Saturday, 5 December 2009

The 1p kittens and the story of Legend.

As everyone knows we have had a great deal of bad luck recently so friend Jan had brought me a brass "Lucky Frog" surrounded by coins and with one in his mouth.According to Feng Shui, if placed facing north he is supposed to bring good fortune to his "keeper".Immediately he was placed in the office I touched the coin in his mouth and to my horror it broke into little pieces.OH no did this mean more bad luck? Well I have to say that since his arrival things do seem to have got better here,broken coin or not.I know it is coincidence but it would be nice to think that there is some truth in mystical matters.
Well, The Christmas Fair went well and raised £825 .The highlight of the day however was the presentation of a very large cheque for £2,000.How brilliant is that? Louis and his wife Vicky who own the Royal Sportsman Hotel in Porthmadog made this very generous donation to the shelter and had arranged for the local press to be there to phgotograph the hand over.Always embarrassing but worth it for the publicity and for once I was happy to pose, the smile on my face was one of genuine delight.
Whilst the Christmas Fair was in full throttle a lady came in who was very upset about an advertisement in a local shop offering kittens for one pence each and the words "buy one get one free"! An hour later the kittens were in our care, would you believe they were living in a car? The photographer was still there so he took a photo of the 6 youngsters for next weeks newspaper.There are only five pictured here because Rhian fell in love with one and has taken him home to add to her animal family.It has been a good few weeks for publicity , which brings me to the tale of Legend.
One of our supporters Ramona heard barking coming from a water filled Quarry locally(the same one where the sheep was stranded) and traced it to a young dog in obvious distress on a ledge.She was unable to reach him so she went home and brought back her childrens dinghy and paddled out to him, she then climbed up to him and rescued this very scared little dog.It was a very brave rescue as it is a dangerous place and the water is very deep.We believe he was thrown in, he is a nervous pup around 6 months of age and very clingy to whomever shows him affection, not a dog inclined to be adventurous at all.Not long after Ramona brought him to us and the publication of the story in The Daily Post and other newspapers, we received a phone call from his owner. Clearly he was trying to cover himself in case someone recognised his dog but when I rang the number he left I could not get through.I tried for several days with no success. We then received information that the owner of the dog had been trying to get rid of him for several weeks but as the information was anonymous and no address was given there was nothing more we could do. Veronica,our wonderful bookeeper(and dog walker,fosterer,fundraiser and office cleaner!)offered to foster the pup and from dozens of offers of homes for him we chose a local lady to give him the home he deserved. He is getting over his trauma now and settling in well in his new home. An amazing rescue but a terrible experience for any animal to endure.He is pictured on the day he was rescued looking exhausted and later looking a lot happier with Mei.
Today has felt like Christmas , cat fosterer and all round supporter Mion arrived with her niece .They were laden with goodies for the animals,they had bags of catfood and blankets and toys for the cats and dogs.Then friends and supporters Marc and Joseph arrived with goodies for our shops,Roy arrived to put up stronger lighting in the cattery and Jan pulled up in her 4x4 with a bag of shavings for horse bedding , a bag of dog leads and another coin for Mr Froggys mouth.This time I let HER put it into position! I have always been clumsy so I am not taking a chance with this.Usually its electrical goods I break. I cannot count the number of washing machines, hoovers,fridges,toasters etc I have got through over the years.It seems like everything I touch breaks! Well nobody's perfect are they?
Finally two of our teenager cats have gone to a home today and there have been a few more people ringing for adult cats so it would be nice to think a few will find homes before our "cut off" date before Christmas.
PS: A comment has just been posted on this entry and it contained a criticism of the rescue worker who saved Legend.Rick, I have posted you a reply but in case you only read this, let me say that I absolutely agree that difficult rescues should not be undertaken without back up of experienced people , however lets not take away this persons bravery and success saving the pup. As readers will know, we always call in the rescue services for situations which require people highly trained for climbing, caving or sailing.In this case we knew nothing about it until the lady and dog turned up here. If Ramona reads this and would like to make a comment I will print it over the next few days. All comments are welcome.


rick said...

Just a reminder to people that the 'Emergency Services', including the RNLI, Mountain Rescue and Cave Rescue WILL respond to callouts to animals.

Quite apart from the Animal Welfare issue there is the problem of unskilled and/or poorly equipped people getting into trouble attempting a rescue. It is far from unusual for people to die attempting a rescue of an animal that is subsequently rescued unharmed. So rather than have this the rescue services will respond.

So, please think first before attempting a rescue - is this a job for the experts, or could you do with some backup, so if you DO get yourself into trouble there is someone to retrieve you?

Do please think of the rescue services themselves as well, I remember the tragedy at Blackpool many years ago where someone tried to rescue a dog from the water and they ended up dead, together with three Police Officers and a Passer-by who attempted to rescue him.

Other rescues that went wrong:


Ana-Maria said...


lesley said...

thank you for your comment.Imust say I do agree with you, however this rescue was not made by either myself or my workers, this was a passerby who happened to be a supporter of the shelter and her first thought was to save the dog as quickly as possible and I was not informed until she arrived with the dog in tow!. Had she telephoned me I would have advised her against attemting the rescue herself but I was not given that opportunity.Fortunately she was successful and safe but yes it is a dangerous place to attempt any rescue without back up.

roy said...

Yes Ramona did take a risk that she shouldn't have , but she acted quickly without giving any thought to her own safety, it shows what a brave person she is, in contrast to the evil one who threw the dog in . She deserves a medal

barry said...

With regards Rick's comments, I agree that we should not put ourselves in danger, but in this case it seems to me that Ramona struck a sensible balance between personal risk and the urgency of the rescue. Ramona is to be congratulated on her bravery and resourcefulness, and the result is that the dog is now safe and happy. I did find Rick's comments rather negative and as there are so many newspaper reports about disaster perhaps he could consider balancing his comments with newspaper reports of successful rescues, even those of animals saving human beings!

I had to jump in the moat in Glynllifon once as my dog had fallen in. It happened in a split second. Unknown to me, due to a developing tumour in her brain, her balance had become affected and she could not get upright. She became disorientated. Although it was January I jumped in, grabbed her and swam with her to the other side where lots of willing helpers dragged us out. Sure it was freezing but she was alive! If I had waited for the emergency services she would have drowned.

Every situation is different. In the case of the sheep rescued last month in Dorothea Quarry I attempted to rescue it but soon realised that I would put myself in danger, as I had no way of getting her back up. I must say that I was tempted to climb down on the ledge with her, call out the helicopter, and refuse to be rescued unless the sheep was winched up first (only joking).

I contacted a couple of my outdoor tutors who were in the Mountain Rescue. Eventually, after several phone calls, I got through to the Abergele Team who rescued the sheep and winched her to safety. Thank you so much! The Mountain Rescue informed me that they will not attempt a rescue until a sheep has been on a ledge for several days and has become weak. The reason is that there is a danger that as you approach the sheep it will jump to its death.

This particular sheep had been on the ledge for 2 weeks before someone contacted Freshfields and thanks to the Abergele Mountain Rescue Team it was rescued the following day.

You may ask why it had not been rescued before? Well the good folks who live near Dorothea Quarry had informed the RSPCA 10 times in the preceding week. All the RSPCA would say was that they had informed the Farmer!

The local residents had already informed the Farmer. All he did was throw stones at the sheep in an attempt to knock it off the ledge. That would mean certain death, as the sides of this particular quarry are sheer and there is no way out, unlike Dorothea, where you can launch a boat. Luckily someone called Freshfields and the sheep was saved. I suppose the Farmer valued the Government compensation more than the life of his sheep.