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Our Animal Sanctuary at Coedllys Country House

How the Coedllys Animal Sanctuary Started.

Thank you for your support.


By staying with us at Coedllys, you are supporting our animals, for which we thank you.

Important Notice

Coedllys Country House is not a “re-homing centre” nor are we open to the public.  We operate an animal sanctuary for animals that we rescue personally and cannot accept animals rescued by others. While we empathise with some of the awful situations and conditions we are simply unable to cater for all situations.

We trust and thank you for understanding the above.

How the Coedllys Animal Sanctuary Idea Started.

I have always loved Donkeys.  On moving to Coedllys in summer 1994 I started looking around.  It was at this time the idea of an animal sanctuary started to develop.

Delia Donkey was my first rescue.  Delia was “for sale” with her companion Gemma goat.  She was in a poor state and lived in a field full of “Ragwort” – deadly to most animals.  Her shelter was a very tatty corrugated shed, which was full of holes and rotting farm equipment.  Her feet had not been trimmed for a long time.  Her owner said he “sanded them with a black and decker occasionally” – he also kept hitting her about the head.

I paid £150.00 and bought her and Gemma home with the help of a wonderful farmer friend.

Gemma was very afraid of men.  At first she just tolerated Keith, but she soon grew to trust him.  She nearly loved him as much as she loved me. And I LOVED Delia to bits.  She also loved having the farrier visit.  Sadly Gemma goat died after a few months of pneumonia.

This was a very sad time for Delia.  Donkeys can, and do, die from broken hearts, when a companion dies.  Delia stood over Gemma for a day and a half, before she moved into the field and, only then, were we were able to bury Gemma.

Within the day my friend bought over a “molly lamb” (orphaned).   Within a very short space of time these two became the very best of chums.  Gemma sheep, as we called her, would stand underneath Delia’s tummy.  They were totally inseparable.

We had Delia for 11 years, before one day she could not get up.  I was broken hearted – in fact I still am.

By this time we had added more donkeys, ponies, sheep and goats to the menagerie.   It was Gemma’s turn to grieve with Ginny Donkey and Maisy Mule.  It took 16 hours before we were able to take Delia away.  Ginny immediately took over looking after Gemma, (who incidentally, has absolutely no idea she is a sheep – no! she is definitely a donkey).  They are the best of friends.  I know Delia had a wonderful 11 years with us.

We started running the bed and breakfast to pay for the sanctuary.  It still helps with the feed, bedding and vets bills.

Both Ginny and Gemma sheep have sadly recently died. As have our first flock of rescued sheep, having lived to 15 years or more.

We do not re-home our animals. Most have been rescued from very sad, hard or cruel lives.
We started running our bed and breakfast and holiday cottage to pay for the sanctuary. This is how we continue to maintain and run the sanctuary. It helps pay for the feed, bedding, farrier and vets bills.

We have 3 donkeys Maisy, Max and Paddy. Please read below to find out how Maisy arrived with us. Max and Paddy are adorable and Maisy is in love with them both!!! they came to us from Ireland having been rescued from abuse by the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth and bought over to the UK.

We also have 4 Welsh mountain ponies, Jack, Pickle, Jasper and Timothy and a Shetland pony called Patch.

Our sheep are called Cosette, Sweetie, Bramble and Bunty are looked after by our Alpaca, Jason.

You are most welcome to visit them and younger guests are welcome to help Keith with all the jobs associated with having our sanctuary.

If the animals are in the barn, just let us know if you want to visit. If the animals are in the paddocks, you are welcome to go and have a chat. Max and Paddy particularly love to be tickled behind the ear.

Maisy’s Story

“Early one morning in July 2002, Keith went into the barn to let the animals into the field. He noticed what he thought was a fox curled up in the corner of Ginny’s stable. On closed inspection her realised it was a new born donkey foal.

We though that mum Ginny had been putting on weight and kept a close check on her eating. Little did we know that she was pregnant. The father, Jack a beautiful Welsh Mountain pony, who we thought had been castrated, (well we paid the vet to do the job), was the father. It seems that a small piece of testicle had been left behind, it was enough for him to still get amorous and father Maisy mule, or should I say Hinny. Female mules with donkey mothers and pony or horse fathers are called Hinny’s.

Jack had to have another castration – poor chap.

