Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Its snowing again

Up[loading photos successful today and no John it is NOT because i am blonde! There was a temporary problem with the blog uploading feature.So here is little Junior(the mini William)in his new home with resident cat Jake.
I couldnt believe it when I looked out the window this morning, thick snow everywhere! After letting the dogs out I rushed to replenish the food on the bird tables, the birds were hovering around anxiously waiting for "the dinner lady"to do her stuff. Realised I had run out of the goldfinches favourite Nyger seeds so made a quick trip to the local agricultural merchants to purchase some more and some catfood which is being eaten up at an alarming rate (by the cats not the birds!) The track to the road was a bit slippy but the main roads are all clear.
Shortly on my return a man turned up with two dogs, a middle aged collie and a Siberian Husky. He was moving tomorrow and this was the dogs last chance! I still havent found foster homes for Thunder the young husky with the broken leg, I have had two offers but both people had cats and she hates them with a vengeance. I expected the collies to be going today but with the weather there has had to be a change of plan.Hopefully they will go very soon so they can start their rehabilitation. They had their first vaccinations yesterday but there are no funds right now to spay the two females. After the charity being established for 30 plus years I believed by now we would be financially well established but it seems to get no better and of course the recession has really hit charities.Those small ones like us with no investments and assets are the worst hit. Everyone is complaining of the same struggle to keep heads above water.For all Britain is a nation of animal lovers, it seems to be the charities established for human benefit which are the better off. Perhaps I should start a religious cult, they seem to do alright!
Our water pump is not working and we have had no running water for three days but other than that all is well!
Pictured are Monty and Lucy the shetland ponies in need of a new home together,I have put them on our website and am keeping my fingers crossed we will be successful placing them in a suitable and permanent home.
Now let me think of some cheery anecdotes for the day.Well Meirwen has just reminded me how I gave her an Easter egg last year and when she opened it there was a large chunk taken out of it, the foil around it was carefully replaced to look as though the egg was intact underneath.Yes youve guessed it, the culprit was me. I must have been having a "desperate for something sweet day".
Speaking of easter its our Easter fair tomorrow at the Royal Sportsman in Porthmadog and I am now panicking that nobody will turn up because of the weather, and on the fifth we have our first coffeee morning in Barmouth at the Dragon Theatre. Please let the weather improve for them.
A handsome all white cat has just been admitted,poor old chap is about 12 years old and has been brought here because the owner refused to let him in the house and he has been making a nuisance of himself trying to get in!!!! I would like to put her out in the cold and see how she likes it. It looks like the first kittens are about to start arriving.,We have a litter coming in tomorrow, Gail is picking them up from Pwyllhelli on her way into work.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Road accident dogs doing well.

