Saturday, 31 December 2011

We Need More Cat Homes.

Many  of our cats have been at the shelter for a year, this is  a very long time for an animal to be incarcerated, even at a shelter where they receive lots of love and everything a cat could wish for it is not an ideal situation. They  - need freedom and a home to call their own. If anybody can help distribute posters requesting homes, it is available as a download on our website.I would appreciate people spreading the word as much as possible/
I am focusing on four such cats who are in desperate need of homes and  will be promoting them as much as I can. The local papers do occasionally feature our animals but we seldom have a response from the articles so we need to think of another way to promote ourselves to the media and encourage more people to offer homes. All suggestions welcome. What often worked at the Liverpool shelter fails to work in this area unfortunately but please get in touch with ideas. I will also be putting them on the catchat website under the Top Cats section.
Pictured are the four cats I have opted to promote this month. Harry the white and tabby is four years old ( his owners moved overseas )and we admitted Harry and several of his pals(some also still here) Then there are Bobo and Annie,  sweet natured middle aged cats who must stay together and timid Poppet the grey and white who fails to attract attention from visitors as she is shy and holds back when strangers come into the cattery. All have been here over a year now and we need to work together to try and place them in suitable homes. Please spread the word about our many lovely cats.

We have had some success today , two of our older kittens have been adopted, and Molly the lurcher too. Her foster mum Alison has done a great job with her, she has greatly improved from the trembling little dog we first saw and I have heard from the family who took her brother Iolo and he too is coming along well. When they are  so young it takes a very short time for them to lose their fear so I am pleased they were admitted before their nervousness became a long term problem. Pictured here is Molly and her new family and canine friend(Molly is on right) The two dogs hit it off well  and don 't they look similar?
We have had 5 ex farm dogs on our waiting list for several weeks and today we admitted three pups from one of the females. Thanks to the new Dogs Trust Scheme of offering free neutering  to farmers for their working dogs, we were able to suggest this to the owner and he has booked all of the adult dogs in for spaying/neutering which will be a great help to us when they arrive here. Sometimes we have to wait two weeks for an appointment  and if they are already neutered, they can be rehomed that much quicker. The pups are in good condition and are red and white like their mum. A lot of people like this colour ((more like the original Welsh Sheepdogs)so they should find loving homes pretty soon.
Suggestions for names will be welcome, there are two boys and a girl.The girl is the one on the right at the back.

Like so many people who keep in touch with Freshfields via facebook, I was so angry about the pregnant lurcher thrown over their fence. Yes ,the owner at least abandoned his dog where she would be taken care of but to hurl a pregnant bitch from the boot of his car over the fence is cruel to say the least. I am pleased she already has been offered a home and that the pups she is  carrying appear to be unharmed.

A few days ago I received an impassioned pleas from a lady called Claire  who had lost one of her elderly ponies. The surviving pony was becoming very depressed without his longtime companion and she wanted to know if we had a suitable pony she could have.  After a chat with Rosie and Mei, it was decided that Caspar the little grey whose own companion Honey had died a few months ago, might fit the bill.
The home was checked for suitability and passed, and yesterday Caspar went off to his new home in Anglesey. I rang to see how he was doing and he has made friends already with his new pal; the two are already following each other around the paddock and Claire is delighted to see her old pony brighten up again
22 years old  Caspar pictured (pn left) is seen here with his old companion Honey and Rocky the coloured horse.This was taken a year ago at the shelter .I think Caspar  will be happier with a special companion of his own, he is a sweet natured little pony and will have plenty of attention where he is now.

Friday, 30 December 2011

One Happy Staffie.

First I must tell you all that little Jacky the border terrier returned after 24 hours went immediately to another home where she is adored and they cannot believe that the first people had any good reason to bring her back.She is perfect they tell me, so  happily she will now be able to settle into a new and better life. Of the two young lurchers who came from the same home Iolo the boy has been adopted and there is just Molly now to rehome.Her foster family say she is doing really well so her turn will come soon , of that I am sure. All three are  very nervous and trembly but are improving daily.
Jack the staff has left us today and I am so delighted to find a home for him though there is another on Death Row in the Pound so he may soon be replaced by the next abandoned Staffordshire bull terrier. I had decided not to take another but this one is apparently a very thin female which has clearly had lots of litters of pups and I felt I could not let her down. Where are all the pups now? One wonders how many of them will end up in shelters or pounds? I will try to find  a place for her by next Monday.
Jacks new family have sent this photo  and how happy he looks, this is exactly what Jack loves, being in the centre of things, he is a lucky boy.

A lovely young collie was taken to be put to sleep and is now in local boarding kennels , we need to rehome him away from sheep country as he attacked a sheep locally and that is unacceptable especially in an area such as this. Gel is a very friendly animal and will make someone a nice family pet. He has very strange ears, one is very large and pricked, the other is down but that just makes him more loveable in my eyes so hopefully others will fall in love with him too. By the way if anyone knows why some of my pics are coming out upside down do let me know! They look the right way when I post them.
We had a visit from a young couple who live in Machynlleth, they had three FIV positive cats from us a couple of years ago and they cared for them until the last one died a few months ago. Now they want to take not three but four  more cats with problems . I just love it when people are willing to take on animals which others will overlook. Anyhow they are going to take deaf Charley who is 7 years old, Poppy who has been here 2 years and is a very temperamental cat (which does not endear  her to visitors) and two more ( not yet decided upon) but likely to be longterm residents .They are unable to take them until the end of January but none of these cats are likely to find homes easily so the wait will be worth it. What a morale boost this is to all of us who so desperately want ALL the cats to find caring homes, no matter how grumpy or ill natured they are. Frances and partner - we love you.

LLama news  - Blitzen seems stronger on his back legs today and for the first time since the accident happened, I feel more  hopeful. He is still unable to use them properly but he is trying and managing to raise himself about a foot off the ground. The Vet says he has not lost his feeling in them so there has to be hope.We have made a decision to bring him to the shelter so we can nurse him back to health , and of course  Rudolph and Santa will be coming too. We have the move planned for Tuesday and have booked the Vet to give him another pain killer before he travels. John and Dave are sorting out a field shelter for them so Blitzen will stay inside but the other two boys will be able to have access to it also - Rudolph in particular. likes his warm bed so we need to make a small barrier that they can step over. We will,have to move a group of ponies which is not ideal but until they are all used to seeeing one another we need to keep them apart. I imagine there will be a lot of curiosity amongst the horses  when they arrive and I admit to feeling a little apprehensive myself!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Phone and internet problems.

  John in Festive Mood on Xmas Eve!

The LLamas appeared to settle well the first night in their new home but the following morning I received an
urgent call from Angie saying one had broken out and was running up amd down the road near her property.The other three were calling him and had become very agitated.  Rosie, Dave,Teg and I jumped in our cars and rushed to the rescue but thankfully by the time we arrived Naughty Llama had returned to the fold and equilibrium had been restored . The Alpacas in the next field were thoroughly enjoying the disturbance , clearly regarding it as the entertainment of the day and were all peering over the fence watching the New Boys behaving badly!
New Volunteer here at the shelter Brendan loves LLamas (also  Donkeys and Goats)and today he offered to take food down to the Boys so he could meet them in person. It saved me a trip and gave him the opportunity to take stock of our new animal friends.
Hopefully over Christmas they will have become more settled, Angie has told me one of them appears to be bullying the others but Brendan who has had some experience caring for LLamas believes this is just because they are still in the process of settling into a new home.I hope this is the case as it would present me with a further problem if they had to be separated.

