Monday, 31 August 2009

Goodbye Washi, hello Ty

After beating myself up over the return of the young collie " Washi" a few days ago I am pleased to say that he has gone to his new home,they brought their rescued dog Bella to meet him and decided he WAS the dog for them.I am so pleased and can only hope that this time I have found the right home for him.Judging by the wonderful condition and obvious contentment of Bella who had been a very sad and nervous dog when they adopted her some years ago it seems like an excellent home for him.
Another dog has been admitted. (this is is the cross german shepherd collie whose owner turned up here the other day) Ty is 12 months old, a cross german shepherd/kelpie(not a collie) and although he is not perhaps the prettiest dog we have had, he seems a generally amiable youngster but in dire need of training.Usually with regular and free exercise in the fields these sort of dogs calm down considerably.For some animals a walk on a lead is not enough especially dogs from working stock who have vitality and intelligence bred into them. many problems with canines can be,if not resolved,improved with the right,regular exercise.It makes sense, even with human beings. Depression and bad moods can be miraculously lifted by a half hour run or similar exercise.I speak as one who knows!
I have had an urgent request for a place for a staffordshire bull terrier -as she is good with other dogs and generally good natured so Rosie has offered to foster her,Perhaps we will be as fortunate finding her a good home as we were with Billy a few months ago. As mentioned before they are hard to home because of the bad press they receive but if this one is half as nice as the owner says she is then she needs to be given a chance.They seem to be dogs that people either love or hate,I have already mentioned her to a couple of callers who have enquired about dogs but have been met with a silence when I say she is a staff.What a shame.
My friend Jane who lives in Oxford fostered a staffordshire bull terrier after I forwarded an email plea for dogs on death row in a pound. He was then homed with my eldest niece Vanessa who lives in Wordsley with her husband Avtar and her two teenage stepdaughters.This once condemned dog is so loved by the family, I receive regular news bulletins about how wonderful he is and how much one of the family he has become.They have nothing but praise for him and they cannot believe he was left unclaimed in a dog pound.He is a perfect example of how these dogs can so often make the best family pets.
There are two litters of kittens arriving tomorrow,it is the first time we have had empty pens for some months which is great because it means that we are managing to place most of those which have been admitted.Just a few of the older kittens remain,once they reach 14 weeks or so,they seem to lose their appeal though not tome or the staff of course. When there are younger ones available they have less of a chance which is why I have put off bringing in younger litters for the past week.
Well it is pouring with rain again today,is there no end to it? Even waterproofs fail to keep out the heavy driving rain so we are all perpetually soaked to the skin.Oh Happy Days. The only good thing about this awful weather is the sheer pleasure experienced at the end of the day when wet clothes are discarded,a hot bath is run and then afterwards snuggling up on the sofa with the dogs and a good book. I am a woman of simple pleasures!
Oh dear, last problem of the day - the swallows nest has fallen from high in our barn and the babies are balancing precariously on the girders.I dont know if they are old enough to cope with this, can they fly? I THINK they must be old enough now, but I am taking the ladder down there to try and replace the nest. . More tomorrow.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Gel enjoys his holiday

A quieter day today but still more kittens are reserved and there is a chance of another adult going too.Steve and his partner already have two of our cats and he is very taken with Jaffa a lovely pale ginger and also 2 friends Hannah black and Harvey Moon. He has yet to discuss it with his partner but I have high hopes of at least one going.
I have heard from Gels new family today and it seems he enjoyed his time in Tenby where they stayed for a few nights but is now back home in Hampshire where he is a bit bewildered by his very different change in circumstances . It is a scary time for an ex farm dog unused to living in a house and hearing the sounds of everyday life within those walls.Like the others who have traversed this path before him, it will take some time for him to become accustomed to it and there may be some problems on the way like the television which bemuses him a bit(it has the same effect on me!)but I am sure in no time at all it will be as though he has lived indoors all his life.Dear Gel is pictured on the beach in Barmouth with his new "dad".All the animals are dear to us but some have a very special place in our hearts and Gel is one of those so to know that from now on he will enjoy the luxury of being a loved pet instead of an old discarded farm machine is just so heartwarming.
Minnie and Georgie Girl, the mother and daughter shetlands are being cared for at the moment by Rosie at her homeand this week they had to be moved to another field.Now that may sound a simple matter to deal with but Minnie who has had a history of neglect and ill treatment prior to arriving here with her newborn foal,is an absolute nightmare to catch and to move anywhere. We could do with a horse whisperer here.There are many techniques to use with nervous animals like this and we have tried some with some measure of improvement.What she really needs is someone to work with her on a daily basis instead of just when we have time. She is happy enough left alone but the problems arise when the farrier visits or she needs veterinary attention or even as found this week,needing to move her from place to place.Then it becomes difficult.Pictured are Rosie and her friend leading the pair into another field after much high jinks trying to catch her.Minnie is the chestnut looking away from Rosie as though she has fallen out with her and is refusing to speak in protest, which of course she is!Daughter Georgie having been brought up in our care is outgoing and confident, the product of kind handling.What a difference it makes.
Barbara is travelling to Yorkshire this week to bring back the horse trailer which has kindly been donated to us by the couple who adopted the two collies George and Jess.They have checked it over and it appears roadworthy still -they were unsure about this as it has been standing in a field for quite a while. It will save us some money when we have to move our horses so I am very grateful for the offer.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Guinea pigs, a returned dog and a one eyed kitten

