Friday, 31 October 2008

More mice arrive and 2 old cats rehomed.

We have now rescued 800 of the pet mice!! I am so grateful that they will be going on saturday, not that I dont like them but the staff caravan has had to become a mouse haven and it needs to be reclaimed though not before a thorough cleaning/airing - mice have a very strong smell.This has been our biggest small animal rescue yet.It is far from over but at least now we have contacts who are willing to help.
Fudge, the pregnant farm dog has about one week to go before the pups are due and Paws rescue are helping us out by placing her at the kennels they use locally.We have another dog looking for a home, a beautiful collie cross GSD, 12 months old, his owner has moved in with a new partner whose child hates dogs!Gismo is a joy to care for, he gets on well with everything and everybody, he is such an amiable happy animal.
Mei had a day off today and because her house overlooks the shelter fields she was able to see that one of the ponies was lying down and looked uncomfortable so she rang the shelter immediately.The vet had to be called, old William had a bout of colic, we are checking on him at regular intervals as colic can be potentially fatal.So far he seems much improved.If you are reading this Mei, thank you for your observation but try and have a day off and stop spying on us!!!!"Only joking, well done for spotting it.
Roy, manager of the Caernarfon shop has spent all day here doing odd jobs round the shelter and Barbara when not caring for the mice has been doing a general tidy up - she has extended her stay until saturday so she can organise the mouse hand over to Furry Friends Rescue.What a difference a few extra pair of hands can make.
Yesterday we had visitors from the Midlands, Lynette and Bob are regular helpers and they brought with them a friend who took Inca and Caspar mother and son cats who have been with us for ages.Inca is 14 years old and this put a lot of people off .Had she been young her beautiful grey coat would have meant she would have been snapped up, personally I love the old cats and would always take them as first chooice but I suppose people do not want to face the loss of a pet especially when they have just lost one.Its understandeable but I am so thrilled these two have gone.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Homes for the MIce

The mice have now been split into groups, males and females though it is likely that most if not all the females will be pregnant! The boys are all huddled together in the photo, the other photo is of the first group of females to be put into a anew tank, they are all glad to be in clean surroundings and are starting to wash themselves. My appeal has brought some help, I am so grateful to everyone who responded.Furry Friends In Surrey are taking a few hundred and we are currently trying to sort out transport.A rescue in Lincolnshire has offered to take 50 adn we are still receiving offers of help.The transport is always the pronblem as we have so few helpers here but we will do our best.There may be a glimmer of hope as I have just heard that a rescue in south wales travels to the South every Sunday and may help us. Heres hoping! The power of the internet is truly amazing, as soon as I sent out the appeal(thank you South West animal protection for this)help came flooding in. Kelly who runs a website put out a cry for help on this too.
The seal pup spent the evening at the vets and has now gone to the rehab centre at Colwyn Bay. Barry and his friend managed very well to gather him up in a tarpaulin without being bitten, even at a young age seal pups can give a nasty nip. They may look angelic but they ARE wild.This is the second seal pup found stranded in one week so I hear. The sea has been very wild and perhaps the babies have become seperated from their mothers.
We have a new helper here for a few days, Barbara has come from Gwent and is staying at Barrys caravan for the time she is here.She had only just arrived when the seal crisis occurred, what a welcome! The following day she spent sorting out the accommodation for the mice, Mei and I were delighted as neither of us are good at handling small animals,Barbaras presence was very very welcome.The donated tanks arrived, courtesy of Elinor and Gareth at Machynlleth and Coleen and Roger delivered them here and made mice proof lids for them. It really helps to have animal minded friends in all areas of the country and Wales in particular.I am so grateful to everyone who pulled together to help with these new arrivals.
We are bringing the horses in early at the moment, the weather has been so bad and the old ones cant wait to get into their warm stables.Even the youngsters arent anxious to stay out and are usually whinnying over the gates as though to say dont forget us, we want to come in too.
2 of the horses on my waiting list have been found a foster home for the winter.Rusty a chestnut pony aged 25 years and Romana another chestnut aged 20 belong to a lady who is very ill with MS and can no longer care for her animals. There is no space here at the shelter but I felt she deserved help.As luck would have it, a nice lady who lives not too far from the shelter and who has had years of experience with her own horses has offered to have them at least over the winter months. They should be going to their home in the next week.

Friday, 24 October 2008

A very big arrival of mice and a stranded seal pup.