Little Jacky the border terrier went to her new home AND WAS RETURNED THE NEXT DAY! The reason given was that she smelled badly(she had been bathed before she went!) and they believed she had an infection. We sent her to the vet, guess what - there was nothing wrong with her at all. I was very angry and disappointed.This little dog is such a dear sweet natured animal but I am sure there is the right person out there for her, in fact someone else is going to see her today. Fingers crossed for a good outcome.

Interest has been shown in a couple of the collies but we are so close to Christmas now that  nothing much will happen before the New Year.The best news of all  for me and for  the two middle aged Jack Russells Dodger and Nancy  is that they have been adopted at long last .I am planning to ring later to see how they are getting on. I was starting to believe that I would have them forever and although I loved them dearly(they are such characters) they so  needed to be in a home of their own. The fact they are out of shelter life has made my Christmas a better one already.

Three adult cats have also been adopted and that has meant three more have been admitted from the huge waiting.There are so many cats waiting for places here and it seems an age since we were able to make any inroads into that list. I am banking on loads of visitors in the New Year, all clamouring for cats!!
Photo of staff on xmas day.
from left to right Gail, Kim,Rhian and Sue
 Due to popular demand all staff will be wearing bright pink onesies next Xmas (and that includes the men!)

Also pictured is Paddy (in  another upside  down photo)after his Christmas Lunch . He is doing really well now after his life saving operation.  Mei took the  photo of me  with the three Jack Russells  on my knee. Champ , Lucy and Sally the (temporary) resident. You may remember that 11 years old Lucy and 4 years old Champ were originally our Office dogs but when I realised they were never going to be adopted, (due to their temperamental ways with strangers) I decided to adopt them myself. Black and white Sally is the deaf terrier I took in a month ago and I am still hoping for a home to turn up for her as she would be happier as an only dog.

11 years old  ex Scouser Patch, as always is aloof and lurking near the tree, keeping well away from the other dogs. It is not that he does not like them, he loathes them! He is non aggressive fortunately but he despises them and likes to sleep as far away from them (and me)as possible.

December 28th

We have had no telephone or internet all over the holiday and even now it is coming and going so I am posting this blog with the hope that another will follow soon!
The Llama saga carried on with the situation deteriorating badly, on Christmas Eve Naughty LLama was bullying the others so badly he had to be separated and this caused great agitation in him but he had driven one into the ditch and we were worried he was going to kill him. Whilst we struggled to find a solution another accident happened and Blitzen, one of the friendlier ones was badly injured and as I write this we are hoping against hope that he will pull through, His back legs are at the moment not working and it is touch and go though he is fine in himself and eating well.We found a home for the Bully and  with great difficulty a number of us  managed to catch  and load him in the horse box and move him to his new place. He is not settling very well but it is early days and we have not given up on him just yet. It has been incredibly stressful and I feel so sorry for the lady fostering them who has been caused so much aggravation . We are unable to move the others until we know what is going to happen to   Blitzen as he cannot be left alone without his companions. At the moment nothing can be done until we know whether he is going to survive.

It has not been all bad news over Christmas. All the pups have been reserved and have now gone to new homes and  a few cats too.
I will try to get up to date with happenings in next blog.

I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday and  I would like to thank everyone for their messages and goodwill.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

LLama Rescue Goes Well

At 10am this morning Phoebe and her horsebox set off to collect the four unwanted LLamas which were in danger of losing their lives. Usually we telephone Phoebe when we need horses and ponies transporting but this was a first for her . Never having dealt with this species before, she was well out of her comfort zone but the animals were safely boxed and just after 11 am they arrived at their temporary home just a few minutes from the shelter.
Mei and I were waiting for their arrival with feelings of trepidation, we had received a call from Phoebe saying that the llamas were totally wild and unused to being handled. This filled me with a great deal of apprehension. Angie had been good enough to offer a safe haven for the animals but if they were wild, what had I landed them with and more to the point, was I ever going to be able to find them a permanent home? These questions were whirling round my mind when the horse box pulled up and then all of a sudden there they were - four very bewildered  LLamas huddling together for comfort. My heart went out to them.
They needed only a little encouragement to leave the trailer and make their way on to the field.  You can see on one of the photos, Mei peering nervously round the side of the trailer, I too did not know what to expect but positioned myself close to them so I could take  photos of their arrival. I had no idea whether they would spit at me(LLamas do that when scared) so I did not stand too close, however the four came out quietly and slowly walked across the field looking around them all the time as though working out what sort of a place they had been brought to. They seemed to approve and made their way across the field to the stream.
As soon as they reached it,they started to drink ...and drink ....and drink.They were so very thirsty. I noticed that their coats were dirty and quite matted, they did not seem to have been clipped for several years and one has a deformed  foot and a cut on his leg. After slaking their thirst they started to potter round the field and by the time I left seemed to be settling down nicely. Fosterer Angie and her husband have 7 pet Alpacas so are used to camelids(collective term for these animals)
These boys have now been named Noel, Santa, Blitzen and Elf ( as it is so close to Christmas in case nobdy grasped that fact!)

A Very Thirsty Blitzen who is also the one with the deformed front foot.

It cost Freshfields £95 in transportation fees to rescue these boys, worth every penny but we have to supply them with Hay  and Coarse Mix for the forthcoming winter months so if anyone locally can donate a few bales of hay, it will be gratefully accepted. We also have to figure out how to worm them so Angie will be giving them small feeds to entice them to come to her and hopefully she will be able to mix in the wormer with the feed though if they are anything like horses they will immediately recognise that there is something unpleasant in the food and spit it out! Its worth a try.At this stage |I have no idea  how long it will take to win their trust but at least they are in the hands of peoiple with some experise in this type opf exotic animal.
Then of course I have to find them a permanent home but for now they need to settle down and  we neeed to get them in better condition.

These poor boys were being offered free to anyone who would take them via the freecycle online site , and the attitude of the owner was quite appalling.  There was no interest in where they might end up  , whether they were likely to be slaughtered for their meat, no interest whatsoever. I am sure when they first arrived as babies,  they were made a great fuss of, but now at age 10 years they are surplus to requirements. It makes me so angry. Initially I was unsure all 4 would be able to fit in the horse trailer and I asked the owner of we could take 2 and return Tuesday for the other two but NO, he was adamant that if any were there on Monday they would be shot.  It has been a worrying few days but I can sleep easy tonight knowing they are safe from harm

The LLama rescue in South Wales, although they were unable to take them (they have 20 plus there) have been very helpful with information  I might need  for the day to day  the care of them  and they will be looking out for a home for them also. I am so pleased to have placed them in a  knowledgeable home(albeit  short term) and feel confident that Angie and her family will be able to cope.

On a more mundane but no less important note Bess collie has gone to a home today, her new people from St Asaph were delighted with her and  they all went off  very happily together. Felix the 12 years old cat has also left us for a lovely home.

All in all a very busy and fulfilling day for animals and humans.

PS: Forgot to mention earlier that Phoebes brother is Jeremy from Monkey World in Dorset. Anybody who is a fan of this series will know Jeremy as the keeper with a great bond with the orangutans. Phoebe says that they are his life, I did think he might make a suitable partner for me as I adore orangs  but seems he has married someone else. Oh well, missed out again!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

A Good Result.

Have had a call from the owner of the LLamas telling me that the man from LLandudno is no longer taking them and the animals will be shot on Monday if I dont take them. No pressure there then! I have spent all morning ringing people who may have the space and shelter for them, so far to no avail though I remain hopeful.We simply do not have a spare paddock and shelter adequate for four large animals and in spite of placing a national appeal online, there have been no offers of homes. I am waiting for a response from a call I made earlier and hoping, just hoping for a miracle!