Two baby guinea pigs have been brought in, we have many people asking for these animals so they should be no problem to rehome and they are males so there will be no chance of them breeding.
The bedraggled kitten which was taken to staff at our Porthmadog shop has had to have an operation to remove an eye which was too badly infected to save.Poor little thing.Mion is still fostering her and she is doing well.How amazing animals are, they are so stoical in the face of pain and change. Well most are, lurchers and greyhounds must be the exception, they are total wimps and William is no exception- brush past him with the slightest of pressure and it will result in a piercing scream of outrage and exaggerated pain!
We had a dog returned today.A young collie pup went out 7 months ago,now his owner is homeless and the dog is back with us minus vaccinations!I am annoyed with myself really because this same dog was picked up some months ago with no name tag,I traced the owner and told her off about it.It seemed a genuine reason that the dog had just escaped and I gave her the benefit of the doubt.WRONG.I should have taken him back there and then or at least followed it up and to my everlasting shame I failed to do so. Even after so many years doing this work I still make mistakes and I am very very angry with myself for overlooking this potential problem.All I can say in my defence is that I rarely ignore such warning signs and a warning sign it certainly was.I should have known then that the home was not as good as it had originally seemed. The good news is that he has been reserved already by a couple who will be bringing their own dog back on Monday to see if the two get on together.
At last some adult cats have gone.Even better is the fact that the two chosen today are Toby and Twinkle,Toby has amputated ears and they are middle aged.It is hard to home such cats and they had to be rehomed together so I am thrilled for them. Also reserved is Bunty a little kitten cat with stunted growth, she has always been half the size of her litter sisters and as a young kitten had incredibly short legs but has now turned into an attractive little cat.
A car drives into our yard around 5.30pm.I look up from typing and wonder is this someone else wanting to get rid of an animal and yes it is so another goes on our waiting list.This time it is a young cross collie/german shepherd which has grown too big for the family.At least it has been neutered which will save us some money.The vets bill is enormous and the less we have to pay out foreach animal the better we can manage our finances which are never in a marvellous state!
Yesterday I was in Liverpool attending a trustee meeting of the charity and the Manager Helen had written her report for the month in which she states that the recession is definitely making a big difference to them,both in donations and animals coming in.Of course it may not really be the credit crunch causing this,after all it is the perfect excuse to get rid of an unwanted pet without being made to feel guilty! Yes I know I am a hardened cynic but I know from years of dealing with people and their pets that there are certainly many genuine people whom we are delighted to assist if we are able but for every one of these there are 20 without a good reason. I much prefer people to tell me the truth, even if it is just that they dont like the animal anymore, I hate the lies which can sometimes this can be detrimental to the pet.We need to know the truth and as much information as possible whenm we admit them This helps with rehoming and finding the right match for people and pet.
It has been quite a good day for homing animals so as I finish this entry I feel reasonably upbeat.I can see the swallows flitting about the stables catching insects on the wing and I know that I dont have to put as much effort in for my forthcoming meal.Have Microwave, Will Eat!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Blue stays just two hours with us!

The new collie arrived(pictured here) but there was a home waiting for him and two hours later he was off to Barmouth for a 4 day holiday before travelling home to Worcestershire! Blue,a handsome blue merle collie has been in rescue kennels(notours) waiting for a home for over two months.Rosie had planned to foster him but then I remembered I had someone on our waiting list for a collie.They have had a collie previously which had died and they were thrilled to meet Blue.If ever people and dog were wellmatched it was those three.
Also reserved is the stray Jack Russell"Mason" who was never claimed, he will be neutered tomorrow ready to be adopted and someone is coming to view Misty on Wednesday though she is not ready to go yet as she is still in season.Two kittens have been rehomed today,a pretty older kitten and the last of the chocolate box babies pictured a few days ago.There is Still nobody wanting aduilt cats ,its always quiet when there are so many kittens about so they probably will not start moving until late September.
I took some more photos of William the Wonderdog last night but then felt I was showing favouritism so took some of the Yorkies as well.The Maggie Marthas are in the front and 15 years old Suzie is asleep at the back of them.Amazing to think their combined ages of the yorkies are 58!!!
It has been decided definitely that we are bringing the 4 young ponies back to the shelter a week on tuesday, on this day we will have plenty of helpers and we will need them to catch the four ready for transporting them home.As they have not been handled daily since they have been at their summer home, they have become very wary and frisky and of course now their testicles have dropped their testesterone is rampant.The sooner we can have them gelded the better and the calmer they will become.
A few weeks ago I nominated our lovely Equine Dentist Andre for an IFAW animal welfare award,last week I had a call to say he had been shortlisted and yesterday I received another call to say that he was the one to receive the award.Ihope he will not mind,I hadnt told him what I was planning in case my nomination did not get anywhere.He deserves it for his kindness treating our rescued and often traumatised ponies and for his wonderful volunteer work with working horses and donkeys in Greece.

