Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A successful First open Day

This will be a very short entry as I am exhausted from having very little sleep leading up to the Open Day.I was so worried that nobody would turn up and that the weather would let us down.Well, as expected, the weather DID let us down,I could have wept when I woke up Sunday morning to see torrential rain and our gazebos which had been erected the night before in the middle of the field! Nevertheless by noon the rain had eased off but not before there was a mad scramble to move all the stalls and dog show indoors.We quickly utilised the barn and the stables.It was a little chaotic but it was the best we could do, It was still too windy and cold to keep everything outdoors. I was still wondering whether to put up a cancelled notice but then the cars started arriving.Instead of opening one field for cars, we had to open THREE!!People started swarming in , The DJ started up the music( The brilliant Eddie Vincent generously gave his time and services free to the charity) and the day took off. The dog show brought in loads of people and it was great to see some of our own rescued dogs again including Billy the staff who delighted in jumping up to greet us and covering all our clean uniforms with mud.Thank you Billy! We still love you. I dont think I saw all of our dogs but I did see little Meg collie who went about 8 weeks ago and Heidi the lurcher.Both looked very happy with their new owners. The total sum taken on the day was £2,500 and considering the awful weather I am more than pleased.Everyone here worked so hard to make it happen and we all enjoyed the buzz of being involved in our very first open day .There is no doubt we will now be making this an annual event and next time it will be even better.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

A Garden Tiger comes to visit.

Poor old Bonnie foxhound has been in the wars today, we think maybe one of the cats scratched her, she has had to have stitches in her eyelid and is very sorry for herself.No doubt she was doing her usual scavenging trick and tried to help herself to a bowl of catfood put out for the ferals.Thankfully the eye itself is not damaged.
It has been a lovely mild day today, no rain and even a bit of sun- a real treat lately!
Barbara spotted a beautiful moth and called me to have a look, we identified it as a Garden Tiger(see photo)A visitor arrived to see one of our animals and found us both sprawled out on the grass trying to get a better look at the moth.."Looks interesting" he said but I think really what he meant was "what kind of place is this where the staff are grovelling around on the ground looking at insects?"
It has been a hive of activity here, I have managed at the very last minute to find an outside caterer to supply us with Baguettes and Quiches for the Open Day.We were let down over the use of a mobile snack bar so this is a huge relief.One of the stables has been converted into a temporary bookshop thanks to Rosie and her mum who have worked hard to get this stall up and ready.Barbara has been clearing the paddock where the stalls will be laid out and finalising details for her photo stall(she will be taking photos on request and making keyrings etc out of them)
Gail and RHian are busy tidying up the cattery in between feeding and cleaning, as is Teg and volunteers Kaz and Judy. John our handyman is finishing repairing the fencing along the track which was rotted and falling down but has been sidetracked to put together a basketball game for the children.It took him and Teg a fair bit of time to work out the instructions which as usual were written for people with membership to MENSA.I mustnt forget veronica my new book keeper who has added to her CV, the ability to organise a tombola and to act in an advisory capacity to a very stressed Open Day organiser(ME!)
Meirwen has struggled to work today as she has hurt her wrist carrying boxes of petfood and she is in a lot of pain, I am taking her to A&E tomorrow morning.In spite of this she has managed to exercise the dogs but I have a bad feeling that she has done more than strain her wrist.Tomorrow will tell.
I wish we had some more volunteers for the general tidying, it is taking so long with just a couple of helpers working themselves into the ground.Will we get it done in time for Sunday?

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Teg crossing the finishing line.