The road accident collie(reallymust find her a name) has had two operations now,poor little thing and she is doing well.The first op was to put her intestines back into place and repair two hernias and the second performed the day before yesterday was to amputate a badly shattered back leg. She has been through quite an ordeal and she has shown what a lovely gentle nature she has. Even when she was first rescued and was in such a horrific state there was no sign of aggression though she must have been in such pain with her injuries. Both she and Thunder will be returning on Wednesday.We urgently need foster homes for both so need to spread the word around.
The 4 collies will be going to a border collie rescue in Yorkshire just as soon as transport can be arranged, we will have their first vaccination done tomorrow ready for their departure. The boys have recovered well from their neutering operations and Robins wound is healing very well. Unfortunately there has been no word from the farmer about the other collies but I am still hopeful he will revert to his original decision to hand them over to us. It is preying on my mind ,they desperately need to be rehomed where they can have company and exercise,some are displaying signs of pyschological problems which is no wonder after being incarcerated all these years.
Pebbles the 12 years old cat recently admitted(I called her Phoebe by mistake!) has found a home already, she is going to live with another cat"Theo" and they will be collected on wednesday.What a lucky cat to be chosen so quickly, Im sure her last owner will be thrilled,I know she was upset at having to part with her and this news will be just what she needs to hear.
I have received several calls requesting places at the shelter for horses and ponies but we have neither the funds nor the space for any more, however I am going to try my best to find them homes. and am waiting for photos to place on our website. If homes are found we will do it through the shelters loan agreement scheme. There are two shetland ponies which are fairly young and must stay together (though one has bouts of laminitis)and two big horses which also need to find a home where they can stay together(not an easy task).At least the 17 hands boys are problem free and healthy so that makes it a little easier but they will need someone with enough land and funds to keep such large animals healthy and happy. Oh how I wish I had lots more land and money to help these animals.There are just so many in need.
We have a possible home offered to Ken the ex riding school horse, I need to visit the home in Flint as soon as possible, and our lovely Rocky will be going soon although no home visit is needed as they already have ponies from Freshfields. Even with these two going we do not have the money to take on any new equines at the moment and there always has to be stabling available for any which may be returned.
The farrier has been out this morning and once again all the horses have nice tidy feet, now we need to make an appointment for Andre the dentist to visit. He calls regularly and is due in April but we need to confirm a date with him so we can arrange extra staff in for that day. Some of the oldies may need anaesthetic for treatment for which we call out the vet to work with Andre. I generally keep out the way being not so keen on anything to do with dentists though he is so gentle I may even ask him if he could check me out and give my teeth a quick polish!
Heard from Juniors (lurcher pup which looked like a mini William)new owners today, he is now called Alfie and he is settling in well and has made friends with Jake the resident tabby cat. Its always good to hear news of our animals , it can really make our day.
Well it is pouring with rain now and I am going to help Mei get the horses in, they are looking fed up and are clearly anxious to get into their warm stables and have their evening meal. It has been a horrible wet day, the fields are becoming very muddy, the stream at the foot of the property is overflowing into the lower fields making them boglike and like the animals I am totally fed up with the weather. There are so many newborn lambs about and daffodils starting to spring up and now we are having another cold spell, what a nightmare. No wonder we Brits have a reputation for always talking about the weather, we have so little sun it becomes a big occasion when it eventually appears.
For some reason I am unable to upload photos today so will try to put them on tomorrows blog instead. Computers eh!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

John gets put out with the rubbish and The farmer changes hhis mind.

We waited all day yesterday for the remainder of the collies to arrive having found places for all of them.He failed to turn up and I have spoken to his relatives who are furious with him and will still be trying all they can to get the dogs away from him. It is disappointing to say the least but what else can be done, its a case of waiting for the right time but I hope it will be soon for the sake of the remaining collies. In the meantime Ross and Robin have been today to be neutered and Robins wound has now been stitched as the infection had cleared up remarkably.The four are pictured today, the girls Rosa(in front) and Reba are still very scared though venturing in the run more often today (see photo) All have now been wormed and they were infested with them, no wonder the dogs were so hungry and thin. Under their thick coats they are grossly underweight.
I had neglected to say in the previous blog that we had been called out by the police to an accident involving a collie. This was the female which was badly injured on Sunday and nothing to do with these 19 collies.Sorry I think I was so hassled by the problem facing me with the farm dogs, I forgot to clarify how we came by this little dog. Anyhow she has had an operation today , her leg will have to be amputated as it is too shattered to repair but the major concern is the stomach op. I am ringing every day but she is making slow progress. I can only hope that she will recover completely.many dogs can live happily with three legs but she needs to survive this big op first.Still nobody has come forward toclaim her(and pay the bill!)
We have admitted a 12 years old cat from Llandudno, Phoebe is a beautiful longhaired cat whose owner was forced to part with her due to a childs allergy.She really is a stunning cat , her age is against her but with a bit of luck her appearance and friendliness may make her stand out from the "crowd".
Another crisis yesterday, little Celt developed a bad case of colic and we had to call out the vet.Mei and I walked him round and round to stop him lying down and twisting his gut and it was a real fight to keep him upright. Eventually the vet came (it seemed like hours but he was here within thirty minutes of our call) gave him an injection to relax his muscles and another one for the pain and then it was a case of waiting for him to pass something.Poor little man looked in so much pain,it was heartbreaking and we both felt we could lose him. Mei stayed with him until the early hours of the morning when he finally passed something and she felt he was on the road to recovery. I know she feels a special bond with him as she stayed here so many nights when he was being bottlefed(picture here) I did the early evening shift of a bottle every two hours and Mei would take over for the late one. Anyhow after giving us such a fright he is back tohis normal mischievous self today.
Jan, the manageress of our Llandudno shop has rung to say they are really desperate again for saleable items for the shop especially good quality clothes and small pieces of furniture so if anybody out there can help - either take to the shop on LLoyd street or bring to the shelter and I will deliver to the shop. We are still not receiving regular deliveries there, there are many other charity shops in the area so this may be the reason although we have the only animal charity shop this end of the town. We need to make this shop pay its way, Jan has already made much improvement in the takings and if we have the good to sell we are on our way!
Finishing on a note of levity(for a change) Rosie took this photo of John in the rubbish skip. Appropriate place for a man who ran his car off our track in the snow even though he was warned by us all that it was impasseable. He just had to do "the man thing" and prove a point. Pity he failed! Seriously though John is not only a good handyman but puts up with us all making fun of him though he does get his own back believe me and he will do his best to do just that tomorrow after seeing this photo!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Update on the weekends events

