Thursday, 30 September 2010

Tommy Finds a Home after 9 Long Months at The Shelter

I am pleased to say that the terrier was claimed so one less to worry about. can you believe that the owner was livid that the dog had been taken to the pound near Bangor! There was no admission of guilt that the dog had no Id on her, or a microchip, just fury that she had been taken off the street and sent to the pound. Maybe it will teach him a lesson.Just in case he does not bother to go and collect her,I will check with the pound first thing tomorrrow. I had mentioned before that it is quite a long way for owners and finders pf strays to go but regarding the owners, well if their pets had collars and tags on, they would not have to make the journey in the first place.

ITV Wales have been in touch as they are doing a documentary on the recession causing people to part with their pets. They wanted to film the owner of Morris, (the horse we are expecting in soon) talking about the difficulties she had been experiencing paying for his upkeep and then film him arriving at Freshfields. It was a good opportunity for some publicity for the shelter but unfortunately the owner refused to participate. I can understand her reaction, not everybody is comfortable giving media interviews, myself included, but it is a great shame that we will lose out on the publicity.

This morning I went to Porthmadog for a presentation of the Barclays Bank cheque(Jackies sponsorship for the dog walk) and to be photographed for the Cambrian News, the local newspaper. We should receive the real cheque soon so another couple of bills can be paid. There are two beautiful cats in residence at our Port shop, a handsome tabby and a pretty tortoishell. I will try to find a place here for them as soon as possible but we have so many on our waiting list, we need to home quite a few to make spaces for them all . In the meantime they will have to put up with their temporary accommodation in the room above the shop. One lucky cat was rehomed from the shelter yesterday - Tommy(pictured here) had been here for 9 months and was middle aged, we were just contemplating releasing him when he was chosen as a companion to an older lady who was delighted with him. That is a far better option for him than living here and sharing the attention with so many others. I do love it when this happens.
This past few days I have been busy doing posters for the next Fundraiser, a Coffee morning/cake sale at The Royal Sportsman Hotel in Porthmadog and have only just realised that I have put the wrong date on them! After distributing about 100 locally , eagle eyed Veronica spotted the mistake. Thank goodness she did before I printed more.The fundraiser is on the 15th October and I have typed in the 22nd! What on earth made me get the dates mixed up? Sometimes I am so stupid I could shake myself. So if anybody has earmarked the 22nd for a morning out, nothing will be happening so DONT GO on that date.It is the FIFTEENTH! I think it is time I had a few days off to gather my senses together and re-energise myself. The problem is when can I do this? it is so busy at the moment, there seems to be something vitally important to do every day.
A couple of minor problems right now are trying to find the time to collect a dog from the Pwllheli area(I bet I have spelled that wrong again?) and to organise someone(me?) to assess a colony of 16 cats in the Porthmadog area which I completely forgot to do today. I have been told they are not ferals and I hope they are not, the poor ferals are so hard to find places for and our feral cat enclosure is full to capacity. I am trying to computerise our admittances to the shelter and it is taking up so much time.The last time I did this, I had spent weeks on it and it was inadvertently wiped off forever! At least now I have a back up system but I do wish I could wave a wand and it would all be done. One of the daily newspapers featured an article about women who spend so much time on the computer they are developing double chins through constantly looking down at the keyboard - I suppose that applies to typists too but now I have become paranoid about it. After reading the article I rushed to the mirror and horror of horrors there it was! When did that appear? Why had I not noticed it before? Damn the Daily Mail, as if I don't have enough to worry about! Now I will be trying to type with my head up and squinting down at the keyboard!
Oh , forgot to mention Finchley ferret is much better, he is eating well and seems to be more content, less scared and far more relaxed.Vanessa took the ticks off him(not my forte, they make me want to vomit) and he is enjoying the comfortable little house we have made for him in a two storey rabbit hutch. No resident rabbits of course!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Washing Machine needed Urgently

Vet Ken has been out today to see Sorrell and Crystal. After carefully examining Sorrell he explained that the large lumpy mass on her stomach is a ruptured tendon probably caused by her carrying the weight of twin foals(in her previous home)and that there could be one or two problems if she is left this way but there is only a minor chance of anything happening which would be detrimental to her health . He advised sending her to Leahurst Vet hospital in Cheshire for further assessment but as Sorrell is a very nervous traveller I have no wish to send her on a pointless journey. On the other hand if it gets bigger which is likely at some point, then she could be much older and less likely to come through such a big operation with ease. Not removing it could also cost her a home and she is so young to spend her life here.It is a dilemma and one I feel needs more serious thought before a decision is made.
Crystals melanomas are being kept under control by the medication she is on and he advised that we keep on with it, there should be no longterm side effects and it will prevent them increasing and will therefore extend her quality of life. It is very expensive but we are going to start buying it online with a vets prescription and this should bring the cost down a little.

I have just been speaking to a lady called Dion about the wonderful results gained from using an aloe vera product called 'Activator' I wonder if anybody else has heard of this particular product. Dion has used it herself to rid a dog of a growth on his eyelid and has successfully treated mouth ulcers with it. A friend of hers used it for cataracts and her cataracts diminished and finally disappeared . Before anyone thinks Dion is an aloe vera rep, she actually rang me for advice on feeding an ailing cat, the colloidal silver manufacturer from whom she purchases this product gave her my number.As some will already know I strongly advocate the use of colloidal silver in the treatmnent and prevention of feline cat flu. It is not a miracle cure but if used in the early stages can prevent it spreading throughout the cattery.Taking in stray cats has its downsides and cat flu is one of them. Anyhow to get back to he feeding of sick cats, many years ago I had a very sick emaciated cat which would not eat,I tried everything and in desperation took my mothers advice to try a product for humans called Brands Essence. I bought a jar from the local chemist and syringed this down the cats throat at regular intervals and within hours that cat perked up , gained weight rapidly and he survived. I have not seen it for sale for many years and of course the vets now do a convalescent food for cats but if I could get hold of this again I would always keep some in stock.

Rhian found a lovely caterpillar this morning, a fluffy rusty coloured one and I did not think quickly enough to take a photo - that will please all those who do not share my love of all things great and small . I know friend Sue in Liverpool would have liked to see it as she DOES share my interest.In fact she is the only one I know who does except Barbara who used to work here. It seems not many women are bug lovers! You dont know what you are missing! They are fascinating little creatures. I think this one I found on the net may be what Rhian found.It is an Oak Eggar caterpillar.Not sure ours had black on it though, I cant seem to find another similar. Oh what a nuisance.I will be dreaming rust coloured caterpillars tonight.(Yes I really am that sad!)

The washing machine we use for the animal bedding has finally bitten the dust so we are desperate for another second hand one. I did purchase a commercial machine last year but we need to upgrade the electricity supply before it can be used and in the meantime we are totally without our constantly in use machine.Does anyone know anyone parting with a working washing machine ? It is vital to keep our animals supplied with clean bedding and we are struggling without one.
New Kitchen Jim is a little less stressed today, he has just never been socialised and if he sees more than one person at a time he seems to panic. He is learning to walk on a lead though I suspect it is more that he used to following at the farmers heels, if there is any pressure on the lead he immediately stops.He needs a lot of time and patience but he is not as fearful as some that we have had here and I have high hopes for him.Pictured here about to go for a walk,.
A little terrier has been taken into our Porthmadog shop, I hiope the owner turns up before the end of the day!

Monday, 27 September 2010

15 cats need rescuing and a Ferret is admitted.

Tess really is back to normal today, she has started to enjoy her walks again , I do wish someone nice would come along and see her and fall in love with her. I am not a great Staffordshire bull terrier lover but I cant help but like this one. She has a nice character like Jade the longterm staff we had here and eventually homed after a year.All the staff are very fond of her and we all wish the breed did not have such bad press. I am sure a true kind staff lover will turn up one of these days.

We are currently involved in the rescue of 15 cats from the same home, the owners are moving to live abroad and these are all stray cats they have trapped, had neutered and fed for the past year or so. There is not enough room to accommodate all immediately so we have started by taking a few at a time, three were admitted today and as they had no names have now been called Kerry, Clara and Bonnie. I dont know what I am doing wrong with my photos, some animals have green alien eyes !They dont really - HONEST. I would love to do a photography course to learn better techniques.