Monday, 24 August 2009

The feral cats enjoy a new toy.

Another dog has left today for a new home,Sam the young stray cross labrador is off to a new life in Derbyshire.As with all young dogs,he is a handful,I only hope he will not prove too much for his new person to cope with.Youngsters are so full of life and mischief but it can be wearing for anyone unused to this.
A kind person donated a great cat climbing frame, we placed it in the feral enclosure and as you can see the cats love it.There was so much interest in it,almost all the cats investigated and the bolder ones leaped on to it straight away ,still some are a little unsure of this new"building" in their home but no doubt will soon cease to fear it and join the others in their play.It will stop them from being bored,another reason why we often place cardboard boxes and other items in there.When cats are confined, albeit with an outside enclosure,it is not the same as being free to roam and new toys can make all the difference to their lives whilst they are here.
Although today is lovely and the sun has been shining, the torrential rain yesterday has me worried for the ponies out at summer grazing, in particular the 4 youngsters.I think its time that they returned to the shelter and they can be gelded soon after.There is natural shelter in their fields but it will be easier for us if they are here.At least if there are drastic changes in the weather we can put on their rugs or bring them in at night if necessary.
I have heard from the new owners of George and Jess. The collies travelled well and have been for a run around their new home, and were flat out on the sofa when I last heard. Its the goodlife for them at last.There is another collie arriving tomorrow,Rosie will be fostering him,all I know is that he is a blue merle around the age of 6 years and was rescued from a dog pound some weeks ago.
A little black stray kitten was admitted earlier today so all the cat pens are now full though there is one tabby reserved.This season there seem to be mainly black and white kittens,other years we have had assorted and several gingers.I wonder why there is a change in colours each year and why there are more of one colour than another? When I first moved here I was struck by how many longhaired cats we saw and how many gingers, which if not a rarity in Liverpool were certainly less common.
Roy the ferret will have his bits off on Wednesday and then we will try to find him a home. On close inspection he is not a well cared for animal at all, he was covered in fleas and has hardly any hair on his tail- poor creature.I suspect he has been used for hunting and like many such animals has received the minimum care.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

A home is found for Gel.

Yesterday afternoon we were visited by a couple from Hampshire who were here for a wedding in Beddgelert.They had been to their local shelters wanting a collie but there were none available so they thought they might find one here in Wales.The only one we have at the moment is Gel,a middle aged dog with a hip problem who needs daily pain killers. We brought him out with little hope that he would appeal but guess what, he did- they thought he was lovely.Tomorrow he will be leaving us and it will pull at our heart strings because he was such a very sad dog when he arrived and we all thought he would be here for life.Its wonderful to think he will have a a loving home of his own.He truly deserves it,he has gone from being chained up for years and badly neglected to a happy affectionate animal who has really enjoyed his time at the shelter but now he has an even better home to live in,one where he will receive ALL the attention and where he can spend cold winter days lying in front of a warm fire.This is what I wish for all our dogs. They will be getting a passport for him as soon as they can because Gel will be wintering with them in Spain next year and subsequent years.Good luck Gel, we will miss you but we are all so happy for you.
Two more kittens have gone to homes, two been admitted and a feral cat rehomed so not a bad weekend at all.Its strange that today is appalling weather,we have experienced torrential rain all day and we are all soaked to the skin but it has been so busy.On a day like this I would have expected nobody to turn up, I know I would prefer to be warm and cozy indoors!
Mei and Barbara are bringing some of the ponies in to dry them off and give them a feed. If this rain keeps up their rugs will have to go back on,its not just the oldies who feel the cold but some of the thinner coated ponies like William and Blue are unhappy in this type of weather. Its like a winters day today and the ponies are racing in to the stables, I dont blame them.
The other piece of good news is that the rabbits seem to be ok with their new friend, we have lent an exercise run so that they can get to know each other on neutral territory but so far so good.
I think I will go and dry off too,my clothes are making me feel chilly, a nice hot cup of tea seems an appealing option right now.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Jess and George leave us and Misty arrives.

