Saturday, 30 May 2009

William the Wonderdog gets in the frame again!

I had an afternoon off yesterday and went to see the Osprey chicks at the RSPB site near Porthmadog.Its 2 years since I went and this year three chicks have hatched, the oldest is 2 weeks old.Its wonderful to see them so clearly on the webcam they have set up and I will go again before the family take off on their flight to Africa How on earth do they do find their way?Its so amazing that the youngsters will make that journey on their own for the first time and will somehow arrive at the correct destination.How do they do it, if I could only find out, I would never again get lost 10 minutes from the shelter, why do they make these diversions? Show me the same route time and time again and I will find my way, just one diversion throws me out completely.
Millie and Timmy have gone to their new home in Scotland and I have just received a call to say they have reached home safely and the two seem happy and excited to be exploring their new digs.There is always a certain sense of relief when we hear that news. When animals have not had happy lives before they arrive at a shelter, it becomes their place of safety, a place where they experience only kindness and comfort and very often they do not want to leave and show signs of distress when they are driven away.This is heartrending but when we hear that they are well and happy, well thats what it is all about.We can relax - until the next time.
A new dog is admitted, Purdey is 6 years old, a funny mix of greyhound, collie and dalmation but she has a very kind temperament and seems to love the company of the other dogs.her problem was chasing cars, her owners did not have secure fencing round their garden and children who left doors open constantly.If that is her only problem, a home with secure fencing should be all she needs.Otherwise she is perfect. Purdey wil be fostered out until a home is found.
It has been so hot today, everyone, staff and animals alike are finding it hard going though I personally love it, it can never be hot enough for me.Wish it was like this every day.The horses are drinking loads, its been a full time job keeping the water containers filled.The pigs like their mud baths on days like this, I tried to get a photo but none turned out well, wil try again tomorrow.
We have decided to make another entrance in one of the fields so that the ponies in the adjoining field have access to the field shelter, pictured is the work in the next field is old Ross who is in his late twenties, a pony who gave great pleasure to his young owners but was retired here when he became too old to ride.Although his owner was a doctor and hardly on the breadline we never heard from her again and no donation was ever sent to help with his keep. Even a request for a new winter rug was ignored. Such is life at an animal shelter.I dont know why I continue to be surprised. In the background is William another elderly pony, at least his owner rang to see how he was settling in.Most never do.William, our mascot and my own beloved dog accompanied me on the photo shoot and as always managed to find his way into one of the pictures.The ponies are so used to seeing him they take no notice, he is so good with other animals round the shelter.Of course he can do no wrong in my eyes, he is William the Wonderdog. That is not, however, what the girls call him when he barking to share their biscuits at teabreak. I cant repeat what they actually do call him but I know they all love him really!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Ruby finds a home after two years.and the terriers homecheck passes

We had another offer of free summer grazing for the horses so mei and I went along to check it out. It was ideal and we are thinking of sending Callie, Freddy and Ken. The daughter of the lady who rang me has promised she will put on the horses rugs if the weather changes for the worst but there are plentiful trees around for them to shelter under.The land is right next to Caernarfon Bay and the views were wonderful - not that the horses will appreciate them!. Quite frankly I was wondering whether I could move there and leave the horses here.Not only were the fields good for the horses but their garden was incredible and I was open mouthed with envy. I do become envious of other peoples gardens when they are beautifully laid out, there is no chance of mine being like that, only the hardiest plants withstand Mollys big feet.I did a very stupid thing a few years ago(well actually theres been plenty more before and since!)I had a brainwave, I would buy some trellis fencing to keep Molly and the other dogs off the plants. When I returned with it , Mei burst into hysterical laughter.It was just two feet high and was clearly not going to be any sort of deterrent for a Great dane.In my stupidity I thought the mere sight of the fence albeit a small one would stop her from wandering on to the newly planted shrubs.Of course she simply stepped over it and commenced to flatten everything in sight.Not one of my better ideas.
Well the good news this week has to be the rehoming of Ruby, the little black cat pictured here who has been here 2 years.Nobody has ever looked at her , she is shy and does not sell herself at all.Supporters of ours from Stoke came to visit and bring us animal bedding and food they collect for us, they have adopted several cats from the shelter and they brought a friend with them who has also adopted cats from us.This time, however, she was determined not to take another, half an hour later she was on her way home with Ruby! We were all so thrilled that finally she has found someone to take pity on her, I hear she is in hiding at her new home, she will be very distressed for a while but it will be lovely for her once she settles.
Clare who is fostering a mother cat and her kittens has sent me a photo of them(pictured here) These kittens are only 2 weeks of age so will,not be ready for another 5 weeks.They look very content, when the kittens are old enough we will bring them here and spay mum ready for her to be adopted.
The homecheck has passed for the two terriers Millie and Timmy so they will be leaving us on Saturday. We are all becoming very fond of these two so the sooner they go the better, even those who are not keen on Jack Russells have fallen in love with them, their natures are so lovely, there is no nastiness or nippiness in either of them and it is hard to undersatnd why one is an unclaimed stray and the other unwanted after being kept outside in a kennel all her life. They are real lapdogs and will have a marvellous new life ahead of them now.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

