Thursday, 31 March 2011

Penny another unclaimed stray.

A new little dog pounder arrived yesterday, now named Penny, this lovely sweet natured Jack Russell (yes another one) was unclaimed after the weeks stay in kennels.  Luckily these terriers  are being adopted fairly quickly after they are admitted.  Last year we only had a few, already we have admitted and rehomed 9 this year and for a shelter which is mainly cats and horses, that is pretty good going.  This weekend we have a lady travelling from Devon for Ty the staff bull terrier cross youngster and another lady from Crewe coming to see Ellie the terrier shown on the flickr video (playing with Nell collie).  Hopefully it will be a good weekend ahead for adoptions and if some cats go too I will be more than happy.

Mei had a gruelling day yesterday, she had the op on her wrist at Llandudno  hospital but they discovered there  was too much work to do there and then so she is scheduled to go back in another two weeks. At least now she knows what the problem is - ligament damage and she has been assured that the next operation will do the trick. I dont think she can quite believe that when it is over she will be free from pain for the first time in two years. As she said to me she was starting to think it was all in her head, she had been to so many Dr and hospital appointments and been told that nothing could be found.  For the time being she is still in a lot of pain and is sporting a very fancy sling (far superior to the last homemade one I did for her which she said nearly cut off her blood supply!)

As mentioned before there is a long waiting list for places for cats but yesterday someone turned up with two (unneutered) cats belonging to a grandmother who had died, so this puts us in a very awkward position, do we turn them away and take cats whose owners have been waiting a month or take these?  It was decided reluctantly to admit the cats as we were worried about their welfare if we refused.  I am not saying that these people would have done anything unkind but in the past there have been occasions we had to say no to people bringing in their unwanted pets (because of lack of space) and then later the same day the animals would be found abandoned nearby!  The issue here is that those who have elected to be patient and wait for spaces are pipped at the most by those who do not thoughtfully telephone beforehand and that seems very unfair.

Now on to something which has distressed me enormously for many years and that is the plight of the ancient elephant called Anne who is still languishing and being abused in Bobby Roberts Circus.  In spite of  desperately sad video footage and photographs of this poor soul being mistreated badly, it appears that nothing can be done!!   I want to know why no action can be taken when there is clear proof of her abuse.  If I was to do something similar to one of my animals, rest assured I would be up in court immediately, and quite rightfully so.  I am begging everyone who reads this blog to write to the RSPCA and beg them to take action.  The perpetrator of the cruelty has now gone to ground, but as the owners surely Roberts has to take responsibilty.  Is the law so feeble that due to a technicality this elephant has to continue its life in the hands of those who imprison her?  Clearly this is so.  Please take a few minutes to write to your MP asking for his/her  vote to end animals being used in circuses and stop this kind of abuse for once and for all.  Let our Voices be heard for Anne and all like her. If you want to help then please do the following:

read the link on Anne's plight:  Daily Mail On Anne

Write to your MP (You can find out your MP's address here by entering your postcode  using the sample letter or one of your own but please ensure you are polite.  Sample letter below:

I ask that you please sign EDM 403 for an end to the use of animals in circuses:
That this House notes that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs public consultation on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses shows that 94.5 per cent. of respondents support a ban as the best option to protect the welfare of circus animals; further notes that the new Government has been unclear on whether it will take action; believes that treating wild animals as circus tricks has no place in civilised society; underlines that violence against animals continues to occur routinely in circuses as revealed in an investigation into the Great British Circus in 2009; recognises that the only thing stopping this ban from coming into place is a decision by Ministers; and urges the Government to use its powers under section 12 of the Animal Welfare Act to make a regulation banning the use of all wild animals in circuses
As the press have exposed yet another example of cruelty and abuse towards an animal, this time an elephant, in a UK circus company (Bobby Roberts)  I hope you will agree that this type of alleged entertainment has no place in modern society.
Yours sincerely

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Burns Petfood Donation Arrives