Dear Ellie Whippet cross has left me for her new home in Dorset, it will be a long journey for her and I felt awful watching her go(I never enjoy this) though she will have two other rescue lurchers to play with so she should settle pretty well. Jackson will no doubt miss her company for a while, he enjoyed their 'chase me 'games though part of the game seemed to be 'Lets  have a laugh and knock Lesley over' when they would both cannon into me knocking me off my feet. Great Fun!

The owner of the three dogs who wanted rid of them brought in the two remaining dogs, he opened the back of his truck and the dogs shot to the back immediately cowering and would come nowhere near him! When asked to fill in the disclaimer form for them he was heard muttering his annoyance and he left without a word of thanks.    Only what I expected!
New foster mum Alison came to collect them and very grateful I was too, her daughter looked as though her xmas had come early and they drove away with their new charges snuggled up on her lap. They are clearly about to have the time of their lives with lots of cuddles and attention which is exactly what they need at the moment.
Jacky the sweet little border terrier has been great in her foster home and she actually is going to a new and permanent home tomorrow.I am really pleased for her and hope she soon brightens up in a caring loving environment.
The youngsters which I have called Molly and  Iolo (after the naturalist Iolo Williams )are very attractive cross collie/whippets and  should find homes in the New Year.(if I can prise them away from Alison and her daughter)
Tiger and Tabby cats have been reserved today so we are able to soon take in three adult cats from Mionwhich have been waiting to come in for months.They had been admitted with babies which have since been adopted,now it is the mums turn for rehoming and Mion willl have space again  for any emergency liters which we may hear  of.

YES!!!!!!!! A foster home locally has been offered for the four Llamas so I have arranged for them to be collected tomorrow.  More of this saga then. It's has been stressful to say the least, being given a time limit does no good for the nerves but it has been a good result in the end. I may be a quivering wreck but the Llamas will be  safe temporarily.

Friday, 16 December 2011

An Anonymous Letter causes me Grief.

Another manic day. My first call of the day was to ask me to take three dogs, a middle aged Border terrier and two cross collie lurcher types which had been bred deliberately for sale and had not been sold. I asked why the owner wanted rid of them and was told " I have too many Dogs!" When I asked why this was, he got nasty and in my most obseqious way I managed to alter  the tone of the conversation and managed to get the details - address etc before it all went t...s Up!!! It can be so hard remaining pleasant when dealing with calls like this but the animals are the most important issue and one has to try at all times to remember that fact. NOT always easy!
Anyway  Border terier Jackie(pictured here) has gone into a foster home in Anglesey, Stefan is a new foster person and this will be his first dog to care for, I hope he copes ok.She is a little sweetie and very shy and gentle(surprising for a border terrier) and before border owners castigate me for this comment I must stress that most I admit are like this one from a working environment so it is unusual for such a  dog to be so gentle. The other two youngsters are also going to a new foster person Alison in Pwllheli.Its fantastic to have these fosterers at this crucial time of year.They  could not come at a better time.

Two minutes after I replaced the telephone receiver from this caller, I had another request - to take FIVE     dogs! I asked what was the reason
and guess what I was told again  "I have Too Many Dogs"
This time it was  from a farmer and thankfully he is willing to hang on to them until the New Year.The five are unwanted sheepdogs, 4 red and white collies and a black and white one aged between 1 year and 2 years with just one middle aged male for whom we just may have a home waiting if all goes well. I told the Farmer that there is a scheme set up by the Dogs Trust to have Farm dogs neutered free of charge and asked if he would  consider taking them to the Vet for this. I was delighted that he agreed with  some alacrity, this will take the pressure off Freshfields and means they will be ready sooner for adoption.

I have been upset over a visit from the owner of William the horse with major back problems,It appears someone has sent her an anonymous letter which she believes is from me! In it I apparently have told her to come and get him!(I dont think so) as I am unable to ride him! What rubbish. I take in horses BECAUSE they cannot be ridden. She has now sent me a letter in which she states that I was delighted(!!!) to have William free of charge inferring that she was ever so generous handing him over to me. What planet is she on? My heart sinks every time I know of an unwanted horse and I took this boy in only because he had nowhere to go  according to the owner(who now has acquired another horse) We all love William dearly but I would  rather owners keep their animals for life whether they can be ridden or not.(dream on ) Whomever sent the anonymous letter has caused   the shelter   more problems  and had no right to do so though I expect he/she meant well. Oh well just another day of nonsense! Here is the Boy himself, the handsome but permanently infirm William.
One of our older cats went to a home today, the gentleman came to see Poppy but I'm afraid she behaved rather badly and was very grumpy thus doing herself out of a good home. Instead he took Bella who is also 10 years old and has been here a while so at least one cat  will spend Christmas in a  nice home environment.  Lucky Cat but naughty Poppy. What she needs is someone with no other cats who wants a pretty tortoishell and white  cat with attitude! Please form an orderly queue.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A Very Busy Week

What a manic week it has been. There is no doubt that Christmas is close, even if I had not known that , I would have been able to tell from the sheer numbers of calls requesting the charity to take unwanted pets! Every year I think it will not be as bad and every year it IS.

2 pups are now reserved, mum Gill is a treasure and whoever gets her will have a lovely dog, she is so at home already here and no trouble at all.I think however, that she is losing interest in her babies and am glad that they are eating well and fairly independent for their age. If they have natures like Gill they will  make great little pets, they do not seem to have the tenacious terrier attitude for which I am deeply grateful as they will be more homeable taking after their lovely collie mum.
It looks like we will be using boarding kennels a lot this winter - we have had to admit two more collies, one was booked in to the Vet to be put to sleep and the other also due for destruction from the Pound. Both are females with fantastic temperaments and neither deserved to lose their life(not that any do!) when they are so young. Bess is 18 months old and Tammy around 3 years. I have no worries about their homeability factor. They are so appealing.
Bess is on the left and Tammy on right. Which dog do you think came from a  home and which (most likely)from a farm? Just look at the expressions on their faces and you will have the answer.

Last night we received two kittencats from a home locally where there had been a police presence for the past few days due to the murder of a local woman. The family did not want the cats and left them outside in the freezing cold. One of them in particular (Asha on the right)is extremely headshy and nervous but they are young and resilient and should find a home before too long. Not knowing their real names I have named them Asha and Ava. They are booked in for spaying tomorrow as it is a possibility one may already be pregnant and  with  the holidays approaching I do not want to put off the ops .
A few people have booked in to view cats so that is something to look forward to, both people are coming to see older cats, one lady is coming on Sunday to see 12 years old Felix and a gentleman tomorrow to see 6 years old Poppy. Both have been here for some time so it would be very heartening if they were both to go. I have fingers AND toes crossed for them.

It has been a bit of a struggle with staffing numbers this week,  Vanessa is off after having an operation on her knee, Rhian is  on holiday and Ken is off sick. Thankfully today Nurse Heather one of our stalwart volunteers turned up and has promised to come in next week to help also, and another Xmas helper(she came last year at this time)Lucy arrived and was an invaluable help to the cattery staff. Rhian had booked the time off to see George Michael in concert and was devastated to discover he was cancelling his tour dates due to ill health but decided to  stick to her time off anyway. I think she was hoping he would recover and the concert would still take place but it was not to be unfortunately. Some of us here are very keen on our music and have our own 'obsessions'. Rhians is George, Cariads is the late Freddie Mercury, Rosie loves Status Quo, as does Teg (who has been to see them 41 times!!) and mine is 'The Boss' Bruce Springsteen! The non music enthusiasts probably think we are a bit mad but hey, it makes us happy  and it gives some respite from the everyday problems we all have .
Anyhow thanks to Lucy and Heather we  manged to cope pretty well today , it is great when volunteers turn up at a time when staff numbers are low.I expect they wonder why they are greeted with more enthusiasm than normal!
Speaking of staff Mei STILL has not had  a date for her wrist operation, it is almost 2 and a half years now since she first went  to the Dr about it. Disgraceful isn't it, and she is so often in appalling pain too.

