then look at opening as a charity with the idea to become a therapy centre in the near future.”

To contact Katie message the Zio the Fox Foundation facebook page at:

Find Katie on tiktok at

Find the fundraiser here


    • I was wondering that. Nothing was ever built for Zio the fox. It’s not a rescue sanctuary, it’s just a yard. Walked past it yesterday, nothing there. Where have the pigs and horses gone ? And where are the poor foxes ?

  1. This is heartbreaking news. Katie Leverett has poured her heart and soul into caring for these animals, and it’s devastating to think that her sanctuary might have to close its doors. I’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible dedication Katie has shown in providing a safe and loving home for these creatures over the years, and it’s truly outstanding.

    The thought of these animals losing their sanctuary is heart-wrenching. From the horses and pigs to the foxes and cats, each one has found a haven under Katie’s compassionate care. It’s especially concerning to think about the challenges facing the blind fox and the one who has had a stroke, as finding suitable homes for them would be incredibly difficult.

    Katie’s determination to save the sanctuary is admirable, but the task ahead is undoubtedly daunting. I urge anyone who can to support her fundraiser and help secure the future of this invaluable sanctuary. Every contribution, no matter how small, could make a significant difference in providing a permanent home for these animals and allowing Katie to continue her vital work.

    My thoughts are with Katie, the animals, and everyone involved in this crucial effort to save the sanctuary. Let’s come together as a community to ensure that these beloved creatures have the chance to thrive in the safe and loving environment they deserve.

  2. Support the sanctuary or support her? It’s privately owned and run so she should personally cough up. I’m sure the bank of mummy and daddy can ameliorate the losses.

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