Another cat was admitted today, one year old Poppys' owner is seriously ill and no longer able to care for her beloved pet - these cases can be very emotional, both for the owner and for the animal concerned.My heart goes out to them. You see ,I am not completely heartless with people.There are many genuine ones and I know which are and which are not.Todays case is sad and only a sociopath would feel nothing.

During the afternoon another farmer turned up with an unwanted collie.THis dog is A pretty longhaired male but oh, how scared he is. This was not one I felt happy about turning away, the farmers attitude was not good or helpful and I feared for the welfare of this animal. Another one for the kitchen (not to eat I hasten to add, but to join the dogs which live in that part of my house.) though I will have to make sure he does not get out until he settles down, he is completely terrified of everything at the moment of writing.Poor fellow. His name is Jim so I now have two kitchen Jims!
I have discovered that there are three types of farmers, one type is like this one and has no compassion whatsoever for his dogs but will take the time to drive here and dump a dog at the shelter, the worse type will just shoot his unwanted dog or leave him chained for life and the third in his own way cares enough to wait until we have a foster home ready or a home lined up and may even give us a small donation. It can be a case of working out which of the three categories they fit into and making a decision based on this. Not always easy.

As I am about to finish the day I receive a call about a ferret found on a farm, he has been seen around the farm for a few days and seems tame.They have caught him and are bringing him up here this evening.He will have to stay in a cat sky carrier until tomorrow when we will find a better place for him. I am too tired to run around cleaning hutches or pens and I know Mei still has a few horses to feed before she goes home. Tomorrow is another day.
Nobody has claimed the Lurcher but today the Yorkshire terrier was claimed - he was being looked after by the owners son who lived on a farm, hence the dog escaping.I have had a word about the importance of having identification on a dog and also the benefits of microchipping.The little dog is named Toby and is older than I thought, he is seven years old.I m sure he will be happy to be back with his family.I am not surprised that Sean lurcher is unclaimed, he is not a well cared for dog . Al;so in a generally bad state is the ferret ; now I have had a good look at him he is emaciated and covered in ticks .Although not a nasty biter of a ferret as some are, he is very scared and trembles when his cage is opened. It is the first time I have seen a ferret behave in this way, if only he could speak and tell us where he came from and what happened to him. The most obvious answer is that someone had been out hunting and lost him down a rabbit hole. Altogether he is a very sad little specimen but we will soon have him looking and feeling better.

The home has been approved for the two shetlands Minnie and Georgie Girl,it is ideal because at the moment they are with Rosie on her land and as these ponies hate being boxed and moved anywhere this home is in walking distance for them. Marigold and Melba should be going to their new home within the next few days and the Morris the 22 years old gelding with the arthritic hip should be arriving from the Colwyn Bay area round the same time so lots going on with the horses right now. Mei has asked me to mention that the naughty 'teenagers' Merlin, Shamrock and Celt have broken into the field we had fenced off ready for the winter arrivals. They are so mischievous but great fun to be around and watching their antics sometimes is hilarious.
Christine who held the table top sale for Freshfields on saturday rang to say it was a great success and she raised £460 for the animals.This lady has been a tremendous help to the charity since we gave shelter to her 4 ponies when her circumstances changed so drastically.You may think that it is as it should be but believe me most horse owners 'dump and run'! Christine helps with their feeds, vet supplements and hay for the winter months and is now fundraising so she is a gem and genuinely loves her ponies even though they no longer live with her. One of the ponies palamino Marcasite (pictured here with one of her 3 companions Starlight.)has kidney problems and the supplement needed to add to her food is expensive so it is a relief to have help with it.
We are expecting the Vet out tomorrow to check Sorrells hernia and to look at Crystals melanomas to see what he thinks about her condition and treatment she is currently receiving.She does seem livelier today but a regular check over is necessary anyway so she can have it sooner rather than later.
The new Kitchen Jim is still scared of his own shadow but is a gentle soul and I am confident he will improve and gain confidence daily,

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Who's been Sleeping In My Bed?

First of all I would like to ensure that nobody thinks the title is anything to do with my own sleeping arrangements! Secondly I am happy to say that Tess staff seems a lot brighter today so she is obviously on the road to recovery. She is a bit sore from her operation so is not keen on going for a walk but is happy to have a roll in the field and sit down for a cuddle.
A wirecoated lurcher dog has been found, like so many working dogs he is underweight and par for the course - he hates cats, or rather likes them TOO much, he certainly is not to be trusted with them.Thank goodness the rabbits have gone. Lurchers are very close to my heart, I have had several over the years and they are such loving animals and so gentle in spite of their tendency to want to chase everything that moves.In their favour it has to be said that not all are like this, William was marvellous and even Meg who lives with me now is a cat chaser but is easily called off and I was told by her ex owner that she only chases rabbits.Not that I will ever take a chance with her.Anyhow this dog is almost certainly a working dog and until he is claimed or goes to a home will have to stay on an extended lead when he is being exercised
Mei is pictured walking him shortly after he arrived.

The other photo is of 3 of our old grey ponies. From left to right - Crystal (with the melanomas)and Ross and William who are in their early thirties now. Like all of the old ponies they are living out their lives at the shelter. They were convinced that the camera was sure to be something tasty so I had to go and find some treats so as not to disappoint them too much. It has been a cold but bright day today and too cold to take off their rugs.It is so unpredictable now that they will most likely be staying on for the duration of the winter.

The staff think I am behaving oddly!!! Well more oddly than usual, they seem to think I suffered concussion when I headbutted the car and maybe they are right. I just thought I was feeling low,irritable and tired because I was ... well - low ,irritable and tired! They say they have never seen me like this and I want to sleep all day (I dont though)which is definitely not the norm for me at all. To anybody reading my blog for the first time I would like to point out that I am truly NOT a psychopathic headbanger and that it was a stupid accident in which I clumsily nearly split my face open and most certainly not a deliberate action.

This morning I received an email from Southwest animal protection telling people in the animal welfare world to look out for two dogs missing after a traffic accident in Walsall - seconds later Helen, the Liverpool Manager emailed me to say that one of the dogs was a husky cross pup from Freshfields in Liverpool and is only 12 weeks old. The other dog is a cavalier spaniel and as I write this there is no news of either dog. What a distressing situation, we are all desperately hoping that both dogs will be found safe and well.

Having mentioned that Crystal horse is ok , today she appears to be off colour and very quiet so we will have to keep an eye on her.I have arranged for a Vet to come out this week to check Sorrell thoroughly with the view to going ahead with an operation if we can raise the funds to do so.I will ring again in the morning and try to pin him down for a date (not THAT sort of date!)He can also look at Crystal, maybe her medication is not agreeing with her or there could be something else going on? Sometimes I think I jinx animals when I write about their health being fine, as soon as I do this something goes wrong.It is of course purely coincidental but it certainly seems as though I am tempting fate by saying all is well.

We had supporters visit us today from Derbyshire,Mum Janet organised the sponsored dog walk there same day as ours and raised the very welcome sum of £450,daughter Karen is thinking of giving a home to one of our ponies and they are also going to publicise our dilemma with Sorrell and try to get financial support in their area.Its a good feeling knowing there are others who care and who try their best to help us.
2 kittens have been reserved and Gel has gone off wagging his tail happily to his new home inYorkshire. A realative of the Farmer who owned Gel has rung to get rid of a collie cross kelpie.Word is clearly spreading amongst the farming comunity that there is an outlet for unwanted farm dogs.I dont mind, preferable that than they be put down or chained for the rest of their lives and although I am receiving more and more requests to take collies, I am also receiving many offers of homes so whilst the two marry up, there is no problem. Nobody yet has claimed the Lurcher though a man turned up claiming Luca the GSD!! This, after a month! He had no answer as to why he had not reported him missing to the authorities(police,dog warden)He appeared to accept what I said and that I was legally entitled to home him after this space of time. All he seemed bothered about is the fact that he paid £400 for him.Well he should have looked after him better shouldn't he? I have no sympathy for him at all, Luca had no ID and the police knew I had him right from the start so had anyone been looking for him the trail would have led straight here. He is better off in the home we have now found for him.
Another dog has been found, an old collie,I have asked the finder to hang on to him for afew days to see if the owners turn up.The stray dog problem is becoming difficult to deal with, the nearest dog pound is on the other side of Bangor, a good hours drive away , as is the Dolgellau pound.Most people finding a stray dog are not prepared to go that much out of their way so they ring here and of course I am limited due to lack of foster homes and house space! There has to be a better solution but I cannot see the situation improving unless one of the National Animal Welfare Societies opens up a shelter in Gwynedd or a Private Boarding kennels offers help but then there is the cost of boarding in private kennels.I just do not know what is going to happen in this area but it will get worse ,not better. Ideas anyone? My poor old addled brain is just about exhausted with the effort of trying to find places for these poor dogs.There is another oldie in Dolgellau Pound which I have promised to help but there is only so much one person can do with a lack of facilities and resources.
The best news of all today is that I have just had an email telling me that the two missing dogs from the traffic accident have been found safe and well.That really has made my day.
PPS: Just had a yorkshire terrier brought, found running down a busy road, no collar or ID. He is now happily esconced in living room with old Suzy and Patch and having tried out both of their comfy baskets has decided Suzys is the best. Throughout the day all will have snoozed in it at some time, Holly No ears who is not over keen on dogs was so desperate to take her turn in it she squeezed in with old Suzy much to her disgust but amazingly the old girl tolerated her presence, well for the first hour at least.All the animals love this basket and it was donated by a generous shopper at Pets At Home in Bangor and placed in our collecting box there.See photos.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Tess the Staffordshire bull terrier survives a major operation.

