Monday, 24 September 2007

Lucky to be alive!

We have had a very quiet weekend, few visitors and even fewer homes! Just one kitten went to a home this weekend.Even Murphy our beautiful big Irish draft cross did not go to his new home.The home had been checked, the gentleman did not want to see him, he just wanted a companion for his horse but when he arrived he took one look at our beautiful boy and said he didnt like him!! We were all shocked but at the end of the day I would rather keep him here than him go to a home where he would not be loved or appreciated.
It seems like there is a second wave of kittens around.We still had a few small kittens left at the shelter but were receiving no calls to take in more , however it appears to be the calm before the storm!
Today we admitted a ginger and white kitten lucky to be alive, he almost ran into the jaws of a greyhound being exercised by his owner..The kitten heard a human voice and ran crying to her, in the nick of time she controlled her dog which would otherwise have made short work of such a tiny animal.Shortly after we made him comfortable and fed him(he was starving) our volunteer driver Jeff arrived from Anglesey with a collection of young cats taken from a woman in Holyhead.We were expecting with them a nursing mother cat but instead we received her 4 weeks kittens and a dead mother, mauled by a dog.Sadly we buried her and quickly made up some lactol for the 3 hungry babies .they appear fit and healthy so lets hope they continue to do well.
Yesterday I also took in a 6 years Jack Russell who is staying with me in the house as he gets along with other dogs and cats.He really is a lovely dog and will make someone a great companion.He has been well loved but when the children came along, he could not be bothered with them(typical terrier)and it became a worry to the owners. From my experience of Jack Russells, they hate to be disturbed when asleep and as they get older want to play when it suits them, not the other way around. Jack is no exception but his nature is very good and I feel sure he will fit in most homes without small children.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Caspars operation day

Todays the day Caspar loses his hidden testicle!! I will be nowhere near when the vet arrives to perform the operation which will take place in one of the stables.Even after 30 years of doing this work and visiting veterinary sugeries, I still am unable to witness anything remotely gory and if a needle appears I am quite likely to pass out!Unfortunately for me I have pernicious anaemia which means I have to have an injection of B12 every 12 weeks. I feel sorry for the very patient and understanding medical staff at my local surgery who have to put up with my terror and histrionics, if any of them read this my apologies for my behaviour and gratitude for their kindness. I read yesterday a patch is being developed to be used instead of injections for those who need regular injections for various problems so maybe thats something to look forward to.
Jimmy the ex racehorse has gone to a new home and Murphy our big beautiful cross Irish Draft is going in the next week to be a companion to an even bigger Shire horse.I have been asked today to take a horse with a back problem but I need to find homes for the 2 pairs of Shetland ponies Walter and William and Sam and Murphy, before I will have room to take him.Walter and William were due to go to a home but the people have changed their minds - better they do so now than later when the ponies had arrived. Its a worry when I receive requests to take horses that I cant accommodate, my concern is always what will happen to them if I say no. So many Horse welfare societies deal mainly with cruelty cases so do not have room or resources for others which are unwanted.Understandably what room there is at shelters SHOULD be reserved for those animals most in need. The trouble is this throw away society we live in means so many equines end up at market at the end of their riding days and of course who will buy them, nobody wants a lame horse or one with a back problem.There is only one place for them- the meat lorry!!! What an end for these beautiful creatures which give their all to their owners to be discarded at the end of their usefulness. I make no apology for getting on my high horse every now and again (forgive the pun) about this issue.Its one which distresses me and angers me intensely. Look at the photo above of big Murphy , he is just 8 years old and on the scrapheap! If Freshfields had not taken him he would be dead now. Unbelievable isnt it. He is such a wonderful animal, so gentle.Im sure he will be appreciated in his new home.

Monday, 17 September 2007

In defence of Torties!