Little Wilf(pictured here) is proving to be one of the sweetest dogs ever.iT is hard to undersatnd how he came to be wandering about in his condition.I think he has a very small amount of vision but he is most certainly deaf.He doesnt appear to want to go far from me, he goes outside to the garden, potters about for a few minutes, does what he has to do and then is desperate to come back into the house again.Had he been in a better physical condition(his coat was very dirty and matted) I would have expected a distraught owner to have turned up by now but somehow I think he is here to stay unless I find someone willing to take on an ancient little terrier.
The RSPCA matter has been resolved.It appears someone complained about the scarring on Freddies body,The inspector seemed to think he had been attacked but I assured him these were old scars from his collisions with cars when he lived in Jersey long before he came into our care.The complainant also mentioned the ragwort that had sprung up round the edge of the field., What a pity she did not knock at the door of the house to find out about the horses and she would have been told someone came once a week to sort out any such problems.We have cleared all we could find this week but if we have more rain more will shoot up, it isnt always possible to get it up by the roots and it spreads so rapidly.I feel mortified about this because I would never leave this weed growing in any field where horses graze but I cant be there every single day. When we are not there the home owner watches over them and one of her daughters also helps us keep the weeds at bay.This past week she has been away which didnt help.Im sure the lady who did this did so out of real concern for the horses so I will try not to take it personally.It is better people take notice than ignore but why is it that genuinely neglected animals seem to be overlooked? Over the years I have reported many real cases of neglect and yet often weeks later the situation remains the same.Mystifying!
Anyhow the three horses in question are bonny and content though I think we need to put a sign on the gate warning people not to trespass.
I am truly dreading the Open Day, what if nobody turns up? What if there is torrential rain, what if , what if!!! We are all sort of looking forward to it but apprehensive too. It is only a few days away now, it seems only a few weeks ago that we decided to have this event, how quickly the time seems to pass. I need lots of positive thoughts sent this way to keep the day dry and warm.The local paper said they would rectify the mistake they made stating that it was to be held on Saturday and not Sunday. It DEFINITELY IS SUNDAY.
Anyhow tomorrow will be another day of tidying up and final;ising arrangements with the staff and volunteers.We had a new volunteer who turned up today with an offer to help and he worked really hard, exactly what we need right now.I hope it doesnt put him off and he returns to help another day.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Teg completes Snowdon Run

The day dawned of the annual Snowdon Run and thankfully the rain stayed off for the run to go ahead. I had never been before and was astounded to see thousands of people in Llanberis,it was really hard to find a parking place and because of that we missed the beginning but at least were there to see Teg cross the finishing line in a time of 1 hour and thirty minutes.He still looked as though he could run a few more miles!!! What amazing stamina, we raised £250 with online and offline donations so a big thank you to Teg. Tragically, one of the runners died just before reaching the summit,my heart goes out to his family waiting to cheer him back, how dreadful for them.
2 of the ginger kittens have been found a home together and Sam the border collie has also gone.A little old blind dog has been admitted today, he is in the house with the Maggie Marthas who have barely bothered to ackowledge him, he is an amiable little dog who poses no threat to them.This little old man is pretty ancient if his teeth are anything to go by, when found his coat was matted and dirty and the lady who found him has bathed him and cut off the worst of his matted coat.He is a cheerful little dog, no collar or ID of course and with the general poor condition of him when found, it is certain nobody will come forward to claim him. I have named him Wilf as he looks very much like Wilf, another small dog I rescued many years ago.
Well the staff are working all out to get the place looking good for Sundays Open Day, the activity round the property has increased a hundredfold this past week and I still cannot imagine it all coming together.The local paper got the details wrong so I had a panic - they wrote that the forthcoming event was on saturday!!!! Also that we had dog obedience classes!!! I am hoping they will place a small article rectifying these crucial mistakes in this weeks Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald.Otherwise we will have people turning up on the wrong day accompanied by highly trained dogs expecting something akin to "One man and his dog" !Yes there will be a dog show but it is highly doubtful that the majority of canine entrants will be auditioning as stand ins for Lassie!
I went to check on our 3 horses in Caernarfon and they looked marvellous though some ragwort had sprung up again round the edges of their field.The recent rains have caused it to shoot up - I picked a little but did not have any gloves so will return tomorrow.However as I was leaving I found an RSPCA card tucked down the side of the gate requesting the owner of the horses to get in touch? Someone has reported us! I can only think it is because of the ragwort but this is picked regularly, we visit the horses once a week and the owners whose house adjoins the field also have helped in this area. I went to talk to the house owner but no inspector had been there to question them, so I cannot understand why someone has complained about our beautiful animals. As I write this the Inspector has not returned my call, I feel very upset.I am almost evangelical about ragwort in horses fields and we keep on top of this problem unlike many horse owners in this area and others.Every week we pull up by the roots any we see in the fields, maybe it isnt that at all but either way I feel mortified that anyone would think our loved and cossetted horses are not being cared for!Surely the Inspectors have better things to do though in fairness they have to follow up any complaints made. More of this tomorrow.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Jacks story

