Friday, 30 April 2010

How will the new RSPCA policy affect us?

Once again the computer has let me down so apologies to regular readers but I am back on track again.

It is pouring with rain today, we dont know what to do with the horses, if we leave their rugs on, the sun shines and they become too hot but if we take them off and the temperature drops it could be a recipe for pneumonia. It is just so unpredictable at the moment . At least the combination of rain and sun should finally have some affect on the spring grass which is taking a long time to come through this year. Both Rocky and Ken have gone off to their loan homes and have settled happily so difficult though it undoubtedly was , I am now glad I made the decision to let Rocky go. Minnie and Georgie Girl are back grazing at Rosies smallholding and all is well with the horses and ponies here.Both Farrier and Dentist have been recently so they are all up to date on their treatment. Dentist Andre who won the animal humanitarian award from IFAW last year told me that he was very proud to receive the award and had a wonderful day at the reception in London. As I have mentioned previously he is so kind with our animals and not many professionals would give up their time to treat overworked donkeys abroad. He really deserved his award. He has offered to treat some equines at the open day and will donate his fees to Freshfields so if anybody would like their horses teeth seen by an excellent dentist and they live locally please get in touch with me.

We are searching for a good adult only home for two adorable springer spaniels Jess and Sam whose owner no longer has time for them now she has children. Both dogs were kept outside and are a little overweight and in dire need of a grooming session .This will be done by Rosie as soon as she has some free time. In the meantime they are overjoyed to be able to run free in the fields ,it is a real pleasure to take them out on the fields and watch their delight in being out.

There was another scare with William the other day.He followed Mei when she was feeding the horses and Blue took umbrage at Williams close presence to his food nd rushed at him, bowling him over.Thankfully he only suffered a grazed leg but my heart was in my mouth when Mei told me what had happened.

Although he is more like his old self he does seem to be behaving differently which could just be because he is getting old but he is much more clingy than ever before .He was always quite an independent dog so this is unusual for him. I suppose we all change as we become older.I told someone the other day how much I had mellowed over the years and he looked at me in total disbelief as though he could not believe I could have been more volatile than now. BElIEVE IT!

There were so many times I felt so close to cracking up, the pressures of money problems, the constant calls from people wanting to get rid of their pets, the abuse given over the phone when I had to admit defeat having no space for even one more animal which some owners will not accept - hence a tirade of insults . On a regular basis this would become too much. Nowadays the Liverpool shelter has a rota of receptionists taking calls and this is a much better idea. When one person is left to deal with it, even the calmest person will find it hard to deal with.

It is quieter in Wales which suits me better though we have chaotic days also. A few days ago we had a visit from local police who had been told that we might have had something to do with some missing dogs locally.It now transpires that someone has taken the remaining collies I had been concerned about and all I can say is Good Luck to them. I was not the only person aware of the poor conditions these animals were kept in and over a period of time had received many complaints about them. As mentioned in other blog entries, some were handed over to the shelter by the owner himself and a friend also had 2 dogs given to her by him.Why he refused to part with the last 6 I have no idea but I am pleased someone took the initiative to free them from their prison and I for one will shed no tears for him. I simply fail to understand why none of the authorities who were aware of the situation have dealt with this neglect. Can you inmagine all these dogs locked up for years, barking whenever they hear a noise, surrounded by houses and nothing gets done.Yet Ilive in a rural smallholding surrounded by fields and am not allowed to kennel even a small number of stray dogs. makes no sense at all.

The latest news from the RSPCA that they are no longer to take in stray animals due to lack of money is a shocking one.,If they think they have no money they should take a look at the Freshfields accounts! The implications for us and other small charities is frightening. Where will all the strays go now? There is a great need for rescue kennels here , the nearest is colwyn Bay RSPCA but if they have stopped taking in strays what happens now?( a friend of mine recently rang about a stray dog he had seen dodging traffic in the Llandudno area and was told this new policy is now in use so received no help.)

Freshfields only has a few foster homes for the dogs we help here in North Wales and these will not provide enough shelter for the many dogs which are going to be picked up. It is going to be a disaster for the canine population.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

So many elderly pets needing homes.

