About our Sanctuary
Do you think the world could use more compassion? We do too. Our work promotes the idea that compassion is an action word, that by its very definition, should have no boundaries. We work towards a world where there is compassion for all animals, through our empathy education programs for kids, advocacy and open days. A passionate for-purpose organisation, we seek solutions that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible.
We rescue and rehabilitate farmed animals who have been abused, neglected or abandoned; those who have nowhere else to turn. The same legislation that protects our companion animals from cruelty does not protect farmed animals, meaning they are often the most exploited and vulnerable animals.
If you are looking for an opportunity to meet and learn about farmed animals in an environment that puts them first, Little Oak Sanctuary might be the place for you. We have opportunities to visit, volunteer or learn about animals and support our work from a distance. If you are seeking a petting zoo, or animals for hire, we are not the group for you.
We are not a petting zoo and do not hire out or bring our animal residents out of the Sanctuary for events, our priority is their well-being and taking them off-site to unfamiliar locations places them at risk of stress, illness and accidents.
Located in rural NSW, the Sanctuary is an easy driving distance to major towns, under an hour from Canberra, Goulburn and the South Coast, and under 3 hours from Sydney.
Explore our site to learn how you can join us in creating a compassionate world for all.
Language Matters. Why do we use the term "farmed" animals rather than farm animals? The term "farm animals" suggests that the animals being described exist for human use or exploitation. The categories we place animals in are arbitrary and only describe our relation to our use of them, an anthropocentric position that does not take into account their sentience or perspective. In reality, there is no such thing as a farm animal; there are only animals who are farmed.
Kate & James are the founders and operators of Little Oak Sanctuary.
Having both grown up with a soft spot for animals, it wasn’t until later in life that we realised our values of compassion and commitment to non violence weren’t reflected through our actions. We realised that morally speaking, there was no difference between the animals we shared our homes and lives with, the dogs, cats, and horses that we considered part of the family, and those whose bodies we had been eating without a second thought.
We knew the animals we lived with had their own personalities and quirks. It occurred to us that there was no reason to believe that animals raised for food wouldn’t have distinct personalities too. They feel joy, sorrow, fear, they play and have friends. In short, they value their lives as we value our own. We could no longer justify taking their lives for no greater reason than to please our palates. A little piglet came along and inspired us to start the sanctuary - his story is featured to the right.
We both work outside of the sanctuary to fund its operation. Kate is a professional photographer and business manager for a not for profit organisation in town whilst James is a musician who teaches and plays professionally. All positions at the sanctuary are unpaid and donations received go towards the animals and advocating for them.
Little Timmy Piglet
In 2012, we adopted two piglets, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Piggy (or Tiger, for short) and Little Timmy Piglet. Little did we know the place these two amazing beings would take in our hearts!
Sadly Little Timmy Piglet, became ill. Our brave man battled recurring infections, and in December of 2012, the infection tragically reached his brain and he passed away suddenly during a vet examination.
This little man will not be forgotten. He planted a seed in our hearts, and we will continue to share the message of living with compassion for all living creatures. We planted an oak tree over his grave – it seemed to fit well - Timmy was a tiny piglet whom grew to be a young pig of great strength and yet great gentleness. We know his time on this earth although short, was one of great meaning. Little Timmy Piglets’ Oak tree – although small, is a tree of great strength.
We named the sanctuary “Little Oak” to reflect this and honour Timmy. It is a sanctuary that is small in size, but hopes to be one of great strength – the strength of both compassion and information.
Our Animal Rescue & Advocacy Work
Since we began in 2013, we have been actively working to educate the public about issues faced by animals in Australia. We hold regular open days, where the public can meet our residents, hear their stories, learn about the welfare issues that animals face and how they can help by living compassionately. In 2013 we were fortunate enough to be selected as the Peoples Choice award winners of the Voiceless Institute for our Moving Connections bus campaign. The campaign saw a full-wrap bus advertisement traveling the streets of Canberra for 12 months, drawing thousands of people to our website where they learnt more about the animals that call Little Oak home and how they can help animals in Australia. This was followed by another successful grant application to the Voiceless Institute, this time to create a television commercial that aired across three channels of the nine network across regional NSW for 6 months.
Our work reflects our mission, to promote compassion to all animals through education and cruelty-free living and we look forward to creating many more projects and planting lots of seeds of compassion in the hearts of Australians. We continue to passionately advocate for all animals through animal rights campaigns.
As a registered charity you can view ours, and other charity's financials via the ACNC portal. We operate with transparency and believe in the importance of sharing how we use funds effectively and efficiently.