Uodate on all thats happened this weekend past:
The four collies are brighter in themselves but very very scared.The two girls are just huddled in a corner trying to make themselves as small as possible but the boys are coming into the run and up to the door but a quick move makes them race back to the safety of the sleeping area. All are taking titbits not quite out of my hand but about a foot away though none will make eye contact. Robin is to go back to the vet to have his wound stitched, providing the infection has gone down and will be neutered at the same time to prevent further stress in weeks to come.Ross too will be neutered so they can recuperate together.
Thunder the Siberian Husky has a very bad break in her front leg so is still in the vet and will be a few months convalescing soI am going to put out an appeal for a foster home for her. We are all still in shock about her accident and I have just read in a magazine article that this breed has very poor recall and most owners keep them on extending leads when exercising. I seem to be learning quite a few lessons lately.There is always something new to learn even after so long doing this work.Nobody knows everything and I am certainly no exception to that.
The road accident collie from yesterday is still in a bad way and not yet well enough for another major operation. She is on a drip at the moment and apart from her intestines having spilled out she also has a shattered back leg.Poor little dog, there is no microchip in her and no ID on her collar so at the moment we have no owner for her.
Two more cats have been reserved, Jay and Jet black brothers will be leaving us tomorrow,we are doing very well with adult cats right now , this is the time to get the long term and older cats into homes before the kitten season starts and we are inundated with babies.
more news tomorrow.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

A shocking discovery.

I can scarcely believe it but having just found a home for Jet the 12 years collie and the last one of the 17 collies whose farmer owner had died, we have been asked to help with another similar case regarding 19 collies whose local farmer owner has had a stroke. Yesterday a man turned up with two and when I saw the state of the dogs I agreed to take another two immediately.The dogs are all living in sheds in a nearby village though the owner lives elsewhere He has given us just one week to try and find somewhere for the remainder or they will all be destroyed.He is related by marriage to the owner and he has been trying to persuade him to part with the dogs for some time to no avail and I am just thankful he has now succeeded. These are all litter brothers and sisters. The four we have named Ross,Robin,Reba and Rosa are extremely nervous(See Reba clinging to the wire of her cage as we tried to coax her out) and are underweight and unkempt (nothing new there then) but Robin seemed unduly aggressive when we attempted to move him from the pen in the back of the farm vehicle. Minutes later we realised why - he had obviously had a loose choke chain round his neck and it was now wrapped tightly under his front leg. With some difficulty we managed to take a look and to our horror could see that not only was it embedded into his skin but the skin was red raw and was growing through the chain links. Absolutely horrific ! Barbara has taken him to the vet where he will have the chain removed under anaesthetic. Poor dog to have suffered in this way.he must have been in a great deal of pain and discomfort . Will he and the others ever trust people again? I have hopes that due to their age (around eighteen months)they will prove to be less traumatised than dear Nell and therefore prove to be suitable to place up for adoption in the near future. My worry now is to find places for the remainder and get them out of those sheds they are living in as quickly as possible. I have contacted a few border collie rescues and am waiting to hear back from them.
Robin is back with us having had his operation to remove the embedded chain, Ken the vet says it is the worst he has seen. We have antibiotics to give him and on wednesday he has to go back for another anaesthetic, this time to stitch the wound. Poor dog,I have just fed him and his siblings and they were starving and wolfed down their food like there was no tomorrow. When I first saw them I did not realise how thin they actually were because their thick coats hid their bony bodies. They managed to eat their food whilst I was watching though kept an eye on me at all times. They are like wild animals at the moment so need lots of kind words and a gentle approach until they feel more secure.
I have already received a response for the collies,a lady in Berkshire who does Border collie rescue has offered to take them all if nobody else comes forward so now I know that all will be safe. The transport we will have to arrange next.
To finish a "perfect" day yesterday we had a disaster occur - Barbara was at the vet with Robin and Mei was giving the dogs their last walk of the day when Thunder the Siberian Husky just raced off the property(something she has never done before) and was hit by a car speeding down the country lane. The driver failed to stop and Thunder tried to get back home with her front leg dangling uselessly. A kind neighbour offered to take her to the Vet for us (my car is off the road)and she is still there waiting to have an operation to fix her damaged leg. Mei and I are still in shock. Thunder was due to go to a home todaY as well,.It never rains but it pours as the old saying goes. neighbours in the village who witnessed the accident said the driver was going at least 70 miles an hour. He was recognised and I will be reporting him to the police.
We need something good to happen to cheer us all up. A nice lottery win would do the trick!
Just heard and (almost) as good as a lottery win, Jackie the missing cat has been found and is safe and well. So the day ends with this good news.