I heard from Kens new carer today, he is ok, there was a bit of racing round the field and snorting at each other but this morning both horses were eating calmly together so it is looking good for Ken.. We now have a temporary member of staff also called Ken and he told me that I had to make it clear in the first paragraph that I was referring to horses as he is not yet in need of a carer and has never raced round a field snorting.Well thats what he tells us anyway.
Human Ken will be helping out at the shelter whilst Barbara and Gail are on holiday, he already knows all the staff as he has helped us previously and came with us to see Caesar Milan in Manchester last month. Like Rosie he is keen on dog agility/flyball ,they sometimes go to shows together. (I am sure they will both want me to point out that they are NOT a couple as both have partners.) At least John now has another male working alongside him and will feel less intimidated by the bombastic, often boisterous and outspoken female staff.(only joking - he is not the least bit intimidated although we try our best)
There are so many elderly dogs and cats needing homes at the moment,my heart always goes out to these animals who have for one reason or another lost their homes. I took some photos this morning of one of them.Poppy is 12 years old, a lovely gentle old girl whose owner is critically ill, Poppy is most unhappy in her home on her own but I tried her with my dogs in the house and she immediately growled at Patch jack russell soI was unable to take her in.( I cant risk fights with the three ancient Yorkies) I am hoping that Dogsblog may come upwith a suitable place for her. We still have Tilly the 8 years old collie and I have just taken 2 more calls requesting help with old dogs - all sheepdogs or sheepdog crosses.Poor old dogs.
There are also 2 beautiful12 years old pedigree cats,Leo and Socks whose owners are ill and can longer care for them (see photo) I am receiving plenty of calls wanting animals but they mostly ask for youngsters.In spite of this we do always seem to find people for these pets, it can just take a little time.I have decided to give old Ginger cat Jimmy his freedom of the property badge and he has moved into the conservatory with the other oldies.If Twm the old white cat fails to go soon,he may also join the gang who are all feeling the chill of today and are currently all stretched out in various poses on the sofa and chairs, revelling in the warmth. I might join them soon, I am really cold today, there is a very icy nip in the air.
Barbara and Vanessa have gone to collect Minnie and Georgie Girl from Anglesey and they will be going direct to Rosies fields.Tomorrow Rocky is leaving us for his new life and I am going to make myself scarce when the time arrives for his departure. After all this time it is silly to get upset when animals go but sometimes you just cant help it and its no good saying to yourself that they will be happy and its a great home, there is still the feeling of sadness seeing them leave.
We have 3 kittens coming in on saturday,I bet they will be in and out very quickly, there is so much demand for them at the moment. Wish it stayed like that all year round.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Callie tries on a new fascinator.

Another busy day with the farrier making his regular 6 weekly visit and Ken going off to his new home in Flintshire to keep another horse company.Poor Ken is always bullied by the other horses here and I hope that he will find a real friend in this home. Tomorrow Georgie Girl and Minnie will be back though will probably go straight to Rosies for summer grazing. Such a shame it did not turn out to be a permanent home.
I couldn't resist taking the photo of the old mare Callie complete with hair adornment! She was with some of the other horses in our "waiting " paddock ready for the farrier to see them when we noticed her rather attractive "fascinator". And of course she posed beautifully,clearly very proud of her new look! She isn't looking so bad for an old girlis she? I estimate her age to be around 37, she has been with us since she was 22 years of age and she came with me from Liverpool some 8 (or is it 9?)years ago. Is it really that long since I left Merseyside? In some ways it seems a lifetime ago, in others just the other day.
As you can see I caught the naughty Jacobs impatiently waiting for their evening meal, I think they wanted to make a point - that the food trough was empty. Point taken!
I heard yesterday that Marco had settled in very happily, he had slept on their bed,eaten a full meal and enjoyed a bath and a walk. No wonder he is a happy dog, I felt he had been fretting for his lost home life as do some of the dogs which have been in happy homes before their admittance to the shelter.I am so glad he went quickly.
The sad news is that Nell has gone missing from her second home and has not been seen for a few days,We have sent a dog trap over there but it is lambing season in this area and my fears for her safety are increased. I am at my wits end worrying about her, if and I hope we do , find her again, what can be done with her? Will she ever settle anywhere? In spite of both homes being with loving caring people she does not seem to want to be there. I had thought with another dog in the house she would feel more at home but she still waited for a chance to run and took it. If she had been happy here she could have stayed but she showed no emotions other than depression here. Poor Nell.
Tigger the lurcher youngster will be leaving us this week to live in Cornwall with 3 other dogs, a rescued greyhound and two italian greyhounds.Another wonderful home found through the website Dogsblog.What would I do without it?I will miss him dreadfully but the other dogs should make him feel at home.With a bit of luck the greyhound will take over Megs job mothering him. I used to have an italian greyhound myself, his name was Mr Whippy and he came to me after his owner took him with two broken legs to the vet. Dave who used to be manager of the Liverpool shelter fostered him for a while, then I took him over and he stayed with me till he died at the age of 13 years (The dog, not Dave who last time I heard was still very much alive)) He will remember this little dog well as I seem to remember that Whippy pooed all over his clean car and then the poor little chap fell in it making an even worse mess.. With his two front legs in plaster he found it hard to move about, it was a great relief to him and even more to me when the plasters came off. Mr Whippy was never keen on walking and cried to be carried everywhere(not something I encourage normally) but he was always frail and I think maybe his legs were not that strong after the accident.Anyhow Mr Whippy was my 1980's William! I have seldom been without a lurcher or greyhound and he probably started my love for them.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Another chance for Legend