Tess the staffordshire bull terrier has had an infection and been on antibioticsfrom the Vet. Having finished the course and seeming better I sent her in to the vet to be spayed and was shocked to hear that she had Pryometra and it was so bad she could have died had she not been operated on. I know from experience with other dogs how potentially fatal this can be so it is with great relief that I can report that Tess is back with us today and is doing fine. This can happen to any unspayed bitch and is good reason for people to have their female dogs spayed early on in their lives. Poor Tess has also been used for indiscrimate breeding, I can only wonder where her pups have ended up and in what calibre homes? When I collected her this morning the Vets assistants commented on what a sweet natured dog she is.Not a bad testament for a Staffie! Tess pictured here giving me lots of kisses onher arrival back at the shelter. Do you know that she lay quietly on the passenger seat of my car until I turned into the track leading to Freshfields whereupon she sat up and wagged her tail as though she was glad to be back. That is a clear indication of the type of home she had come from. If shelter life is better for a dog there has been something seriously wrong with her former life.

I dont always remember everything which occurs in a day and today I remembered something about the starving mum cat Tiffany which I had promised myself I would take action on. The lady who found the cat in her shed rang the RSPCA and was told not to feed it and it would go away! Now correct me if I am mistaken here but is that not an unkind if not cruel action to take, over a visibly starving mother cat and her newborn babies? I am glad she ignored the advice and was compassionate enough to both feed her and ring for practical help from us
This is not the first time that this advice has been given so I am writing to RSPCA head office to ask for their comments. It may be that this is not an official policy for their staff to say this but it it is then it should be corrected and if not, the staff giving out this advice should be severely reprimanded. This advice is unhelpful to say the least and could have resulted in the deaths of the remainder of the litter and possibly mum too - thankfully all are now thriving. I am not anti RSPCA, without the Inspectorate there would be far more animals suffering and indeed I have found the local Inspectors to be very helpful. In all organisations there can be problems, Freshfields has not been exempt from criticism over the years -thats the way it goes unfortunately Sometimes it can be a member of staff with an unfortunate attitude, often it is an unfounded complaint but it all has to be dealt with so I hope action will be taken to prevent this tpe of advice being given out again.

Pictured here is the handsome Graham, the stray cat with 3 legs which has been in residence at our Charity shop in Porthmadog.He looks as though he is scared of the dog in the photograph above! In reality he was looking up at a noise which was one of the free ferals chasing another across the roof of the cattery. This fluffy cat is as sweet natured as he is gorgeous.What a combination, he is sure to appeal to visistors;he is a real cuddly cat who loves being fussed and stroked.His age is estimated at about 12 months though he is small for an adult cat.
Cariad went today to collect 4 kittens abandoned in the Caernarfon Golf Club grounds.I would have published the photos except she sent them in such a large format it would have taken all evening to download them.Cariad, if you read this they need to be greatly reduced in size to send over the net! I can't shout at her too much as she is caring for them until Sunday which is very kind of her and if I tell her off she just may refuse next time
All three ginger cats admitted last week have now been homed.Nunu went first and Buster and Missy went together today. There is no doubt gingers are the most popular colour followed closely by tortoishell and whites. Such a shame colour and appearance is more important than a sweet loving nature but the important thing is that all find homes so I am delighted these three have gone so quickly.
I have made enquiries about having the hernia removed from Sorrell the Arab mare and was horrified to learn that it could cost up to £2,500. It does not bother her at the moment but I feel
that as she is such a young animal the removal could result in her finding a loving longterm home and more importantly increase her longevity. Perhaps we could mount a special appeal for her. That needs some thought but it seems the best option for her future.Of course if the media are willing to publish her story, no doubt I will be castigated once again by friends of the owner - a small price to pay if it achieves what we want which is a brighter future for this lovely horse. Incidentally the pig was never admitted because I had someone interested in her, I put them all in touch with each other and not hearing anything I assumed Piggy Shani had gone to her new home only to find out today that was not the case. I now have to get back in touch with the owner and rearrange things.I hope Shani is still with him and safe.

A horse rehabilitation Centre has been in touch, they have two horses there for which they need homes.Both have been treated for various physical problems and are now ready to be moved on to homes. I wish more people would take on horses as pets only but as they are so expensive to keep understandably it is not desirable to take on an animal which may either cost a great deal in specialist treatment/food or is unrideable.These two, however have more going for them so it is entirely possible I may be able to place them.
Marigold and Melba should be off to their loan home as soon as transport is organised and another home is likely for the two shetlands Georgie and Minnie.With that in mind I have decided to take on Morris the gelding with arthritic hips and hope to have him here within the next couple of weeks.

Finally it is with great pleasure I announce the rehoming of the three adult rabbits which have been here for several months. I say pleasure because for once the facilities offered to these three were not only adequate for them but super luxurious having cost £500 to build. As I have said before Rabbits are possibly the most neglected and inadequately cared for pets of any. So many are kept in small hutches with inadequate or no exercise so these bunnies are going to have a great life with a massive exercise area and the best of care and love. What a great end to todays blog.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Scooby Whippet 'writes a letter' !

It has been nothing but torrential rain here, the fields are already becoming waterlogged.Last year we had ditches dug to improve the drainage but when it rains like this for days on end the ditches overflow. What a relief that the three horses came back a few days ago,just in time for the big weather change. They are all now rugged and have shelter if they wish. It is time to start ordering the big bales of haylage, soon all the horses and ponies will need supplementary food in order to keep their weight up through the winter months ahead of us.We need to put up a cover of some sort in which to store these bales safely and so that the horses cannot rip them open, We have lost haylage when they do this because it goes off quickly once opened ; if we have a warm spell it deteriorates and dries out very quickly. Another job I think for Handymen John and Dave. It will take priority over most of the other jobs which need doing round the property.Anyone who lives on a smallholding will know that there is always something in need of repair, as soon as one job is done, something else breaks down or needs repair.It is never ending but life is seldom dull and NEVER boring.
We gave shelter to a stray labrador cross pup yesterday whose owner has claimed him -they will collect tomorrow. He was wearing no collar and was not microchipped.We will microchip him before he leaves us, I would hate to see this pup go missing again and not be so fortunate next time . There have been lots of calls today from people wanting to part with pets, a 6 years old yellow labrador is one dog needing help, 3 more farm collies, a Mastiff and a neglected middle aged crossbreed. A lady from bangor is bringing in a stray mother cat and her kitten and help is needed with a feral cat which has had kittens in a garden. It is so helpful if people do not give ultimatums and are willing to work with us when we try to find space, none of these were difficult to deal with which makes a refreshing change from those who demand IMMEDIATE action which is not always possible and makes our work so stressful.
Nunu one of the ginger cats admitted recently has been reserved but it is very quiet on the cat rehoming front. Where are all the cat lovers? At this time of year it is usually much busier.Is something happening to keep them away? do cat lovers not like going out in the rain?Have cats, unknown to me stopped being the No 1 favourite household pet or has someone surrepticiously opened another cat shelter in the area.(I wish that were true, what a help that would be)Time for the old positive thinking again.I will endeavour to will them here! It would help if I could put some time aside to update our cat homing page on the brilliant catchat website. Thats decided then, it will be my first job for tomorrow.
If anyone is interested and would like to support us ,there is a fundraising coffee morning /table top sale this saturday near Barmouth.For more information ring our Porthmadog shop for details 01766 512343.
That reminds me - that there is a 3 legged cat to pick up from there, he was taken in to the charity shop a few days ago and temporarily housed in one of our spare rooms above the shop. I must try and find time this week to collect him, maybe Friday if nothing else urgent happens and my plans have to be changed
I have been worried about a dog missing in Caernarfon, he belongs to a sometimes homeless man who is often taken into custodyby the Police , leaving his dog without anyone to care for it. His last dog disappeared and I am worried that this one will come to a sticky end especially as I have also been informed that he has been seen recently abusing the dog.(only hearsay)It is one of those cases where it is an ongoing problem but not bad enough to warrant the RSPCA removing his animals from him. I am hoping that the dog has been found and is safe,I do so wish people like him would not keep pets though in fairness I know there are homeless people who adore their dogs and it would be wrong to tar them all with the same brush. I recall years ago receiving a newsletter from an established animal shelter in the South of England, the proprietor Miss Raymonde Hawkins(now deceased) was defending her decision to allow a homeless man a dog. In her words, this man adored his dog, he was fed well and loved and he had human company 24 hours a day, was never left lonely and bored or chained up in a garden somewhere. What more could a dog want? To add weight to her argument she featured a photograph of the gentleman in question with his beloved dog and a happy couple they looked too. I see her point though being brutally honest I am unsure how I would feel about it myself. We all want the best for our rescued animals and rightly or wrongly I think I would feel I could do better! Am I wrong here? Its a difficult one and I am the first to agree that sometimes the 'poshest ' of homes is not always the best from a dogs point of view.