A crisis averted

Last night after I had written the days blog, Barbara and Im had a bit of a crisis, she came into the office to tell me that she thought one of the horses had become stuck behind a wall and she was right. Freddy had managed to wedge himself behind a stone wall and our security fencing. Part of the wall had fallen down and this had made a space for him to get through but the passage had narrowed and he could move neither way. Whilst I kept him calm and talked to him, Barbara raced back to the tack room to get some bolt cutters and cut away the wire fencing holding him in.A very relieved horse escaped into the field to join his companions.Fortunately he had not panicked excessively and had no cuts or grazes from his experience. The funny thing was that some of the resident cats had heard my voice and decided to investigate, all of a sudden several feral cats appeared and raced up the field to join us on our mercy mission. As cats do they simply lay down in the field to watch our struggles and then when it was all over they dispersed as quickly as they arrived.Clearly they thought the fun was over so there was no point hanging around.
I took some photos of the views from where I walk the dogs.To the front of the shelter the sea is visible and at the side, the mountains, I did not manage a photo of Mount Snowdon, it is to the right of the range of mountains known locally as Elephant Mountain so called because of the shape.Molly manages to get in most of my photos, Meg the lurcher is also in one of them, the other is of Meg and Ben, the elderly collie I am caring for whilst his owner tries to find somewhere to live.I actually found him sharing mollys basket last night, he is a very amiable dog and of course Molly is a real tart, she will let anyone sleep with her!
The last kitten has been reserved (also through the blog) so she will be leaving us tomorrow at the same time as the others.
All three longhaired cats have returned from their dematting session at the vets and they look so much better, they did not have too have much taken off so they have been spared the total bald scenario.We have someone interested in 2 of them, she will be visiting this week to see them and hopefully will decide to adopt.
The new black cat with the leg injury has had an xray today, his leg was swollen and today he seemed in more discomfort.He is on antibiotics for the moment but may need an operation .
Someone sent me the video on you tube of the RSPCA footage taken at the farm in Amersham where so many horses were dead and severely neglected.It was very upsetting and like everyone who read about this case I feel full of anger at the evil family who allowed this to happen.Even more amazing is that the british justice system fails to come down as heavily as it should on this type of animal abuser. I dont know if there is a more recent update on the situation but I had read sometime ago that some of the animals were being RETURNED to them!! Unbelievable that this should even be an option.

Monday, 25 May 2009

A cat with no ears arrives.

Three adult cats were admitted today, one more kitten rehomed(thanks to this blog) so I am hoping against hope that someone will want the last one,I would hate to see it on its own in the pen and Rwth is collecting her two on wednesday.
Two of the cats admitted today are Toby and Twinkle(pictured here)6 years old siblings whose owners new partner is allergic to cats.Toby has no ears because they were amputated when his ears became badly sunburned . This was done as a preventative measure against possible cancer.They are lovely friendly cats and I hope we will soon find them a permanent home where they can remain together.The other cat is a very pretty stray tabby/tortoishell about 10 months old which I decided needed to come in.had she been left she would have soon become pregnant and then there would be another litter of kittens to home.Better to take her now to avoid this occurring.We are becoming streched now for space unless we home some more soon.I am also running out of ideas for names and I hate to resort to Blackie, snowy, patch etc.Maybe Ill start again with the poets/authors as I did a few years ago - Shelley, Bronte, Byron!How difficult can it be to find cat names? Incredibly difficult!
Vanessa and Rosie have taken the clippers to start on Finns coat and I forgot to give them the camera to take some photos but at least I will be able to take an" after " photo, the one I took of him when he arrived is a good enough "before".I cant wait to see him looking svelte and handsome.We need to find a local farrier to trim his feet too, I doubt they have ever been looked at and for a youngster they are pretty bad.Farriers are like gold dust round here but I have been given a few numbers to try.Our own farrier will n0t be visiting this area again foranother 2 months.
An exhausted racing pigeon has turned up in Porthmadog and is resting in a spare room at our Charity shop in the town.His owner has been traced so we are waiting for him to organise collection of the bird.I must say that pigeon racing is not a thing I am too happy about, some pigeon fanciers take the nesting bird off her eggs and she will fly thousands of miles in desperation to get back to them and so many birds collapse exhausted and battered by the elements which makes them easy prey for dogs, foxes etc.It is cruel to take homing birds so far away from home and then leave them to their fate.This owner appears to care for his bird, many will not want a "loser" back or will wring their necks when they finally make it home late.Im off on one of my rants again,there are so many things I feel so strongly about and so many people have no idea what really goes on behind the scenes of sports involving animals. Sometimes I wish I had less knowledge of these things, I think I would be a lot happier in my ignorance!
Thanks to the good weather Mion was able to hold a stall at the Criccieth Fair and raised the princely sum of £200.Brilliant effort, The mum cat she was fostering has now been homed along with her kittens so she has just one mum left whose babies are around 4 weeks of age. Foster homes for mother cats and their babies are vital at this time of year.With the number of kittens we will soon have at the shelter, every pen will be utilised and with foster homes for those too young to rehome it frees up space here.
My next urgent job is to find someone to shear our 5 sheep. Last year we were let down by several people who offered help,it was the first time we were unable to find anyone .This year they need doing even if we have to do it ourselves though I hope it doesnt come to that, for their sakes AND ours. I cant even cut my own fringe successfully so I doubt if I will be allowed anywhere near the poor old sheep.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Billy the Staff comes to visit

