Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Noddy enjoys the sunshine

Im feeling a bit brighter today, the loss of a pet leaves such an empty feeling and the fact I have so many other animals here makes absolutely no difference at all.
Its a bright sunny day today though freezing cold and the ground underfoot is quite treacherous and icy.Hay has had to be taken to all the fields as the ground is frozen and hard.
The bird feeders are emptying rapidly as birds flock to avail themselves of the free dinners.The cold weather is bringing all types of birds to the feeders, in the garden today I have seen a solitary blackbird and a solitary Thrush which I rarely see here.There are as usual dozens of chaffinches, some sparrows and starlings but there are new arrivals also - blue tits, great tits and a pair of wagtails.In the fields around there are flocks of crows and magpies with a few buzzards flying overhead. Lots of birds follow the horses about for the rich pickings amidst their droppings! Its a birds paradise,apart from the odd naughty cat spying upon them.Amazingly we have few bird casualties here, out of all the cats roaming free at the shelter there are only 2 hunters amongst them.
The photo above is of our oldest resident Noddy standing enjoying the sunshine, he is often seen on his own though his companion Maggie is never far away.She often
wanders up to the higher field and Noddys little old legs find the effort a little too much so he chooses to stay in the bottom field.This also means he is the first to come in at night and first to have his evening meal.Food is never far from his thoughts(I totally empathise with him!)
A home in Dorset has been offered to Christy one of the pound dogs so we are busy trying to organise the transport there.He should go this week sometime.Nicky the other dog has gone to a home in Cambridge to be a companion to a Border collie.The internet finds so many good homes for dogs, what we need is more people willing to help with transporting them to homes further afield.There are so few homes in this part of North Wales, too many animals, too few homes.
There are a few people coming to see cats this week so fingers crossed some of them will go soon.
Cariad our resident cat is in the vet undergoing tests to see what is wrong with her, her legs seem wobbly as though she has developed some sort of neurological problem.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Cindy passes away

One of the house dogs died this morning, I only have one of the Golden Girls left now.Cindy had developed dilated cardiomyopathy and this morning she passed away in her bed.Im so glad it happened this way, she hated strangers and was never the best tempered of dogs, vet trips were always a nightmare.I knew about this heart condition as my boyfriend Steve died of the same thing 10 years ago. Poor old Cindy, although she gave me the most grief of all my dogs, I cannot believe how much I miss her presence.Molly too seems lost without her though they were never the best of friends and merely tolerated one another.Its the first time Molly has not had a companion in the kitchen though Im thinking of adopting one of the outside dogs who is unlikely to find a suitable home due to her personality pecularities.I want to give it careful thought first and right now I cant bear to see another in her bed. Maybe in a few days I will make the decision.I wont leave it long , Molly needs a friend.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Both animals returned on Christmas day.

I cant believe it. Both animals rehomed yesterday were returned, Pip at 7.30am! the cat was returned some hours later.Pip had been attacked by the familys other dog so there was a real reason for their state of panic and subsequent journey back to Wales, however the cat was returned after giving the couple a "traumatic evening"( their words not mine) The trauma - she wanted to stay on the worktop!!!! As anyone who has ever brought a new cat into the house with other animals will know, they need to feel safe somewhere whilst they assess the new situation.They didnt even give her 24 hours to settle and adapt in spite of all that was said to them prior to taking her home. This makes me very angry and also very disheartened that I can be so wrong about people after all the years I have been doing this work.To add to my anger I was handed a letter to read about their "traumatic evening" which stated that it would be cruel to keep her to be shouted at and threatened every few minutes!!!! To say I saw red would be an understatement.
Oh well, Happy Christmas.
Other than that all is well at the shelter, as usual the staff came in earlier this morning and I had a full day off, the only one during the year though by afternoon I was bored and had to emerge from my TV and chocolate induced stupor to feed the cats.After such an early breakfast they were glad to see me and I was pleased to be doing something useful.
It has been a warm almost spring like day which has been nice for the animals.I am worried about Cariad our resident ginger and white fluffy cat, she seems a bit wobbly on her back legs, I need to keep an eye on her over the next few days.
The horses are eating hay like its going out of fashion, at this time of year there is little grass so we spend an exorbitant amount of money buying in hay and haylage but we have had some donations of food and even 24 bales of hay were donated which was very welcome.The main herd are pictured above round the ring feeder.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Its Christmas!