Im pleased that my blog on the unpopular dark tortoishell cats led to some people leaping to their defence.Its good to know that there are people who care more about the personality and circumstances of the animal than the colour. I often wonder how many of we humans would find homes easily if we were put up for adoption!!!!!! I am quite sure that I would definitely be one of the long termers!! Just as well we will never find out isnt it. Could be quite a blow to the ego! So to compound the fact that I and some others actually LIKE torties I am posting a photo of Cocoa a beautiful tortie who arrived yesterday.She was brought in by an owner who is emigrating.heres hoping she and the others will soon find a home.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Well its been a weekend of new cats arriving but nothing going out! One of the new cats Bobby is 12 years old and is very distressed at finding himself in such a change of circumstances.Poppy a 7 years old brought in by an owner emigrating is also upset This is quite normal for cats from homes, the strays which come in are totally different, they are so pleased to have warmth and comfort and plenty of food, they settle in immediately. It will take about a week for the more pampered pets to relax though occasionally there may be one which will never be content until a home is found.Fortunately most do settle fairly quickly, cats are very adaptable creatures.
This is the first weekend that Nia and her mother have not been in to help.Nia has just started Liverpool University where she will be studying to become a vet, we will miss her help on sunday.Nia has been the first Freshfields Volunteer to visit our twin shelter in Mumbai, India and she had a wonderful experience there visiting their spaying clinic and accompanying them feeding the street dogs.Freshfields In India was started by a lady called Renu whise compassion for the neglected and abandoned animals in her area of Mumbai inspired her to start an animal welfare society which she named Freshfields after our charity. They spay the strays and release them(there are few homes for them) and feed nightly over 250 dogs on the streets. What a task! I hope to visit them one day to witness their work first hand.
the photo above is of Renu feeding just a few of Mumbais stray dog population.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Caspars remaining testicle!

We have had 2 ponies returned through no fault of the new owners. They were having some problems with one who was behaving in a particularly unruly and stallion like way so we agreed to take them back to assess the naughty pony. We had not previously experienced a problem with him but then he had been in a field where there were no mares nearby!!! They were both down in our records as geldings and we had no reason to think otherwise, there were certainly no"bits" on view! On return we had a mare in season in a nearby field and what a difference we noticed in him this time! No wonder he was unmaneagable, we arranged for him to have a blood test to check if he was what we expected - and the results came back that Caspar was in fact a "Rig". This is when only one testicle has been removed and the other is still inside him causing raging hormones. We were all shocked and dismayed at this turn of events, although he is infertile he needs to have an operation to rectify this problem and a problem it surely is. Anyone who has not seen an entire horse or pony has no idea how difficult they can be Caspar will be having his operation next thursday, though like all neutered animals the effects will not be instantaneous.Until his hormones calkm down he will stay with us!
Fortunately the nice people who had given them a home will be taking a couple of other rescued ponies so we have not lost this excellent home.
Today a 12 years old cat has been brought in, I hope he wont be here too long. several of the new kittens have been found homes, its good they have gone so quickly. Roy the manager of our Caernarfon charity shop has been working at the shelter the past week.He has been erecting an enclosure for our semi feral cats who have been in their pens too long awaiting suitable homes.Thanks to the Holyhead Cat Action , who have paid for this, they will now have much more space in which to exercise and play.Thanks to ROy also without whose help, the enclosure would still be unassembled!

Monday, 10 September 2007

photo of kittens

sorry forgot to add the photo of the kittens whuich arrived today

More kittens arrive

Well , just as we were all congratulating ourselves on homing so many kittens(for the first time in ages there are empty pens) along came someone with 2 adult cats and 9 kittens!!! Some of the kittens are pictured above. The reason given was that the ownerwas moving to a flat and was unable to take animals with her.Although the babies are very prettily marked, the arrival of young, 7 weeks old kittens means less chance now of the "teenagers" finding a home.Its always the same- if the babies are not rehomed fairly quickly they become gangly and less appealing and we have around 12 such kitten cats. Sometimes they are here until they are adults and only then after neutering do they find homes. I was really hoping this lull in youngsters would mean we would be able to move some of the teenagers. These things are sent to try us as my mother used to say!
Looks like Jimmy the ex racehorse may be going to friends in the village which will be nice as I can pop round to see him without even getting into the car and driving.He has a swelling on his back at the moment which is being treated by the vet so as soon as that clears he will be leaving us.
I have been asked to take a 5 months old shetland colt, however the problem is transporting him from the Shetland Isles to North Wales!!! An interested part has offered to pay for him from the shetlands to Aberdeen but from there on we are stuck.Any ideas anyone? He can be transported in a van as he will not be very big but it is qquite a long journey. If anyone has any ideas how this can be managed please contact me straight away as his owner wants rid pretty quickly.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

