CROSSKENNAN Lane Animal Sanctuary is situated close to Antrim town and is home to over 150 rescue animals at present, including 50 equines.
This year marks their 25th year as a charity and they are currently looking to recruit hard-working and dedicated individuals to join their yard team.
“Our staff is passionate about animals, it’s their love for these animals that keep them working, even though often the work is labour-intensive and repetitive,” Lyn, the sanctuary’s manager said.
“Filling the role is difficult because the Sanctuary is not like every other livery yard; we are working with rescued animals – horses, dogs, cats, birds and many others. Most have medical or behavioural issues and most will live out their lives at the sanctuary, so it’s extremely important we can provide the best for each animal every day.”
The Sanctuary itself is set on less than six acres of ground, made up of several grass-free paddocks, grass paddocks, barns, stables and various areas for the smaller residents. At present, they are home to 50 equines and over 100 smaller animals, including dogs, cats and chickens.
“Anyone applying ideally needs to have experience working with equines at a minimum. Every day our staff go above and beyond to try and work with the number of animals that call the sanctuary home, no matter how briefly. We hope we can all agree that we all have the animals at the forefront in our minds and we all want the best quality of life we can give them,” said Lyn.
“I love being around the animals and seeing their different personalities and small achievements of getting them to trust you, or coming to you when they are called. You try and do all you can to make their day better. Seeing a horse go from a terrified wreck to loving and trustful is an honour to witness. Sharing the journey with them as they move from being a pony you can’t even look at to one that runs to greet you in the morning and calls across the yard when you have food. It’s the small things sometimes too, like finding that perfect spot where they love to be scratched,” a staff member said, whilst scratching the neck of the recently rescued ‘Albert’, an overweight stallion rescued from a forest in the spring of this year. He is now castrated and beginning his work in handling and working on his weight loss, in the hope of finding a home when he is given the all clear.
One of the staff told of the long hours and the sometimes unknown nature of what each day would bring, with some rescues happening quickly and new horses arriving without much warning: “It would probably overwhelm some people, but I find I enjoy it, I get to work with animals who need me and am often one of the first people to provide a kind hand to an animal in need. That feeling is indescribable. It’s a privilege most days to be involved and I can say honestly that my job is never boring!”
So, if you are looking for a job working with horses, providing more than just their daily care, then perhaps Crosskennan is the place for you?
The sanctuary is looking to recruit someone as soon as possible and needs someone who will be able to commit to weekends and some weekdays. Experience with horses is essential and further experience with horses with behaviour or health issues is preferred.