The 4 kittens which were undersized through their bad start in life,have finally had their FIV test  at the age of 4 months; the results were negative so the two which had been reserved can now go to their new home. I am so pleased for them. They are so lively it is difficult to take a photo of them, they never stay still long enough so instead I have included a photo of Peter enjoying a rest in a plantpot!Peter is a middle aged and  very shy cat we released last year to live his life out at the shelter.He lives in the conservatory and is often to be seen cuddled up to Big Ginge and pals. The plantpot was one I was about to throw out but now Peter seems to like it so it has a reprieve.
The Waitrose  charity cheque was collected by Veronica and was a brilliant £402, more tokens were placed in our side of the charity box which meant we had the lion share of the donation.Thanks to all the shoppers who contributed to this, we are thrilled.
We apply to many charitable trusts and companies for support and in doing this we get many knock backs but now and again something positive comes out of it and after a plea to Burns Petfood they have generously  sent a whole pallet full of fishy food which will help keep the animals happy and our food bill to a minimum for the next few weeks.Thank you Burns and thank you Mei, John and Gail who had to be arm wrestled to appear in the photo. This is when my kickboxing skills prove  useful! John was particularly concerned he had not had time to 'do his hair' but I lent him  some polish and a duster and it seemed to do the trick.

I heard today that little Teddy the disabled GSD pup has recovered well from his operation to amputate his leg and is managing really well, I look forward to seeing him again very soon - what a brave little dog. I read on the interenet a week ago about a similar case with a Great dane puppy, that  was also  abandoned with a damaged leg.Like Teddy he has fallen into safe hands and hopefully like our puppy he will find a loving owner and enjoy the rest of his life. It is a wicked thing to abandon any creature whether it be fit or not healthy but the abandonment of a physically disabled  one reeks almost of naziism and I am angry that the perpetrators of both these callous acts  will be most unlikely to face any form of justice or retribution. Why do these sods get away with it?

Tomorrow was meant to be our trustee meeting in Liverpool but unfortunately(but fortunately for Mei)I have had to pospone due to the fact that at long last Mei has her operation scheduled for Wednesday in Llandudno and she is the one who looks after my animals when I am away. She is having cameras put into her wrist (cant spell the actaual name for the procedure)and has been told if they find anything they will fix it at same time.Knowing her luck, or rather lack of it, she will have to return for another op. I hope for her sake it will all get sorted tomorrow.2 years of exruciating pain is enough for anyone to deal with.Rosie is recovering from her  horrid op  and is back to fostering at the weekend. I just need to tell her!  Rosie if you read this I forgot to mention there is a dog coming in on Saturday for you! Hope you are feeling up to it old girl?
There is just Vanessa left now to get her  knee operation date and then they should all be renewed with health and vigour and be doing twice the workload!
End of Staff Medical Bulletin.

The Farrier is here today and there is a lot of whinnying(not from him) from the horses who are anxious to get away from the holding paddock and back into the fields.For the first time ever little Maggie shetland has not had to be sedated to have her feet trimmed.Perhaps she just cannot be bothered fighting it today.It  has certainly made the work today  easier for everybody, it's no joke when she rears and bucks, even a shetland pony like Maggie packs a lot of weight behind her, not to mention a pretty hefty kick.Pictured waiting their turn are old Tangy and Ross.Tangy the chestnut pony on the left was thirty when she was admitted  in 2004 and is still doing well. and Ross also is a similar age though he is showing his age lately, he is a dear old pony who has spent his earlier years  teaching his owners children to ride but sadly nobody ever rings to see how he is. How easily they become the forgotten ones.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Big Buster Leaves For His New Home.