William is so much better though not keen on the special food he has to have for his liver,at the moment im trying to hide it under his favourite Caesar but he sniffs it out and leaves it.Dont know how he is going to cope with a whole dish of it? It reminds me of an incident at the home of my (deceased)boyfriend Steve when he lived with his parents at the age of 16 and he had turned vegetarian. His mother was not at all happy with his sudden change of diet so she hid two pork sausages under a mountain of mashed potato. and thought this would fool him into eating them! Needless to say it failed to produce the desired reaction and he remained vegetarian and then vegan all his life.
It has been lovely and sunny here for a few days, Im glad Im not going away on holiday with all the airports closed due to the volcanic ash from Iceland. Mavis(Roys wife) is stranded in Dubai on her way back from visiting her daughter in Hong Kong and last I heard she was heading back to HK. I find it quite disturbing, so many environmental disasters occurring in the world and not only people suffering but animals too.Often we hear nothing about the animal victims in the media in the light of terrible human tragedy but Iam sure I am not the only one who immediately thinks"what is happening to the pets and other animals ?"
Anyhow on to lighter topics - Legend , the quarry pup has found another home and this time it surely is for good.Whilst he was in kennels the Proprietor told me that he was nothing like the animal portrayed by the previous owners (bad with strangers,dogs and cats) had been happily playing with her own dogs and in fact he made a great fuss of the couple who went to see him, by the time they arrived here with him to sign the adoption papers, he was totally in love with them and looked completely at home in their company. It bodes well for the future. So often an animal goes to a home with perfectly nice, responsible people but for one reason or another it fails to be a successful pairing. Then someone else will come along and there will be no problems whatsoever It shows how important it is to match up the right pet with the right owner. Sometimes,however we get it wrong and we have to try again though at least the second time we are armed with more information on how the pet has behaved in a house and have more chance of getting it right.
Another nice story - Marco the Dogue has already been reserved and is going to his new home today, they have had a boxer previously which slept on the bed, this will suit Marco as this is what he has been used to. I find it uncomfortable enough with William and Holly the cat in bed with me, it is hard to roll over when there are bodies in the way, bodies which groan and hiss at being disturbed from their sleep.Marco is a very big,heavy dog, good luck to them and it might be a good idea to buy a bigger bed!
Just as I delight in finding good Loan homes for two of our horses, I receive a call to say that Minnie and Georgie girl shetland mum and daughter are coming back due to their carer having serious health problems.I am particularly put out (not with the lady who took them on, it isnt her fault) because I had always said that they would stay at the shelter for life and now wish I had not parted with them. I want all of them to remain in permanent homes but realistically this is highly unlikely, there will always be those who have a change in circumstances, whose health fails and at least the ponies are returned so we know they will be safe. I would never rest easy if I thought they would be passed on and at the end of the day the charity has taken on the responsibility to care for these animals not just for a few years but for the remainder of their lives.
It has been a good weekend for the animals at the shelter, 2 dogs off to a better life and two cats today, Dragon a longhaired middle aged lady cat and Sophie a little black cat who has been passed over many times. There are lots of cats waiting for a place here so now some can be admitted in the coming week.Billy Meade who runs the Cat Action Trust in Holyhead is desperate for help with some of the cats he is rescuing, there is no cattery there and it is easy to become overwhelmed when dealing with so many problems by yourself. He is bringing in 3 abandoned cats next Friday and there are 6 more to come when we have space. All the cats he brings here are neutered beforehand so that is one less expense for me to worry about. I wish one of the big lottery winners will be one of our supporters and a big cheque will come through the post on Monday. Pigs might fly! Theres more chance of hell freezing over. That is not to say that I have no optimism, I do, I am always convinced our luck will change any day, I just would prefer it to be sooner rather than later and when it does I doubt it will be a hand out from a lottery winner. They are by and large too preoccupied with purchasing yachts,mansions and flash cars or they are not animal lovers.
Pictures here were taken the other day when the animals were enjoying the sunshine, ferals playing on their climbing toy,ferals enjoying a new cardboard box in their enclosure(oh how they love them)William the wonderdog day after his return from the Vet,Freddie Kruger ,pigwigs and Big Buster looking positively small whilst having a snooze.Why he chose this particular place instead of the grass is beyond me, only he can tell us the answer and he is not saying anything!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