The Vet told us that Maisy was premature. We found this amazing to say the least as we had no idea Ginny was pregnant, so how did he know Maisy was born early? Apparently the head of equines/donkeys are formed first. Maisy had a large head and a small body, therefore as her body size had not caught up in the womb she was premature.

She was and is very beautiful a stunning colour. We suddenly became very popular with locals and their children!

Another detail that may interest you; Mules and Hinny’s cannot get pregnant. They have seasons, but are barren. I have not been able to find out why this is”.


We are blessed with an abundance of birdlife here at Coedllys. There are many varieties of birds that can be seen. During breakfast you can enjoy watching them squabble at the window bird feeder and from the many feeders strategically placed amongst the trees and garden. Nut Hatch, Woodpeckers, Green Finches, Robins, Siskins and Chaffinches are but a few of the many birds eating from the feeders.

Take a walk around the grounds and woodland areas and see what birdlife you can find. We also provide a pair of binoculars and a guidebook so guests can identify the birds they see. Many of our guests are not only amazed at the amount of birdlife but also the variety we have.

Caution – Coedllys Animal Sanctuary.

Please drive slowly when coming onto the smallholding as there are many chickens, ducks, pea foul, dogs and cats, ambling about.

Coedllys Animal Sanctuary Wales. Most have been rescued from sad hard or cruel lives.

This animal sanctuary Wales is brought to you by Coedllys Country House.

Award winning Gold 5 star b&b accommodation in beautiful South West Wales.
Offering a more relaxing way to experience Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.

animal Related Local Attractions

On the boardwalks over the swamps you’ll hear  strange noises and have lots of surprises.  If you’re not distracted take part in the Dino Quiz and win your Expert sticker

Over 30 dinosaurs are waiting for you. T-Rex is always hungry and tiptoe past the spitting Dilosophaur otherwise you’ll get wet. Meet the Stegosaurus family, mother and baby Triceratops and the Brachiosaurus brothers to name a few.

Website: The Dinosaur Trail

Ever wanted to get really close to lemurs?
Talk turkey with Macaws?
Wander with Wallabies?

At Manor House Wildlife Park you can!

Manor House Wildlife Park is a conservation-led zoo set in 52 acres of Pembrokeshire Parkland. Here you’ll find endangered species from all corners of the world in a natural and beautiful corner of Wales.

Website: www.annaswelshzoo.co.uk

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales manages over 4,000 acres of some of the region’s most precious wild places in the form of over 80 nature reserves.This diverse area boasts magnificent coastline, islands, rugged mountains, the heritage rich ex-coalmining valleys and the richest agricultural land in Wales.The Trust is part of a wider movement of 47 Wildlife Trusts which cover the whole of the British Isles.The Trusts have the same aim which is an environment rich in wildlife for everyone and some core values which include:

To create A Living Landscape.
To secure Living Seas.
To inspire people about the natural world.
To encourage individual action for wildlife and the environment.

Website: www.welshwildlife.org

Folly Farm Today

Amazing adventures, penguin parties, toddler takeovers, cwtch corners, and zoo keeper experiences are all ways to describe Folly Farm today. This theme park has come a long way since its roots as a humble dairy farm to become one of the most exciting places to visit in Wales!

Penguin Mania

Begin your day with a visit to Penguin Coast. 24 Peruvian Penguins have travelled far and wide to make their home at the Folly Farm saltwater enclosure. Meet your furry friends and watch them waddle, swim and slide around their lovely new home.

Website: www.folly-farm.co.uk

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s National Centre in Llanelli has excellent facilities that make it a great place for a day out for the whole family.

Covering some 450 acres, the reserve has a mosaic of habitats, including pools, lagoons and streams adjoining the saltmarshes and shore of Burry Inlet, in Carmarthenshire.

The extended eastern part of the site forms the Millenium Wetland and was funded by various bodies within Wales. It has transformed an area of low-grade farmland into some important habitats for both birds and other wildlife, notably dragonflies of which more than 20 species have been recorded across the site as a whole.

Although first impressions are that the Centre is mainly focused on birds, the variety of habitats make this resource home to so much more, including excellent plantlife, mammals and insects.

Anyone with a general interest in nature and wildlife will find this an absorbing and enjoyable place for a day out.

Website: www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/llanelli/