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Equipment worth over £20,000 has been lost in a yard fire at a horse sanctuary.

Littletinkers sanctuary in Norwich was targeted by arsonists on Friday night (12 February).

A newly built donkey barn was destroyed, as well as a tractor and equipment.

“They set the barn alight while the donkeys were in it,” sanctuary owner Julie Bassett told H&H.

“Then they went across the field and took the rugs off the ponies’ backs.

“We’ve been completely cleared out — I don’t even have a hoof pick left.”

15 firefighters in three engines arrived at the sanctuary at 10pm and remained on site for two hours.

The 39 ponies, donkeys and mules cared for at the sanctuary were “traumatised” but escaped injury.

“I’m so glad they all got out — one of the little ones is blind,” said Julie.

“On Saturday morning I couldn’t get near them, they were traumatised, but they have been checked over by the vet and given the ok.”

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In the past six months the yard has been broken into eight times.

“Last time we were broken into was 7 January,” said Julie.

“They smashed up all of our sheds and stole a lot of our equipment.”

The sanctuary has received numerous donations since the fire and a temporary shelter has been installed.


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Norfolk Police is conducting an investigation into the fire.

“We are investigating an arson at a horse sanctuary in Bluebell Road, Norwich, which happened between 10.15 and 10.30pm on 12 February,” said a police spokesman.

“Enquiries are currently ongoing.”

Those with any information are urged to call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800555111.