The Amazing Escaping cat.and William comes home.

William is still in the vet but his temperature is down and I am told he seems brighter.He has had an xray on his back and I waiting to hear the results.Having spent a sleepless night worrying about him, this is better news than I had hoped for.
I managed to get a photo of the escapologist cat from the feral enclosure, unfortunately I didnt manage to get to the camera quickly enough to show him hanging upside down as he swings his body to lever himself over the wire overhanging! He is amazing , all this effort and an hour later he is back at the door wanting to re-enter the enclosure.In 4 years he is the only one ever to escape. A real Houdini.
4 cats have been admitted today,two more of the caravan site colony though these two are domestic cats which is a bonus for us as the feral enclosure is now pretty full.The other two are from an owner moving TODAY to a property where the cats are not allowed to accompany her. This happens so often, people make arrangements to move and the relocation of their pets is the last priority. Not only that but a request for a donation is treated as though I am asking for something unacceptable. I do not have a set donation for pets being admitted because I am scared that rather than pay a small fee to the charity, some owners will abandon their pets as a cheaper option. This has occurred in the past and I am not prepared to take the chance again.
Christine(pictured here)the previous owner of The Clarksters - Marcasite, Starlight, Carousel and Solititaire, came to visit the ponies along with some friends and as usual she brought goodies with her which the ponies love. Christine has continued to help the shelter ever since we admitted them and has now started a fundraising group for the charity "Friends of Freshfields" based in Barmouth. They are meeting next week to discuss fundraising ideas.
An emergency situation arose with a 4 years old Dogue de Bordeaux whose owners wanted rid of him urgently, he was taken in by a friend of ours and today we admitted him, Rosie will be fostering him for us.He is a lovely gentle creature,as was Muffin the elderly Dogue I had at one time. These and other mastiff breeds have never been my favourites in the canine world but since having Muffin, I am totally sold on Dogue de Bordeaux. All those I have met seem to have a similar laid back and gentle nature which is such an an appealing and necessary trait in such a large powerful animal. Marco is adorable,like a big teddy bear.
Mei has just come hobbling in,the naughty Jacob sheep are becoming too big for their boots nowadays. feeding them is now a game of throw the food at them and run - fast !! Whilst our three gentle sheep Bertie Sam and Chloe simply stand patiently waiting for their meal(well as patient as sheep can be!) Joseph and Jacob circle the unfortunate staff member whose duty it is to feed them on that day and they will lower their horns and charge.This is not good, they are strong and can hurt with their bodies, never mind the horns , what a shame they were not dehorned as youngsters, they would not be as lethal as they are now. This is a problem we need to address and soon.
PS: just spoken to the vet again about William, he can come home, I am thrilled to bits.His x ray showed no arthritis or further damage to his spine.The lead shot is still visible and does not seem to have moved.His temperature is normal and he has eaten a bowl of Chappie.This amazes me because William is so fussy,I have to give him Caesar or similar to make him eat, he must have been starving to consider touching Chappie. We use that for most of the dogs here but William has always turned his nose up at it. The vet said that his liver enzymes are high and he will need another blood test in a week but all in all it is better news than expected and I am so relieved to have him back home. Yes,Yes ,Yes.the day has improved 100 percent and now the sun is truly shining.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Update on William