Big Buster has gone off to his loan home - I had to go in the house as could not bear to see him go!Harley and Vanessa spent an hour grooming him and picking out his feet ready for the move, even that brought a lump to my throat. I know he will be happy with his new friend Molly, the other horses do not seem to have even noticed his disappearance from the paddock - we always walk them down to the bottom of the track so the horses dont get upset watching a pal being loaded into an horsebox.Buster was not bonded with any one particular friend so  I had no qualms about him leaving the herd.
Have heard today about 4 horses in desperate need of somewhere to go permanently, its such a problem once owners have failing health or their circumstances change drastically. Unlike dogs and cats they are so costly and of course most have some sort of health problem themselves so  will not be wanted by people looking for a riding pony.2 are laminitic also which means they need someone to care for them who has some knowledge of this ; having seen their photographs I noticed  immediately that they are all overweight which if not the cause of their laminitis will certainly do nothing  to improve  the condition.
People from Liverpool came to see little Ellie the skinny terrier but their own male dog harassed her too much and although he is booked in to be neutered next week, they did nto feel they could cope with his behaviour, I dont think they really took to Ellie anyway.Its a shame, shes a little character but it is so important to place the right animal with everybody who visits otherwise they would ALL be returned.It is bad enough as it is, in spite of being super careful where our pets go, there  are still TOO MANY which fail to work out.
Speaking of which two more are waiting for places in foster homes. Cleo cross lab is being brought back because she wants to attack other dogs when she is on the lead(she is great at home) and Sally because her owner is moving to a flat! I am not saying these cases are not genuine especially Cleos case but I do feel that there are many people who give up when a problem first occurs and also some do not seem to look ahead to future plans and  therefore ask themselves whether a pet will then be unsuitable.  In my  own childhood (and adulthood)we had a few dogs which were far from perfect but they stayed with us for life.Sorry for repeating myself here, this just makes me fed up when it happens, it is so  bewildering for the animal.

Two kittens are reserved, pending the results of their FIV tests next week.,These are from the litter which the RSPCA were concerned about(and had no reason to be according to the Vet!) It will not be the end of the world if their tests are positive but it may lose them this particular home which would be a shame. .In the new spring newsletter  which will be produced shortly by the Liverpool shelter, there is a brilliant article about cats with FIV and I hope many will read it and realise these cats can still live a decent life and should not be destroyed when diagnosed unless they are in final stages  of Feline Aids and are suffering.
Sheba the gorgeous cross collie has quickly been adopted which is of no surprise, she is stunning , there were so many offers of homes for her.Billy Jack Russell is reserved, as is Champ another terrier but foster places now will have to be kept for the returnees which must have priority.
Mei has been in a lot of pain  with her wrist today and is hoping the hospital appointment will happen soon. After 2 years of suffering from this she has almost lost hope of it being sorted but she is expecting to hear within the next 3 weeks.Rosie has had her leg thingy op(cant bear to talk about it Im afraid.) and is on enforced rest which  is driving her crazy and she is hobbling on crutches round her  fields in order to exercise her dogs. I miss my fellow Freshfields book club member(theres only the 2 of us!) to discuss whats good and what isnt and lending each other interesting novels. It bores the hell out of the rest of the staff(except perhaps Veronica)
I have been to look at the badger sett but it does not appear to have been used lately and the old and now very stale peanut butter sandwhiches are still there.Shame, I would have loved to know the sett was still in use. What do people think about the imminent badger cull in Pembrokeshire? With all the research thats been done and no proof that badgers are the culprits spreading bovine TB and  in spite of last years appeal being won to prevent the cull, it has  now been given the go ahead.Heartbreaking! If anyone wants to add their voice to the protest please contact  the 'Save the Badger' website.
PS:  HH has once again been avidly searching my blog for comments about Himself; having found a couple he has paid a visit to his solicitior resulting in a letter sent to trustees of the charity and me accusing me of defamatory comments and the threat of suing me personally AND the Charity.What a charmer.
The truth clearly  Hurts!  I write only about factual events, like the time
when he screamed abuse at Mei when she walked the public footpath at the bottom of his land(she was searching for a missing cat) - he told her to  go away in the foulest way possible! Other members of staff have been verbally abused by him also , he has made derogatory remarks about the shelter,  called me to my face  a lonely old bag.(sticks and stones HH, sticks and stones!)Then there was the time he told the Fire Brigade  to go away (not that politely though). They had been  called out to rescue his neighbours old horse which had fallen in a ditch, not to mention his other run ins with neighbours( documented on police files) The only reason I have not taken matters any further is because I have better things to do and I did not want to drag myself down to his level.Even this space given to him is a waste of space but it is only right that people know what he is up to. This blog is mine, a personal diary, not the charitys and as such it is about me, my life , my feelings and opinions. It does not mean that the Charity share any of  same. and as far as I am aware this is still a democratic society and I have the freedom of speech!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The 4 Ponies arrive Home