Finally Rogue(Honey )Rabbit has settled in well  and we are assessing him, he does not seem as bad as I had expected but that may be because he is not completely relaxed yet. We will see. George and Rory the bun and guinea pig pals have finally been adopted after almost a year at the shelter and Honey has taken over their enclosure. I look forward to hearing how they are and receiving some photos from new owner  Justine.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A Happy Reunion.


The LLamas have been homed by the owner through the internet! The owner has not asked where they are going or what the people want them for! How can anybody give animals away without first finding out what sort of home it is It was probably one of those free websites. I despair.

We have traced the owner of the pups who wants to part with the mother dog also.,he says he  did not  abandon the pups at all (thought at 5 weeks they should still be nursing )and we have been given the wrong story altogether! I am trying to get to the bottom of it but the important thing here is that the pups are in our care and tomorrow they will be reunited with their mum(who IS a blue merle collie as thought) who is being admitted in the morning.

We are taking in emergencies only at the moment. All our foster homes are full and any others will now have to be boarded in kennels which is a huge expense. One such emergency occurred today -He is a very nervous and thin collie type who was nearly killed dodging traffic in Caernarfon. He is a youngster and absolutely terrified of everything and everyone.I feel so sorry for dogs like this and wish I could communicate with them and tell them that they are safe.Mind you, in my own way I (and the others here)probably do transmit that to them, just  a kind tone of voice , a bowl of food and a gentle stroke or cuddle goes a long way to showing an animal that there is nothing to fear. Some take a long time to understand this, some never do trust again but I have a good feeling about this boy and am sure in a short time he will begin to show a bit more confidence . He will stay here with my own dogs until he is ready to be adopted. Meg and Jackson have accepted his presence in the house.They are good dogs with most other canines. It is cats I dont trust them with which is why my cats and dogs live in separate parts of the house.

 Another rabbit has joined the inmates here and could be one which will be very hard, if not impossible to rehome. Inappropriately named  black bun 'Honey'    is aggressive  with his owner and has fought with every rabbit he has been paired with,He is now having to live without the company of his own species which is a great shame.  He has been neutered too, which often calms them down .
unable to assess the reason for this. Time will tell. And no he doesn't do a turn standing on his head, for some reason I cannot place  the photo the right way!

Ps: I have found out that the LLamas are going to be safe and have spoken to the man who is taking them. He has space and will take them until I find them new homes as he does not really want to keep them permanently, he felt he was just doing the advertiser a favour. He works at a farm and has llamas already so knows how to care for them.That sounds like a satisfactory arrangement all round.I feel relieved and will continue to search for a good permanent home for them.

The collies Livvy and Tavvy will definitely be going to their new home by next weekend so in spite of the time of year adoptions are not doing as badly as I had expected.
This afternoon we had a visitor by the name of George who we homed some months ago. George was a stray in the Pound and was barely  six months old when   he came in looking despondent and scared. Now he looks  so happy and well cared for, what a treat to see that in one of our rescued animals. Mei was particularly thrilled to see him again and once again it proves that just because a dog ends up unclaimed in a  Pound it does not mean that there is a problem with it(its usually the owners who are the problem!) I am often asked the question "Why is the dog with you or why is the dog on death row in the Pound"? There is often no reason at all other than the owners apathy and disinterest.

The people from Stoke came today for the two collies, they could not wait another week to have their new pets.Livvy and Tavvy looked a bit bewildered but I know that they will soon settle  and they have a nice rural home to enjoy .It will be home from home for them.
The stray springer spaniel was not claimed and I collected him from the kennels today .By the time I returned , his new family were already here waiting for him.He is a handsome dog and like all  springers will enjoy having an active life with his new people. We have had so many of these lately they have overtaken the collies with the frequency of their arrivals.At least they are easy to find homes for and I now have a waiting  list of those who lost out on this one and are anxious for us to find another for them.

The mother of the pups has been happily reunited with her babies and they are even more pleased to see her again so a happy day for this little family. Mum Gill is a sweetheart and  is going to be a very loyal friend to someone when she is ready to leave her little ones.Already she is overcoming her shyness and giving us all kisses , I am falling in love with her myself, she looks so like a younger version of  old Granny our resident collie who died a few years ago. Rhian had already commented on the blue merle pup reminding her of Granny so she is in for a surprise when she meets Gill who will  bring back memories!
The kittens are still coming in and the homes seem to be drying up.Just look at this gorgeous little chap, he is so beautiful, we just need to get people here to see him and the others.It is a difficult time admittedly, people are so busy at this time of year and  acquiring pets are the last thing on their mind. never mind, we may still find a few decent homes before xmas. Sometimes people lost their beloved pets at this time and find they are unable to face a christmas without them so there is always the chance that someone really nice will come forward to offer homes.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Paddy Comes Home

Paddy came home last night and was very happy to be in familiar surroundings though he is understandably very quiet and lethargic.He has been through quite an ordeal and I really thought I was going to lose him. Today there is this great sense of relief that he is back home and having  his huge body back reclining on his bed at the side of my chair. Having lost Molly last year with the same problem, I knew it was touch and go whether he  would survive and I can scarcely believe he is back with me. Poor old Paddy. He needs to have six meals daily of a liquid diet so he will not be too happy with that as he is a greedy boy but his stomach will be very tender for a while. Pictured here this morning with his poor old tum bandaged up gaily in Christmas colours.  H e does look miserable doesn't he but he is a very lucky boy even if he fails to realise it!
This morning five puppies were admitted.Cariad (who works with our horses)and her friend were walking their dogs last night past a derelict building and they heard whimpering. Inside the Roofless building was a binbag with these tiny pups inside. They must be no more than five weeks and by rights should still be nursing with their mother. How callous to  abandon these helpless little creatures in a place where it was sheer luck that their cries were heard and the poor mother dog must be distressed also. The pups appear to be cross staffordshire bull terriers and their markings indicate that they may also be part collie. I can't help but wonder  how easy they will be to rehome? Jack the staff I have at the moment looks like he could become a long termer. Nobody seems to want this breed, I have mentioned it before several times - my heart sinks when yet another call comes through about an unwanted staffie. I do not know what the answer is other than making it illegal to own an unspayed,unneutered staff and that would probably cause outrage amongst those who regard themselves as good owners. Even the policing of that would be near impossible so there has to be another solution. Any ideas? Whatever we came up with would be just a wild dream unless the government decided to take action and  what would be the likelihood of that?
This has been a week of unusual requests. First there was a Mule needing a home, today I had a call about four sheep and just now a gentleman rang asking me to help with 4 Llamas! I will have to spend some time making enquiries about suitable places for these to go, we do not have the room here for any more farm animals, the horses need all the grazing they can get but I always  try to help as much as I am able. Where there's a will there's a way!
The girls say it is possible that the Mule 'Tiger Lily' could be introduced to one of the groups of ponies which are stabled in the agri building so we are all going to have a discussion to see if we can cope with another addition this winter. As it happens the owner of Tiger Lily has LLamas and may be prepared to take on the 4 unwanted Llamas needing a new home. We will see. It is easy for me to agree but it is the girls who will have the extra body to care for so their opinion is important.