I dont know why it is but some days seem longer than others and today is such a day.It is 6pm and I feel as though I have been up and about for 24 hours!!
Well today the Uzzells from Yorkshire travelled up for the 2 collies in their oh so beautiful horsebox which we all coveted like mad.Jess and George were initially a little wary but soon rallied round and began to make a fuss of them. Tonight they will be sleeping with them in the horsebox and they will be leaving for home early tomorrow.Its a perfect home for dogs like these, lots of space(70 acres) and other dogs to play with.No more living outside and braving the elements for these lucky dogs.In the course of the conversation they mentioned (the people, not the dogs)that they have an old trailer not in use, well actually I was drooling over their horsebox and moaning that we had to hire a horse trailer to move any of our horses. They are going to check it over when they return home as it has been standing unused for several years but hopefully as it is a good Ifor Williams vehicle,it will still be roadworthy.Anyhow if it is, we will go up to collect it.Heres hoping that it is ok, we really do need a horse trailer for emergencies but even second hand ones are beyond our means right now.
A ginger and white cross collie called Misty(pictured here) will be taking their place. Misty has been living outside on a chain for some time and we received a call from a social worker to ask for our help.The owner had moved house and the dog was desperately in need of a home.She is overjoyed to be off the chain and with company but is rather exuberant as are most dogs when they first realise they can run freely without restriction.Unfortunately she is in season so I will not be able to have her spayed as quickly as I would like, nor does she seem to like cats so she may have to be moved to a foster home.We will see how she goes over the next few days.
We were visited this morning by little Minnie Yorkshire terrier, now called Tina and her people who caravan in this area and often pop up to see us.Sandra and her husband have Monty another of our rescued Yorkies and it is always a joy to see them looking so well and happy.We all love to see or animals in good homes and enjoy them visiting,its a real morale boost for us.
2 kittens have been homed today,and there are 4 being admitted tomorrow. Still no homes being offered to the adult cats but who know what tomorrow will bring?
The two rabbits have gone to a home today so providing they get on with their resident female rabbit they will not be returned.Rabbits are so unpredictable,its impossible to say whether they will be a good match until they actually meet and establish a viable pecking order! I am waiting for the news, will they stay or will they go?

Thursday, 20 August 2009

4 cats saved from destruction at vets.

I long for the rain to stop, the fields are getting waterlogged, today there has been a little sun but most of my lovely container plants are ruined - Lynn at the local garden centre says its been a terrible summer for her, she has lost many plants herself. There is no doubt there is a real need for an animal shelter in this area of Wales and the surrounding countryside is incredibly beautiful and scenic but oh how I wish I had emigrated all those years ago when I had the chance.When I married at the age of 27, we made plans to emigrate to South Africa but my mothers health and the apartheid situation eventually made me decide to stay put.I dont regret that particular decision ,I could never have coped with leaving mum and seeing racial segregation at work but perhaps a different country with a good climate would have been nice - to wake up in the morning to see the sun shining would make one so much more enthusiastic about the rest of the day!
I had a call from a vet surgery in Dolgellau, 3 cats had been taken in for destruction,thankfully one was taken home by one of the vets and the other two have been neutered and collected by Dorothy a new foster parent who will care for them until we have space here.With so few adults going out it is becoming hard to cope with all the cats needing shelter in this area.They appear to be about 18months old and are siblings, one tortie and white and a black and white.Dorothy says they are friendly and homeable.
Another cat which was FIV positive (feline Aids) was taken to a different vet for destruction, he is a lovely ginger with an equally lovely nature.We had no room here in Wales so Barbara took him to the Liverpool shelter yesterday where he will be advertised for a home.Both Freshfields shelters have several FIV cats and neither of us have had any luck recently rehoming them. There are people willing to take them on but they are understandably rather thin on the ground so these cats may have a long wait in our shelters before a suitable home turns up.Better a long wait than an untimely end at the vet!They could have years of good quality life ahead of them.
There are two kittens left from the litter pictured a few days ago and a few others have been homed also, though another litter has been admitted.Thats the way it goes.
The Anglesey ponies are being brought in at night now, the evenings are becoming colder and one or two are showing signs of feeling the cold.The ex owner is still fighting for her day in court with me so I am now collating the evidence to send to her solicitor and we have also downloaded(or is it uploaded?)the video evidence from a mobile phone to the computer.This piece of footage is very distressing to watch as it shows just how much pain these horses were in when they were admitted.I really could do without this business but when the public are involved there are are always going to be problems from time to time and I am aware that I just have to get on with it, deal with it the best way possible and try not to let it affect me on a personal and emotional level which is often easier said than done.
Today I had a new visitor to the garden, a willow warbler who only stayed a short time on a branch of a tree and then flew off but not before I managed to get my binoculars to identify him. Its not often I see anything other than chaffinches and blue tits so I get quite excited much to Meis amusement. She thinks it hilarious that she so often finds me crouching behind bushes or crawling along the ground in a often futile attempt to spot one of our feathered friends or an unusual insect. I tell her that I too used to scorn this type of behaviour and thought my mother and aunt(who did much the same)were totally eccentric and boring.Now I find I do the same myself and I warn Mei that one day she too will find herself with a pair of binoculars trained on her bird table,Of course she will not believe it!Did I mention her wrist is still very sore and causing her much pain, she has a new cast on it and is waiting for an MRI scan to decide whether it may need an operation - it looks as if she will not be doing much heavy work for a while..

