Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Yesterday a farmer brought in a very thin and nervous collie which he said "was not up to standard!!) I grieve for the fate of so many farm dogs which are discarded, without exception all that I have dealt with since I have lived in Wales, have been of excellent temperament and have made wonderful family pets. When I ran the Liverpool shelter I was always a little wary of collies, many seemed to have temperament problems but certainly I have experienced exactly the opposite in this area.
Mik is so very thin I need to see if he gains weight in the next ten days, there is always the concern there is an underlying problem , however the Vet could not find anything wrong on his visit this morning so it is just a matter of waiting to see how he improves. He will be fostered out until a home is found. I dont know what we would do without our foster homes, so many more dogs would be put down.
We had to call out the Vet as Jimmy the ex racehorse hads a large lump on his rear, He thinks it is the result of a kick and should go down by tomorrow! If not I will call the vet back out.I am surprised as all the horses seem to be getting on remarkably well.Looks like someone has bullied him so he may have to be moved to another field and join a different group.

Monday, 27 August 2007

The hooligans meet up!

Bank Holiday weekend is almost over, it has been fairly quiet, there is a big music festival on locally which attracts both locals and holidaymakers so it was to be expected. 4 kittens have been rehomed, thankfully some of the larger, half grown ones have gone.These are so hard to home, that in between stage is not generally appealing to people so we are delighted. Im worried about a mother and kittens we have, none are doing well, I have taken them to the vet and had them tested for Leukaemia and Fiv and they have tested negative but I want another more detailed test to be done, I remain unconvinced they are Ok.
Today we have integrated the 2 pairs of shetland ponies, so we can rest the two fields they have been in, rotation is necessary to give fields a rest from being overgrazed.There have been high jinks, 4 lively youngsters meeting for the first time!!!! Oh what fun they've had! One of them Murphy is still a little shy so had to be lured into the field with aid of food - always works a treat! Pictured is Vanessa beating a quick retreat from 4 greedy shetlands, they will not be happy if they catch up and find her brandishing an empty bucket!

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Mare and Foal have arrived.

Monty is holding his own at the momenmt, there is still some quality of life there so I think he has a few more weeks, will keep everyone informed.As I type this he is out in the front lying in the sun, Tara will not be far away from him.
This morning I went to try and catch a cat and kitten who have made an amazing home in the recess of a wall above a garage! The mum is most likely feral and her secret home would not have been discovered had one of the babies not sadly fallen out of the"nest" to be discovered by the home owner. Unfortunately there was no sign of her, but I have alerted the neighbours and hope someone will spot them so we can set up a trap and have the mum spayed.
The last of the ponies have arrived from Cheshire.Heather and her 3 weeks old foal Paddy are now in a foster home locally.Yesterday went to see them and was happy to see that they seem content and unfazed by their journey from Cheshire to Gwynedd, and their new surroundings. We seem to be inundated with shetland ponies at the moment,I really need to try and find some homes for them.Fortunately there are quite a few homes for equines in this area but not everybody wants shetlands.They can be prone to laminitis and often need restricted grazing to keep them healthy. many calls I receive are from people who want riding horses but most of our animals are not suitable to be worked in any way.
There are so many jobs to do here, I wish we had a handyman, someone who could do some fencing etc. the girls here do their best but I will have to try another advert in the local paper, I dont want these jobs to go into the winter, they need to be done now whilst we have some decent weather.
Had a cat in today in very poor condition, a lovely black and white with a happy nature but so very thin, will need to take her to vet tomorrow, try and find out of she has an underlying problem

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Montys Last Days.

As many of our visitors are aware, there some resident collies at the shelter.The 2 oldest Monty and Tara have been with us for the past 3 years and are as much part of the shelter as William the lurcher. sadly both have developed heart problems recently and Monty is not responding well to treatment. That awful decision has to be made in the forthcoming week..I will not allow an animal to suffer but oh, it is so very difficult.
In my heart I know that his time is near so I need to summon the courage to decide when but then one is always worried that the decision is made too soon.I worry also that Tara will miss his company, she does not like many other dogs and the two have always been compatible.
On a more positive note, William is now staying at home, he appears to have lost interest in his new friend(thank heavens)One worry less to deal with! Also Jimmy, the ex racehorse has settled so well in just one week, he and Murphy have taken to one another and there has been none of the usual meet and greet shenanigans! No kicking, squealing or biting, just total calmness and acceptance of one another