Just a quickie to say that William is no better and is now on a drip at the vet having somehow developed pneumonia.heaven knows how this happened but he is very poorly and my heart is in my mouth I am so worried. I had thought he had a brain tumour so this is a better scenario but still one to cause great concern.More news tomorrow.

Monday, 12 April 2010

I plan another sponsored trek to raise funds.

A heavily pregnant cat has been admitted this evening, a lovely little tabby and white with a badly damaged eye which needs to come out judging from the look of it. She looks too far along in her pregnancy to spay which is unfortunate because by the time she gives birth there will be hundreds upon hundreds of kittens being born and needing homes. I have just been told there is an RSPCA mobile neutering clinic in Maes G. in Bangor which is brilliant and I hope people are making good use of it. In this day and age there is simply no reason to let pets have unwanted litters. SO WHY ARE THERE JUST AS MANY ABANDONED AND UNWANTED LITTERS BEING BORN?
Its a mystery though I tend to believe that it is due to apathy and not lack of money.There are several organisations offering help to people on low incomes and benefits, we ourselves have helped many families to get their pets neutered. In liverpool we even arranged a collection and delivery service to ensure the animals were taken to the vet and returned to the owner after being neutered..
The water in the stream which runs along the bottom of our fields has been rushing along like a
rapids and has overflowed causing the lower fields to be sodden and water logged, we have not had enough rain lately to warrant this phenomena so it is time for a call to the Water Board to find out what is going on. We had kept these fields empty ready for the horses in Spring but now they are too water logged to be used.So aggravating. I have seen a few butterflies about, mainly the common fritillary, there have been no cinnebars since the ragwort was cleared.That is a dilemma which really bothers me but theres nothing I can do about it. Ragwort is poisonous to horses but is the favourite food of the cinnebar caterpillars. If I leave a small area for it to grow, it then pollinates and spreads so its a no win situation. there must be a solution. Maybe they like other foods just as much, anybody know?
Both Buddy the collie and 8 years old |Teddy(the one who came in with the husky) have found new people to cherish and love them though Snooks the husky remains with us. This breed need experienced owners and everyone who has shown interest either has no prior knowledge or owns a cat or two and she most definitely is not a cat loving dog. I wonder why certain breeds become popular and always the breeds which tend not to be easygoing family dogs.There is | a Richard Gere film out at the moment featuring a Japanese Akita,please god dont let them be the next status breed.
Well the Daily Post did take another photo of Legend and an almost full page article on his plight was published in yesterdays paper.However and it is a BIG however - the photograph was abysmal, so bad in fact that the dog looked like a big headed ferocious American Pitbull with one eye!!! I am unsurprised that we received only one enquiry and he had not seen the offending photo but had been told the story by a relative.Anyhow he is hoping to come to see him on Sunday and he does sound as though he might be the one for him having had another dog with similar problems.
I cant remember if I mentioned the couple living on a caravan site where cats had been killed, well they have now trapped two of the remaining cats and we have released them into our feral enclosure. There are still a couple more for them to catch.Then we can all sleep easier knowing they are away from that place and its vile owner.
There has been no more news about the collie situation locally,I am sorry to say that the owner has not yet been persuaded to hand over any more of his dogs. The last one we got out is a lovely dog and I heard today that the 4 terrified feral youngsters have settled in well at their new home where rehabilitation is already taking place. I have confidence that ALL will be released from their prison before long,it is just a matter of being patient. Patience is not one of my virtues and I am desperate to rescue these dogs but it has to be done properly and he has already handed over 5 to me and 1 to a friend of mine so I am sure he will soon be persuaded to part with the rest.
I am considering doing another sponsored event to raise some funds for the shelter and have been looking at several organised events.One possibility is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro which was done recently by some celebrities for comic relief and was televised, therefore people will know that it is not an easy option/holiday. One lady I knew was very scathing about my efforts in the Andes and referred to it as a paid holiday! All I can say is that if I want a holiday Iwould never ever choose anyhting which involved climbing or walking in extreme conditions, I swore I would never do it again when I returned from Peru but a year on and I have almost forgotten the difficulties and hardship and anyway I need to raise some serious funds for the shelter . I dont know of any other way I can do this other than getting sponsorship. There is also a trek through the Sahara desert and one in Brazil which is trekking and kayaking so Iwill look carefully at them all ,weigh up the pros and cons and hope to make a decision in the next few weeks.It would be great if someone else would join me, even better if I could get a group together. one is in November of this year, the others Feb or march 2011 which gives a good time to raise sponsorship.Pictured here some photos of the Peru trek.After the trek we visited Machu Picchu and I am pictured with Anna another trekkie.the breakfast tent during the trek(the food was basic but great and vegan/vegetarian diets well catered for) and some peruvian village children living in isolation in the mountains. If anyone is considering joining me, many of the people on the trek had never done anything like it before though had embarked on a fitness regime prior to the event (I failed to do this and still managed quite well)and I was not the eldest there by any means.(makes a change) The Kilimanjaro trek will be the most difficult.Have a look at the website of Skyline or Charity Challenge for more information.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