The Plot Thickens and Kitty refuses to pose for her photo

Well the following day the pony was claimed! Strangely enough the owners lived NEXT DOOR to the finders! Clearly someone has been lying. It seems their pony had been in next doors field before so they knew perfectly well who owned him.I am very annoyed, I could have been in trouble for castrating the pony(I did advise owners to do so and they seemed agreeable)I suspect that the people who rang the shelter were fed up of finding a stray stallion in their field along with their mares(and who can blame them) but they should have told me the truth. Anyhow he has gone now and in fairness the owners did seem decent people, they had all his paperwork in order, passport etc.
It teaches me a lesson not to always believe stories given me about stray/abandoned pets. Having said that I AM always sceptical as readers of the blog will already know but somehow with horses and ponies it doesnt seem quite the same. Lesson Learned! Although I have run animal shelters for over thirty years this is the first horse rescue I have managed and there are a whole set of different rules and regulations surrounding equines and different problems appertaining to them.Some things, however most definitely are the same, such as people stretching the truth to suit themselves.
Another amazing thing, the owner of Sidney the staffordshire bull terrier has turned up after A MONTH.He has come back today with paperwork to prove he is the owner and says he has "been away" for a while and had left a friend caring for the dog. He does seem ok , genuinely fond of the dog who is called Buba and thankfully he has paid the neutering fee we incurred . Sidney / Buba made a great fuss of him when he saw him and I must say that it will be a relief to have Sid off the property,he is not good with other animals and it is a big worry having such a dog here with so many cats and sheep about.
Two long term cats have finally been chosen and left us for a better life.Some months ago I did a special appeal for Kitty a black and white cat who was very unhappy after her owner died.Kitty never really settled here which was a great worry so I could not be happier for her now.They also chose Sunny who had been here 18 months and I have heard via email that both are settling well . Kitty has taken over the house as the Grand Matriarch and judging by the attached photos sent to me , she is back where she belongs. That gives me a real boost. The only problem was that her new owner asked Kitty to pose fora photo to send me but she refused(see here) Even when taking the photo of Sunny(now Trev) she hid behind the cat sctaching post! Clearly she wants nothing more to do with me after I was so cruel to put her in a pen in the cattery. Iwill be castigated forever by Kitty!
People often ask me if I am sad when longterm animals go to new homes but I love it, Thats what we are here for - to find these homeless pets real homes where in the winter they can curl up by a warm fire and have the individual love and attention they all deserve. Of course all the staff develop special bonds with certain animals but I would say that the feelings we all have are more of anxiety than sadness, anxiety that all will be well, that the animal will settle and that it will prove to be a permanent home . It is more upsetting when they get returned, sometimes just one too many upheavals in the life of a pet can ruin its temperament and confidence. Its like people who have many relationship break ups or bereavements , sometimes there is just one too many to deal with and people can shut down emotionally. I speak as one who knows! Maybe that is why I empathise with animals so much.
The last of the mice have been rescued now and Barbara is travelling to South wales tomorrow to deliver them to various shelters who have come forward to offer assistance. Please let this be the last time Stan gets in touch.We have all had enough. Poor Barbara is seeing mice in her dreams(or rather nightmares) Altogether we have rescued 1,500 mice from him!
Well its pouring with rain now so I am going to make a dash to the house to have my lunch and hope I dont get soaked for the second time today.The first being when I walked Molly and friends this morning and had to change clothes on return. Oh the joys of dog walking in the rain.Even they failed to enjoy it as much as usual.Must go, food awaits!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A sick badger and an abandoned pony