We had a visitor today, Billy the Staffordshire bull terrier that was rescued from a dog pound.Billy now lives in Stoke on Trent, his people went into our Llandudno shop whilst they were on holiday.They had just lost a staff from old age and they saw the poster I did of Billy.All I can say that is Billy has fallen on his feet, from being minutes away from death, he is now the beloved family pet of experienced Staffordshire owners.He joins them at their caravan in Beddgelert and enjoys the attention given to him by the other caravan owners, he makes a fuss of everyone he meets who are at great risk of being licked to death. Billy truly is a good embassador for this much maligned breed. I rang Mei to come over to see him , I knew she would love to see how he has progressed physically,like me she was duly impressed by his shiny coat and the weight he has gained since he has found contentment .He is a real success story.
Two of the new kittens(pictured here) have been reserved today, Rwth who kindly gave a home for the last days of dear Fluff the cat with the heart problem has decided to take on kittens this time. I rang all the people on the waiting list for kittens and just like last year they had all found kittens elsewhere! So its two down, two to go.
Two adult cats were also rehomed today. Jackson and Nishka had both been at the shelter for over 9 months. Jackson is all black and Nishka is dark tortoishell ( this colouring never seems to appeal to people and these cats are almost as unpopular as black cats)So this really was a result, its a great morale boost to everyone when a long term animal is chosen.They had no sooner left us than another cat was admitted, Roy brought this one from Caernarfon where he had been a stray for some 6 weeks , Lincoln as he is now called, appears to have something wrong with one of his back legs. It does not seem to be causing him any distress but will have to be looked at by a vet as soon as possible.
The little jack russells Millie and Timmy will be going to live in Bonny Scotland next weekend, pending a homecheck being passed though I have little doubt about it being successful. They will be living in a household who have quite recently lost both their west highland terriers and are anxious to adopt two more little dogs to fill the vacuum created by their loss.We are trying to get the dogs used to the Scots accent before they go so they will not feel too alienated in their new country and the staff have promised to wear kilts for the next week!I think they are joking!
Whilst the sun is still shining here(yes its back again) I am going to take Molly and her companions up the top fields,I will take my camera and try to get some nice photos I can use on the blog.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Leon, a camera shy cat,

Where has the sun gone? It has not stopped raining all day and is so misty I cannot see beyond the nearest fields.Walking the dogs is something I usually enjoy but today was not particularly pleasant, I was soaked to the skin after the first group were exercised. Most of the dogs did not seem to mind too muich though the little terriers looked at me as though to say"Do we really have to go out in this?" and very reluctantly allowed me to put on their leads.Millie, however walked about three yards and sat down , when I slipped her off the lead she ran back to the house, followed by Timmy.Well he wasnt going to go anywhere without his pal.
The high winds last night have caused the felting on the office roof to peel off, the staff have helped to nail it down again but it really needs to be done again as soon as possible.
Heidi(now called Jeannie) the brindle lurcher homed a few weeks ago has come back to me for a weeks holiday.I was so happy to see the bond that was between her and her new person Sue but of course that made it more difficult for me to coax her away and into the house though once she met Molly again she perked up . I think there will be a big big welcome for Sue when she returns to collect her.
The pigs have burrowed deep down in to their hay and straw bedding and have made themselves invisible, only the sounds of loud snores emanating from their house indicates that there is something live in there! The cats too are nowhere to be seen,its not a day for animals to be out and about.
Louis the handsome grey and white cat has gone off to his new home this morning and the kittens I was expecting last week are coming in tomorrow morning so we have had to move some cats about to make room for them.There are seven in this litter, they are the first of the season to arrive and we are all looking forward to seeing them.I have several people waiting for kittens, I hope they are still interested.
Leon the emaciated tabby who was admitted a few days ago is pictured here looking very annoyed at having his photo taken.Actually he is a gentle affectionate cat but is obviously camera shy. You can see that his coat is matted and straggly round his neck but he and the other two longhaireds are going to the vet to be dematted on Tuesday.Leon will also have a thorough health check.Dematting the cats is too big a job for us to do here though Rosie and Vanessa have managed to clip off some of the offending clumps over the past week.
The new horse clippers have arrived so as soon as we have enough staff and the weather is fine they will be used for the first time on Finn, the new colt who desperately needs a tidy up.
There is a great deal of work to be done before the Open day here and one of the jobs that needs doing is repairing some of the paddock fencing, Barbara and John our handyman are making a start on it already.I had thought that Meis dad Dulyn would be around to do some of the work,it seems strange not being able to pick up the telephone and ask him for help.We also need to make a start on the weeds soon, it doesnt take long for them to take hold and spread like wildfire.There do not seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done.With so many animals to feed and care for, some jobs are left till last or when some extra volunteers turn up.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Caught napping!