Thursday, 16 August 2007

William has a midlife crisis

There are another 3 horses at the shelter. I responded to a call a few weeks ago which was an urgent plea for help from a lady whose daughter had died tragically . The family were unable to cope with her animals so we decided to take them.With 2 of ours going out on loan last week, there was space for a few more.
They arrived on Tuesday, Jimmy is a chestnut ex racehorse,the 2 ponies Sam and Murphy were both originally rescued from a life of neglect, there are still 2 more to arrive - Heather ,another shetland pony and her 3 weeks old foal.Fortunately we have a foster home for them until we can complete another stable and paddock area(The work has begun) The three new arrivals have settled in extremely well.The big horse Jimmy has joined Big Murphy and his friends and all seem to be getting on very well together.The 2 ponies are in a field on their own for the time being but will probably mix with another group in the near future.
We are doing well with the cats at the moment, the marvellous catchat website brings us so many good homes and yesterday we rehomed 4 cats to a family of cat lovers in Prestatyn. I think around 60 percent of our cats are now being rehomed via that website, it has been a great help.If you are a cat lover, check it I would love to have such an interesting and well designed website.Perhaps I need to find out who their web designer is?
Im having a bit of a problem with William my resident lurcher dog and close companion! William is a real character and is the mascot of this shelter, he even appears on the Freshfields Tshirts.Usually he is never very far away from me or my car but in spite of being neutered he has lately taken to visiting a female dog in the village! I am not at all happy about this because although I encourage William to have friends of his own species I do not want him wandering off the property! He muist be around 12 years of age now, he was middle aged when he came to me 5 years ago and of course he has been neutered so I have no idea why this is happening, perhaps he is having a mid life crisis! Luckily this is a very rural area and everybody knows William so he will not come to any harm from local farmers but there is always concern that he could have an accident. I am trying my best to contain him for the time being.I do have an enclosed garden here but William does not get on with all the other dogs who have constant access to that, which is why he spends his time with us following people around the fields and yard. This is most unlike him, i can only hope he will lose interest in his new found friend and quickly!!

Sunday, 12 August 2007

First day of life for foal Jasmine.

Its almost the end of the weekend, only 2 cats were found homes but one of them "Evie" had been here for a long time - since she was trapped along with other feral kittens..Now six months old, she is still quite timid but is really coming along, allowing herself to be fussed over and even picked up. I had been hoping to find her a pet home and not a farm home so thank you Amanda for being kind enough to offer a home to her after all this time. Amanda also took an older black kitten so it was a good result.
Popped round to see new foal at friends in the village, these friends have several rescued horses and took on a pregnant mare a few months ago. Jasmine was born this morning!!!! I had to include this photo even though she is not a freshfields rescue! How adorable is she!

Friday, 10 August 2007

Lots of new arrivals and the Farrier pays a visit.

Today was a very busy day, the farrier arrived to check the feet of the equines at the shelter.We were particularly anxious about maggie, an elderly shetland pony with a real attitude! Maggie has a problem with her feet, they are called box feet so called because when she is due for a trim, it appears she is walking on tiny boxes!They are a peculiar shape. The problem is that Maggie does not like being messed about with so with this in mind she was sedated prior to the farriers arrival.Did this work? NO! It took 3 people to keep hold of this tiny pony , her feet HAD to be trimmed so there was a sense of determination and finally relief when Frazer the farrier was able to do his job.No mean feat, he looked exhausted after struggling with her for a good ten minutes. there is no doubt that the little shetlands are most definitely the most difficult to handle when it comes to this.
16 horses were seen today, so all hooves are nice and trim once again.
2 new cats arrived today, Laurel(My name for her\) a black female had been hanging around a local restaurant, she is a bonny cat and to be honest appears more like a much loved pet than a stray. I will look in the Lost and found book in case someone is searching for her. The other a pretty and heavily pregnant stray tabby cat had been around for 4- 5 months according to the finders. These nice people kindly made a donation to the shelter which Im sorry to say is a rare occurrence.If more people would help in this way when they bring an animal here, it would be a great help.
On the downside, a sick kitten brought which was brought in this morning , died this afteronon, always a sad time for the staff who have to deal with it.
Also brought in was a young cross staffordshire bull terrier female(sacha)She will have to be fostered until a home is found. Her owner had her locked in a shed all day until a visiting tradesman heard her crying and offered to take her away with him.Thankfully he agreed and now she has a chance of a decent life. Pictured above with a photo of Maggie the shetland pony finally nodding off after sedation starts to work.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Kittens galore

At last some of the kittens are moving, we have found homes for 5 over the past few days and amazingly some of the black ones which are not the most popular for some unfathomable reason. What a relief when they start to move, although each summer it is like this, there is always a bit of a panicky feeling July and August, the numbers of kittens rise and there are very few homes around.Now people are starting to return from holidays, we are becoming busier each day.The little terrier Maisie has gone to a new home, they were known to one of the staff, Rosie so we know ishe has gone to a good caring home.
We have taken in a number of cats recently including Forest and Seren shy grey and white cats whose owner has died.Unfortunately they were not neutered so they have had to pay a visit to the vet to get that little problem sorted out! Poor chaps!
Had a visit today from 2 friends from Liverpool who have been helping at the Liverpool shelter since they were schoolgirls. It was nice to see them, it can be quite isolated here and it is always nice to see old friends and have a good old gossip.