Having finished for the day yesterday I was about to makesomething to eat when a call came from a neighbour who had found a badger collapsed in his barn.
He was worried that one of his horses may have kicked him as the badger was so lethargic -so much so that he allowed himself to be lifted into a dog crate. I went immediately to collect him but his breathing looked bad to me and as I half expected poorMr Brock had died by the time I reached the Vet surgery. Ken the vet on duty had a good look at him and thought he may have had a kick in the head but he was not in very good condition either so may have had something underlying wrong with him, poor creature, only a youngster too.
Today we have admitted an abandoned shetland pony stallion which had been placed in a field belonging to a local horse breeder,he was not well pleased as the field was full of mares! Barbara and Mei went to collect him and when they got there the men at the farm were having real difficulty catching him. Clearly he has never been handled and is completely wild.At first I thought maybe someone had found him wandering on the road(like the last pony we took in from the police) and put him in the field for safety but this pony had been placed in a field completely off the road at the bottom of a long drive! He would never have walked on a rope , the only way we managed to get him in a stable today was to take the youngsters in so he would follow them. Once esconced in his new home he appeared placid and docile so is used to a stable and being around other ponies. The photo shows him arriving in the horse trailer, he has all four feet squarely placed so he is determined he is not going to move one way or another!Rosies perseverance eventually got him to move but the poor little man was terrified of us all. I have called the Vet to arrange castration as soon as possible, a stallion is the last thing we want here.
Now we need to think of a suitable name for him, any ideas welcome.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

My lovely Rocky is going to live with friends.

Sometimes nice things happen and god do I appreciate it when they do! After reading yesterdays blog one of our fosterers Clare came forward and has offered to foster Nell with the view to keeping her if all works well. I am delighted, Clare is a very sensible and dog minded person and Nell really seemed to take to her and her teenage daughter and whats more there is another collie in the family so her presence should make Nell feel more at home. We all really want this to work for her, its the best chance she will have of integrating into normal life. Watch this space!
Theres been no news yet about Jackies whereabouts but I live in hope.
Today little Tilly lurcher and an adult cat went off to a new home but tomorrow Thunder the husky is being returned due to an unexpected change in family circumstances. I have readvertised her on dogsblog and hope this will bring a good response. The "vicious" collie pup Squiggles mentioned a week ago(and pictured here) has been fostered but has been admitted here today and is busy making friends with Tigger and Mollys bunch. He is about as vicious as a new born baby!
We are calling the vet out to look at Big Buster and also we want him to look at little Maggie shetland who appears to be a bit wobbly and is not walking properly.There is always something to worry about,my biggest worry next to the welfare of the animals is paying the vets bill at the moment. Im glad we have a few fundraisers coming up,we desperately need the extra funds these will generate though we really need one fundraiser a month minimum and a committee to organise events.As I am much aware this is not my forte at all, the old saying springs to mind "she couldnt organise a piss.up in a brewery! Im not that bad but it would take up too much of my time here.Of course i am not referring to the brewery party in case anyone thinks I have aspirations to organise such an event.I hardly think that would be good for the charity image though I can think of one or two people who would love the chance to be let loose in a brewery. (not me, I will drink a little socially but really not keen on taste of alcohol) The Liverpool shelter have many different type of events going on throughout the year including regular Ghost walks and concerts. Never mind well get there in the end, it takes time and we have more supporters now offering help help than in previous years so thats positive.
A young lady from lampeter has been here today helping Barbara with the mice and has taken 50 back home with her. Altogether there are just under 400, isnt that a nightmare, still Barbara has managed as she did before to get help for most of them and will be delivering some to a couple of other shelters in Wales over the next week.have just heard that Furry Friends a small animal shelter are taking all of them!! Thank you Emma , I owe you one.
I was set to take the last of the 15 farm collies, this one Jet is 12 years old and I can scarcely believe it but this morning I had a call from a lady in Southport offereing Lass (the other 12 years old) a home but having heard she has gone she is now going to take on Jet. This is really good news, oldies are not usually so easy to place in homes.
Five beautiful cats have been admitted this morning, the ginger has the most stunning blue eyes, he and the two tabby and whites Tiger and Tabby are very sad at the moment, their owner is terminally ill but they will be fine in a few days and I think they will appea to people so may not be here too long. The other two Lola and Rooney have been brought in because their owner is pregnant and will not have the time for them anymore. if I had a pound for every animal brought here for that reason I would be a very wealthy woman.
Yet another bit of good news (Im doing well today) is that Rocky the coloured horse returned recently who happens to be my favourite horse(I know I should not have a favourite really) will be going to live with Alison and Sara who already have two of our ponies Honey and Caspar. Rocky will be a companion for their bigger horse and as they are not too far away I will be able to see him whenever I want, they actually live on the way to our vet so I am often passing by. I had decided that Rocky was staying here this time but knowing what a good home they can offer I have to think of what is best for him. (pictured here with me 2 years ago)