Just before I came back online, I took in a patterdale terrier which had been given away to a man who said that the dog was dirty in the house and had bitten him and his wife, if we did not take him he would have him put to sleep! This man had only had the day a few days and was quite emphatic this dog was dangerous.Anyhow we took him, Rosie fostered him and she had no trouble with him at all so we decided he was able to be put up for adoption.We were fortunate enought to find someone interested in Jack and so he has gone off to his new home in Anglesey.I have just had an email from the lady who tells me that Jack has absolutely NO aggression in him at all, he is perfectly house trained and she feels as though by adopting him she has won the lottery!! This is a perfect example how an animal behaves differently with different people.My feeling is that Jack is a slightly nervous dog and the other person was a dominant type of character who believed that a dog should "know its place" and instead of trying to make the dog feel at home and secure,it is likely he raised his voice and attempted to dominate Jack.The new owner has had years of expertise with rescued dogs and is clearly the better and more experienced and kind owner.One should never attempt to enforce discipline upon an animal traumatised in new surroundings. What they need is a calm, kind atmosphere which will give them time to settle and feel safe again. I am so thrilled for Jack, I feel that I too have won the lottery in finding him this home.
Another litter of kittens has come in, they were taken to our vet to be destroyed, 3 lovely little tabbies, still hissing and spitting(they have a feral mum) but they are young enough to domesticate, there will be a vast difference in them within a few days.Then we need some homes for these and all the other little beauties. A coiuple of our ferals from the enclosure had a break out yesterday , there had been a tear in the wire of the enclosure which we have since repaired but not before 6 escaped and made their bid for freedom.As luck would have it they had all been here long enough to regard this as their home so all but one returned for food and I have seen the remaining escapee around.he will probably either return to the encolsure or join the family of ferals living loose round the shelter.Either way it is not the end of the world.I just dont want any more permanent "loosies" as we have around 40 already.
Barbara is having a Freshfields stall at the Osprey centre near Porthmadog , this is on saturday and sunday so hope the weather improves. If this rain continues there is a possibility Tegs Snowdon Race will be postponed.The response to his sponsorship has been disappointing, we have only raised about £150 altogether , is this the first sign of the recession? He has been training so hard for it, he will be very disappointed if the race does not go ahead. Mei , Vanessa and I are going to cheer him as he crosses the finishing line , the race begins at 2 so we have arranged cover for the afternoon to allow us time to do this. Fingers crossed the weather does not let us down this weekend(not to mention the next with the open day)

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Does anyone want an Ostrich?

Well dear Thandi has gone off to her foster home,Rhian took her there and said if she settles well that she could have a fabulous home for life so heres hoping.I did not want to see her go, I still feel I have failed her somehow.She was so happy with me but now she has gone I have to admit that the equilibrium has been restored and Meg is back to her old self so it was clearly not meant to be.
Pictured is Roy, the kelpie returned, he is such a nice natured dog,I am sure we will soon find the right home for him.He may chew and he may not be house trained but there are many people who take on dogs like this and cope so I am very hopeful.The main thing is that he has such an equable temperament.
2 little black kittens have been reserved today so they are starting to move albeit slowly though I am receiving many calls about mums and babies and I simply cannot find the space for any more at the moment.One lady rang me 48 hours before she moved house, she wanted me to take 2 cats and 2 collies.When I explained that |I had neither space nor funds at the moment to pay for neutering (none of the animals had been done) she simply hung up! That made me feel awful,I want to help all the animals I hear about but I am trying to pay off the current vets bill and at the moment I need owners to compromise and help out with the expenses.It may not sound an unreasonable request but although many people will not do without their beer or cigarette money and even holidays they seem loathe to give a donation for their pets to come here. A dilemma indeed! Do I continue to take them in and receive no help therefore running up an enormous vets bill or do I try to be sensible and draw the line when funds dry up.The latter is the obvious answer but it can be so hard to do when there are so many animals out there in need of help and shelter.All I can do is prioritise, the strays and injured and abused have to come first and anything I believe to be in danger.
Who would have this job??
Did I mention that I have been asked to find a home for an Ostrich? Not the usual request I receive but its true, there is a 15 years old Ostrich in need of a permanent home.This is no easy task, they can live a very long time and to keep one of these birds a Licence has to be obtained.So far I have come up against a brick wall so if anybody out there knows a safe place for this boy to live out his days please let me know.NO Ostrich farms please! I believe he is currently on a half acre paddock with shelter, it crossed my mind to offer him a home but I dont feel we have the necessary facilities and expertise and of course I would be concerned for the safety of my dogs, not to mention the staff who have no experience of this sort of creature.I will keep trying to find him a home.
The young rabbit admitted is a nice little thing but will have to be neutered and then we need to find him a companion so he will have a friend to groom and do all the things rabbits do(except the obvious because as mentioned he will be neutered first)
The Vet and Dentist came to anaesthetise Blue to sort out his teeth but unfortunately the vet forgot tell us to refrain from giving him his medication that morning because it would act adversely with the anaesthetic!! In a nutshell Blue was not knocked out so the operation could not go ahead, so frustrating when he is losing weight and badly needs his teeth fixing.He is managing to eat but until this op is done he will not improve. The next available slot in Andres calendar is a week on Friday, it was a waste of his and our time and I am very annoyed.This should not have happened.Poor old Blue.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The dogs have a scrap and Meg goes to the vet.

