Located near Gateshead, and founded in 1947 by the late Bill and Marion Bryson, Brysons Animal Refuge was originally set up to provide sanctuary and a home of rest for retired and ill-treated horses and ponies. Since its foundation the charity has expanded and now cares for cats, dogs and other small animals, as well as horses and ponies. The goal of the charity is to provide temporary care and shelter for these stray, abandoned or relinquished animals, and to find responsible and caring homes for as many of them as possible.