Friday, 12 March 2010

Why dont people listen to advice?

Yert another lurcher pup - Tilly, pictured above giving sloppy kisses toMei was taken to a dog pound after being found wandering on farmers fields, after the required time nobody turned up to claim her so she is now up for adoption with us. She looks as though she is from the same litter as nervous Tigger but she has a different personality being more outgoing and friendly.Nevertheless she was found in the same area so there is definitely someone there breeding lurchers indiscriminately and what is worse homing them to careless and unsuitable people for so many to be ending up at shelters/dog pounds before they are 6 months of age. Looking at that photo again I realise that I must have a photo of Mei kissing every dog we have ever admitted here - she is such a hussy!!!
I enjoyed taking the dogs on the fields this morning,its great watching them play. Tigger has joined the "biggies" in the kitchen as he was becoming a little too heavy for the Yorkies when he plonked himself down to sleep on top of them! he is now sleeping in Mollys basket, she takes absolutely no notice at all and he thoroughly enjoys his exercise with them. He adores both Meg(seen here yawning in boredom at having her photo taken yet again) and Ben the old collie I adopted last year after his owner became homeless, so it is a happier environment for him until he goes to a home. There have been many enquiries but nothing quite right, he needs a home with other dogs , someone who will have patience to bring him round(he still does not respond to affection and will not let me touch him unless he is asleep)and somewhere he can run round and play.
I feel very upset after receiving a phone call to say one of our rehomed cats has gone missing.Not by accident but because the new owner let her out after just 12 days instead of the 3 weeks she was told. Sometimes I despair, why do people think we give this advice?Its not for the hell of it but to keep the animals safe. This has come just one week after another of our cats was found dead after getting out of his new home just five days after he left us .This is the last straw. I dont know what to do to make people respect our advice. All the staff really stress the need to be vigilant and thankfully most people understand the importance of allowing a cat to adapt and settle properly before allowing it to venture outside into the big wide world. Please let this one be found before anything bad happens to her. Jackie is pictured here so if anyone spots her, she is missing in the Blaenauffestiniog area please let us know immediately.
Spoeaking of being upset yesterday I received a call from a man wanting to get rid of a friends dog but he would not meet me halfway when I asked for a few days to find a space for him. he finalised the conversation by asking if a vet would destroy him? As I have done so many times before I spent hours on the phone trying to find someone to foster him. After ringing all the local vets to ensure they did not put the dog to sleep should he be taken to their surgery, one of the staff at a surgery in Bangor offered to foster him.Hopefully today he should be safely esconced in her home. I hate being emotionally blackmailed by pet owners. When I first started this work I would spend days in floods of tears, now I get more angry that such a tactic is being used . There are many people patiently waiting for us to find room for their pets, why should this man and others like him "jump the queue? Their case is generally no more important or urgent than the next one and when this form of blackmail is used it causes great stress for animal rescuers who are already under a great deal of pressure in their work.
Our lovely big horse Buster is walking very stiffly in the mornings in spite of all the extra supplements in his feed. We are going to leave him and Rocky(to keep him company) out at night so he is less likely to stiffen up as he does in his stable. At least he will have more space to move around and there is a big shelter for them should they need it. Rosie has suggested he be shod on his front feet , that this may help his awkward gait so we will try this when the farrier next pays us a visit.
Old Ross is pictured here with Rosie after he covered his nose with treacle(the only way we can get him to take his medication) whilst eating his food. This old boy who is now in his mid thirties is a real character, pictured last summer with guess who - William of course, that dog gets everywhere! Ross had been a childs riding pony but he grew too old for work.The same old story! Anyhow we all love him so he has a happy retirement here with the other oldies(me included)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Nell is back. and another lurcher pup turns up.