Monday, 17 August 2009

Jess and george have a makeover.

Jess and George have now been bathed, deflead and wormed and how lovely they look now.Rosie and Vanessa took time off from caring for the horses to work on them and weere horrified to find that George whose white neck looked particularly discoloured had been bleeding from flea bites.Both dogs were literally covered with thousands of fleas.I have only seen one dog as bad as these in all the years I have been doing animal rescue work.How they must have been suffering with this horrendous infestation.They were so patient during the whole operation and seemed to enjoy the attention they were receiving.Pictured is Jess in the middle of her grooming session.I have telephoned the prospective owners to tell them how sweet natured these dogs are and they will be travelling down from Yorkshire on Saturday. Incredibly I have had several offers of a home for the two together and I thought it would be difficult.
Nobody has turned up for the Jack Russell yet!
I have received a call from a girl wanting to get rid IMMEDIATELY of a 12 weeks kitten which is VICIOUS.It has been with her family since it was six weeks old but has scratched her son and her and there is no way she is hanging on to it.I told her to bring it in straight away,I cant wait to see this vicious creature.
Kitten is NOT vicious so has obviously been mishandled in the home.He was initially aggressive on arrival(he didnt know what to expect from us) but today he is fine and behaving totally normally.Kittens and puppies are never a good idea with young children unless the children have been brought up to respect animals and even then it is hard to oversee every move little ones make.Sometimes they just want to cuddle baby animals but are too rough and then the animal becomes defensive leading to it being blamed for its aggressive attitude when all it is doing is protesting at mistreatment.
A ferret has been admitted after walking into someones kitchen.I have booked him in to the vet to be neutered, he is not the sweetest natured ferret I have known but neutering can make a difference so he is going next week to get his bits off.He is starving and I suspect he has been used for rabbiting rather than being a pet.I have named him Roy so no doubt Roy will be in touch asking if I think he has ferret ways or features,If he reads this, Roy I thought of your name as you have fostered several ferrets for me and not for any other reason.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

A visitor from India.

Another 4 kittens rehomed and 10 years old Tiddlewinks (not my choice of name, honestly) so not a bad day at all.
Today we also had a lovely visitor from India .Renu Rai runs an animal welfare shelter and clinic in Mumbai,India which is called Freshfields and to which this charity is affiliated.One of our volunters Nia has been over there to see the work done for the street dogs of Mumbai and came back very impressed and full of praise for Renu and her team of helpers.I hope to go there myself in the not too distant future.I would love to see India though at the same time would dread seeing the poverty and the starving animals. At least many of these have a daily meal thanks to this very determined lady.400 street dogs are fed every night with a meal of rice and scraps and many are sterilised at the clinic.I think we have it easy in the Uk compared to welfare workers in other countries.Renu is fighting a real battle over there, there is much anti dog feeling and she has few helpers to assist her, someone even broke into her shelter and poisoned the dogs there! I cant begin to imagine how she must have felt and how she feels on a daily basis with so little support from the local council and the public.Pictured with me is Renu and her daughter and grandchild with Dilys our Sunday volunteer whose daughter Nia spent time at the Mumbai shelter.Notice William getting in on the act and Holly one of our resident cats is just behind him, she loves visitors and always follows them about.
Its when I meet people like Renu that I wish I had loads of money,it would be lovely to be able to help her with sterilisation of the local strays. When only so much can be done with such limited funds (she pays for most of it herself)it means there will be so many more mouths to feed in the future. It is incredibly frustrating that there are so many wealthy people in most impoverished countries and so few do anything charitable to help.
Anyway we all had a good chat and compared notes on the different problems in our respective countries and how animal welfare is always so low on the list of any councils/governments.There is always a common bond between those who do rescue work,no matter what we look like we are familiar to one another simply by the strength of our feelings and by shared experiences.It is also good to meet others who share a similar lifestyle which has to be said is quite out of the ordinary.
A little jack russell was brought here and he is being fostered by Vanessa, so far nobody has rung up for him, will this be yet another unclaimed stra? The ridiculous thing is that many of these dogs are found wearing new collars so are not really strays, it seems that they must belong to people who dont care if their dogs return or not from their daily constitutional and do nothing to find them. This terrier even has a name barrel with paper inside but nothing written on it- what is the point of buying one and not filling it in?
So another weekend comes to a close,Mei is doing the last dog walk of the day,I can hear her calling for Bonnie who once again has disappeared but will be found munching at some ill gotten gains.If there is even a sniff of food about, Bonnie will track it down and devour it.Last week she went next door and returned with a box of yoghourts the milkman had left on their step!!!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

