The Secret Sanctuary

Dunstable's best kept secret.


Throughout years of work and dedication, a wildlife paradise has blossomed in the heart of The Chilterns with the mission to rehome unwanted and neglected exotic animals from all over the UK. Since it's establishment in 2008, our team at the Sanctuary pride themselves in giving extraordinary creatures another chance at happiness. We aim to protect and care for endangered and exotic species, raising awareness of the importance of animals that are often misunderstood.


We have rehomed hundreds of unwanted/neglected animals into our Sanctuary.

Our team works tirelessly to provide specialist care and attention and a natural habitat. We have also successfully bred a number of endangered species within captivity to raise awareness of wildlife conservation.

Your generous support allows us to continue our mission.

exclusive visits

Dunstable's best kept secret offers several experiences to interact with our animals. We have an amazing variety of species including terrapins, birds, lizards, snakes and insects, many of which are tame and sociable. Book now by email or give us a call to embrace the extraordinary!


We're extremely proud to host our very active and vibrant Reptile Club once a month. Members have the opportunity to see behind the scenes and also bring along some of their wonderful pets. This is a group of like minded people with a love of the more interesting and new members are always welcome.


Contact us for further information.

Meet the Owners



As founder of the Secret Sanctuary, I am an avid animal enthusiast, striving to learn everything I can about the wildlife around us. I established the Secret Sanctuary 13 years ago to share my fascination with creatures big and small, and share my knowledge of reptiles and insects that are often misunderstood.

Shelly and Luno(1)(1).jpg


Known to most as Shelly or 'The Crazy Cat Lady', I proudly co-manage the Sanctuary as Kev's wife and best friend. I have formed a bond with numerous weird and wonderful animals within the Sanctuary and work tirelessly with the team to protect endangered exotic species.  

Green Leaves


Julia Airey, Feb 2022

Loved this place, so much to see! We visited for my son’s 7th birthday last week and they could not have been more accommodating. They listened to and answered all of the kids’ questions (of which there were many!). We got to hold snakes, millipedes, a bearded dragon to name a few. Around every corner was another room with weird and wonderful creatures, and the odd pirate thrown in for good measure. Shelly and her team obviously adore the animals and it’s infectious. Also must mention the most adorable 2 resident cats that my daughter fell in love with.

Will definitely be back, thank you for making his birthday so special.