A visitor for Callie.

The weather is fantastic at last, finally the heavy jumpers and coats can be discarded,its the same with the horses, their rugs are off today and they are enjoying the freedom without them.
Both tabby kittens have been homed as I thought they would, such little beauties and mum and tabby babies are doing well also .She has settled down with them though is still very shy of people
Cariad who works with the Vanessa on the horses , brought her children in yesterday and a mammoth grooming session took place in the stable yard. Although we have a general rule that children under fifteen years are not allowed to work here unsupervised Cariads children have been round horses all their lives and are supervised by their mum at all times. Pictured are Ethan and Sam grooming Noddy and their sister Charlotte grooming Crystal with the help of Catrin who has been with us doing work experience from school.
The fine weather brought us another visitor, Marjorie who comes with her carer Mair loves to visit and her special friend is Callie the old bay mare who enjoys a bit of extra fuss and attention, and of course the odd carrot or two. Callie has been in the care of the charity for a long time and although she must now be around 36 years of age, she looks very well and remains healthy. The cats enjoyed sharing Marjories lunch and William of course had to get in on the act, he is never far away from a source of food! Speaking of William, I have had a few scares with him lately. He has woken me up on a few occasions, very distressed and unable to move his back legs. He has had 4 such incidents over the past two weeks and so I took him to the vet thinking he may have developed epilepsy. It wasnt quite like an epileptic fit he had, more of a total collapse of his back end. Always the following day he has been fine. When he first came to me 8 years ago I noticed he had a scar on his side and some time later he had an xray which showed he had at one time been shot with a twelve bore shotgun! The lead shot remains in his back and flanks so he has developed arthritis and this has probably exascerbated his current problem. The vet thinks he is having severe muscular spasms which result in temporary paralysis of his hind legs, he has been put on tablets to alleviate it and if these fail to work, then there may be a possibility of a brain tumour. I am not even going down that train of thinking, he has not had a seizure for a few days and fingers crossed these tablets will do the trick.
Just one adult cat was homed today , I think its been very quiet here because of the lovely weather, we tend to get more visitors when it is cold and raining.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Legend is returned and old Jet gives birth