A gentleman turned up this afternoon who was  looking for an older cat for his mother .He has chosen Bushka a 7 years female cat whose owner died a few months ago, I'm sure she will be delighted to be out of the shelter and back in a home of her own. The stray cats settle in so well, after all for many it is the first time in ages that they have had a warm bed and plenty of food.It must seem like a four star Hotel to them. On the other hand,  the cats whose lives have been so disrupted by the loss of their owner and comfortable homelife,it is a far cry from what they have been used to and can be very distressing initially. I am very happy for Bushka and hope that she will have many happy years to come in her new home.
Pictured here on the day she arrived looking very annoyed and who can blame her for that. Nobody asked her opinion about where she was going to stay and an animal shelter would definitely not have been her first(or even last choice)My apologies to Bushka, I am sorry it took so long to find you more superior alternate  accommodation and can only hope that you approve of this new arrangement!
PS: Ellie whippet has found a new home in Dorset, she will be living with two other rescued lurchers and having lots of lovely rural walks. This is an ideal situation for her, she loves to play and chase other dogs.It is so funny watching her with Jackson the cross staff who valiantly tries to catch up, she waits till he is close then torments him by  racing  off again with him huffing and puffing in hot pursuit. She is a  Minx!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Paddy Is Rushed To Vet for Emergency Op.

Sam the shetland pony with the abscess is a lot better already and unlike some ponies on enforced stabling, seems quite happy to be inside and receiving more attention. All the horses and ponies are clamouring to come in at nights now, the evenings are very cold and I wonder if we have snow on the way? Mount Snowdon is covered in snow and has been for the past week.
I bought two new bird feeders yesterday so the smaller birds can feed away from the ravenous starlings.When the big birds descend on the table, they scare the sparrows etc away so hopefully these new feeders will do the trick.I went out in the dark last night to replenish them all so they could have a feast early morning and so I would not be under pressure to hurry my dog walking in order to do it. I am definitely turning into my mother whose day was fitted round the feeding times of her garden birds which she so loved.Even my Aunt Audrey when she worked in the offices of John Moores, used to take a bag of corn with her to work so she could feed the pigeons around Liverpool City Centre. Nobody ever complained like they do nowadays!

Had a terrible  evening, Paddy took ill and   I  had to rush him to the Vet with suspected Torsion(twisted Gut) As this was the same which killed my last Dane Molly, I was terrified for him. He had to undergo an emergency operation and at 11pm I received a call from the surgery to say he had survived the op. Molly too had come through the op but died of a heart attack less than an hour later so I had no sleep waiting for the call to come saying he had not made it through the night.Thankfully he did and this morning I went in to see him, his pulse was still weak so he has not yet been allowed home but he did at least stand to greet me, albeit lethargically.
Sorry blog so short, more tomorrow.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Five Traumatised Cats.

The (Famous) Five Cats are still quite traumatised from their ordeal. First they lost  their owner and the home they were used to, and then they suffered the stress and  indignity of  being brought to the shelter crammed into a small basket together. They appear to be siblings around the age of  six months (not spayed either) and are extremely attractive little cats. Once they are spayed and neutered then they can be placed for adoption. These five  will cost the charity  the best part of £200 for the op alone! They are worth every penny spent but when we have multi pet households to deal with , it does stretch our limited resources considerably. I need to sell more of my book! Please spread the word about 'The Dog With No Name' and if you know of a shop which would display/sell it please let me know.

The little brown kelpie is making herself at home with Barry and he is strongly tempted to keep her as she gets on so well with his blind Freshfields Collie Ben. I have asked him to think carefully as he is away a great deal and friends are generally not as keen to help look after two dogs. At least we know she is no trouble in a house environment and that could help find her a  suitable home.
This morning a young whippet cross Ellie was admitted and she will be leaving us for Rhonas home .Stanley the lurcher  has been adopted by a family inAnglesey so she is free to take on another homeless canine . Already Rhona has fostered three dogs successfully and has proved an invaluable help at this busy time with so many pets being abandoned. The Springer in kennels has not been claimed and has a home ready and waiting so things are not as bad as they could be, at least some lucky pets  are being adopted out to new homes.

One of the laminitic ponies is not doing so well today and we are waiting for the Vet to arrive. Sam is a young shetland pony who was admitted 4 years ago with three other horses and ponies. We have not homed Sam due to the necessity of having to place him on a special diet and monitor his food intake/grazing etc. It would be unfair to  expect a new carer to take on this problem so he will stay with us in retirement .

Here is Sam pictured below soon after his arrival in 2007
So many of our ponies arrive with this health problem and although some may  develop laminitis for no apparent reason, in many cases it could have been avoided with correct diet and exercise. It is such a painful thing to have and  if it fails to respond to treatment, the only answer is euthanasia. It is just one reason that I wish that everyone who buys a pony for a child would      first learn more about Equine Care.There is more to keeping a horse or pony than feeding it and mucking out a stable. Before I  bought my pony Charity(aptly named) I attended evening classes for stable management and also spent time at a local riding stables learning all I could about caring for a horse. Only then did I feel experienced enough to have my own to look after.

We were asked to take on a mule! This is a first for us but unfortunately we have no space unless any of our ponies  go out on loan which is highly unlikely before Christmas. I have only ever seen a mule once and strangely enough that was only two weeks ago! Mrs Mule will have to go on our waiting list for the moment.

The Vet has been and Sam has an abscess in his foot so he is on antibiotics and will be spending the next week  in his stable. Although it will undoubtedly be painful for him, I am relieved it is not a severe bout of laminitis which may have led to the need for a decision to be made about his future.

The first of the cross Jack Russell pups has been adopted by a Formby(merseyside) couple who told me that 30 years ago they found a dog they were unable to keep and took him to me for rehoming. Needless to say, I could not remember the incident - I just about remember what happened last week! 30 years ago would be an impossibility!
Their 3 hour journey  to Wales proved worthwhile as they fell in love with the little female pup immediately.It would be nice if she lived with them for as long as their last rescue dog who was 14 years old when she died. The remaining two are going together  to an English  couple who have recently made their home in the next village and will be collected next week.
People often ask me if I get upset when I say goodbye to animals when they are rehomed,.The answer is NO. I am thrilled to find good homes,it cheers me up and once \I know for sure everything is ok and I receive acknowledgement of this and perhaps a photo or two, I relax and feel happy for the animal concerned.  If I could have a wish granted, I would want a life free from pain and abuse  for every animal on earth but I will settle(reluctantly) for finding good homes for those which come the way of this charity.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

An Eventful Sunday.

I have been  to Liverpool to see The Queen.
 Only joking, though the Queen WAS  there at the same time though our paths did not,of course, cross.The  headline in The Liverpool Echo  that night alluded to the colour of her coat 'Lady in Red' and as I too was wearing a red coat, for one brief heady moment I thought I had finally hit the headlines!  Queenie  was there to open the New Museum and unknowingly  I had planned to visit at the same time but was frustrated to learn that it was closed all day due to the visit(The Queens not Mine!) Apparently there is a Sports section featuring well known Liverpool sportsmen and women and my father has a write up but I will have to try and see it next time I visit the city.

Whilst I was away some interest has been shown in the two middle aged collies and also Dodger and Nancy Jack Russells, they are both being visited  next week by prospective new families.Fingers crossed  at least one pair will be adopted.All three pups are now reserved but nobody has been for cats or kittens which is always disappointing.I long to return from a break to hear news of dozens of animals being adopted but it is so slow nowadays, that if just one has found a home it is good news.
Mei had to arrange for a stray dog to be placed in boarding kennels and we are waiting to see if the owner turns up.Unbelievably he is another Springer Spaniel.Where are they all coming from?We have seen more of this breed in the last six months than any other.