After getting on so well Thandi and Meg have had a fight and poor Meg has had to have stitches in her neck.Thandi did not start it but she is much stronger than Meg so she came off better in the scrap.This means that very regretfully I will have to home one or the other and as Meg Lurcher is older and less homeable,Thandi will need to go.I feel very upset about this having believed both dogs were equable natured and had settled well.The trouble seems to be that Thandi wants to play with Meg all the time and she simply cannot be bothered so when she becomes bored with Thandis overtures of friendship she turns and nips.Thandi took one nip too many and retaliated.She will be going to a foster home in the morning.
At the moment Meg is separated from the other dogs and is reclining on the bed in my bedroom!I hope she doesnt get a taste for that, there is little enough room for me, William and the occasional cat!
A bit of wildlife news, yesterday there were dozens of ladybirds about, first I have seen round the property this year and also a lovely fat little toad was found hiding under a stack of wood.He was safely removed and placed away from the cats near the stream at the foot of the land.However, the best news is that we have a woodpecker about, Mei saw him clinging to our telegraph pole near the bird tree so perhaps he has been helping himself to the peanuts? I have only ever seen a Great spotted woodpecker just one time before and that was on a tree at the Liverpool shelter several years ago.
The ginger and white cat we thought had been hit by a car had underlying problems and sadly he had to be put down, nobody has telephoned to report him lost even though he was a friendly handsome and well cared for cat.There is time yet, sometimes people dont ring here until their cat is missing for several days as some cats have a tendency to wander off for short holidays(though I have never had a cat do this)Personally I would be on the phone ringing everywhere if an animal had been missing more than a few hours!
One grey middle aged cat which was admitted several days ago was claimed by its owner yesterday though as I explained to her- if the cat remained unneutered this was going to continue happening.Think of all the offspring this cat has helped produce over the years,anyhow I think my plea did not go unheeded and I am hopeful that cat will be soon taking a trip to the vet.
A young rabbit has been admitted, he was found in a field and rescued by a caring lady who also took him to the vet to have him checked over.The poor little bunny had overgrown teeth which needed clipping and overgrown nails.Undoubtedly he was rescued in the nick of time, with his badly formed teeth he would have never survived.Of course now is the problem finding an owner to take him on with what will be an ongoing problem.Some rabbits need their teeth trimming very regularly and this can mean frequent trips to the vet .It is a more common problem than you would think.It could be that was the reason his owner abandoned him- sooner than pay a hefty vet bill.He is a lovely little rabbit, very friendly and easy to handle and at least he is safe now.I will take a photo of him soon.There have been so many cats admitted I am way behind taking photos of the new arrivals and I need to set some time aside over the next few days.Placing the photos on the website and other sites can mean finding more homes so it is something I should keep up with but often other jobs pop up and I get sidetracked.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Roy is returned