This mornings dog walk was in thick mist, I could only see a short way in front of me.This afternoon it has cleared and the sun is now shining much to the pleasure of the cats who had been lying about lazily in the yard. That is until their afternoon meal was delivered by a member of staff, then there was a great flurry of feline activity as all raced to get the biggest portion. A few of the more laid back cats simply held back and looked with disdain at the greedy ones clamouring over each other to get as much of their bodies as possible into the feed bowls. They are far too sophisticated to behave in such an unmannerly way and when the feeding frenzy was over they sauntered along to the bowls and ate with the grace and dignity that mature wise cats seem to possess. Would that I too were in possession of such attributes! I definitely belong to the first group!
Today Legend was returned.Legend the pup abandoned in the water filled quarry has proved too much of a handful for his new owners and defeated they have brought him back. He is still only a youngster, no more than 9 months of age but he has developed a dislike for cats,other dogs, strangers and small children which makes him rather a problem though I am hoping another newspaper feature may result in a more permanent and suitable home. I may have
to board him in local kennels which is an unwanted expense but I am nervous for the cats here. Will there be someone out there who can work with this pup and improve his behaviour? I hope so.
(the Welsh Daily Post have replied to my email asking for help finding Legend a home and are going to publish an article about him over the next few days)
A second litter of kittens has arrived though they are still only 2 weeks old and are with their very scared mum who gave birth in the grounds of Bangor University.Mum is a timid(not feral) fluffy black and white and all 5 kittens are dark tabby similar to yesterdays kittens. They are a beautiful family . We have left them alone for a while, I am always nervous the mothers will reject their offspring when they are moved at such an early stage in their bonding. Quietness is all important for her at the moment.
I had an email from the kind lady who gave a home to 12 years old Jet the last collie to be homed from the farm where the owner had died. Unbelievably she gave birth to a litter of puppies a few days after she arrived in her new home. The little family are pictured here aged two weeks. I have promised to find homes for them when they are old enough but like Jets new owner I am shocked at this happening to such an old dog although Lassie who was the same age and came from the same farm had given birth to pups just a few months prior to being admitted here.When I said to the relative who brought her that having pups at that age was unfair and even dangerous for a dog of her age, I was told that it was fine!! Fine for whom I wonder, certainly not the animals. I love the photo of Jet in her new home, a far cry from being on a chain or locked in a shed! She has a happy few years ahead of her now.
Tomorow Alison is coming to sign the loan agreement for Rocky who will then join their other horses and ponies next week at their home near Pwyllheli. I will miss seeing him in the fields, he stands out so much with his wonderful black and white markings. Then next weekI have to do a homecheck for Ken the ex riding school horse. I like to find good homes for them but I always hate seeing them go, usually I hide in the house or office when this happens and emerge only when the horse box is out of sight and I have a special feeling for Rocky so it will be worse than usual. There are quite a few horses needing a follow up check in their new homes so that should keep me out of trouble and off the streets for a while!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The first kittens of 2010 and a Cow needs a home.