Today Mei and I went to check out the home for Buster and all I can say is "forget Buster" I will move in instead! There is no doubt that he will be dearly loved and he will have a beautiful thoroughbred mare called Molly to mooch about with. Poor Molly is missing her companion dearly(he died recently) and it was obvious that she is pining for him so Busters arrival should give her a new interest in life. I love old buildings and the house was 400 years old, full of history and character, complete with walled garden and coach house hence my enthusiasm to relocate!
Oh well back to reality.

The 4 horses and ponies which were coming back to us were collected today and are now esconced in a couple of the back fields.Once again I attempted a video, this time I have uploaded it to Flickr for people to see. Heather and Paddy the black shetland ponies are mother and daughter(Paddy was just 2 weeks old when they were admitted here some years ago) The two chestnuts are Dids and Buster(he is the smaller of the two) We hope they will all find homes(in pairs) They have been well cared for in their loan home, Jan has been a wonderful carer but she has had to move to be near her elderly mother and the property has been sold.I know she is devastated at parting with them but unfortunatly circumstances can change in peoples lives and this was such a case. As you will see our fields are  very stony which is why we tend  to  only take native ponies which do well on this type of land. I spent two years moving stones from one of our lower fields and then the horses churn  the field up and more appear!
Mum Heather(with white noise) and Paddy are pictured here shortly after they arrived'home'.
Whilst we were in the area doing the homecheck we went to collect some boxes of goods from the Snowdon Railway in Llanberis.Over the years they accumulate unclaimed items from visitors and they have kindly passed them on to us for our charity shops. Its amazing what people lose and fail to claim but the shops will be glad of them.There was even a pair of Dolce and Gabbana glasses! I am sure someone will buy them for the frames alone. I did try them on but sadly they didn't suit me.

I need help with this blog/links/uploads etc.I failed to upload video yesterday and now I cant put in a link to the justgiving page for the marathon runner? Computers are great but understanding new things is something  I struggle with. Am I the only one? I refuse to accept it is an age thing! I was never quick at picking up anything(except boyfriends)even when I was young.Still at least I can use a computer. Sister Sandra refuses to even open hers claiming it is too frustrating. She could be right. Incidentally she is doing well after her operation and although still a little breathless is almost back to norrmal.

Nell collie acts as though she has lived with me all her life and my other dogs accept her totally, she will make someone a lovely pet, she is friendly and loving and clearly been in a happy home previously. I thgink 6 years is a good age for a dog, they arepast the
 chewing stage and easier to look after.Puppies are adorable but there is no doubt they are a lot of hard work.Give me a mature dog every time.

This past week every other telephone call seems to be from somebody moving to a rented property where the landlord refuses to allow pets. I know that many rental properties do come with an agreement not to allow pets but I also know from friends of mine that there ARE properties for rent where pets are  allowed so is it that hard to find such a property? I have no experience of this myself but would be interested to hear from those who have because at  the moment I am of the opinion that if you have a beloved pet you will   try that little bit harder to move somewhere suitable for both you and your pet(s).  Is this a correct assumption or am I being unfair?  I fail to understand why so many purchase animals when living in temporary rented accommodation, it is why I would question the permanence of any pet going to live with an owner living insuch a property. There  are always exceptions but it is a grey area and as such I try to be extra vigilant when rehoming our animals.

Below is the link to support Paul who is doing the Edinburgh marathon to support us: 
Edinburgh Marathon Fundraiser

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Why Morris takes so Long To Get Into His Stable