Disappointing news, the home for Gel has fallen through.Oh well clearly it was not meant to be, how easy is it going to be to find him a home now we know that he will be on painkillers indefinitely?He is such a nice dog too, I feel very disappointed.There is a lot of interest in the two wirecoated jack russell including someone from Scotland!It would be nice if they could go together, they seem to like each other rather a lot, when Millie went in to be spayed Timmy was very despondent without her.
The pigs have been out in the sun all day, they lie inert for hours on end and sometimes I have to go and inspect them, they are so still I think they might have died in their sleep but no, as I get near they half open their eyes and with a bit of a snuffle and grunt go back to sleep again.Having reassured myself they are alive and well I can get on with my work knowing they will live to eat another day.They are pretty old for pigs and each winter I wonder if they will make it but they keep surprising me.Dear old pigwigs.
Today there have been loads of calls from people wanting to get rid of animals, both dogs and cats, no horses thank goodness. Some of the calls are from people who purchased their pets from other shelters and although they signed an adoption form stating that in the event they were unable to keep the said animal it must be returned to the charity concerned, when they try to do so they are told there is no room.This concerns me greatly, some people will do the decent thing and wait for a space but many will find a way to rid themselves of an unwanted pet and if the shelter will not help, they will go elsewhere or even abandon it.Remember the story of Carlos just a few weeks ago?In my view it is the first responsibility of the charity concerned to take that animal back and hold off taking in new animals.If there is genuinely no space, and I am not saying that is not the case as most shelters are full at this time of year, then attempts should be made to put the pet into a foster situation or a boarding kennels or cattery.,At the end of the day each shelter should take responsibility for their own animals.Homing them is wonderful but pointless if there is no back up offered when things go wrong in the future. I have lost count of how many pets I have taken in which have been homed from other shelters and invariably when I contact them I receive the same answer "we have no room".
I stopped giving that answer years ago after a dog I rehomed just a week before was destroyed because I told the owner who wanted to return it, that I would not have room for at least another week.The same day the 7 months old pup was put down by an obliging vet in Southport.It took me a long time to get over that becasue I blamed myself for being too trusting. Nowadays I take no chances and will find a place no matter what, it can be hard but I will spend hours on the phone until I find somewhere temporary until there is room here.
I admitted a pregnant cat from LLandudno, it seemed urgent as it was reputedly about to give birth - Rhian took one look at the cat and discovered it to be a neutered male!!! At least there will be no kittens to worry about.
We have three very matted cats in at the moment so all will have to be anaesthetised at the vets and be dematted. These longhaired cats are beautiful to look at but need so much care and attention.They are not everyones cup of tea but why get one if you are not prepared to groom and care for it? The poor things are so uncomfortable and it can be painful too, not to mention the cause of skin infections .
We have been allocated a stall at the 3 day show at Builth welles in Powys on 23rd July, the weekend before our Open Day. Its an expensive stall but a good way to spread the word about our work and to distribute fundraising appeal leaflets. Freshfields is not well known yet in Wales and we need to promote ourselves wherever and whenever possible.
If the weather stays good over the weekend(its beautiful today) Mion and Elspeth from Porthmadog are holding a stall for us at the Criccieth Fair on Bank Holiday Monday.Fingers crossed.
Pictured here is Zoe one of our permanent residents caught napping in one of the stables, You can just about spot her peeking out the hay.Our cats find the most unusual places to catnap, we have snapped them in buckets, on tractors, in wheelbarrows, in filing trays and all sorts of weird and wonderful places. Hay and straw is a big favourite with the feral cats on the property.They look so comfy I could almost curl up there with them.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Gel has an xray .