Jack the jack russell pictured here is the dog from the owner who abused him, he is settling well in his temporary home and there is someone interested in him already. It would be nice if he went soon, I always feel bad for these dogs which start to enjoy life in their foster homes and then have to be moved on. It has to be that way but if they can go before they start to get their 'feet under the table' it is nicer for them. I am starting to feel that way about Jim Collie in the house, he is so happy with my dogs Meg and Ben, he gets in Megs basket with her and she does not always like new dogs either.He really has settled down with me but I dont want to keep a young dog which is easy to place in another home when I could offer a place to an old animal nobody else wants.
Veronica Book-keeper has just told me that today has been total Chaos and to put that on my blog! So there you have it IT IS CHAOS today. Sometimes we have days where there is so much going on and so many people in and out the office, it is like Piccadilly Station. She has brought in Scooby whippet pup for Rosie to foster as she is going away at the weekend. here is part of the note Scooby 'wrote' to Rosie !

Dear Aunty Rosie,
It is very nice of me to come and stay with you while my foster mum is away at an agility show)I can already jump higher than those 2 big Fat Collies
I like your dogs especially that funny shaped yellow one.I think my foster mum has told you how I like my meals and that I have a biscuit when I am going to bed which I eat when I feel like it and leave crumbs in my bed.
I am very good at peeing for a long time and a long way and when I am tired I find something to curl up on
I dont understand all the games the collies do tho I can sit and sometimes come when called unless there is something more interesting I am concentrating on! I chase hens and ducks and think the cats might be interesting tho I get told off when I do this. I also catch flies and things.
I am sick in the car in the mornings but not always in the afternoon

Luv.Scoobie Doo x
Ps> why do the people at Freshfields always want to take photos of me especially that blonde one, I think her name is BossWoman.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Two Very Happy Dogs and A Hungry Mother Cat

Today I went to try and sort out the staff problem at the Llandudno Charity shop, the meeting went well and I hope led to a clearer understanding between shop management ,myself and the Trustees. Often poor comunication can lead to major problems so hopefully this will not happen again. This shop has been a worry since the beginning as it has a high rent and some weeks we have struggled to make a profit but the current Manager Jan has done exceedingly well in improving the income.We still, however need to make more to make it truly viable . Raising funds is no joy, believe me, it can be a permanent headache. We are hoping to garner some publicity and try to establish a fundraising committee in that area.

A farmer has brought us a lovely young collie female with a wall eye called Nell (the dog not the eye!)which is no use working and a gentleman who visited us on the day of the sponsored dog walk is interested in taking her AND Jim(the collie I have in the house) He is taking them on trial this weekend - not something we usually do but in this case two collies can be a handful so it is fair. Gel the other farm dog is also reserved, I think I did mention that, his new people are coming for him this Sunday and are really looking forward to it according to their email to me this morning. We are doing so well at the moment, our collies are being snapped up, long may it last.

Luca Gsd is pictured here in his new home with his new friend , a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who keeps him in his place. Just what this young lad needed . Luca aso shown sitting on top of Ian (that looks uncomfortable) who has clearly had a hard day!I have also heard from the other Gel(so many Welsh collies have this name) who lives part of the year in Spain. Some may remember that he is the middle aged collie who had been on a chain for years, his muscles had atrophied and he was the saddest dog I had ever seen. He lived with us for a year before these kind people fell in love with him, just Look at how different his life is now.It is a year since he left us for his new life.Pictured after a hard day in the Olive Grove!!He looks great, so happy and has put on weight which has improved his appearance. Clearly I am speaking of Gel here! I dont want to receive an email about my personal comments about his new owner! Incidentally why is that the men pictured are always taking it easy? It is joy to have these communications from our Freshfields pets, or rather their new owners.It makes my day. Next time try and stay awake and keep your clothes on Lads! Incidentally a few days ago I had a phone call from a man saying the Police had told him that I may have his German Shepherd which had gone missing.I asked him to wait whilst I found a pen and paper to take his details, he hung up and did not ring back!! I think that confirms that he was the owner who took Luca to the Police Station saying he was a stray.maybe he just wanted to know of the dog was safe.Who knows what goes on in the minds of some people?At the end of the day thanks to his lies Luca could have ended up in a Dog Pound and been put down. Well his loss is someone elses gain. He is a beautiful animal.

A little Jack Russell has gone to be fostered, I had known about this dog for some time and I knew many people were very unhappy about his situation so I am glad to be able to help now. I am not saying who is fostering because last time the owner went to the house of the lady fostering and she was very upset(understandably)That time he wanted the dog back, this time he will not be getting him back just because he changed his mind. Animals are not toys to be discarded when it suits and this little dog deserves better. He has made up his mind that he no longer wants him, the dog is signed over and that is the end of that.

Mum cat, now called Tiffany and her new babies have gone to be cared for by Gails sister Tanya who has looked after many of our cat families.The kittens will come back to the shelter for homing once they are old enough to leave mum. Pictured here whilst they were in my bedroom! Tiffany was just so glad to be somewhere warm and to have food on tap she was ecstatic and never stopped purring.Her babies seemed to be doing well once mum had enough to eat.I think that is the reason one youngster did not make it. How could she possibly feed a litter of hungry babies when she herself was starving?

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Supporters brave the weather .

The sponsored dog walk was a success. In spite of the weather being grim, cold and wet,around fifty stalwarts turned out with dogs and those who had no pet of their own 'borrowed' a dog from the shelter.Charley Patch was borrowed by Meis' twin nieces Elin and Eleri who had enthusiastically collected sponsorship from nearly everybody in Nebo Village and at last count there was £60 which was good going.Thanks Girls. One of the twins (I have no idea which one but think it is Eleri) is at the front of the gathering with little Patch.

All in all everybody appeared to enjoy their Sunday constitutional which on their return was followed by a hot drink and home made cakes which were made by Jackie(sister of Teg who volunteers here) There was even someone who travelled from Liverpool to take part though I made the mistake of giving her Jim collie to join her on the walk and because he proved too much of a handful she was forced to return to base earlier than she had expected.Her journey however, was not in vain, Sue kindly stayed to serve refreshments to the walkers and did a very good job of it too. Far better than I would have done, I would have been too busy eating allthe cakes!
I am not sure what we have raised yet but will publish the sum in my blog as soon as all the sponsorship has been collected. I do know that Jackie Jones who works at Barclays Bank in Porthmadog and whose sponsorship will be matched by the Bank,has with the help of Trish at our charity shop in Port managed sponsorship of over £700 so that will mean £1,400 to come in which gives an almighty boost to the fund immediately. (Jackie is pictuired here with her dog Millie)I am so grateful to everybody who took part and helped raise much needed funds for the animals here and I will definitely make it an annual event .