I had another go with the video, I think Im getting better at it but I will have to keep practising.Anyway this one is of some of the ponies having a bit of a play.The black pony is Freddy, the skewbald is his pal Ember (the ones which were returned after 6 years)and the little chestnut is Bobby (one of the once neglected Anglesey ponies)with Rocky in the background.Just before I arrived with the camera they had all been galloping around, of course as soon as I got there, all play stopped!Little tinkers!
Ps: video did not upload successfully. What am I doing wrong?
Yesterday we had visitors who are very keen on giving Big Buster a permanent home, Sophie the daughter was a volunteer here last year and so we sort of know the family but pending the homecheck later this week, I think Buster may just have found a great new home. He is a great favourite here with everyone but he is enormous and not many people are interested in taking on such a big horse so this is a wonderful chance for him.Having just lost a shire they are well used to having big horses around them and Buster will settle anywhere as long as there is equine company and copious amounts of food.
Mei and I were giggling yesterday at the antics of Morris the bay gelding we admitted last year.I know many dogs, especially the unneutered ones will stop at every lampost but I have never heard of a horse which does much the same.It takes Mei at least twentyminutes to get Morris in from the field into his stable.That is not because he walks slowly(he is arthritic) but because he likes to investigate every single  mound of horse poo he comes across on his way in. He zigzags from left to right and even goes back sometimes to re-inspect a particularly interesting Poo Pile.Its hilarious watching him .I cannot take a video of him because the action is so minimal it would send everyone to sleep!
I have heard from Jennys new people, all is well, Jenny travelled exceptionally well back to Essex and has made herself completely at home.That news made my day.Today we admitted a 6 years old collie whose owner has died and a young cross collie whose owner could not cope with her. Both are lovely natured dogs and should be easy enough to rehome. There is also a little Patterdale cross which Vanessa is fostering, at just 6 months he will not be with us for very long.
The cat side seems to be picking up, today a gentleman visited with the view to giving two or three cats a home, he has taken some photos of the cats he liked to show his wife and will be returning with her at the weekend.If he chooses three that would be brilliant, we will be able to take a few more cats in from the waiting list then.Karen who adopted Lenny and Sooty has  been in touch to say that the two cats are adapting well to their new surroundings which is lovely to hear.Send some photos Karen!
One of our most popular volunteers  we have at the shelter arrived today to help with the filing; Julia is popular because  she is  not only an extremely nice person who manages to  lick our filing into shape but even more importantly she always arrives with home made flapjacks which we office staff fall on greedily and demolish within minutes(well I do anyway!) Julia The Flapjack Lady is pictured here hard at work  and giving Billy a cuddle. (why hasn't he gone yet?)
I cannot remember if I mentioned the fact that someone has offered  us a water container and elecric pump for us to use when we have the next Big Freeze. I was chatting on the telephone to a man in Lampeter who was doing a homecheck for me and  he has offered us one .Andrew is setting up a Dog behavioural centre where people with unruly and badly behaved dogs  can stay for a weekend course,  He and his partner who are both animal behaviourists  have  only recently moved to the property  and they hope to have it up and running within the next  12 months (with my ill mannered dogs, I may well be  be his first client!)Well , during the chat I mentioned our water situation during the cold weather and that we needed to purchase a container etc and lo and behold he has one which he does not want. I could hardly believe my luck.He will have to arrange for it to be transported accross his field so we can collect it and that may not be for a month or so but as long as we can collect it before next winter that will be fine. That will save us more than a few pounds, they are not cheap!

Just a reminder -Paul who is doing the Edinburgh marathon for us still needs sponsors so I will put the link to his justgiving page on next blog.
If anyone can put up some dog walk posters in  and around Gwynedd please let me know and I am still looking for an artist to paint the outside of our cattery.There must be someone artistic nearby who could spare an hour or so.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Jenny Is About to Become an Essex Girl.