The pregnant bitch is too far ahead with her pregnancy to have spayed, she only has around 2 weeks to go, so much for the farmer saying that she was only caught by another dog 3 or 4 weeks ago! I need a foster home for her, someone who doesnt have cats is a must as I wouldnt trust her at all.She is great with people and other dogs but would definitely have a go at a cat.
Problem of the week is the arrival of 100 pet mice, the owner has let the situation get completely out of control and now has literally hundreds of mice in his house running riot.Sandra, a friend in Anglesey has also taken some, she has 30 but there are probably a few hundred more so I have had to send out an appeal to other shelters for help.Our 100 have been split into 2 groups, males and females, it is a horrendous problem,they are prettily marked little things but have been kept in appalling conditions and were very hungry and thirsty.
Tonight Barry (the friend who was to join me on the Peru Trek) has taken a seal pup to the vet, he was stranded on a local beach and needs to be checked over, then we have to find a specialist sanctuary to help with him.More of this tomorrow.
There is never a dull moment here!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

2 old cats arrive and more farm dogs

The 2 old cats are in. Pwt is a beautiful tortoishell and white catPictured here)Royston (a female and not keen on having her photo taken) is a very striking black cat with stunning orange eyes.Both are 12 years old so are a little overwhelmed at their sudden change od surroundings but they dont seem too nervous which is a good sign.
A farmer turned up today with 2 unwanted farm dogs, one of them - a handsome 2 years old collie has already been spoken for, the other a 7 years old cross collie/kelpie (also pictured)is pregnant!! He reckoned a stray dog got at her about a month ago but both Rhian and I feel she may be further along than that, she needs to go to the vet as soon as possible and spayed if she is only in early stages.
Her name is Fudge and she seems happy to be off her chain, which the farmer said I could keep! I dont think so. What a terrible life some dogs have. This must seem like paradise to them. I asked him for a donation and his reply was "If I must". They dont care how I find the money to care for them as long as the problem is taken away from them.Still I prefer they bring them here than shoot them or abandon them.
A little more work was done on the new path and yard but then the rain began and as I write this, it is raining very heavily and the wind is getting up so work has had to be abandoned for today.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

The final shelter yard is under construction.

The pup has found a home already, lucky little man.The ducks too will be going shortly to a lovely new home with a big pond for them to swim in. I am glad they are leaving soon,I was becoming too attached to them and the facilities here are not good enough to keep them permanently.
I have been spending time at the new Barmouth charity shop, we hope to have it open next week. As luck would have it(for us, not for them Im afraid) a shop close by was closing down and we have been able to buy good second hand shop fittings.Next week will be taken up sorting that out.The shops are our only regular income but setting them up can take up a lot of valuable time, which I feel would be best spent doing other things.Nevertheless it is an important job and has to be done. Already we have some volunteers ready to help there and usually when a shop opens, other people come forward to offer help.Well, thats the theory anyway!
Today, Gronwey our friendly neighbourhood builder/hay supplier is doing the groundwork for a path and a small yard round the stable in the field next to the house.This is the first dry day for the past week so he is taking advantage of it.
The horse field near to the house has always been a very wet field, it is at the bottom of the hill and rainwater collects there making it muddy for the horses when they come down to drink.The much used area round the shelter has turned to a muddy mess so we are making a small yard around it, the same as those in the other fields, one of which is pictured above.The horses then will have somewhere dry to stand when they come down from the top fields. This will be the last shelter to be done.It has made such a difference having these yards, they are handy too for keeping in those horses on restricted grazing, they dont have to be brought in to stables and can still be next to their field companions. If the weather stays dry (some hope) it will be finished by next weekend. The horses have already been to inspect the work done so far, they are so nosy and love to investigate anything new.
There are 2 cats aged 12 years coming in this weekend, its such a shame that cats this age end up in shelters, they are from different homes, one owner has died, the other works away most of the time now and there is nobody to care for the old cat.Surprisingly many of the oldies settle remarably well but every now and again there will be one which will fret and stop eating for a while.Heres hoping these two will not be the fretting types.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Smut poses for his picture

ThIs is Smut, the pup who was supposed to be food aggressive! He is just four and a half months old, a real livewire.Unlike many young dogs who will not stay still for a "photo shoot" he actually seemed to like his photo being taken and as you can see posed beautifully.
A home has been offered today for our ducks so I hope the homecheck will prove successful, even though I have just bought a new shed for them! This often seems to happen, whenever I start to think that an animal(s) is here to stay, a home suddenly turns up, perhaps I should do that more often.I am sure the shed will come in handy for something else.I never know what is going to turn up from one day to the next.
I have just heard that Sally collie, the dog whose owner was found dead in suspicious circumstances and who was with us for a long time is doing well but still has some issues which need to be addressed.Her main problem is that she distrusts strangers and in particular men.The new owner is having a behaviourist in to try and help her get over this.I am not sure if anythng can help a dog overcome a bad memory.Sally was great with some men, she was very fond of Roy who is the
manager of our Caernarfon shop so it seems to be a case of her needing to learn to trust someone and that may be something which will always be needed in her dealings with strangers.
I popped in our Porthmadog shop today,this has to be the best of our shops due to its location on the high street in Port, it is popular with both holidaymakers and locals.Trisha, the manageress has been with us since the shop first opened and always has the shop looking good, she has been up to see our shop premises in Barmouth and had some valid suggestions on improvements to be made prior to opening.
There have already been a few offers of people willing to help out in it so I need to organise the shop fittings to go in this week.There never seem to be enough days in the week to do everything and dealing with the charity shops is not my forte, I have always preferred working with the animals at the shelter.
The vanished Manageress of Lampteer has not reappeared and its anyones guess where she is now but the staff there seem competent enough to keep the shop open. We will have to see how it goes but certainly for now it does not seem to be a major problem.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Animals get bullied too