Gel, the ex farm collie has been to the vet for an xray on his hips and back, the results show that he has had an old injury and one hip socket is worn away so badly that a false joint has developed there. He probably will not need an operation but will need to have restricted exercise and will be on pain killers permanently.Poor old Gel, also his age is nearer 8 years than the 3 years told us by his owner. He must have been in pain for a long time,no wonder he was so downcast and dispirited when he first arrived.Not only had he become depressed due to his lifestyle but he was also in pain. Thank goodness he was rescued from his life on a chain and has a good quality of pain free life ahead of him now.He may even have a home in sunny Bournemouth once we can organise his transport there.
I heard that Alfred the cross deerhound lurcher has settled in well with his new people but photographs they sent me seem to have gone astray so they are sending some more.I am really looking forward to seeing them, its so good to hear that our animals are doing well especially when they have had a poor start in life.
The Sunday People featured some longterm dogs from our Liverpool sheltere but in spite of several phone calls. none have yet been found suitable owners.Most of them are not good with other dogs or young children and this is a major problem to most people out to choose another pet.What a shame this has brought such a poor result.
An emaciated tabby cat has been admitted today and looks suspiciously like a cat we rehomed a few years ago, however we did not microchip until last year so there is no way of tracing him/his owner.Perhaps I can find his record if I can remember the name he was given here.He is a very longhaired cat but his coat is in poor condition and matted in places.In spite of his extreme thinness he does not seem hungry which indicates there is another problem underlying, maybe kidney failure or a dental problem, he will have to go to the vet tomorrow.
The kittens we were expecting in did not arrive and I made several calls to the owners of both litters but neither had the decency to call me back so the two pens we had set up for them have sat empty all week.Do people not think we have to make preparations for their animals? I should be used to it by now but it still galls me that we go out of our way to help and are treated with total disrespect.Well thats my rant for the day over!!( actually I have another later so if you dont want to hear anymore stop reading NOW)
Speaking of the day the weather here is lovely today and as always its a pleasure to take the dogs out and to survey the surrounding countryside.The fields are becoming greener thanks to the plentiful rain we have experienced recently, the spring flowers are shooting up(as well as the dreaded ragwort)the sea looks calm and the fery can be seen making its way from Holyhead to Dublin. We have some wonderful views in this area.Sometimes I walk to the very top of our property where the main herd grazes and from up there the view is amazing. The only downside is that there is a pack of foxhounds living in kennels adjoining our land and I hate to see them cooped up.I try not to disturb them as they become so excited and start barking and howling. Of course my horrid neighbour does not ever complain about THEM baying and howling though the noise is extremely loud with 20 plus hounds all kicking off at once. I suspect he does not dare to complain about them, he would have all the local farmers and rough terrier men against him then and the man is a bully and a coward when all is said and done.Far easier to pick on women or old people.
Thats my second and last rant of the day! Honestly it really is!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Tribute to Dulan

There is a cloud over us all today after hearing that Meis father died this morning.Dulan did a lot of work here at the shelter and was the person responsible for erecting and repairing most of the fencing here.We will all miss his banter and good humour , he was quite a character who liked to be always busy . Only a few days ago he came up to the shelter one evening to join Mei walking the dogs.He was liked by everybody and we will really miss him.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Minnie and Georgie Girl go on holiday.

Another 2 ponies have gone to summer grazing, Rosie and vanessa walked Minnie and Georgie Girl to fields a couple of miles a way.Due to Minnies past history we did not want to attempt to box her. Minnie a chestnut shetland pony came to us 5 years ago, along with her 2 weeks old foal whom we named Georgie Girl.Her history is a tragic one, sold from one home to another, abused and tormented by her last owner, giving birth to a foal which was seen dead besides her at a horse sale, having another foal and finally rescued by a compassionate woman on Merseyside who brought them to us. We decided to keep them here for life as we did not want Minnie to suffer ever again, she is still incredibly shy of humans though her daughter is outgoing and mischievous having never know anything but kindness in her life.What a difference a good start in life makes to the temperament and confidence in any animal.Pictured here when they first arrived (no work was done that day, she was the first foal to arrive here and we were all fascinated and awed by her)and a recent photo of them.As you can see Georgie is now bigger than her mum.
The new colt Finn truly is neglected, we have been trying to groom some of the matted coat off him but I have had to buy some horse clippers to get rid of the matted bits underneath him.Underneath his winter coat he is a bag of bones, his hip bones are jutting out and there is no fat on him at all. We could not get a straight answer from the owner about the death of the colts mother so he must have been without any decent nutrition for some time.I will take some photos of him on Monday when we plan to finish the clipping,unfortunately this weekend we dont have enough staff .Now he is wormed he should start to look better too.
Great news, little Carlos the 10 years old Jack Russell has gone to a new home, we were all so pleased to see him go, he is such a lovely little dog and deserved to find someone to appreciate him.All the Jack russells we have had lately have beeen really sweet natured, not the usual hyperactive, noisy terriers they so often seem to be.I was just starting to think maybe I would keep him(yes another one got to me!)when this home turned up.
Gel the collie that had spent his life chained and miserable has an offer of a home in Epping Forest but now we find he has a problem with his hips.He is having an xray on Tuesday to try to find out what exactly is wrong with him.We have been a bit concerned at the way he walks and his occasional knocking into things, at first we suspected he had a problem with his eyesight but now it appears to be something to do with his back legs when they wobble. I hope this will not mean he will lose this good home.If it is something serious perhaps he is the dog I should keep!I will do so if the prospective owners do not want to take him on though I would prefer he had a real home of his own.
Bonnie foxhound is getting worse, her bin scavenging seems to be at all time high and she is even wandering next door to raid their bin, wandering dogs are a no no in this area so I hope she stops this behaviour, how does one stop a dog from doing this, She has never forgotten her days of hunger and I can cope with our bins being ripped open although it is extremely annoying but i dont think Nia and Andrew next door will be too happy about their bins being raided.
Visitors brought the pigs some cream crackers today, they love these and tomatoes and bananas are a great favourite too.They live for their food, perhaps that why I can empathise with them, Id like to think it is because of that and not because of a similarity of body shape!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Sally leaves us and Millie arrives.