What a horrible rainy cold day its been today BUT 3 adult cats have been adopted and Jenny the Lurcher too so in terms of rehoming it has been a good day.It may not seem many but this is about as busy as it gets. Lenny and Sooty cats have gone to live together with a young family- mum Karen has been emailing me for a couple for weeks with the view to giving a home to an unwanted cat and I am so pleased she has chosen these two.Sooty has been her nearly a year and Lenny is the colour which is most unpopular with visitors - BLACK! The third cat is a youngster which came in as a feral but has since become friendlier and friendlier each week that goes by.Now she has got a home of her own the process should be soon complete and she can spend the rest of her life in domestic bliss.
The new bunnies are getting on well with the 2 guinea pigs ,  I was a little concerned about their compatibility, rabbits do not always get on with guinea pigs and so I kept popping backwards and forwards to check there was no aggression between any of them.The guineas were a little put out at having to share their space with the newcomers but generally all is well in small animal land.We  have plans to convert a small area for the purpose of providing better  accommodation for these animals but it will not be started until the spring so we had to "double up" for now.
Jenny(above\) has gone to live In Chelmsford ,Essex with a lurcher loving couple Don and Vicky; they have had 5 lurchers over the 45 years they have been married(how does anyone get to the 45 years stage? I am highly impressed at such perseverance) and after travelling across the country to meet the lovely Jenny, they were not disappointed.I did ,however ,feel a pang of sadness as I watched them drive away with Jenny looking out the back window at me.No matter how much I want them to find good homes, I will never like seeing them go.Usually I choose not to watch them leaving but today I deviated from my normal routine  and Oh how I wish that I had not.If only we could communicate with animals and be able to tell them that they are going to a better life.For many animals that 'better life ' means the shelter.I can't wait to hear how she is, lurchers are such gentle timid souls around humans and their emotions show on their faces.I could see Jenny was worried and although I know that I would go a long way to find a better home for her than this one, my feelings of guilt at parting with her remains.This is the trouble with fostering dogs and having them in the house, it is so easy to become attached quickly and as most people who know me are aware - I hold a very special feeling for this type of dog. I have another 2  homeless pets arriving tomorrow, a 6 years old collie and a Yorkshire terrier whose owner has died, no doubt I will want to keep them too! Here I go Again!

I have decided to keep to the original date for the Sponsored Walk so it remains the 15th May.If we don't manage to raise as much this year well so be it. I am sure there will still be animal lovers who will support the walk  and if I change the date that may well coincide with another event anyway. Its the luck of the drawer. Last year our Open Day clashed with other big events locally ,in summer it is almost impossible to choose a date which doesn't do this. So the Decision has been made( I only hope I dont live to regret it)

Sadly Cuddles failed to make it, her condition continued to deteriorate and it was decided to let her go. I know we can't help every animal but to lose one so soon is truly upsetting.I feel that she must have had an undiagnosed infection prior to being admitted, for all we know she may not have been well since her owner died and the trauma of the loss and then moving here was just too much for her.Poor Cuddles.RIP.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Lad is Adopted Today