Christy, a tabby point siamese was being bullied by the other cats in her home, I brought her back from Lampeter with me last week. Unlike most of this breed, she is not at all vociferous and she is a gentle sweet natured animal. I will try to find her a home where she is the only cat.
We have homed a couple of timid ginger teenage cats this weekend and 2 other kittens but we remain full to overflowing.Where are all these cats coming from? With so much help available to neuter pets, there should be a decrease in the numbers of animals abandoned and unwanted so why does the situation not seem improved? 2 black cats brought in as strays were claimed by their owners whcih was not only welcome but unusual, very few are ever claimed. In fact we have a cat here which had been brought in as a stray.Her owner was contacted as the cat had a microchip implant- 6 weeks later we are still awaiting the owner. nobody has turned up, 3 calls have been made to the shelter, each time it was arranged they would collect her and each time they failed to turn up!This is the second microchipped cat in the past few months which was left unclaimed. It is very hard to understand why anyone would go to the trouble of microchipping their pet and then abandon it .
I went out to get more cat and kitten food today and wore a tshirt i bought in Machu Picchu.I was approached by a woman asking me if I had actually been to Peru.She said all her life she had wanted to visit Machu Pichu, it had long been a dream of hers.She wanted to know if it was as awe inspiring as everyone says. I assured her that it certainly was.I know what she meant, sometimes you hear glowing tales of a place and then when you vist, there is a sense of disappointment. I doubt anyone could fail to be impressed by that particular wonder of the world.It really is an amazing sight to behold.
I think I have a place for the 2 horses belonging to the lady who has MS. A lady in Powys has offered to foster emergency cases for the charity.Once I have been to see her and if it suitable I will arrange for them to be moved as soon as possible.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

The two foals become friends.

The two foals are now firm friends, Shamrock has really brightened up since his arrival, he is now parasite free and is clearly feeling a great deal better.He is no longer dull and listless and is becoming as mischievous as his pal.They will have another companion in the next few weeks, the foal which was due to be destroyed due to its malformed leg(rendering him useless as a future riding animal) will be brought here soon.
It has been a very busy week at the shelter, the dentist has been out and checked or treated over 20 of the horses,some had to be anaesthetised for treatment which meant the vet also had to be in attendance.
Perro, the black and white collie was claimed but Pepe the ginger and white collie remains with us, he has been joined by Smut a collie pup aged about 4 months.He is an attrcative little dog so may not be homeless for very longt.His owner said he was food aggressive and with a young child this was unacceptable.He is NOT food aggressive, food can be taken from him without any fear of being bitten, he just wags his tail, in fact he is simply a normal puppy.
We had a visit from someone who has several of our cats, their oldest cat had died aged 21 years( a marvellous age)He has given a home to another of ours, Vincent a lovely little ginger and white cat one of the 12 cats brought in recently when their owner died.It was lovely to see the photos of their other cats especially Granny White who was a great favourite of the staff here, she was one of 12 white cats which came in from a farm home, friendly cats but not in the best condition,Granny was so frail and shabby in appearance it was hard to recognise her as she is now.It was great to see her looking plump, healthy and happy.Vincent really is a very lucky cat, he is going to a wonderful home.
There have been some problems with the opening of our charity shop in Barmouth.The ex manager of our Lampeter shop has disappeared and we now have to find someone else to run this new shop.I never fail to be amazed at the behaviour of some people, how they let others down and fail to face up to reality. If everyone was open and honest how much easier life would be!Oh well just another problem to deal with.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Perro and Pepe

The 2 collies have still not been claimed, as each day goes by, the possibility becomes more remote.Pepe the smaller of the two looks a bit like a cross sheltie, he really is a very very shy boy, unless the other dogs are around he is very hard to get hold of.He is a very pretty dainty little dog.Once again I wonder why he is lso nervous of people. He seems to be gaining confidence with me slowly, a few more days and it could make all the difference.I have named them Perro(Peruvian for dog) and Pepe(after a Peruvian guide I met)
Shamrock was allowed out today, we put him next to the field where Celt is grazing, so that they could see each other and tomorrow they will meet properly for the first time.That should be fun to watch.
I had visitors from Liverpool today,Margaret and Les have been supporters of Freshfields for more years than I care to admit so it was lovely to see them both.They brought a welcome donation of petfood, the pigs enjoyed their biscuit treats too.
Just one kitten was reserved today and one rehomed yesterday was returned because someone in the household developed an allergic reaction when the cat arrived home.
Its a lovely sunny day today and all the animals have enjoyed the break from the rain.
We have taken in 12 cats from a home where the owner has died, it makes a change to receive this number of cats which are all neutered and spayed.They are all very friendly cats so that makes it easier for us to find them new homes.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Siobhan poses for her photograph.