Veronica had a  stall at a flyball show and raised  an amazing £206, these little financial boosts make all the difference and I am very grateful to everyone who fundraises for us. I am sure when Veronica took on the job of Bookkeeper to Freshfields Wales that she had no idea that she would also become a
fundraiser, office cleaner, dog walker and fosterer ! She is an absolute treasure.

Mt garden has been flooded from the torrential downpours we have had recently and my  little terriers are up to their armpits in it, so new ditches are to be dug out at the back of the property .This will also help the fields at the side of the house from being so badly waterlogged.This is always a problem when we have so much rain, the water races down the hillside and forms a stream through the  fields. It was done a few years ago,but it desperately needs doing again. We have a man working here temporarily who is experienced in such work so we may be able to start sometime next week. The sooner the better if we are not to be flooded out again.

The afternoon saw me driving off to Bangor to collect a dog which had been found in a field of sheep. She had not done any damage but her very presence would cause  distress to them and there is always a high chance of a farmer shooting at a dog seen near sheep so it was somewhat of an emergency.  The owner of the land had put her on a chain in a shed and she turned out to be a young kelpie , rather ribby and well into season.Friend Barry is fostering her for the time being,I would be very surprised if she is claimed, I don't think a bitch in season has ever been claimed. The prospect of an unwanted litter of pups seems to deter owners from coming forward.
When I returned from this trip I was greeted by the news that someone had turned up with FIVE cats in ONE basket. The owner had died and a relative had just given these cats to a friend to bring in - no phone call to ask if we had space, no warning, no donation either. Of course Mei felt she had to take them but a lot of moving animals about had to take place in order to free a pen and we had other urgent cases to deal with this week. Oh well, there's nothing can be done, these emergencies do happen. Also we agreed today to take a kitten and when it arrived, it was a full grown adult(for which we had no room either)so that one has had to join the new cats until another pen comes free.
I will try to take some photos of the newcomers tomorrow.

A dog we rehomed in Bournemouth(another Kelpie) was returned today due to not being good with their other dog ,but as luck would have it, he has not had to go into kennels as planned.   Someone  who liked Kelpies saw him and Max has found another home. What a relief that is!

All in all it was quite an eventful day.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

New Neighbours come To Visit.

What a cold day it has been, for the first time  this year I felt I need to wear gloves, my hands were freezing after walking the dogs. There is no doubt that having a dog makes you exercise even if you don't feel like  it ,  and I really didnt feel like being outside  today.

This week, I met a local hairdresser called Dawn who apart from her day job,amazingly does a similar job to Jan in Liverpool (Ghost walks) and she is willing to do one for Freshfields.This is so SPOOKY when Jan had only recently  mentioned to me that  it would be good to do a ghost walk in this area . I  had replied that it would be good but we struggle to get volunteers to fundraise, never mind doing a ghosty event. I hope this comes to fruition as I would like to have a few events  organised for 2012 which do not involve coffee mornings.
Also ,Alan from the Birding company 'The Biggest Twitch' has offered to give one of his popular talks /slide shows on his world travels birdwatching. maybe we will make that into a cheese and wine evening? We hope to have that organised in a venue in Anglesey sometime in the Spring. So keep an eye open for these advertised on website/blog nearer the time.
Two felines were adopted today, 18 months old Thomas and a black(yes black!) kitten.They are moving, very slowly but at least some are finding homes. Although we have no space at the moment,we arranged to take in a  heavily pregnant cat  which we were told was ready to give birth. Foster mum Mion  who is also inundated with Freshfields   mums and babies(I hasten to add of the feline kind)offered to squeeze her in as it was obviously an emergency ,however  the cat turned out to be a male - with all his attributes clearly on display! At least he has now secured himself a place at Freshfields.

One of our cats was returned after being in his home for 4 years.what a shame, the owner has now developed an allergy! Poor Charley(seen on the left here) is pure white and is stone deaf, we now have a deaf cat AND a deaf dog looking for homes. Charley is not too happy at the moment, no doubt he is wondering why he has had to leave his home.So bewildering for him, I can only hope he will take someones eye soon and will not be here too long.

We have so many half grown kittencats here at the moment, they need to be in homes soon otherwise we will have a terrific bill neutering them all when the time comes.Some of them shown below.These are all aged between 5 months and 8 months.

The house at the corner of our road, has been up for sale for some time and we have been hoping whoever purchases the property will look kindly upon the close proximity of the shelter Today the new owners  who are from the  Manchester area, came up to introduce themselves and brought up some blankets for the animals  and also expressed  interest in doing voluntary work here. They have a cocker spaniel dog,  Kevin keeps bees and Tracey has fostered for the Springer spaniel rescue  so  I am delighted to know animal lovers are moving in there and look forward to popping round for a coffee and getting to know them better.

The pups being fostered have come in today. They are so adorable. They are now 5 weeks old and Mei is going to foster them until they are old enough to be adopted.   Both jack russell and collie can be seen in them although they are very small ,so I think  they will  not be much bigger than spaniels when fully grown.
The baby rats were admited and they have gone off to the Liverpool shelter with Dawn and Elaine who visited today. Only 4 months old they should make nice little pets for someone who has the time to spend with them.

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Porthmadog Fair is a success.

We received not  one call about animals from the article in The Daily Post. That has NEVER happened before and is very disheartening indeed. However we did find a couple of homes from our website.Cassie collie and Leti the cross rottweiller have both been adopted over the past few days so their success has prevented me from going into a deep state of negativity. I am so happy for them. A friend has just bought me a  plaque which says NEVER, never never, never give up!  I shall look at that every day and take heed.

Thanks to everyone who has ordered a copy of 'The Dog With No name' and for the congrats though wait to read before you become too effusive !  I am expecting copies early next week so they should be in our Charity shops and shelters  by mid -end of next  week.

Stanley the ex farm springer spaniel has left foster care today and will soon be esconced in his Formby home.As this was my old stomping ground I know there are lots of lovely places to take dogs for walks, my own favourite was across the sand dunes and through Formby Pinewoods.I had many happy walks there with my own dogs. Good Luck Stanley and I hope that look of fear will soon be gone forever from your beautiful eyes.

Two lovely little cats were adopted this week, Luther a 5  months old kittencat and Ruby ginger who is around 2 years. I love it when two go together,.I always feel that most cats(not all) are happier when they have companionship of their own kind. Mind you, that goes for most species doesn't it? Even we humans are not programmed to live isolated from our own species.

I rushed  to get my camera  when I saw the starlings (which are visiting my bird table daily).all lined up on the telegraph wire.Were they waiting for their afternoon tea?  As soon as I fill the feeders they empty within half an hour so they are limited to morning  and afternoon top ups otherwise I will be filing for bankruptcy.

Rhian snapped Ken in the middle of his cattery duties and  a shiftier looking character have I yet to see , not to mention the Manchester United Hat!         What are the Freshfields staff coming to nowadays? 