Well little Pip went to his new home today, he has a three hour journey ahead of him and he was very excited and wriggly, I only hope he settled down a little on the trip back to Wolverhampton, I will be waiting anxiously for news.
Another adult cat went today to a retired couple who had lost one of their beloved cats,Im sure they chose the right cat, Horlicks came in with several other cats and had lived with dogs also so she should settle quite easily.Of course its a worry until we hear that all is well.Cats can behave very differently in a cattery and many a time the new owner has been told what a quiet little cat they have chosen only for us to hear later that the cat is a bully and a hyperactive pyschotic menace! Well maybe not quite that bad but they certainly can come out of their shells when they arrive in a new home.
Whilst I was walking the dogs this morning I could hear the baying and howling of the pack of foxhounds kennelled in the village.We have 2 packs here, the other is directly at the back of the shelter.Other than the times they are taken out hunting(yes they still hunt here and no the police do nothing about it) these animals do not receive any form of exercise, they are kept in small pens. bored and frusrtated, what a poor quality of life that is for any dog.If they get out once a weeek they are lucky.
The pigs have had their fair share of treats lately, there is little they dont like but they do have a penchant for tomatoes and bananas, Im glad the weather is not too cold, Winter is a hard time for potbellied pigs,its hard to keep them warm. Believe it or not there is a website where pig coats can be made to measure but our two are not overly friendly and there would be no chance of getting a fitting, never mind putting a coat on.They will have to make do with lots of extra straw and hay for bedding.
The 2 pound dogs, now named Christy and Nicky are doing well, another dog was found wandering in Caernarfon, this time a lovely chocolate and white coloured lurcher type about 8 months of age. He is a nice amiable dog and he he should make a lovely family pet. heres hoping that after the holiday some good homes are offered to them.
Alfie, pictured above is an ex Freshfields dog now living in LIverpool with my friend Diane and her son Jake. He is truly one of the family and is dearly loved.Poor Alfie had a less than auspicious start to his life, he remains nervous of strangers but is one hundred percent better than he used to be thanks to the care and love given to him now.I love this photo of him by the Christmas tree, I wish all animals could find such a home - That would be my Christmas Wish. How wonderful it would be if there was no cruelty in the world, no wars, no violence and Peace on earth was a Fact not just a dream.
Happy Christmas to everyone who cares.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Where is the Christmas Spirit?