I love this photo of Siobhan, I will use this on posters to try and find her a good home.Rosie our dog foster mum will have a housefull after this weekend - another 2 stray collieshave been brought in, one from a member of the public, the other arrived in a police car! Both dogs are in good condition though the one which arrived today is very nervous of people which concerns me, young dogs generally are happy and friendly.I always want to know why a dog cowers when approached,its not normal behaviour.When they are like this I always hope the owners do not turn up though there is always the possibility the dog is a rescued dog and it may not be the fault of the current owner.Then again neither dog has any form of ID on them so thats not a good sign.
When I was in Liverpool, several years ago we had a rough collie brought in with no identification on him. He was a middle aged dog, pedigree , shy but nice natured and as expected it was not long before his owner turned up. I will never forget what happened next, The collie followed me to the front door, when he saw his owner and the family, he changed personality immediately, his tail went between his legs, he hid behind me and was clearly terrified of him, refusing to even look at him let alone go out to greet them. After talking to him I gathered he did not really want him anymore anyway but the "kids" did so I asked if he would go away and think about letting me keep him which he did.The following day he agreed to sign him over.I was so thankful, there was no way on earth that dog was going back to that family. I discovered later that the owner regularly battered the dog and people had heard him screaming regularly(why didnt they report him?)So I never forgot that incident and now whenever a stray dog turns up and it is nervous or shy I am apprehensive about the kind of home it has escaped from.I am always pleased if the dog greets its owner like a long lost friend, thats what I want to see and thats how a lost dog should react.
Little Shamrock the foal is perking up today, he is halfway through his worming programme and he is eating well, altogether he is looking brighter .He will be much happier once he can join the other foal and they can start their bonding process(hopefully)At the moment he is stabled next to old Tangy and he really needs to be with someone his own age.
It is a horrendous day today, it is extremely windy and the rain has been torrential, non stop all day.In spite of this we have had several visitors and I am delighted to say that 4 kittens have found homes. Weekends can be very busy and now the horses are coming in at night,Mei will be busy with them so it looks as though I may have to take on someone else to help with cats at weekends.The wages bill is a big expense but the care of the animals can not be compromised and volunteers , welcome though they are, cannot be expected to drop everything and turn up whenever we need them.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Celt settles back in but Shamrock has to be isolated.

Well, nobody claimed the puppy but he already has been found a home, lucky little man.Jacko our lovely blind dog has also been reserved.I view this with mixed feelings, I want all the animals to have their own homes but some I become closer to and there is always part of me wanting to keep the animal safe here at the shelter.Irrational I know but thats the way it is sometimes. Jacko is such a nice amiable dog that he has always been a good candidate for a home, his blindness is the only thing which stopped others taking him. For a blind dog he is extremely active and independent and I know he will be happy in his new home though we will all miss him dearly.
Copper is a lot better, the vet thinks she had an abscess in her foot so she is on a course of antibiotics.If we can get her right she will make a wonderful pony for someone.
The foals are back, Celt is looking great, he is a typical 5 months old colt, full of mischief .Ann who has been caring for him in Anglesey has done a wonderful job and we are very grateful to her for this and for supplying Celt with a lovely foster mum. Shamrock on the other hand is dull and listless, and to our horror full of lice, worms and fleas!! We are all very upset at his poor condition.We had hoped the two foals could meet straight away but due to his heavy parasite infestation Shamrock has had to be kept on his own until this problem is rectified. I have contacted the National Foaling Bank who put us in touch with this foster home and reported her as being totally unsuitable to care for anybodys animal.I rue the day he went to this temporary home, all seemed ok on the surface but clearly he has not been well cared for over the past few months .Thank goodness it was only a temporary situation . It is easy to be taken in by people, this is why our ponies on loan are now checked every three months, we have been lucky with nearly all our loan homes over the years and those out at the moment are all in tip top condition.It is imperative to check regularly.If we had kept him here, he may not have had a foster mum but he would have been in better condition, hindsight is a wonderful thing! It seemed to be the best solution for him at the time, and indeed it would have been , had he been in an establishment similar to the one in Anglesey where Celt spent his early days.