In between all this going on we rehomed Jenny from The Pound who has gone to a couple from Yorkshire who have just lost their old rescued collie and admitted a very thin and hungry mother cat and newborn kittens(the ones from the shed in Anglesey) Fellow rescue helper Sandra who lives in Anglesey collected them and brought them over.As there is nowhere for them to go just yet, they have been made comfortable in my super refurbished bedroom - which I myself have not yet inhabited! Oh well needs must, their need is greater than mine. Unlike me they will not mind having no curtains up!

Tomorrow they will have a foster home to go to, mum is a dark tortoishell young female who is absolutely ravenous. I dont know how she has managed to feed her babies though Sandra told me one had died this morning - Not Surprising considering her poor condition, hope the remainder,of which there are 6 , survive the trauma of the move and mum does not reject them
As well as this little family another litter of kittens were admitted though have had to be kept in isolation due to the sniffling of 2 other kittens.I thought it was all cleared but then these two started so it should be another week before we are clear.

Shelter life definitely has its highs and lows.Yesterday I was quite low over a problem involving staffing of our Llandudno shop, I was worried all last night about it but then today was so nice, it made me feel a whole lot better about things. No problem is insurmountable, just sometimes it can seem that way.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Photos of the Horses coming home for Winter.

Photos are of Buster arriving back and Vanessa in pink welcoming him home. Sorrell watching the proceedings with great interest from her field., Freddie and Callie arriving minutes later and me leading Freddie out. Buster had been watching the road for half an hour and when he spotted the horsebox he did not take his eyes off it until it drove into the yard. He came forward and touched noses with Freddie and Callie and then followed them into the stables. True friendship.
More Good news - Gel sold himself and has been reserved for a very nice family who are experienced with rescued farm dogs. When the farmer brought him in this morning Gel was a very subdued animal but after a few walks here and lots of hugs he started to brighten up; by the time the visitors arrived to see him he was a different dog and made a big fuss of them. He will not be able to go to his new home for another week but he has a whole new and better life ahead of him - a week more in our care is neither here nor there and at least he is off his chain now and is being treated with compassion and respect.
A little tortoishell cat called Penny has left us today, she had spent her 4 years of life indoors in a flat, her owner had mental health issues and was unable to care for her any longer.Penny has been here for about 6 months and nobody showed interest in her , yet this week she has had 2 offers of homes. Strange how that happens sometimes. Its all or nothing! 2 kittens which were reserved have also been collected today and I am currently trying to sort out help for a mother cat and newborn kittens who have taken up residence in a shed in Anglesey. From what I gather mum is not feral as she has allowed the lady who owns the property to stroke her, with mums and new borns I am reluctant to move them straight away in case the mother cat rejects her babies.It is often best to allow her to settle and start feeding her litter and bonding with them before attempting to move the family. In this case they have to be moved soon as the lady will not be there from thursday onwards, she is going away on holiday so there will be nobody to feed them.
Vanessa has been fostering Tess for a month and due to the fact the little dog has some staffordshire bull terrier in her, it has proved rather difficult to find her a suitable home ,however today a very nice lady came to see her who has just lost a Freshfields dog from old age but she must have a dog which is good with cats . (I love these proven good homes) The dog she lost was a Staffordshire and she loves this type of dog.Tess will be ideal because she is being fostered in a home with cats and should be perfect.
It is our sponsored dog walk tomorrow, fingers crossed for the rain to stay away and for lots of people to turn up with their dogs and for the sponsor money to come rolling in! Veronica is coming in to do the refreshments, Im sure a hot cup of tea or cofffee will be very welome by the walkers if it is as cold as it is today.
I have spent the day in the office trying to catch up with some of the paperwork and answering the phone.I try to be as pleasant and polite as I can possibly be but sometimes it is hard to muster the enthusiasm to put on this front with certain callers. Callers like the one I have just spoken to who was reporting a missing shih Tzu only to tell me the 11 years old dog had been missing since thursday sometime!! When I queried this vagueness about the time she told me she was away on holiday for a week, the dog was left in the back yard with her mother popping in twice a day to check on him and although he was there in the morning he had vanished by the evening!!! How could you leave a little elderly lapdog like that in a back yard for a week? I did in fact tell her that was the wrong thing to do, I just could not help myself. He was neither microchipped nor wearing ID on his collar though it sounds to me more like he has been stolen.I just hope it was not kids who took him, I would like to think someone kind heard the dog crying and knew the owner had gone away on holiday and has taken him to a better home. I know it is not an action I should be condoning but that is no way to care for an animal.
It is now pouring with rain, the horses have settled down and are munching away at their hay and it is time for me to go and munch away at my meal, that is if it isn't burnt! I did put it on low heat so with a bit of luck it will be edible.(for a change)

Friday, 17 September 2010

The Boys are back in Town

The Boys Are Back In Town! Well they will be on saturday anyway and they are actually two boys and a girl ! I just thought that title sounded good! (photos will be posted tomorrow late evening) I have been so anxious to bring them home with the sudden change in the weather.Old Callie(38 years old) looks well, as does the Big Boy but Freddie will be coming back just in time, he is starting to drop weight;being part thoroughbred he is not as hardy as the other two and does not winter as well . We managed to find a neighbour who owned a horsebox who is willing to transport them back for us. Our own horse trailer needs a new axel on the wheel(I think thats what it is?) so is out of use until that is fixed. Mind you it would only be suitable for carrying ponies or smaller horses than Buster and this way all three will; moved in one go which is nicer for the horses.It is wonderful having free grazing for so many of our horses during the summer months but I do enjoy seeing them return. The winter months do mean more hard work, particularly for the horse staff and it is a time when few volunters will brave the conditions to help out here so I shall try to find someone else through one of the organisations setting up to help people get back into work. The only problem with these is that many of the men and women who opt to work with animals are halfhearted about it and it becomes apparent when they stop turning up every day and make excuses for failing to turn in. Eventually it becomes a nuisance which is a shame as there are some who genuinely enjoy working but it does rather put me off taking more on through these schemes.Is it worth the paperwork involved?

You can tell winter is not far away if only because of the increase in telephone calls and emails requesting us to take in horses.If only I had acres and acres of land and plenty of money I would find it hard to refuse any of them. Todays request was for a 16.2hands cross Cleveland Bay who has developed problems with his back and his hind leg, the vet has said he must not be ridden and he is kept at an expensive livery yard so once again a horse is unwanted for the same reason, he cannot be ridden.It truly breaks my heart. I will try very hard to find this fellow a good home but as his owner says not many people want a horse this size as a companion to another.They want smaller cheaper to feed and care for companion animals. I am waiting for a photograph of him so I can start looking for a suitable home. Please god let me find one.

I have come to an arrangement with the Dogs Trust,depending on whether Jennifer the kennel owner (and Dog Pound)will participate, They have agreed that she can send neutering vouchers out with any dogs she rehomes herself or are claimed by their owner and any dogs which we home from that Dog Pound will also come under the same scheme.This means a lot to us, the cost of neutering is very high and our vets bill escalates rapidly if we are having to neuter dogs as well as cats. In return I will follow up those she has rehomed herself with vouchers and ensure that they have been used.A small price to pay for such welcome assistance. They have also agreed to cover the costs of the last 6 dogs we have had spayed/neutered but from now on owners of dogs we take will have to either have them neutered themselves via the voucher scheme(and I am not convinced many will bother) or they will have to allow us to photocopy their pension book or benefit document in order for us to receive help with the cost. All in all I am pleased to be able to work with the Dogs Trust to promote the sterilisation of dogs in Wales. I am even more pleased to know that they are setting up a scheme to promote the neutering of farm dogs. I will be first in line to help them with that. It is fine for me and others to take a few of these unwanted dogs but if so many were not being bred it would be a lot more sensible and shelters like mine would not be under so much pressure to take them in. There is only so much anyone can do and the numbers of unwanted farm collies is overwhelming. Its good to know there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

Just had another call from a farmer wanting to part with FOUR sheepdogs, no good for working. In all fairness this farmer treats his dogs well, we have had dealings with him in the past and he actually has one of our horses on loan which is wonderfully cared for and cossetted. I have seen him and his brother cuddling the dogs in their arms and unlike some of the farm dogs, his are neither neglected nor scared of human beings. Nevertheless they are farmers and the dogs are for working but he would never want anything untoward to happen to them and I prefer to help rather than condemn in this case. There is a family from Wolverhampton coming to see Gel the 2 years old sheepdog which we had neutered last week; Gel has been with his owners who were happy to hang on to him until we had a possible home.Heres hoping it works out tomorrow..