What is going on in this area? Yet another lurcher pup turned up yesterday,brought in because his owner was seen mistreating him but after some persuasion she turned him over to the lady who witnessed this frail little pup being hit across the face.I know what I would like to do to the owner !! It is just another cowardly form of bullying- taking out anger and frustration on those who are unable or unwilling to fight backAnyhow Junior as we called him(because he looked as we all imagine William would have looked as a pup and there is only one William here!) has already been homed and he is young enough to forget his experiences at the hands of a very ignorant and unfit dog owner.
Last night I went with a group of friends to see Cesar Millan in Manchester. There has been some controversy about his methods and I know some of the staff in my Liverpool shelter do not have a good word to say about him, however if he can save the life of a dog which would otherwise have no future then as far as I am concerned the man is OK. The main cause of concern is his (occasional) use of an electric dog collar which gives the dog a short electric shock.Yes it sounds horrific.I too threw my hands up in horror when I first was made aware of their existence, but remember electric fences are regularly used to keep animals such as horses safe within an area and the shock is mild but enough to keep them away from the danger area. The use of these collars is certainly not one I would like to see becoming popular with members of the general dog owning public, it could be open to abuse and that is the last thing anyone involved in animal welfare would want. I do believe,however, that where all other methods of training have failed and the dog is to be destroyed or is in danger of losing a limb or worse because of his uncontrolled behaviour, then I see it as a positive way of saving a dogs life. How this could be regulated I have no idea and therefore I am against the sale of them in the UK but I refuse to condemn the use of them by Cesar in some of the extreme cases he has dealt with. Those dogs which had failed to respond to orthodox methods of training and who were in danger (eg: farm vehicle chasers) are still alive and now will be safe to enjoy the rest of their lives with their owners.
Speaking of difficult dogs, Nell who went missing and was found last week is back with us again. She did another runner and was missing two days, eventually being found at a nearby farm where we think she was attracted to the sound of other dogs. Unfortunately the people who gave her a home do not feel they can cope with her behaviour and she blotted her copybook when she bit the man whilst he was trying to place a lead on her. Poor Nell, she is so incredibly frightened of everything new,people,places etc and she shows no response at all to affection so she is going to be a big problem for us to deal with.the first thing we have done is to put her in with Bonnie so she has canine company but what sort of a life is it going to be when she can never be allowed off the lead and how can we ever consider sending her to another home? Cesar we need you here(not with shock collar though, this is not the sort of case which merits the use of such and I am sure he would agree)
Barbara has been catching mice this week, (no she is not a cat but a member of staff) Naughty Stan had accumulated at least 400 more, not the 200 he first told us.We have around 200 here and there will be more to arrive later this week. This has become a total nightmare situation.This time I have told him will be the last help we give , he has to take some responsibility himself. Anyone interested in pet mice?

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Oh no - more mice!