The first kittens of the season have arrived and already two have gone, the gorgeous pair above are now awaiting homes.If I didnt have too many pets myself I would have them .I have always had a soft spot for tabby cats, it was the colour of the first cats I had as a child. At the age of 10 I was allowed to choose two kittens and the tabbies were the only ones left in the litter I went to see.Nobody wanted that colour, Tabbies were called "Scottie Road" cats in Liverpool. Nowadays they are more in demand and black and black and white cats are now the ones out of favour. Strange but true.
Devastating news- Sophie developed complications from her stomach surgery and had to be put to sleep. I am not going to write about it because it is still too painful to think about.
The 4 feral collies are now settling into their new home with another rescue who have experience with this sort of dog and we are in regular contact. It will be a very long job to bring them round to any sort of normality but they have a home for life if this does not happen .We have received a fifth dog from this same home.Tilly is about eight years of age and very gentle and quiet compared to the youngsters,she will undoubtedly make someone a loyal companion and be appreciative of the change for the better in her circumstances.(pictured here)
The Barmouth Coffee morning was held Bank Holiday Monday and raised the shelter £320, I am delighted to have extra to put in the bank this week! I am also thrilled to say that we have the nucleus now of the very first "Friends of Freshfields" fundraising group here in Wales. Christine, Carol, and Sue who all help in our Barmouth Charity Shop organised this event and are already planning the next. Carol and her husband Malcolm are having a car boot sale for us too. This has really given me a boost. I am hopeful they will attract others to join them , the more people, the more ideas and more funds will be raised. In Porthmadog we have Mion and Elspeth (from our Port shop) who fundraise by having stalls at local markets and Trish and friends who organised the fair at The Royal Sportsman and Catherine who has open days at her home so it seems there is another "Friends of Freshfields" in the making. I would like another group in Anglesey and one in Caernarfon area so if there is anybody out there willing to get together and organise something for us I would be pleased to hear from them.
I have just received a request to give a home to a cow currently living a solitary existence in Scotland.Much as Iwould love to offer her(Serena) a home we do not have enough grazing for another such large animal and she needs to be with others of her own kind.My job for this afternoon is to find her somewhere suitable where she can live out her life in safety. Years ago Freshfields did rescue a pregnant cow which had escaped from an abbatoir, she gave birth weeks after her rescue and eventually we found her a permanent home with supporters in Cheshire. S Rehoming cows is not an impossible task but not quite as easy as finding a suitable home for a dog or cat! Anyone want a pet cow?
I have agreed to take on 5 more feral cats because they are not in a safe situation on a caravan site near Pwyllhelli. A lovely couple arrived here in tears this morning .Over the past few years they have tried to help a colony of feral cats by getting them all neutered.This colony developed from a female cat acquired by the caravan site owner who neglected to have her spayed. On return from holiday the couplewere distraught to discover many of the cats missing.The colony of 30 cats was reduced to just nine.The caravan site owner had arranged for his son to shoot them! I know exactly how the couple felt as I had a similar experience with a neighbour in Formby,Liverpool who shot my own pet cats and was never brought to justice.The RSPCA duly investigated and were sure he HAD killed them but without actual proof nothing could be done.
These vile people often seem to get away with it. Anyhow I want these remaining cats safely away so have loaned the couple a cat trap. The small feral enclosure here may not give them the freedom they have been used to but at least they will be alive and safe from harm.
Mei has just come in and told me that last night she disturbed two couples having sex at the bottom of our track,I was horrified and asked her to describe them in case they were locals - she said they were small, brown skinned and croaked a lot! She had come across frogs mating at the side of our stream! I must have "Gullible" written on my forehead.
PS: Have found a home for Serena. Told you its not impossible!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

A good day for the Easter Fair.

Thank goodness the weather improved overnight and today was a nice sunny day forthe Easter fair in Porthmadog. We raised just over £500 thanks to the owners of the Royal Sportsman Hotel allowing us the rooms free of charge and even supplying the tea and coffee for the event. Pictures of some of the stalls above.We are starting to gather a nice group of people together now who help us at fundraising events in this area.The Barmouth easter fair at the Dragon Theatre is on Monday and with a bit of luck the weather will stay like this and that too will be a successful day.
Well the collies are on their way now to their new home where they will receive the care and attention they need and of course the rehabilitation needed to allow them one day to lead a normal life. It would be wonderful if I visited them in six months time and saw dogs behaving like dogs and experiencing life outside of a dark outbuilding. I cant wait for that day.
The road accident collie is now out of the vet as is Thunder.We have called the new girl Sophie (pictured here)and she is an absolute darling of a dog, so incredibly gentle and after all she has been through my heart just goes out to her. Her poor leg has been amputated and of course it looks horrendous, she has to learn now to walk and balance with her 3 legs.Dogs are so adaptable I expect it will not take her very long at all. How could anyone leave her lying in the road after running her over, I bet they have never given her a second thought. The vet said that although it seemed even more uposetting the fact that it was raining so heavily that day and she was left lying in the wet road,it actually may have saved her life! It made it easier to replace her intestines, dont ask me why - I didnt ask for details, its hard enough looking at the wounds without hearing explicit details of the operation to save her life. And save her life it most certainly did. I am very grateful to Stephanie the vet who performed the original op for having the faith to attempt it and not just put her down.
Also pictured is Twm the pure white cat who totally refused to pose for a photo and kept turning his back.Perhaps he was having a bad hair day! He isnt in the best condition, well see what he looks like after he has been wormed and had a period of being fed well. He is really enjoying his food .
The first litter of kittens arrived today but I havent had a chance yet to take a photo and Im afraid I will not be writing a blog until the end of the weekend as I am going to have 2 days away from my desk and away from the shelter..Yippee!