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Naughty Jenny from the Pound

I did my stint in the charity shop and was I glad to get home! The only bright part of the day for me is when customers bring in their dogs and I get to interact with them. So many came in with yorkshire terriers today, there are so many about, they must surely be one of the most popular dog breeds in the Uk. Does anybody know if that is the case?I would be interested to know.

Veronica Bookeeper has taken whippet pup Scooby home to foster, I was not surprised, like me she has a fondness for this type of dog and not much coercion is needed to persuade her to foster . I have had the first enquiry for him today and am waiting for another email to find out more about the home she is offering.The lady has an Italian Greyhound so Scooby would make a nice compatible friend for her little dog. Years ago I had an Italian Greyhound called Mr Whippy, you dont see many of them nowadays especially in the North of England and Wales. I have always wondered why they are not more popular especially with the elderly as they are such dainty gentle animals but for some reason Yorkies and Westies seem to be the preferred companions . Perhaps the skinny appearance of Whippets etc do not appeal as much as the little hairy dogs?

Jenny from the Pound arrived today.No NOT Jenny from the block! Jenny came in from a dog pound,she is a sweet natured young collie whose owners failed to claim her and I think I may have found the reason why! This afternoon she slipped her lead and at first ran round making a big fuss of me and Tasha the other dog I was walking , She would not stay still long enough for me to catch her and put the lead back on and then all of a sudden she shot off up the fields. Racing after her(well stumbling after her to be honest) I found her trying to round up the ponies and she would not respond to my voice at all. For about half an hour I tried in vain to attract her attention but she was hell bent on the round up. By then the ponies were becoming tired of this stupid game and aimed a few warning kicks at her but she dodged them nimbly and went on doing the work she had obviously been trained to do (though with sheep) I was beginning to think I would never get hold of her but all of a sudden she seemed to tire and came over to me which gave me the chance to get hold of her and put her lead back on. What a nightmare. As soon as she goes out to a foster home the better and she will clearly have to be rehomed out of sheep country. This is more than likely the reason she ended up in the Dog Pound, no farmer will keep a dog which refuses to respond to simple commands. At lerast now she has achance of a good and long life in a pet home
Mei thinks she is the Horse Whisperer now because she is bonding with New Horse Sorrell - wherever she goes Sorrell follows. I dont like to spoil her illusions but as she is the one who feeds her it is most likely a case of cupboard love , hoping if she follows her around for long enough, she will end up being given a titbit or two! I think she can see posters of herself with writing on saying ' Meirwen Hughes Horse Whisperer coming to a venue near You, come and see her at work . ' We all have our dreams but some are more achievable than others! Never mind Mei, keep up the good work. Truthfully though, when Mei first worked here she was terrified of horses and I have to say that now she is very good with them and has learned a great deal over the years, you would never believe that she once would not enter a field with them and would do anything rather than go near even the smallest of our ponies, little Noddy. Maybe I will have to eat my words one day!
I do have a new stove now and it is being installed this week, not before time either as I have just been told that there is talk of a very cold spell and snow coming to the Uk at the end of this month. Great, that is NOT something to look forward to. To those who work at animal shelters it heralds the onset of more hard work and hardship. It also means I need to get my horses back from their summer grazing homes as quickly as posssible and I am still unable to find anyone with a big enough vehicle to transport Big Buster.The man who took him to his summer home is impossible to contact , a message has been left with someone in the village who has a large horsebox, hopefully she will respond favourably and we can get the horses moved this week.

Monday, 13 September 2010

A Pair of Calamity Janes.

I am writing this with one eye half closed and my face a delightful mix of colours ranging from red, and purple to dark blue and black; No I have not had my face painted nor have I gone five rounds with Mike Tyson but What I have done is to headbutt my tanklike 4x4 Toyota truck -not a sensible move you might think and you would be right. Of course it was not deliberate though on reflection it was a pretty stupid accident. I normally leave my car parked in the same place every day but yesterday I moved it close to the cattery in order to unload the catfood I had bought and I forgot to move it. On Sunday we were expecting the people to come for the collie pup and I sat down on the ground(at the back of the car) to make a fuss of Millie.Just then Tasha (an unpredictable canine resident here) came racing into the yard and I thought she might attack the puppy or worse so I grabbed hold of her collar, turned to get up , forgot the car was right behind me and headbutted the fender or something equally as hard! I was lucky that the damage was done just underneath my right eye but its a pretty gruesome sight.As if I dont have enough dents in the car already! Picture taken a day later and with some make up to cover worst of bruising! Thanks to the staff who helped me to my feet and administered first aid and sympathy I was soon back to work.
Mei also has had an accident, this time with the quad bike which overturned on her and she very narrowly missed being squashed though she is badly bruised .She had thought she heard someone calling her and in that split second she lost concentration and that is when the accident occurred The pair of us sat for hours waiting to be seen today in the casualty unit at Bangor Hospital and A right pair of bruisers we looked too.Fortunately Meis injuries are not life threatening and I hopefully will not be scarred for life so we may look horrendous but we will both live to rescue (animals)another day.

On to more important animal issues now, there are so many horrid animal abuse stories in the media at the moment and so many poor inadequate sentences being meted out to the perpetrators I can only wonder when this Government is going to take a stance against the evil minded thugs in our society and when they will realise that animal abusers have no respect for other human beings either and they are just one step away from mugging an elderly person, abusing children and women and even murder and maybe they have already begun to move on to people?
The pathetic sentences these scum receive is not even halfway to being a deterrent.What does it take for the Powers that be to stand up and come down heavily on those who do not deserve to walk the streets in freedom. I believe we are at a point in our society where if things do not change soon for the better, the lawless amongst us will become stronger and have even less respect for their environment and the animals and people with whom they share the planet. Something drastic has to be done - and SOON. There is a lot to be said for the Buddhist way of revering all life forms, if only the evil and the bad could somehow be indoctrinated into that mindset.What a nice world we would live in then.
2 more lovely cats came in today, they were abandoned by their owner who moved house about a year ago and neighbours have been feeding them ever since.Now with winter not too far away they have become concerned for the welfare of the cats. Judging by the sheer size of them, they have been doing the rounds of the neighbours and eating a hearty meal in each home.They are ENORMOUS. A litter of kittens has been taken into our Porthmadog shop and fosterer Dorothy is caring for them until we have space. Trish who runs this shop often asks her husband Bob to help out with transport and it was he who delivered the whippet pup and collected the pregnant tabby to take to Fosterer Mion.
Whippet pup Scooby is filled with joy at having so much exercise here, he is not in the best condition, we have had to deflea and worm him, he has fleabites on his head and is suffering with ear mites too but in a few weeks his coat should begin to look better and with the treatment he has had today the fleas and earmites should vanish. I do love whippets and lurchers, oh and
greyhounds too. They may be ardent hunters but they are so loving and affectionate and not all are bad with other animals. My William was a perfect example of that, he was wonderful with all other creatures and I know many people who own greyhounds which live happily with pet cats. This little man should prove very desirable once his details go on the website.
Big Black Labrador Loughlin went today, he was a little nervous when he first met his new people but soon grew to like them.I think this dog has had so little socialisation in his last home
that he is simply unused to meeting new people and is understandeable apprehensive when he first meets them. He had grown to love life here although he had been with us such a short time,He enjoyed the regular walks and the attention from the staff and as with many dogs who have not been in the most suitable of homes, he would have been happy to live here permanently. I know some think that life in a shelter is No life for a dog and I agree to a certain extent, I for one love to see them going out to homes of their own but it has to be remembered that some dogs are happier than they have ever been and although we know they will be better off somewhere else, they do not have that foresight so are scared when they leave us for the unknown.
I am off to Llandudno tomorrow to be a shop assistant for the day, hope I dont scare off the customers!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

One Pup out, One pup in

I could not resist putting these last minute photos on.One pup out(Millie shown here with fosterer Cariad) and Scooby whippet in(shown here with a headless Mei!
The other lovely photo has just been sent to me and shows the Gill lookeylikey collie who now goes by the pretty name of Amica with the two children of her new family.Doesn't she look happy.Im so pleased for her.
Finally have just been sent photos of Precious and pals.The one shown here is of Precious enjoying a knee for the first time in a very long time.
To see these animals looking so happy and knowing they will now be appreciated means so much.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Its The Week of The Gingers and goodbye Luca and Medi.