Sometimes people leave messages on my blog and I am ashamed to admit I have no idea how to reply to them so If you have left me a message please forgive me for not replying but I appreciate your comments and its nice to know people are actually taking the time to read this blog.
The staff at the Liverpool shelter are still trying to come to terms with the events last week and to top it all the police came to the shelter a few days ago searching for pitbull terriers, they had already been to another shelter and confiscated one of their dogs, presumably to destroy it.In my mind the police would be better employed visiting some of the gangs round merseyside and confiscating THEIR dogs to be placed into more caring homes, Most of us know that dogs are generally vicious when brought up badly or are treated as guard dogs to attack on command.I am not personally very fond of bull breeds but I have good experiences with many which have been of exemplary nature and those certainly did not deserve to be rounded up and destroyed.The problem is that many cross staffordshire bull terriers can have the appearance of a pitbull but this does not mean that it is a dangerous dog.
Thankfully no dogs were taken from our shelter.
Well amazingly we have found superb homes for some of our adult cats this past week, one has gone to live in Llandudno, another 2 went to someone who kindly donated us some catfood for the Christmas period, they fell in love with 2 little tabby brothers and returned later in the day to ask if they could take them and Harry our handsome but temperamental white and ginger took the eye of another catlover.On the other hand we have had some p[eople wanting xmas presents for relatives which of course have been refused, although they were all told they could reserve the animal of their choice, nobody did so which proved to me the homes were unsuitable.
We were forced to give shelter to Rollo a black 13 years old shetland pony who was rehomed in this area by a shelter in Sheffield, the new owners no longer wanted him and would not take him back to sheffield so we have helped out by fostering him until he can either be returned or found another more suitable home.I have been distressed at the number of calls and emails I have been receiving from people wanting to part with horses, I wish I had more land, more money and more staff to help these poor animals but the fact is I have limited resources so can only do the little I already do which seems such a drop in the ocean.
My dog foster homes are full of abandoned dogs, including two youngsters due for destruction at a dog pound in North Wales.One is just 6 months old, a cross labrador type and the other a very thin black and white collie aged around 9 months.Both have lovely natures, the collie hands you his paw- how could their owners leave them unclaimed in a dog pound? Will they give them a thought over Christmas? I doubt it very much.The Spirit of Christmas is somewhat lost with those sort of people.
Tammy the timid collie (pictured above)is still extremely shy but is starting to wag her tail, I hope after the holiday some nice people will come forward to offer them all homes.
There is someone coming all the way from Wolverhampton tomorrow to see Pip the little deaf Jack Russell.Barbara(our newest staff member) is fostering a little staff cross female pup which was taken into our Porthmadog shop today, I hope this is the end of it, we are struggling to find places for them all.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Tragedy strikes the Liverpool shelter

Well I have been without internet access for quite some time unfortunately. Its amazing how isolated I felt,anyhow I have changed service provifert(due to aol being so unhelpful) though it seems i still have aol email, well for the time being at least.
So much has happened the past few weeks and of course as it is almost Christmas many animals are being discarded, so much for the Christmas spirit, seems this is not extended to animals!In the past week I have been ORDERED to go and collect a f....g cat, a f....g puppy, both of which were dirtying in the house.The pup was 8 weeks old and was being fed on adult dog food, no wonder it wasnt clean , the poor little fellow couldnt cope with this rich diet.The cat was 5 months old and was being hassled by a brood of pre school children. not to mention the other animals in the house. 3 Half grown kittencats were taken to our Caernarfon shop by a woman who threatened to dump them if the shop staff refused to take them.2 shetland ponies have been abandoned by their owners who left them at a rented property telling the landlords that they could dispose of them however they wanted!!
We gave shelter to a young deaf dalmation which we were told was a stray, we found out later that the person who brought the dog here was in fact the father of the owner! No donation given to us of course.Dotty or Jasmine as she was originally called has gone to a loving home with 2 other dogs and the local newspaper has done a wonderful article on the shelter and Dottys supposed abandonment.It has resulted in some donations of petfood and other offers of help so its not all been bad news.However, just when I was starting to feel more positive, I had a telephone call telling me of a fire in the puppy block at the Liverpool shelter shelter which had resulted in the death of one of the dogs from smoke inhalation.Everyone is reeling from this devastating tragedy and as well as the distress caused by the loss of one of our dogs there is also the the loss of an entire block of kennels at a time of year it is needed most.Thankfully the other dogs were saved by the quick actions of the staff coming on duty that morning.There will be an enquiry into the cause of the fire though it is thought that it was an electrical fault.As can be imagined the morale of the staff is at an all time low, I feel for them, there is nothing worse than losing an animal which has been cared for over a period of months only to have this awful tragedy claim its life.
Our staff are all dedicated to their charges and this will affect everyone badly but life at a shelter has to carry on regardless which is not always easy after such a traumatic incident.It makes me think of how people often say to me that they couldnt do what I do as they are "not hard enough"!!! Believe me neither I nor the rest of the Freshfields staff are "hard".We all weep many tears over animals in and out of our care.