Today Sally(pictured) the 6 years old collie went off to her new home,whilst with me she has had to remain on a lead because she has a real problem of not wanting to come back in the house and sometimes it has taken hours to coax her back in.The new people are aware of this so I am keeping my fingers crossed that all will be well, she is such a nice natured animnal it is upsetting to see her so nervous.Could it be because she lived outside and was told off whenever she attempted to enter the house? Its a possibility and if this is the case it may take some time to resolve.
Whilst I was in LLandudno yesterday someone turned up at the shelter with a little jack russell female called Millie, the child of the house was allergic to dog hair.This dear little dog is good with dogs, cats and children but has been relegated to living outside all her life.Now at last she has a chance of finding a nice home in which to spend her days.There may be a slight problem with house training but most of the dogs we home are kennelled farm dogs and there have only been one or two that have taken some time and patience to train.Most have been spotless from day one.
Lately we seem to be having calls to take in Jack russells and lurchers, usually it is collies all the time.At least the little dogs are easy to home though dear carlos is not attracting much attention.I suspect that is because he is 10 years old, few people want to take on a dog this age, still I am sure we will find the right person for him soon especially as he is so good with other dogs.
Pictured are Millie and Timmy(the stray brought in with bitch in season)There is a possible home for him once Grace settles down, her people came to see him and liked him but Grace is still not totally settled so they want to wait a while.
We had visitors today from taunton in Somerset,Colin and his wife came here to
dog walk whilst on holiday 2 years ago and have stayed in touch ever since.They spent an hour or so taking the dogs for a walk to the relief of the staff who are being walked off their feet at the moment.
I popped in the house to check on the littlies and to let the Maggie Marthas out, it was just as well I did so at that moment because Felix cat had got his claw snagged on the coat of one and was pulling her round the room in an attempt to set himself free.Poor Maggie Martha had no idea what was happening or why she was being pulled backwards.She was more than happy to see me and to be extricated from the cat.
A donation of Burns dog food was delivered today from the company, this will keep the dogs going for a long time and will save us loads of money.It is so exciting when we receive such help, all the foster homes can be given this food now to feed their foster dogs until homes can be found.A very welcome donation.
I cannot remember if I had given an update on the condition Of Cariad the longhaired ginger and white resident cat.As I mentioned before Cariad has been wobbly on her legs and has had several tests.She has somehow developed a neurological problem and her balance continues to be impaired.That nothwithstanding she has mad half hours where she races round the room and up the curtains or back of the sofa so she is still enjoying her life and seems to be managing with her disability.She is now mainly living in the house with me whereas before she lived in the passageway of the cattery in her basket(though came and went outside as well)Vistors would coo over her and admire her beauty until she would become bored of the attention and give them a whack.We had to warn people not to touch her so at least now they are out of harms way and we have less chance of being sued!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

The Colt arrives and 3 cats reserved.

The colt has arrived and how neglected he is too.He is full of worms, his feet desperately need a trim and his coat is very dull and in poor condition.We have named him Finn. He has not been handled so is very shy of humans, typical of those ponies turned out on the hillsides. I will post another photo in a month when he is looking better. Now there are 4 youngsters who need their bits off soon, a nice job for our vet to look forward to.
Two black cats have been reserved today and as the black ones are the most difficult to rehome we are all delighted. I forgot to mention that Louis the handsome grey and white cat(pictured here) rehomed not long ago was returned the follwing day! He was not getting on with their other cat and in spite of explaining that they would need more time to get used to each other I was obliged to take him back.He has been reserved again by a lady in Southport and this time there are no other pets in the house. Having said that he has never shown aggression to the cats with whom he shares his pen at the shelter.People sometimes forget that any move can stress an animal and can cause changes in behaviour.When everything is so unfamiliar some animals can become defensive and even show unusual aggression towards people and other animals.
Also picture is a permanent resident cat here called Felix, he is a beautiful natured animal, loves everybody and has never ever shown any signs of aggression, however 4 years ago when he had not been at the shelter for very long, we rehomed him only to have him returned the following day.To our amazement he had lashed out at the children and was quite aggressive.We decided then to keep him here and to this day he has never once drawn his claws or shown that type of behaviour, visiting children love him and we feel perfectly happy about him meeting all visitors.He has moved into the house now and spends his evenings on the sofa with the Maggie Marthas and William, plus any other cats which have managed to sneak in!!!!
Little Grace the Jack Russell stray and her companion Will were not claimed,the homecheck for them passed and Grace has gone to her new home but we will be taking her to be spayed Wednesday.They live in the village so no doubt we will see her being walked around the village, they are coming to see Will tomorrow and we are hoping he will touch their hearts too.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Big Buster is looking well.