More kittens and Collies

Neither dog was claimed, Sam the younger one pictured in the last blog has a home already, he has been reserved by a lady in Derbyshire who is collecting him next weekend.I have had a lot of interest in him so maybe the other people will take other dogs.A farmer brought 2 collies here yesterday, 5 years old siblings Jess and George who show no interest working, I asked him for a donation but he had nothing with him but promised to send something - I wont hold my breath.As he was leaving he said his friend had a dog he no longer had any use for, would I take that one too.I really had to fight to stay calm and civil.The outer me was polite and said his friend should ring me, the inner me was shrieking words of abuse which I am unable to type here in case my blog is taken off the site for containing offensive material!!!!
Anyhow I already have a possible home for these two, all being well they will be going to live together, with other rescued dogs on a smallholding in Yorkshire.They have no idea how their lives are about to change for the better.I had them out for a walk this morning and they cowered every time I stopped to speak to them.Oh well, in a few days they will be different dogs, they will hear no harsh words here and they have a bright future ahead of them.
A beautiful litter of kittens has been brought in from a caravan site, they are such characters and full of joy and mischief.It was hard to get a photo of them as they are so lively and outgoing, every time I opened the pen door to take a photo they all came tumbling out.I dont think they will be here long.
Just one adult cat has been homed this week, Scully a 10 years old male was chosen to join a family consisting of one human and 3 rescued lurchers(all cat friendly) and I have had a call today requesting an older cat of which we have a few so it looks as though the adult cats are starting to move as well as the kittens.One lady took 3 of our adorable kittens this week.I cant explain what a relief it is when our animals start to go to homes, when weeks go by and nobody comes to view them it becomes a bit scary and very worrying.There are so many urgent calls to take in animals and if the cats already here are not moving then we have no room to take more.A tiny bedraggled kitten has been found and taken in to our Porthmadog shop so Mion once again has come to the rescue to foster him.What would we do without her?She is truly brilliant, she cares for so many orphaned kittens and has so much patience with them though I know that the downside for her is that she finds it hard parting with them when the time comes for them to leave.
Its time for me to do the afternoon feeds for the cats now, the multitude is already gathering around the yard waiting impatiently for me to appear at the office door. Anyone would think this is a cat sanctuary!! I am on a go slow today as I tripped and fell very badly yesterday and have a bruise the size of a rugby ball on the side of my head . It is like having the worst type of hangover without having had anything to drink.Not that the cats care, its dinner time no matter what else happens and they must be obeyed. Cats Rule.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

2 stray dogs admitted.

Belated photo of the converted stables at the Open Day.Within a half hour of opening, this area was completely packed.We used these stables for the refreshments, a cafe and book shop!The book shop did incredibly well, there were customers in there all the time.As an avid reader myself it was a great temptation to hide myself away in there and I must admit the following day I did lock myself in there for a browse.
The dog collected yesterday is a young cross labrador/collie.I have reported him to the police and the dog warden but as yet nobody has come forward to claim him. He is a lovely friendly happy dog (pictured here in a rare moment of inactivity though that was more down to Rosie holding him firmly than by choice)! we have named him Sam (due to lack of imagination) and he is enjoying life in the house with Molly and pals. He is a bit of a handful with a tendency to prefer to be on the kitchen units rather than on the floor.This creates somewhat of a problem to me as my daily attempts to housekeep and emulate a Stepford wife invariably ends up with me piling the ironing in a large pile on one of the units with the intention of moving it a little nearer to the ironing board in the not too distant future.Now it is all back on the floor so has to be washed all over again. A lesson learned possibly?And before anybody says "thats funny I didnt know she was married I am not, I just thought Stepford PERSON sounded sounded wrong"
Another collie was brought in during the evening, this time an older female, neither dog had any identification on them so it will be a Waiting Game. Will the owners turn up or will they not?Its anybodys guess.
The other Sam we are assessing appears to have taken a particular shine to Mei, I come second in his popularity poll and the rest of the staff are not even down on his list!.I feel he does probably have a possessive streak and is a one man dog so he is going to be a very difficult dog to place in a home.
2 more kittens have been taken into one of our charity shops so will be fostered by Mion until we have a space here.

Monday, 10 August 2009

A stray collie and more kittens find homes.