I have just received a visit from an RSPCA Inspector who has had an ANONYMOUS complaint that we are keeping stray dogs in a ROOM and leaving them without veterinary attention!!!!!  Ludicrous, I would like to know where this room is located and why our Vet bills are so high? A very malicious person has made up this farcical allegation  .I wonder who it could be? Mmm m that is a difficult one and of course it would have nothing to do with my decision to call in the police this week ,over an issue of harassment would it???
I do not  feel upset, even the Inspector was clearly uncomfortable being here ,as  we all knew that it was a clear case of malice (We have been working together recently over a starving spaniel case(, not Stanley, another one) and anybody who knows Freshfields or has visited either shelter knows that   we are never away from the Vets surgery with one or another animal needing treatment. Therefore,  I put this absurd business to the back of my mind where it will remain.  
 I suppose in life one will always come across people who spend their time complaining and causing grief to others Certainly I know of many nice individuals who suffer at the hands of such characters.  I don't know where they get the inclination or the time.My life is far too busy and meaningful to spend valuable  time making others lives a misery!

On a more cheery note, the Porthmadog Xmas Fair was a great success and £850 was taken, the best so far. Well done to Trish for organising it so well and to everyone who helped make it a success. A special thank you to Louis ,the owner of The Sportsman Hotel who allows us the rooms free of charge and supplies us with tea and coffee.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

We have A Feature In The Daily Post Today

It has been a busy week, we have had the Daily Post here taking photos of dogs and cats in need of homes.It was a bit chaotic, trying to organise the various animals in foster homes to arrive at the same time but we managed and today they have appeared in a feature in the Welsh edition of the Daily Post,So far there have been no telephone calls but I am ever hopeful!

A lady adopted a lurcher (pictured here)from the Dog Pound, kept him one day and brought him here, saying she could not cope with him.He has gone on a weeks trial to foster mum Rona who is hoping to find a suitable companion for her spaniel and thinks he may just be the one.He is very young and  friendly but could be a bit of a handful but it would be great of it worked out. having said that it will mean the loss of another foster home but the possibility of a permanent home cannot be ignored.
A few more kittens have been adopted and Tiger the cat up the chimney in his new home  is still residing there ,but is spending a little more time out each time and is wolfing down the food left out for him.They are wondering if another cat would draw him out of his shell(and the chimney) so are pondering on taking that step next. He did originally live with another cat so it might help him settle in his new home.It can't be that comfortable staying  up the chimney all day! Tiger is pictured here at the shelter  not long before he was adopted.

I have just spoken to a lady at the Dogs Trust with whom we work to  prevent as many dogs in Wales as possible from having unwanted litters.They are campaigning to have more farm dogs neutered so if anybody knows of any farmers who would like to have their dogs neutered/spayed  free of charge please let them know or contact me for details.Likewise if you could display a poster about this campaign let me know.I knw there will be many who will stick to the old(bad)ways but there are some more enlightened ones and we just need to identify  them and offer this help.

Does anyone know of a rat lover? (domestic not wild) We have two baby 4 months old female ratties coming in on saturday and if I cannot find a home locally they will go to the LIverpool shelter on Sunday(someone from that shelter is coming over here to visit)
Also a foster mum is need for three 5 weeks old motherless pups.You may remember they were brought to us when their mother(Jack russell) was unable to feed them, and we have had them in foster care until now.That  lady can no longer care for them so we need a temporary home until they are old enough to place for adoption at 7 weeks. I will take them for the time being but a new foster mum would be very welcome.

There are going to be pups galore by the time xmas comes and that worries me, how many will be given as xmas presents? I already know of three litters looking for homes and I see the Liverpool shelter has quite a few there. It could not be a  worse time could it?

Ps: did anyone see the you tube video everyone is raving about? The one of the man calling his dog Benton which has chased a herd of deer.Am I the only one who fails to find it amusing? All I could think about was whether it harmed any of the herd and having been party to a dog escaping me and feeling that sense of terror and panic, I can only sympathise with the owner who is clearly upset.

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Dog With No Name

The Book is finally  in print and will be ready at the end of this week. To order online just click on the link below which will take you to the publishers order page. There will be copies available in the next 2 weeks in some of our charity shops and both shelters. Which shops I will let you know later this week .
All Proceeds will be going to the charity.

My soul has now been laid bare!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Homes for dogs but not for Cats

The kittens which Mion has been fostering are adorable.Pictured here are the four youngsters.Unfortunately the black one  was not keen on having a photograph taken so showed us his rear end! He is actually a very pretty kitten, heres hoping he will get over his anti social behaviour before the next visitors arrive! That is IF we have any visitors. We have not homed any cats or kittens  at all today though we have had a reservation placed on Leti the cross rottweiller.
 I had been starting to feel nobody would show interest in her but it looks as though she will be leaving our care very soon and moving to Anglesey where she will be enjoying three mile walks a couple of times daily. Just what she needs. When I look at her it horrifies me that she was on Death Row at a Pound (near Blackpool)and  so close to losing her life. I can find no reason for her being  unclaimed, she is such a nice dog and appears to have no problems at all.

We have been forced to place some dogs in boarding kennels due to our shortage of foster homes and it being a very busy time with so many dogs needing shelter. Currently there is a cross staffordshire bull terrier in situ at the local kennels,We have named him Oscar and he is another unclaimed stray but he is a very lucky boy because friend Sue has fallen in love with him and will be collecting him tomorrow.
Also in kennels,  though this time due to a bereavement are Tavvy and Livvy, 6 years old collies and they too have a person interested in them. They are delightful animals though need a good grooming session . Sometimes when owners are elderly and ill, their pets become neglected through no deliberate act of cruelty  and these two have clearly been dearly loved by their owner. I am glad they have a possible home as they are very anxious to be back in a home environment(I know because they told me - well not really but I could tell from their expressions how they are feeling  and I promised them I would do my best to sort a nice home out for them).  The dog adoptions are definitely improving, even Stanley the  old(ish) Springer spaniel has a home - pending a homecheck he will be going to live in Formby, Merseyside where I once lived. There is a nice beach, woods and sandhills for dogs to enjoy so Stanley should be quite pleased at my choice.

There is a home also offered to George and Rory our rabbit and guinea pig pals.They have been here rather a long time so I am delighted that they have finally found a  suitable home. I will never allow small pets to go where they are to be kept in small hutches(prisons) with no exercise run and one of the criteria is that they have permanent access to a run -   something not all people think of when they purchase living accommodation for  small pets like rabbits .
I always tell people that a hutch should be regarded as a sleeping space only and that a alarge exercise area is needed and permannent access to it. So many are left all day languishing in boring hutches until a child comes home from school and even then many are never allowed any freedom.Heartbreaking.

Incidentally, remember Caspar the pony who lost his pal Honey, well he had started to follow Noddy around and we had high hopes that they would bond. He had begun to happily share a stable with Noddy and Maggie and last night Mei caught Noddy and Caspar grooming each other. Neither Mei nor I have ever seen Noddy doing this even when he was with previous companions to whom he was very attached. It looks like Caspars sadness is now a thing of the past. Good old Noddy.

Ps: Late in the day  someone arrived to view the kittens  and the litle tortoishell kitten pictured above has been adopted  so  today was not a hopeless day for felines after all.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Bryn models a Freshfields T Shirt.

I am really tired today after being at the LLandudno xmas fair all day.I don't know why but I find this more exhausting than working all day with the animals here? It was very quiet, not  a great deal of support I'm afraid, in fact I had to resort to kidnapping people off the street and coercing them to come in to the fair! Everyone seemed to take it in good spirits and nobody called the Police to cart me off so it was worthwhile in the end. At one point volunteer Ivan joined me with his German Shepherd  Bryn (who was looking very fetching wearing a Freshfields T Shirt ) We worked then as a team.The dog caused people to stop and then I moved in to presssgang them into supporting us. It comes to something when we have to resort to this!
A big thank you goes to staff Veronica, Rosie who stoically manned stalls all day and to volunteers who turned up to help.Thanks to Dilys, Ivan and Janet(from Derbyshire)Joyce and Margaret and to the church helpers who looked after the catering side so ably.