2 horses successfully rehomed

Strange thing Ive noticed - when I write about cats or horses there are no comments made.When I write about dogs there are always comments posted!!!!Dogs appear to inspire more emotion and passion in people, yet cats are the most popular pet in the Uk(according to a recent poll). On the other hand , a friend of mine wrote in her blog about the dog fighting activities of Michael Vick the american football player. Her blog is mainly read by people in the dog show world and yet she was surpriused to receive no comments on this appalling news story. She told the same story on the George Michael fanclub blog and was inundated with replies from outraged animal lovers! So much for those who profess to care about dogs, presumably they only care about their own.
To those who kindly showed concern on Monty collies deteriorating health, you may like to know his new heart/water tablets seem to be working so we may have him a bit longer than first expected.I will keep you informed.
Went to check on 2 horses rehomed a few months ago. Buster is a very large horse whose twisted foot made him unsuitable for riding and Abby is a highly strung mare who had been with us for several years after being deemed too dangerous to ride. The two friends looked very well and happy in their new home and I came away feeling happy that they appeared so content.Of course I managed to take a few photos of them, my camera is never very far away from me nowadays much to the discomfort of colleagues who are always on edge in case I snap them in undignified poses! They need not worry, I prefer taking photos of animals.
walter and William the two shetland ponies are going to a home tomorrow, I hope it will be an equally caring home. Pictured are Abby and Buster in their new home.

Friday, 7 September 2007

What is it about the colour of cats? Why is one colour more appealing and more popular than others? I cannot get to the bottom of it, has anyone any ideas? I have always found dark tortoishell cats hard to home. For example Astra and Venus , young sister cats have been here since they were 6 weeks old and have ben completely overlooked by people visiting.Now 5 months old I worry they will never find a home.Gingers seem to be THE most popular, also grey and pretty tortie and whites and tabbys - Black and white next, then black(another unpopular colour) and finally the poor old tortoishell!!!
The strange fact is that brindle dogs which are similarly marked, are also hard to home!!!Perhaps people think they look fierce, could this be the reason? I rem,ember when I was in the Liverpool shelter and someone would telephone to get rid of a brindle dog, my heart would sink as I knew he/she would face the possibility of a long stay in kennels.I feel the same way now when Tortie cats arrive.No matter how sweet natured they are, they very rarely go quickly, such a shame that appearance maters so much to so many people. Many years ago , when I first moved to East Lodge farm in Liverpool, a retired couple turned up for a grey and white cat. As luck would have it, we did have just one in with those markings. I introduced the couple to this lovely friendly and attractive cat and left them alone for a few minutes.On my return I found them with a tape measure, measuring the white on his legs!!!!!!
Needless to say they did not get the cat!
Today I am going to concentrate on publicising Astra and Venus and Tiggs another tortie and try my best to move them out the shelter and into new homes which is what they deserve.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Mik the collie is already enjoying his new life, his face smiles now, though he is still very nervous and submissive.He has seen the vet who thinks he is simply starved.Time will tell, he is eating well, several small meals daily to try and build him up slowly. I have taken another photo of his lovely expressive face. How can people neglect these animals?
He is one of many farm dogs I see in this condition.Most farmers have been brought up to have the attitude that working dogs are tools for them to use in their work and therefore require no understanding, compassion or special care. This extremely old fashioned , incorrect and unkind attitude belongs in days gone by, however it still persists in farming communities everywhere. I am fortunate that the farms on either side of the shelter have a more enlightened outlook towards their sheepodogs but the lives of most working dogs remain harsh and bleak.It has always been beyond my comprehension that these dogs who work so hard for their owners are rewarded by a great lack of consideration for their wellbeing and comfort. Surely they deserve this. It doesnt make them less of a good worker, just a more contented part of the farm menagerie.
I was listening to breakfast television the other day and there was a discussion about the lawlessnes of todays society and the search for the killer(s) of the poor little boy in Liverpool. In the United States it has long been a known and accepted fact that the perpetrators of acts of cruelty towards animals will almost certainly go on to harm their own species. If our judicial system took animal cruelty more seriously there may be fewer youths growing up to be violent, cold uncaring adults.Our legal system has never adequately protected animals, the sentences handed down are too lenient(as with many other crimes!)When will they learn?