Rescue horses and ponies could be put down if new land isn’t found for them to be re-homed.

Cecil’s Horse Sanctury in Elstree has been told it needs to find a new home by November 3, because developers want to build retirement homes on the site.

The sanctuary’s owner, Julie Blake, fears the worst if she is unable to find land for the 19 animals, many of whom are disabled.

Ms Blake and her team have known for nearly a year that the land will soon be used for a development, and they have tried hard to search for a new venue.

She said: “We go out and look at every piece of land possible. We look at wasteland, proper horse land. We would go for anything with the idea that we can always improve it.”

Watford Observer: Enough land needs to be found for the 19 ponies. Enough land needs to be found for the 19 ponies. (Image: Cecil’s Horse Sanctury)

But she said to date there has not been anything suitable because the land they have looked at is also earmarked for future development.

The developer has offered Ms Blake a new site in Potters Bar, but she deemed it to be unsuitable in the long term.

If a new home hasn’t been found by November, then there is a possibility that the horses will become strays on the land.

Watford Observer: The sanctuary works with members of the community too.The sanctuary works with members of the community too. (Image: Cecil’s Horse Sanctury)

She said: “We then have the option of buying them back, which we can’t afford. Or they will be rehomed, which is unlikely because they are not healthy horses. Or they could be put down.”

Ms Blake added: “I would rather chain myself to the gates than let them take my ponies. But the reality is, it’s no good me being locked up.”

Until Ms Blake can find permanent land at around 10 to 15 acres, she is looking for somewhere temporary.

Watford Observer: Billy and Patrick love to play togetherBilly and Patrick love to play together (Image: Cecil’s Horse Sanctury)

To donate to Cecil’s Horse Sanctury, click

Word has spread about the sanctuary’s plight, and in nine days £9,463 had been raised of a £20,000 target to help with costs.

Ms Blake said: “It’s overwhelming to know how many people are supporting us. We run entirely off donations and the help of volunteers. I go from thinking the world is the worst to seeing how amazing and generous people are.”

If you are aware of any land for the ponies, you can email