Green Tara Animal Sanctuary in Rochester, Kent, was started in February 2022 by Debra Gates. After many years of rescuing turkeys at Christmas, ex-commercial hens and stray, old or sick cats, she decided she might as well formally start running an animal sanctuary, as one had started to build up around her anyway!

Bodhicharya UK helps support the animals that come to the sanctuary and the work Debra is doing there. It has raised funds through sponsored walks, made donations for hen houses and members of the local Bodhicharya Kent sangha, that Debra is a part of, help out at volunteer days.

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, the Patron of Bodhicharya UK, performed a Tsang or smoke offering there, blessing the land, animals and the project, and Lama Wangmo has also visited and recited prayers for the success of the project and generally hung out and hit it off with the animals there.

The Sanctuary is also a space for community and outdoor retreats in the summer months, with the first being held there in 2021 by Cesare of Bodhicharya Kent, on the topic of animal liberation; a Buddhist understanding about saving the lives of animals, looking after their physical and emotional needs and also their future spiritual welfare on the path to Awakening.

Follow the Sanctuary’s Progress

Currently Green Tara Animal Sanctuary is home to 29 hens, 8 Roosters, 16 cats, 1 turkey and 2 pigs and you can keep up to date with how they are all doing here on the the Sanctuary’s Facebook, Instagram and TikTok pages.

Support the work

The Sanctuary exists only due to the generosity of heart of Debra, all her diligent hard work and funds and gifts from kind donors. Debra is a dog walker by trade and does not earn a living from running the sanctuary. Any short falls in funding for the animals’ accommodation needs, food, medicine and vet bills come out of her own pocket.

If you wish to support the animals in the Sanctuary, you can donate directly here and do give what you can.

Thank you for your generosity.

Lama Wangmo making friends with Ambrose the cat

Debra, Ambrose the cat and Lama Wangmo

Picnic at the Sanctuary after a fundraising walk

Debra with one of her 29 hens

Hen house bought by the funds from the Bodhicharya UK fundraising walk

Volunteers at the Sanctuary on a hot summer’s day

Volunteers from the Bodhicharya Kent Sangha

Buddha rock garden

Buddha rock garden and feathered friend

Walk in the surrounding woods with Ringu Tulku Rinpoche and Sangha

Debra, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Biffa and Star

Tsang (smoke offering) with Ringu Tulku Rinpoche and Sangha