What a lovely spring day today,cold but bright and sunny. 3 dogs were found homes this weekend ( Cadi, Thunder and Rollie) one young cat, Ella left us and two more reserved and going tomorrow.There are still no takers for ferocious ferret,there does not appear to be anyone quite brave enough to take him on! We have had another visit paid to us by Stan,the mouse man! remember our rescue of 1,000 pet mice running amok in his house. Well its hard to believe but he has done it again- this time there are only around 200(only!!!) but many will be pregnant.I am so annoyed, we all worked so hard to help him , his living conditions were so bad and nobody should be left to live that way.However it seems it was all a waste of time as we are now facing another laborious and unpleasant job clearing his house again .The mice have to be rescued before Social services are called in otherwise they will kill them all.Thankfully once again other shelters are coming forward to help. This really has to be the end, my patience is now wearing thin. I do feel very sorry for him, he has problems but it is very frustrating for us, we want to help him but he will not help himself. Sometimes working with animals is just as much dealing with human problems and that we all need to have a pyschology degree and be trained in counselling!
Today I am struggling to learn how to use a new software programme for animal shelter management.It looks simple but I think it will take not only me a while to pick it up but the staff too. The Liverpool shelter already use it but we are late starters here! Once I have grasped the basics of it, the shelter will have all the animal details on computerand instead of wading through a pile of papers to find information, it will be literally at our fingertips. Wish me luck.
The new Yorkies have settled in well,I must find a home soon before I feel tempted to keep them. I am already becoming too fond of Tigger the young lurcher and unlike other young dogs I have fostered he is quiet and gentle with the little oldies. Anyhow a lady is coming to see him next weekend so Imust prepare myself forthat, for his sake I hope she likes him,he will need a lot of training and even more patience shown to him if he is to overcome his fear of people.
I have released a long term cat called Leona, she has been here far too long(about 18months) or whenever Leona Lewis won X factor! Poor little cat has never ever had any interest shown in her. There are a lot of permanent cats roaming round the shelter but we have recently lost a couple of our oldest residents so there is room for other to sleep in the conservatory. She has already made herself quite at home and even ventured in and out happily. The only problem is that she is not too keen on dogs and has been spotted today stalking poor old William.She will have to get used to him because he spends so much time with the cats in the conservatory and he expects cats to be nice to him. After all he allows them to share HIS sofa.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Scouse cats and scouse dogs

I Have been away to Liverpool for a Trustee meeting and decided to stay over.It can be very tiring to drive back the same day. The last puppy "Elliot" had a home waiting for him on Merseyside so I was able to deliver him at the same time.I also brought back 4 feral cats which needed a place of safety. With the arrival of these Scouse newcomers, our feral enclosure is now full though I have hopes a couple of these new cats may be domesticated in time. Two lovely little dogs also accompanied me back to Wales because they were alone in their house after their owner died and the Liverpool shelter were unable to accommodate them.Penny and Tuppence are 11 years old and Penny is deaf. They have joined my other little oldies in the house but I want to find them a home where they can stay together.Whoever has these dogs will have two great little companions, they have such sweet natures.
I know a few people from the Us and Canada read this so they will probably be wondering what Scouse means. The slang term for anyone from Liverpool is a Scouser or Scouse! Although I do have a Liverpool accent its not a very strong one and I am frequently referred to here as Posh Scouse!!!! Dont ask me where the term comes from and I know I should know being one myself but I think its something to do with the stew type meal 'scouse'. Im sure someone who reads this will let me know.
There are people coming to see both Thunder and 7 years old Rollie tomorrow and there is also a lot of interest in the young lurcher Tigger. He is not going to be easy to find the right home due to his extreme nervousness and his total lack of house training but I know there is someone out there who will take him on, warts and all. At least he is young enough to adapt and learn.
We have had a few youngsters doing work experience here lately and it can be a very good help, providing they dont think of coming here as just a break from school or college and believe me many do think that. In the past we have had some very tiresome teenagers here who clearly regarded a week here to be something of a holiday.There have even been incidents of opposite sexes disappearing not behind the bike shed but behind the stables and I certainly dont want to be held to account over a teenage pregnancy! A lesson was learned by overlooking THAT possibility. Last week we had a nice girl Cerys working here and today we have local girls Cennin and Shelby who seem to be genuinely interested in the animals and are enjoying the work so far. So far so good.
Rhian has just called me to look at a cat which was sent in to the Vet yesterday for spaying, she had already been spayed (she was admitted as a stray) but under her front leg was a mess of scabs and open wounds which the vet has stitched.It may be that she has at some time had her leg caught in a collar - it looks similar to the injury of a tabby cat we had here last year/That cat was admitted by her owner and the collar was tight round her front leg with a massive open wound underneath which the owner had failed to notice!!!!! Unbelievable.
From my office I can see the pigs pottering about,its such a nice day today and they always appear for a scavenge and a touch of exercise.I say a touch because it generally consists of a very slow meander from their house to the fence to see if there is any food and then a sleep in the sun. They are pretty old so like people as they get older their activities tend to be more moderate. Its a great life for a pig.