Over the weekend 5 more kittens were homed.This is wonderful, we were able to give shelter to another litter of five today.Someone also turned up with a young white and tabby cat claiming it was a stray, somehow I felt he was their cat.I dont know why people lie, it doesnt make any difference to me whether the cat is a stray or their own pet, either way it is unwanted and potentially homeless.Is it guilt maybe?
Its a cold wet day today and I have been reading the blog written by Janice who runs the pig sanctuary in Maple Ridge Vancouver, they have been struggling with a heat wave!!! At this moment in time I cannot even imagine what that must be like though with animals there are of course some disadvantages.Even on our infrequent sunny days we have to put sunscreen on the pink noses of some of the horses and our pink pig especially can suffer from sunburn very easily.The water has to be used constantly to top up the mudbath for the pigs when the heat becomes too much for them and this keeps them cool and happy.
I forgot to mention in a previous post that I DID take Mei to hospital, she has a torn ligament and has to wear a splint on her wrist for two weeks.Unfortunately as she is right handed and the injury is on that side she is unable to do much manual work for the time being.
Blue the old pony with the dental problem is looking really good now, he has gained weight and is eating well again.Finn, One of the youngsters out at summer grazing is becoming a little wild due to lack of human contact.Although the staff visit to check twice weekly(the staff at the hotel keep an eye on them also)unlike the other three who were virtually hand reared, he has not had the same human contact so needs more handling.We will be taking the four back at the shelter in the next 6 weeks so there will be more opportunity to handle him on a daily basis.They are all due now to be gelded but we will have that done when they return to the shelter, whilst there is a possibility of flies buzzing around it is not a good time to have the operation.
Pictured here are the three at Caernarfon(the ones reported to RSPCA!!!!)Callie the dark bay is now 36 years old and is the bossy boots of the three, she is very protective over Freddie and will chase Ken away.Ken(the grey in the front) has somebody interested in him as a companion to another horse and I think he will be happier in that situation.Callie and Freddy have been close to one another for several years and theirs is a frienship excluding all others.Whilst we were p[icking the ragwort in their field, I kept my camera to hand as p[arts of the field are a haven for butterflies including the little blue butterfly pictured here which was the only one I managed to photograph before it flew away. I thiunk it is a common blue but none of my books show the colour of the underwings so Im not too sure.
I have taken in a little terrier cross whose owner wanted put to sleep.I feel responsible because I put the owner in touch with the person who owned Sam and had thought it was working well until the phone call to say that he was terrorising the adult daughter(a possessive trait perhaps?)Anyhow the Liverpool shelter kindly arranged for him to be collected from his wirral home and delivered him here to Wales where I will assess his behaviour.
I have just had a call from a woman in Porthmadog to say she had found a young collie running about, having agreed to take the dog her husband told me in no uncertain terms that they were far too busy to bring him to me and would not even take him to the police station or our charity shop which is just a short walk from where they were. What exactly do people expect? Obviously for me to drop everything and race to their aid.Anyway Trish from our shop is going to walk up and try to find them.I hope she finds the dog, if not them.
Two more kittens have gone today, we really are doing well now and it is so heartening. Sharon the receptionist at our vet rang to say a ginger cat had been taken in as a stray but had tested positive for FIV.I have no more room for such a cat as I still have the 3 FIV adults and two kittens in one pen.Luckily Liverpool has agreed to take him so will need now to organise a temporary pen for him here and then to arrange transport to Freshfields in Liverpool.
Just had a call, Trish has the stray collie so am off to collect him.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Dids and Buster will be coming back.

Six cats went in to be neutered yesterday and another 2 are going on Friday. We have had help from the Cats Protection League to help with neutering but the grant they give us at the beginning of the year has been used up already.This means from now till next January we pay almost full price for every cat spay/neuter.That means every female costs £34.21p and a male cat £27.37p. Most of the cats admitted here are strays so most will need neutering and without any financial help it means I will have to restrict the numbers we take in.Of course I always ask people for a donation but cant expect those who have found a cat and kindly brought it to the shelter to fork out for expenses to be incurred.The donations we get for the cats when adopted seldom cover the operation,microchip and worming/defleaing preparations but I fear that by putting up the price, it will deter people from adopting.
On top of this a litter of kittens has died from Feline infectious peritonitis which has been very distressing for us all but particularly upsetting for Gail and Rhian who care for the cats.Unfortunately there is no cure for this and animals invariably die even with immediate veterinary attention as these had.It is an awful discease but at least it is not airbound so the other litters will not run the risk of infection as with influenza .With many litters which have been abandoned there are often already problems when they are admitted and each year we have to face the fact that not all will survive, especially those which have had a poor start in life.
On a cheery note I had a lovely email from the lady who took Copper the pony, saying how well she had settled in and how delighted they are with her.There have been two enquiries this week from people wanting companion ponies for their horses so it is a possibility we may home a few more before the winter sets in. With the four being returned soon, in order to make room for them I either need to home a few on our loan scheme or find other winter accommodation for them.Pictured are Dids and Buster two of the returning horse who need to stay together.
I am off for two days now and will be back Sunday evening. On my way into Caernarfon tomorrow I will be going to the horses there to check on the ragwort situation and do a bit of weed picking again.Oh, and the dreaded time for the B12 injection has come round again so have an appointment at DR tomorrow.I will have little sleep tonight as I am full of dread already.The very thought of it is , as usual terrifying though I rather think the staff at the surgery are more terrified at the prospect of having to deal with ME again!! Seriously though - I think I am improving,its a while since I made a run for it when my name was called and even longer since I lashed out in terror when the object of my fear was produced (cant even manage to say the word)