It has been a very busy weekend here and I am delighted to say that we have found homes for 4 adult cats ,5 kittens and 2 dogs and a puppy . Luca the young German Shepherd met his new family today (from Kent)and his new playmate - a 6 years old staff whose Bull mastiff companion has just died. I hope that she will enjoy Lucas' company as much as his. I was out collecting petfood from our bin at Pets at Home in Bangor so I missed seeing him go but Mei said the two dogs seemed to really hit it off. Medi the new collie, the Gill lookeylikey has gone to live in Wiltshire with 2 cross collies as friends.She needs feeding up, she is underweight and permanently ravenous(unlike me who is OVERweight and permanently ravenous!) Its so good to know they have new lives ahead of them considering that both were abandoned by owners who did not give a damn what happened to them. May both of them , whoever they are, eventually receive retribution for their actions.I would prefer to think they would have regrets and try to make amends but ,sceptic that I am, it may be stretching credulity a little too far! Mind you stranger things have happened.

Speaking of Pets at Home, they are having an adoption publicity drive and will be selling raffle tickets instore so in October we will be attending the store with a stall of our sales goods, xmas cards and calendars and maybe xmas puds if they arrive in time. Whatever the store raises during that week will come to us. I will publicise the date as soon as I have it confirmed. The charity food bin was overflowing with goodies today, lots of food and toys for the animals and even a lovely fluffy cat bed. With the catfood I had bought too there was little room in my car by the time it was all loaded up with the help of Matt the manager. Donations of petfood can make a big difference to our weekly food bill but we get very little, unlike the Liverpool shelter who exist almost on donations of cat and dog food.They do help us whenever they receive more than they need but then we have to get it from Liverpool to North Wales and that is not always possible.

The cats, Old Precious and her companions have finally gone to live the life they should be leading, in a nice family home where they will be loved and cared for by cat loving people.They have promised me photos and updates and in fact I have just received an email from them telling me that the cats have already started to settle down and are loving the affection. That is brilliant news, just what I wanted to hear. Fudge a handsome ginger and white has also been chosen for a new home (he is the one with the white chest)and has gone to live with another cat in the Machynlleth area, though we have 3 more gingers brought in. Buster,Missy and Nunu are 3 years old and their owner could no longer afford to keep them. Ginger cats are very popular and provided they do not have the temperament of the devil(as does our lovely Cariad) they are reasonably easy to home.

My sister and niece worked in the Llandudno Charity shop on Saturday and did very well. From what I gather Niece Vanessa missed her vocation in life! Manager Jan is on a weeks holiday so I too will have to do a stint there, probably on Tuesday.This shop has such potential to do very well as long as we receive the goods for sale and thereby lies the problem.Having said that we are receiving more donations than in previous months thanks to constant appeals but with so many charity shops competing with each other it can be hard to keeep the shop well stocked. When I go I will have a car loaded up with stuff which people have brought here so Sister Sandra (no she is NOT a nun) and I will be kept busy. Shop work is definitely not my cup of tea never having been good at maths.If someone gives me a five pound note and wants something worth £1.25, I become a gibbering wreck and panic. When I was in my twenties I worked as receptionist /cashier in a nightclub called The Kingsway in Southport and if it had not been for a very helpful Bouncer who wrote me a list of prices and change to be given(hidden behind the counter) I would have been sacked on the first day!
Puppy Millie proved to be very popular on the website and not long after her photo appeared she was reserved.Fosterer Cariad says she loves children but remains a little nervous of men.Well that is to be expected given her poor beginnings in life, now that DOES make me angry.No pup is born with a fear of men and that a pup her age should have had experiences to make her feel that way makes my blood boil. Thankfully she was removed in time and was not forced to spend a lifetime with someone who did not deserve to have such a precious life to ruin.
Another pup is coming to me today and when I heard it was a whippet, I was momentarily tempted as I miss my William so much but in the end common sense prevailed. This dear little pup was bought for an exorbitant sum as a gift but was unwanted by the recipient.This is one reason it is never a good idea to buy animals as presents. Sometimes the recipient is a genuine animal lover but may have decided not to have another pet for one reason or another, in this case it was another member of the family(a husband I think) who put his foot down.
The gentleman who was interested in Tess the staffordshire Bull Terrier came back to see her today and this time brought his wife along. We had high hopes that they would take her but the wife(sorry to call her that but dont know her name) has some reservations. It is understandeable of course; if she has visiting grandchildren she will want to be sure that any dog they take has the right temperament but although we have been told she has lived with children and she was certainly fine with the children that were here today(Cariads - human Cariad not feline Cariad!)her own grandchildren are apparently younger . I know her husband reads my blog and although we would love them to take Tess it has to be right for them and they need to be sure of their decision being the right one.
We are still waiting for the three horses Buster,Callie and Freddy to be brought back to the shelter, we are dependent on Gronwey finding the time to do it but he is in the meantime taking hay to them which is a help to us. I am still trying to find someone to do the homecheck in Frodsham for the two ponies Marigold and Melba. With a home waiting it does not make sense to bring them back here and then to go,it is best that they go straight to their new home. Maybe I need to put out another appeal for this. There is also a home locally for two shetland ponies, Rosie is going there this week to see what she thinks, I have already been and want her opinion before we make a decision.There is nothing wrong at all with he people or the land but as shetlands can become laminitic so easily I want Rosie to talk to them at length, she is so much more experienced than I. If these four do go out I am considering giving shelter to another horse, a 22 years old gelding called Morris who is arthritic and whose owner is now unemployed and can no longer afford his stabling etc. Clearly he will not find a home as a riding horse so his chances of living out his natural life is slim to say the leas
Ps: the owl did not survive, his wing was too badly damaged to save, poor bird.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Gill makes herself at home in France and 2 cats are admitted.

Another collie has been brought in, another one for Rosie I think. One of my neighbours found her locally ,she is thin and matted and is delirious to be with people again, has she been out wandering for some time perhaps? It is rare to find a collie being so clingy, especially the farm dogs who are unused to much attention anyway.On the other hand it is unlikely she has been a pet, she is far too dirty and unkempt looking.Another mystery which may or may not be solved! Had Gill collie not been homed to France a few days ago, I would swear that this was her, they are almost identical, even to their personalities. Collie females are nearly always in demand so I shall go through my list of people waiting for a sheepdog. Incidentally I heard from Gills new carer today, Gill managed the journey to France very well and has settled in well with the other welsh collie(see photo) She has had her blood test done there , so she will be able to travel back to the Uk anytime with her full passport. She is a very lucky dog, there is plenty of land there for her to run about in and she even has a Welsh Owner so she does not need to learn a new language!
Old Bramble is very wobbly on his legs and I think his organs are about to go into failure.He is still coming for walks but his gait is less and less steady and when he lies down he struggles to get up.Coupled with the panting he does which is an indication of heart problems I think his time is near. I am just glad he did not go to the Dog Pound when he was found and has instead spent a happy time with me in the house.
The kitten room is ready to open again, nothing is sneezing and all inmates are looking good, what a relief, I thought we were heading for a full blown Flu virus.
A gorgeous tabby cat has come in, she was found in the Caernarfon area and at the moment I am anxious to bring in any strays from around the town due to a spate of cat killings and disappearances. One of our Freshfields cats has recently been shot dead , she was rehomed a s a kitten and was just nine months old ,its a terrible situation and many cat owners are so frightened for their pets that they are keeping them indoors at the moment. Youngsters are suspected and that is probably right but if caught what will happen to them - NOT A LOT. Its not much comfort to those who lose their pets this way.Anyhow this cat is quite heavily pregnant so will go to one of our fosterers to have her babies in comfort
Handyman John left his tools behind to collect a cat for us from an estate in Bangor, she was found in a box with a kitten and she is barely more than a kitten herself. Unfortunately the kitten had already been given away(I say unfortunately because the mother cat seems distressed and still has milk).
No sooner had I settled her into a pen and given her food when a family turned up wanting two kittens.Just the sort of home I like, where their own cats had been with them for many years and eventually died of natural causes.I dont mean I like them because their cats died ! I like the fact that they had kept them for their lifetime. Well Mei and I are so thrilled, they have chosen not two but THREE black and white kittens about 10 weeks of age. Admittedly Mei did try her old "why have 2 if you can have 3 technique but I have a feeling they had it in mind anyway once they saw the three siblings.
Sorrell has bonded with Shane and Bobby, two of the Anglesey ponies and when we tried to put her out in a field today, she fretted for them so we had to bring her back. As Bobby and Shane have laminitis they cannot go out in the field just yet which is why we decided to put Sorrell out with other ponies but she was not having any of it, she has made friends and that is it. Sorrell
has decided Little Bobby and Shane are to be in her gang so we will have to find a way round the fact that they need different routines and work with it. I am glad she has settled in so easily and far be it for me to come between friends. The sore on her neck is healing well and she has almost finished her antibiotics.
This summer(!) we had real problems finding someone to come and shear our sheep and only today did we manage to get them done. Rosie managed to find a man willing to do it and who
donated his services too.I am so relieved, and also glad it is warmer.Mind you they have a shelter if they need it though they seldom do. Heather, one of our volunteers was delighted to take the fleeces away with her for some creative reason,I dont think she was going to spin it but she had something in mind for it so we were only too pleased for her to take it away.
Next time she comes to help I must remember to ask her exactly what she did with it.
No blog Friday, next one will be Sunday.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The office roof is fixed and a threatened pup is rescued.