It continues to be quiet on the pet rehoming  front though June collie has been rehomed locally and there has been interest expressed in Stanley the Springer spaniel . It is incredibly quiet for adoptions but it is leading up to the Christmas Holidays so that could be the reason why so many are wanting to get rid of pets but not many looking to adopt.

Tiger the vanishing cat has reappeared several times so is clearly gaining more confidence daily. Some shy cats do take a lot longer to settle and the best way to deal with it, is  not to panic and just allow the cat to come out in his own good time which he will do  when he/she feels more secure.

We lost our dear Jimmy Ginge a few days ago, in a tragic accident  and  it has taken me until now to be able to write about him.We were all devastated, he was a bad tempered old fellow but was such a great character and he was dearly loved by all the staff. RIP Jimmy . Losing animals is a real downside of this work but it has to be faced, difficult though it is, and we must remember that there are many positive incidents to keep us smiling.

Champ(pictured ) the unpredictable Jack Russell I adopted, along with Lucy the office dog, often brings a smile to my face with his antics. He loves watching television, especially Animal Cops and when he sees cats on the screen he tries to catch them  and cannot understand where they vanish to. The  Eastenders theme music really wakes him up. He can be fast asleep on my knee but when that music starts he leaps up and rushes over to the TV. He is such a dear little dog, it is just a shame that because he is not keen on new people , we were unable to find him a suitable home. Am I the only anti social person who has no visitors and an unfailing patience with problem pets? If there were loads of other  solitary and animal loving  beings  like me, lots more dogs would be adopted but as it is, most people have family /visitors who make having such a dog hard to deal with. Admittedly they can be hard work but they can be great fun also.

Two more litters of kittens have been brought in by foster mum Mion who has cared for them so well since they were tiny abandoned babies.What would we do without her?

As I finish this blog, two kittens have been adopted so I end on some nice news. perhaps tomorrow will bring some more good homes for our animals.Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

A Poor Old Farm Dog Needs some TLC

I have not had much time to blog this past week as have had to organise two fundraising events. We had a stall at an open day at Electric Mountain in LLanberis yesterday and tomorow is our first fundraiser in LLandudno , a Christmas Fair at the Holy Trinity Church hall.(opp M&S)Heres hoping it will be successful.I will be leaving (though not on a jet plane!) early in the morning to be there early enough to organise everybody! That is a laugh, I can barely organise myself! When did my desire to care for animals turn into office work and event organising?
The Springer Spaniel rescued from the dog pound and being fostered by Rona is losing his shyness to an extent, we cannot have him neutered until he gains some weight and the Vet thinks he has some loss of sight also. He has been named Stanley and I am pretty sure he is from a farm as he has the demeanour and appearance of one such animal!
Pictured here is Stanley in  the stable just before Rona arrived to take him home - I wouldn't want anyone to think Rona lives in a house with sawdust shavings on the floor!
Stanley has some loss of sight and could be as old as 10 years, his teeeth are not very good though his face looks quite young with no grey on his muzzle. Perhaps he has just had a hard life and a poor diet!

Hallelujah! two kittens have been reserved, now there are only a hundred to go - well not really , it just seems that there are that many sometimes when all the pens are full. The real number is more like 35 at the moment. That is a lot of homes to find but two being adopted is better than none. Tiger the adult cat rehomed a few days ago has been residing in the chimney  and has been the cause of much concern with his new family.He is, however, emerging from his hideaway during the night and scoffing his food so he may choose to stay down when he feels a little more secure. It can be a very scary time for a cat who has been institutionalised for so long, if only we could communicate with them and let them know they have nothing to fear. I hope next time I write about Tiger it will be with better news.

My book will be published the first week in December and by next week people will be able to order it online as we will be putting a link on the website to the publishing company.They will be dealing with orders so it will save us the job of packaging etc. It will also be available at both shelters and some of our shops(details of which shops  at a later date) So if you want to help the animals(all proceeds will be going to Freshfields) please consider  purchasing a copy. How mortifying it will be if nobody buys it, I may have to buy them all to prevent loss of face!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Where are all the Black cat lovers?

I took the Jack russells to their prospective new home  near Llanberis but it was a no no. As soon as they were off the lead in the garden, they were racing round looking for a way out and find it they immediately did. They clambered on top of a shed roof and jumped down in to the adjoining field! Then followed a very stressful half hour as Sue and I tried to get the little tinkers back into her garden and back to safety.Unfortunately the garden is an unusual one , in that it has several levels and is an awkward shape to completely fence it in. I feel it would be fine for a potterer of a dog but not livewire terriers like these two.Not to worry, there is a middle aged staffie in the local Dog Pound and if he is nice and docile, I will take him for a try out. Sue likes this breed and as they are so hard to rehome, it could be his only chance.

The 4 motherless puppies who are now being fostered are doing well and their foster mum is hoping to keep one so we will have just three to place for adoption when they are old enough . Pups tend to be snapped up fairly quickly, surprisingly there have been far less around than usual at this time of year. MInd you every time I say something like this, the phone will start ringing with requests to take whatever it is I have been mentioning! I sincerely hope  there are not loads of litters of pups about to need our help.We will definitely need more foster homes if that happens.

There has been a response from the newspaper article about unwanted cats though not as great a response as I would have hoped for. No more than 8 calls were received, I just hope that the telephone being down for an entire day did not put people off trying again though if that was the case perhaps they would not have been serious enquiries. Still there are three people coming tomorrow for kittens and cats and all want a pair, so all being well, 6 lucky felines should be reserved tomorrow.
Pictures are of Paddy carrying the terriers  leads, he loves doing this even though he is never on one himself here.It clearly makes him feel clever and he is very proud of his lead carrying prowess, he holds himself higher and almost struts in pride. The problem arises when I want to put the Jack Russells back on their leads before they re enter the yard(they are not good with cats and as you know we have cats everywhere). Sometimes Paddy will not release the leads  to me and I have to clip them on to the collars of the dogs hoping he will finally let them go. This is a photo of him refusing to relinquish the lead and so having  to tolerate Champ at the end of it!
                                       "Who is taking who for a walk?'

I feel very disappointed, only one of  the people mentioned turned up to choose a kitten but would not take any because the ones they liked were female!! Usually it is the other way round, most prospective adopters seem to  prefer females but as any cat owners know , once cats are neutered there is no difference.Some people say females are more home loving and affectionate but I have had several male cats which  would have put the females to shame with their wonderful natures and love of domesticity. Why anyone would be so adamanant about having only  male kittens seems unfairly biased  to say the least. It is the personalities , not the gender which make an animal a wanderer or a homelover but what can I do.If someone has a fixed idea of what he/she wants there is little I can do to make them change their mind?  All in all the newspaper article has been a total waste of time. What a shame!
We did, however have one cat adopted, 4 years old Tiger has been here almost a year so it is a wonderful day for him.  I will have to get my thinking cap on again and try to find another way to publicise the  rest of  the shelters many cats and kittens.

There is always something which happens to counter balance the not so great occurrences at the shelter.  Visitors today turned up with a donation of cat food and a  lovely cheque which was extremely welcome.The same people had two black  cats from us 6 years ago, called Brian and Keith(I named them after members of the Rolling Stones )and if I remember correctly that was also a time we advertised for homes for the black beauties at the shelter. We were so pleased that Brian and Keth found a home together so I know there ARE those who actually like cats which are not unusually marked but where are they all?
Black cat lovers, come visit us!