Monday, 3 August 2009

2 More kittens homed.

Yippee, the Cardiff people came back and took two little black kittens so a total of five went at the weekend.It really cheers us all up when this happens.Heres hoping the renewed interest continues and it would be lovely if some of the adult cats go too.Pictured are the two male rabbits we have admitted, they have been neutered so they may be able to stay together as a pair.As long as they show no aggression towards each other they should be happy.Years ago I had a rabbit which I tried desperately to pair up with a companion but he persisted in attacking every female I put in with him so reluctantly I came to the decision he would have to stay on his own(not something I am happy with) The following day I discovered him snuggled up with another male rabbit which had tunnelled into his enclosure from the adjoining pen.My gay bunnies remained the best of friends and eventually they were found a loving home together.
I have just had someone come for a dog but when asked admitted the dog would sleep in a kennel and that their dogs had never wanted to live in the house.Funny that- in 32 years of taking in all sorts of dogs, including working gundogs and sheepdogs, there has NEVER been one which preferred to live outside! I make no apology for the fact that any dog I rehome goes to live as a family pet, why would I want to place one in any other type of home when most that I rescue have come from lives where they have been kept outside and I want to improve their lot in life, not simply replace one prison for another. I do admit there are dogs kept outside in good conditions, even heated sheds and runs and who are exercised regularly but I remain firm in the belief that a dog should be one of the family.
One of the outside feral cats is looking very frail, she is pretty ancient and although she has been here 6 years I have never been able to touch her, she remains totally wild.She came from Liverpool city centre, one of several rescued by a caring cat lover.This must have seemed like paradise to her when she arrived, it is wonderful for cats, there is so much for them to do and places to go and no worries of traffic.It is a pity there are not more places for feral cats to be homed safely.Unmfortunately I have so many I am unable to take any more but If I had loads of money I would buy another smallholding ,somewhere remote with land just to take in ferals and keep them safe from harm. Some of the feral cats here are pictured at feeding time.The old girl is the tabby at the front right of photo.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Pretty Copper finds a home

This week has passed in a kind of haze as the buzz of the Open Day fades into a distant memory.It has been hard to get back into the daily routine again.The photos of the Winners at the Dog show should now be posted on the freshfields website
It was a little disappointing that not one animal was reserved on that day but today three kittens went to homes which was a real boost.having said that one little stray tortie was admitted but still, at least they have started to move.There is a possibility one or two may go tomorrow also, - a family from Cardiff visited and may return for these.Fingers crossed.
We admitted two rabbits also this week and they seem to have nice natures. I will take some photos of them anmd start advertising them.The last bunny we had (the one with the overgrown teeth(malaclusion) was given a home by one of the volunteers at our fundraising day.If this dental problem is misspelled I apologise.There are 2 more on the waiting list, its strange that months go by without one request for us to take in rabbits, then they all seem to come along at the same time.
Roy, the kelpie has gone, I am currently trying to find a home for a beautiful mastiff called Daisy, there is someone interested in her already and then there are three collies which need to be placed in local foster homes as soon as there is space.Now the Big Day is over I can concentrate on home finding once again.
The big news this week is that we have homed a horse on our loan scheme.Copper(pictured here) one of the only two Anglesey ponies now fit enough to be moved on has gone to a home in the Nefyn area.She is a beautiful pony and has been the subject of much admiration whilst she has been at the shelter.As usual I kept away from the horse trailer, I hate to see them leave here, it makes me feel guilty. It is just as well that she has gone because there are 4 of our ponies out on loan which are very likely to come back to us in the near future as the circumstances of the new carer have unforeseeably changed rather drastically.We will have to look for more homes for them, all four are fit enough to be homed though they will have to stay in pairs as they are bonded now.Heather and Padddy are shetland ponies (mother and son)and Dids and Buster are very attractive chestnuts but unsuitable for riding.I will put their photos back on the website as soon as I find the time.
Blue has now had his dental work done and should now start to eat more normally, his weight is still low but he has already gained a few pounds.He is on a special diet, prepared especially for him.All the ponies were seen this week by our farrier(another big expense) so everything is as it should be, happy horses with happy feet!