A lady in Northumberland contacted me today so she is going to do the homecheck for Lockie Labrador.Thats good news, maybe he will soon be esconced in Geordieland or wherever Northumberland is , I never was very good at Geography. Apologies to anybody severely shocked by my lack of intellect.I promise to dust off my book of world maps and teach myself a little more about the whereabouts of that county(or is it a city?)and others. Where is Wales anyway?

An owl with an injured wing was brought to the shelter today, a van had clipped him and he was also in shock. The Van driver was genuinely upset but he kindly placed him in a box and drove him to us . At the moment the injured bird is at the vet surgery and I am awaiting a call to tell me how severe his injuries are and whether he will be able to be treated successfully. It all depends on how badly the wing is damaged.I dont know much about owls but he was quite small though not I think small enough to be a Little Owl. The only time I have seen Little Owls was seeing two perched on a tree branch opposite the Liverpool shelter and they did look littler than this. Little Owls really ARE little. Whatever he is I do hope he survives. They are such beautiful creatures. If he is ok, there is an Owl sanctuary in Ruthin so I will contact them for help. It is handy to have people who specialise in a particular species, we cannot all know everything about everything and sometimes it is best to turn to the specialists.In Liverpool, of course, we have our own wildlife/bird unit and Lynn who runs that unit has by now had years of experience with baby birds and injured wildlife. Here in North Wales there is a dearth of wildlife /bird specialists or rather those who will take in injured ones. I have only been made aware of Ann in Anglesey who does a wonderful job but it would be great if someone else more local would take up an interest in this. We have to drive quite a distance to take wildlife to be rehabilitated.

New Horse Sorrell is not at all keen on having her antibiotics injected daily(and who can blame her, not me thats for sure!) We will all be relieved when the course finishes. Her passport came with her of course and the owner brought a letter stating that she has purchased the horse from someone which gave her the right to dispose of her.However, when the passport was handed over to me I saw that Sorrell was registered to someone different entirely so now I have to contact THAT person who is the woman who bred her in the first place and get her to sign the horse over to the charity. This is what happens when people do not register their animals .Its like having a pet microchipped, giving it away and the new owner not bothering to reregister in their name.It causes confusion as to who the real owner is and when it comes down to it, the true owner is the one in whose name the passport is registered. To be honest this Horse Passport business is a farce. The policing of it is virtually an impossibility and it does not even safeguard the horse against possible theft. All it does is keep people in jobs with all the paperwork attached to it and create a lot of extra expense to horse and pony sanctuaries like ourselves and to owners.

We had a nice chap came up at the weekend who was very taken with Tess the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and spent over an hour with her , He had lost his own Staffordshire recently and he was adamant he would come back for her but so far there has been no sign of him, so disappointing. I wonder if his wife was not so keen on the idea? Still, the week is not over yet, though I think he would have rung if it was definite. I thought it was too good to be true. She is so nice and has led such a second rate life I was hoping that she would not be in our care as long as the last staff Jade who took over a year to find the right home. Come on Lesley think Positive! Negative thoughts bring negative energy so I am told by more enlightened people I know so from this point on I am going to tell myself that Tess WILL find a loving home soon and she WILL NOT languish here for months and months. Now lets see what that will bring!
Our Christmas Pud order has been processed so I would like to think that many of the charity suppoprters will help us by purchasing them from us and not the local supermarket. I want then to arrive in time for our Cake Sale and Fair on October 15th at Porthmadog and in time for people to receive the joint newsletter from Liverpool and Wales in which there will be an order form. It is always a risk trying anything new in our fundraising ventures but I think it sound like a good idea, time will tell if it a successful one. Roll Up, Roll Up, BUY YOUR XMAS PUDDINGS HERE.

A lovely Fox Terrier was brought in an hour ago and wonders will never cease - he was microchipped so with a couple of phone calls his owners have turned up to collect him. Thats the way to do it. Some dogs will find a way out of any garden and he is an escape artist apparently but with a microchip he can be, and was, returned to his rightful owner so quickly.The Power of the Microchip! They have also been receptive to advice on neutering and agree that it is the best thing for him if he is to stop his wanderlust in pursuit of attractive Welsh Canine Beauties !!
This morning a Farmer from Huddersfield came on the phone wanting an older sheepdog to replace one he uses at the moment which is not showing promise working the sheep. When I enquired what he would do with the other one, he was a bit hesitant with his answer but then admitted he would shoot him, the way he shot the dogs father also. Unfortunately to many farmers this is the obvious and quick solution to the dilemma of having a dog which is no use as a working animal. Naturally I immediately offered to give the dog a home to which he was amenable so I am just waiting for affirmation that he definitely wants to get rid of him and then I will look for someone in that area to collect him. He promised to let me know by tomorrow and that he would stand by his word to let me have him. All I know is that the sheepdog is 2 years old and is red and white, I am anxious to have him away from the farm as soon as possible but I do believe the man will be as good as his word. nevertheless worrying about his situation has caused me a night of sleep deprivation and today my head is really banging away!
Peter has arrived with friends to fix the office roof and it is almost done, I am so pleased that there should be no more problems with electricity failing and computers crashing. Mr Bailey has been a wonderful help to the shelter, giving his time for free and supplying all the materials for these big jobs and he will also be thrilled to take his kitten home as she is now over her sneezing which could have been the start of cat flu but she got over it very quickly and is lively and healthy once again.

Pictured here are a litter of 6 weeks! old domestic kittens brought in which turned out to be totally feral and about 4 months of age. This is a bit older than most of the feral kittens we take in, it is pretty hard to domesticate them once they reach this age but a couple of the tabbies seem to be responding fairly well although the pretty pale ginger one on the left remains as fierce as he was when he was first admitted. Probably he will have to be neutered when old enough and released into our feral enclosure until a suitable home turns up for him.
Finally this lovely collie female pup was admitted, the owner was threatening to kill her so a neighbour removed her from him and brought her here to safety. She is very nervous and her tail has yet to appear from between her legs,it is obvious she has been abused if not physically , then verbally, it is apparent in the expression in her eyes.Cariad will foster her but I think I may already have a home for her. Today my anger over these cases , or rather the pet owners who behave in this callous way has almost dissipated into a feeling of weariness. I think it is a case of my brain being in overload! I remember when there were beauty queen contests on the television and the simpering contestants were asked what they would like to be or do if they had one wish and most said they wanted world peace! Somehow I do not think that was a sincere answer and I am certainly no beauty queen but if someone asked me the same question , the answer would be " for human beings to treat not only each other with kindness and respect but to understand that animals too have a place on earth and should be accorded the same treatment". There are days I do not want to watch the news or read a newspaper for fear of learning about the latest atrocity to be inflicted on members of the animal world. Thank goodness for those who fight and campaign against them. The courageous ones, like my Sea Shepherd friend who works for Greenpeace now and who has led an expedition to save whales from the Japanese whaling ships. I am in awe of anyone who shows that much courage . That is real commitment and dedication.