Mei and Barbara went to check on the welfare of our beautiful big Buster and Abby who went to a home locally a couple of years ago.Both looked well and content, we miss them a lot particularly Buster who is a big gentle giant and was the largest horse we have had here at the shelter, he was over 17 hands.He had been admitted because he had a clumsy gait and was useless for anyone wanting to do more than light hacking with him.His owner no longer wanted him but her loss was our gain and subsequently he found a home where he is appreciated.We could not get a photo of Abby who was miles away in the fields and was completely disinterested in coming over to see her old friends.Thats gratitude for you!
People turned up here with a large shaggy dog which looks as if he has Briard in him, according to them he has been wandering around an estate for a month and nobody knows who owns him.We have named him Bradley, he seems bewildered and although at first glance he looked in excellent condition, he does have flea exczema down his back and has a few matted bits in his coat, not bad ones but indicative of the fact he has not been a well cared for pet.At first he was a bit growly but today he has given me his paw and a few kisses so I think he was just scared.His eyes look a bit faded, Rhian thinks he has the beginnings of catarats and Im inclined to agree so he may be older than first thought.
Meg has been to the vet and her heart is fine, no signs of a heart murmer so I was being paranoid.That is good news for her, she can be spayed soon and put up for adoption. heidi lurcher has been homed today and Sally collie is going Tuesday, there is someone interested in the two jack russells so I am going to do a homecheck today.If nobody claims them by tomorrow I will have them neutered next week and into this home pending the homecheck passing.So it is going well for the dogs but still quiet for the cats though receiving plenty of calls from people wanting to part with them.
Max the pretty red and white collie has left us too, he has gone off to live in Nottinmgham with another rescued collie(and the owners of course) I am still bemused by the success we are experiencing homing dogs via the internet and the success of the homechecks too.Only a few have failed the home visits.
I have had a call this morning asking me to take a 12 months old colt whose mother has died.At this age he is independent enough to feed himself but guess what, the owner is the same farmer who brought Shamrock here as a 2 week old orphaned foal! How many of their horses die on the hills? It is heartbreaking but I suspect this happens all the time with the welsh mountain ponies which are turned out on the mountainsides.It happens to sheep too, these youngsters are just the ones we hear about and I prefer to remain civil with the farmers no matter what my personal feelings may be if it means I can save the foals from experiencing the same life.
Fortunately there is enough room for him to join the other 3 colts so we are waiting to hear when he will be delivered, it will be today or tomorrow.
After saying no cats were going we have had a reservation for the beautiful longhaired tortie and white Sami and Felis a 6 years old black and white cat which has been here for 6 months. So not so bad after all.
It is freezing here today and the office is cold too in spite of the heater being on for Tara our resident collie so I am off to the house for a warming cup of tea.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

The owner of Carlos is after a new dog.

I havent felt up to writing the blog recently due to being in agony with toothache and being unable to find a local NHS dentist. Anyhow all sorted now having had to go private to get an appointment before 2010!!
Well I have heard from Mintys new people and I believe he is settling in well with just a few teething problems which they hope they will successfully iron out over the coming weeks. The sad news of the week is that dear little Fluff, the heart murmer cat who was finally adopted only a few weeks ago, has died.We are all devastated but so glad he was able to spend his last weeks in a home of his own, in comfort and much loved.I feel distressed for Rwth having had to experience this loss so soon after losing her previous cat but I am hoping to see her here as a volunteer as she has promised to give up some of her free time to help out in the cattery.
2 little jack russells were picked up on sunday, one in season and the unneutered male in obsessive pursuit of her! Nobody has claimed either yet, both are sweet natured little dogs, Rosie is fostering the male and I have the female.
There were a few messages left yesterday for me from a lady who wanted a puppy.I decided to ring her even though I knew of none at the moment. I asked her if she had owned a dog before and she told me that she had got rid of her last two because she could not cope with un house trained animals as she was a pensioner -- this begs the question why she was wanting a puppy this time???Then she told me her last dog was called Carlos and was a jack russell. I was shocked to realise that the dog she was talking about is here (he came from the vet after being booked in for destruction)and never a cleaner dog have we had at the shelter.I have no idea why she would say he was so dirty in the house when he is spotless here.This woman had owned him for 3 years having obtained him from Paws rescue and when they said they had no room for him she booked him in to be destroyed.Appalling.Carlos is such a nice dog, everyone here loves him and at the age of 10 years he should be settled in a loving home.I will make sure this time he gets such a home.Why are some people so cavalier about ending the life of an animal and why if they cant cope do they want another? What goes on in their heads? In my opinion some should never be allowed to have a pet, same as some should never have children(Baby Ps mother springs to mind)
Several new cats have been admitted and at last some kittens are about to arrive, the Liverpoool shelter have had kittens for a few weeks and these will be our first of the season.
Mei and Barbara have just popped down to see the colts in their new home nearby as they had a couple of cuts on them this morning = they have taken some purple antispetic spray for them. They were only small grazes probably caused by rubbing against a fence.
Old Tangy who is in her early thirties now seems very stiff today, at her age this is not entirely unexpected, I need to order some more supplements for the old ponies.We add seaweed, garlic, cider vinegar and MSM to their daily food. Its wonderful what a difference these can make and I am sure this is what has kept little Noddy healthy all these years.He has always had various herbs added to his food to keep his joints supple and his body healthy and now he is so very old he is still extremely active and fit.
New lurcher Meg has settled well with Molly though they seem a bit disinterested in one another and at 8 years she is a very lively active dog.I am worried about her heart so she is going to the vet for a check up, I notice that she starts panting after a comparatively short burst of energetic exercise.Perhaps I ma paranoid about it and she may be fine but a check up wont do her any harm.She is in season too, something the owner failed to tell me, just as well the kitchen dogs are all female.Well actually now I think about it William is the only male of my dogs and he is neutered anyway.Speaking of which, he is now barking to let me know he is ready to come out of his kennel(my car) and spend the rest of the evening watching Television in the living room.His wish is my command.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