A dog was returned this morning which caused major problems.Although part of the adoption agreement states that if the new owner no longer wants the animal, the charity will happily take it back but please give notice!!!There was no notice given and in the month the man had the dog we had received not one call to say that he was having problems.All our foster homes are fulkl so we have had to try him with Bonnie foxhound and Gel the middle aged collie who quite regularly takes exceptions to other dogs.So far so good but it is very annoying when people show so little consideration.The dog Roy has had a sad life chained up on a farm and the main complaint was that he suffered from seperation anxiety.When it was suggested an indoor kennel would have helped he said he didnt believe in them.Well what is better for the dog, the kennel or being returned to eke out his days in an animal shelter? Regarding the indoor kennels, at one time I too was not so happy with the idea of shutting away a dog ion this way.Then I adopted an elderly very grumpy dog Cindy, from the Liverpool shelter.Cindy was a total nightmare to live with, she hated the other dogs and they were too frightened to walk past her.I started putting her in the kennel so she could watch them and realise they would not hurt her and eventually I started leaving the door open.To the end of her days, this was her "safe House" and it became her favourite sleeping place.I am now a convert though I do not approve of them being used to lock dogs away for long periods of time.Used correctly and appropriately they can make a dog feel more secure and make the owners life easier too.Pictured is Cindy in her indoor kennel, this was taken 6 months before she died of old age related problems.
More kittens have been brought in, will it ever end? The white mother cat is now reserved and we had an injured ginger and white cat admitted - he will need to go the vet first thing in the morning, he appears to have had a run in with a car and is shocked and tramatised by his ordeal.We have scanned him for a microchip but nothing showed up.Such a shame more people do not use this method of identification for their pets.We reunite so many with their owners but many times owners give up looking for their pets after weeks go by and often the animals we take in have been wandering for months.It is brilliant to be able to find their owners so easily and most are thrilled to have their pets back.
Blue, one of the Anglesey horses has been losing weight and we have had to call out the vet again.Today our wonderful equine dentist Andre came to see him also and he will be back Tuesday having found the cause of Blues problem - there are two gaps either side of his mouth where food is compacting and causing infection.He will need an anaesthetic so Andre can make a hole for the food to pass through. Poor Blue is in pain and is on pain killers until the problem can be sorted out.These ponies from the anglesey home have been through so much and cost us literally thousand of pounds.Although they are all so much better healthwise, they still require a great deal of specialist treatment . Our vet and dentist are putting together reports so we have proof of the sheer neglect these horses suffered.The previous owner is still harassing us with threats of court appearances because she wants her animals back and she believes they were in perfect health when she had them in her care. !!!! If only!
For some reason I am unable to post a photo of Roy the returned dog,I am havin so much trouble with the computer at the moment, it is becoming very temperamental.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

cats everywhere and Thandi gets stronger

I am back!
A bolt of lightening hit my computer and have only just got it all back up and running.It has taken me all day just reading and dealing with emails sent during that period.Anyhow to get up to date.The Liverpool shelter has had its annual Open Day, it was quieter than usual, maybe because the date coincided with the last day of Wimbledon but it was good to see some familiar faces from both the present and the past and everytbody seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Our own Open day is looming up and there seems to be so much to do and organise, I feel sure I have left out important things but I have written a list of "to do" jobs and am working through it gradually.There appears to be a lot of interest so I am hopeful it will be a success.Heres hoping the weather will be good on that date.
Thandi the German Shepherd truly has her feet under the table now, her legs are becoming much stronger as the muscles build up. from being able to just potter about, she is now running and keeping up with the others during their field exercise.She is a different animal and she even looks younger(clearly there is something in this so I have started up my running again in the hope that I too will shed some years!!!)
Every day now is bringing more and more calls asking us to take in mother cats and kittens.We have them everywhere, all the pens are full - we are homing a few but not enough to make room for all those waiting for places.We have some real beauties this year, all shades, ginger, grey and pure white.The latter were born a few days ago to a pretty little stray white cat found in Trawsfynydd, she came in ready to give birth and we worrried the trauma of being abandoned and then the journey here might result in her rejecting her babies but she is proving to be a devoted mum.
Another feline family consisted of three healthy youngsters but one little female who almost looked like a downs syndrome kitten if there could be such a thing.Little Bunty as she is now named has gone to be fostered until we find out if there is anything seriously wrong with her.
Yesterday I went to collect a stray cat a few miles from the shelter.When scanned with the reader it was discovered that he was microchipped so we were able to trace the owner - who did not want him back! The story given was that she asked a friend to bring the cat here to Freshfields and she thought the cat was here until she received the call from the microchip company. When she rang her friend , she admitted to her that the cat escaped from the car when she stopped to clean out his basket!!! Strange then that she failed to report him missing, inform us or the cats owner! It doesnt quite ring true does it.Poor Thomas, he was very distressed but is settling down nicely now. 2 young adult cats were admitted this morning, they were found when a new tenant moved in to a house in LLanberis, the previous owner had left them behind.Thisn is such a regular occurrence in these parts, does this happen a lot in other areas I wonder? I dont recall this happening quite as much on Merseyside but perhaps it did and I just dont remember.
As I am just about to finish todays entry a car has pulled up and yes - more kittens!This time however, a young woman has trapped three ferals by hand and is happy to trap the adult cats which are congregating around her neighbours garden There are 2 young children in her car and a young dog which has just been spayed. She is appalled that these cats are being left to breed and is more than pleased to be able to help with the problem.What a change it is to meet someone who shows such responsibility not only towards her own animals but others as well.To cap it all she has offered to volunteer here after she finishes work in the morning!
Pictured are some of the cats and kittens recently admitted and Thandi and Meg on a walk.