At last Minty finds a home.

A busy day today with little help.Fortunately when the weather is good the horses stay out so less to do there, no stables to muck out though the cats are hard work as there are so many at this time of year.I am having more hassle from the previous owner of the Anglesey horses that were so terribly neglected.She has decided she wants them back and is threatening me with police, legal action etc.Unbelievably 3 farriers have given her letters to say that the horses were in good condition!!!!!!!!This just astonishes me when we have photographic evidence, vets reports, our own farriers reports(and photos he took)So far her animals have cost me around £3,000 and as I have mentioned before most of them will be here for life as they will always need specialised care.
When we give help we do it for the sake of the animals but when this sort of thing occurs it is very disheartening, so far she has accused me of being a thief(the animals were signed over to us) and a murderer(because some of her animals had to be destroyed humanely due to their suffering) When I first started doing this work I had no idea that this sort of thing could happen ,I was very naeve thinking it would all be about the animals and caring for them. Over the years I have had to put up with all sorts of abuse, my staff also have had their fair share of it, Dave the ex manager of Freshfields in Liverpool was once punched in the face by a man who was unhappy at being turned down for a dog, he had a screaming child in his arms when he threw the punch.Delightful man, and he thought we would welcome the chance to rehome an animal to him!
Anyway enough of that, this weekend we have homed 3 dogs- all collies and the one we are most delighted about is Minty who after 9 months has finally found his own people, at last someone has fallen for him. We almost had given up and thought he would be here for life. His only problem was that he was not brilliant woth the cats but he just did not seekm to appeal to anyone until now .Dear Minty, I bet hes having the time of his life now having lots of attention for a change.With the best will in the world we cannot provide the time and attention he and the others need so although we will all miss him its great news for him
I had an email today about a lame horse in a town about 2 hours away , he has been unable to put his leg down for over a week and is looking very sorry for himself, I have forwarded this on to the inspector at World Horse Welfare who Im sure will get on to it as soon as he is able. From past experience he has been very prompt dealing with reported cases.
Im off to work in the LLanduidno shop again tomorrow, we need to keep it open as there is a festival there this weekend and there are thousands of people about. There is a lot of interest shown in the display boards with photos of our animals so I have printed out a few more, it may bring some homes in. ,

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Eddy tries to round up the pigs

As I am sitting at the computer I can see the swallows
flitting about.Although I love to see them they take such chances around the cats and I could not bear anything to happen to them after their long journey to these shores.In spite of the large number of cats both feral and domestic which live around the property, we have very few bird casualties and I would like it to stay that way.It is usually the same 2 0r 3 cats which have a highly developed hunting instinct, the others seem content just to laze about. I am unsure where these swallows are nesting,I think it may be in one of the field shelters. There is a nest in the agricultural building but I think that belongs to a thrush, there is also one in the tree outside there but that is definitely a crows nest = I have seen them coming and going.When the horses are groomed the excess hair provides good nesting material for the birds and it is not uncommon to see them flying off with large wads of horse hair in their beaks.
Eddy collie has been taken for a walk by his new person who has travelled from Gloucester after falling in love with his photograph on the internet.This must be the third dog we have homed in that area. Having returned from his walk Eddy managed to get into the pigs field and tried to round them up! Mei and I had 15 minutes of unwanted exercise trying to catch the little tinker but he was so quick and clearly thought this was a great game which he didnt want to finish.Eventually as we collapsed out of breath and exhausted he lost interest and trotted back to the house. I have definitely gone off him today!The pigs were not too amused either.At least his new people have seen him at his worst.
Barry brought back a dog from liverpool which had been on the liverpool shelter waiting list for some months, he has gone to a home in Oxford this morning.
Just one cat rehomed this weekend, a young tabby which only came in last down, 60 to go !