I cant believe it but have just been told the ultra popular cancer charity fundraiser     "Race for Life" is on the same day as our Sponsored Walk". I am now in a quandary.Do I change the date and if I do will it make any difference?Nobody is going to want to sponsor 2 events around the same time and in every office/works place there is bound to be someone doing the Race For Life. I really dont know what to do but  I need to make a decision fast!
Mei and I went to check out a home for Billy Jack Russell today, unfortunately the huge garden/paddock needs some more fencing to make it safe for dogs, however we have managed to secure more free grazing for our ponies.There is enough land for us to put at least 4 ponies there for the summer so this year we should have more ponies out than ever before. What a difference this will make.It gives our own fields a chance to be rested  and the staff will have more time to do the jobs which have been put on a back burner throught the busy winter months when there is so much mucking out to do.
We had people here today who are looking for a companion pony for their own and they have expressed interest in our beloved youngster Merlin and also little Sam shetland. The next step is a homecheck to ensure the home is suitable  - only the best for our  equines.
Today an extremely nice  young  couple turned up from Wrexham with two beautiful rabbits whose student owner was planning to abandon them because he found them too much to look after! I would have thought someone intelligent enough to be enrolled in College or University would have the common sense not to take on pets if they have no time to care for them .Clearly this assumption was totally wrong and Intelligence and common sense do not always go hand in hand  .How fortunate I am that I possess both!!!!!! No comments on this please.
As my lighthearted comment shows, my black mood is beginning to lift and my sense of humour is slowly but surely returning.  Praise the lord for that small mercy! The staff will no doubt be relieved too; when I lived at the LIverpool shelter I was hated by many of the staff (probably still am) who found my mood swings hard to deal with and of course I was not diagnosed as being Bipolar in those days so they just saw me as a bad tempered old hag! Nowadays I am hardly sweetness and light but my meds keep me (almost) on an even keel emotionally and my staff here in Wales profess to be quite fond of me(at least thats what they say to my face!)
The best news ever today has been that Lad the poor collie incarcerated in that rusty cage, has been adopted by a lovely couple from Anglesey, he made such a great fuss of them I think they were bowled over by him straight away. The  people who originally reported his plight to me have just telephoned to see how he is getting on and they are as thrilled as I am about his adoption. I will never stop feeling that sense of joy when we watch an animal like Lad leaving us to start a new and better life,it is just great.Pictured here is dear old Lad making himself at home and ready for the drive to his new home.He is a lucky boy and has every reason to be thankful that people not only passed by him in his horrible home but that they cared enough to do something about it. Over the years I have spoken to many who are upset about the treatment  or living conditions of neglected pets but refuse to do anything about it for fear of recrimination. I know this happens with child abuse cases also and I  feel very strongly that if people know abuse is going on whether it be a child or an animal, they have a duty to do their best to help - even a telephone call  can help but to ignore and hope the situation goes away is tantamount to being an accessory to it.   One case springs to mind and it is so distressing that I will not  write about it but suffice to say that the person who told me was one of our charity shop helpers and when I said I would help , she refused to give me the persons name and address.I felt so helpless, knowing something bad was going on and not being able to do anything. The guilty party was not even a close neighbour so there would have been no come back on her at all  so why did she bother to tell me in the first place ? I spent months thinking about it  , the same woman calls herself an animal lover- I dont think so!   I dont know how she lives with herself by standing by and taking no action.   She is no longer working in our shop.
I heard yesterday that little Teddy the disabled German Shepherd pup has been to a specialist in Surrey but in spite of  everything he has had to have his leg amputated .Poor little chap has been through a lot  but the vets have said they think he will cope well with his loss and he is young enough to adjust.The owner who abandoned him had a lot to answer to but still I hear nothing more from the RSPCA about their investigation. I wish I had done my own! I will be going to see Teddy  when he has recovered and hope to take some photos of him which I will post on blog. Sharon, the receptionist at the local Vet will be coming with me as she has been following his progress avidly and being a great dog lover herself has a very special place in her heart for him.

Well its time to take my mottley crew out on the fields, Paddy seems a lot brighter at the moment and enjoys a gallop around with the other more agile dogs(he never manages to catch up with them)I may  try to take a video of their antics tomorrow.Third time lucky.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Cats in Comfort and the Cattery has a Makeover..

I took these photos yesterday of some of the permanent residents. Big Ginge, who is now a very elderly ginger cat, always seems to find the cosiest spots to sleep and is inevitably snuggled up to several other cats. It is why I take so many photos of him and Harvey one eye who as you can see also likes to get himself really comfortable. Both he and Big Ginge were feral cats which have become domesticated over the years. Out of the ferals we have taken in, about half have lost their wildness but the others remain untoucheable. I have no idea why some stay like that, it is mystery to which I will probably never have the answer.

I had to take new cat Cuddles to the vet today as she seemed to have had some sort of fit, by the time I arrived there she was almost back to normal but her heart was racing and she did seem a little wobbly still. After an examination noithing was found, she has not got a heart murmer but she has had some blood tests and we will soon see if there is anything underlying wrong with her.Although the change of her cirumstances from losing her owner to arriving at a rescue cattery made her admittance to the shelter a traumatic one, she was enjoying the attention at the Vets and was purring the whole time.

The dogs have recovered from their spaying/neutering operations and the 6 cats which went in today for the same op are back also though they are still a bit groggy at the moment. Now they are all ready to be adopted so Bring on The Visitors! I have a good feeling about next weekend!

Cuddles deteriorated overnight and Rhian has taken her to the vet today.She is on a drip with suspected feline meningitis! This a first for me ,.I dont recall ever having a cat diagnosed with this before. Clearly she was unwell before she came here and I suspect the trauma of the move probably kick started something internally.Fingers crossed for her.

Supporters Lynette and her husband arrived to visit from Shropshire (Lyneete homechecks for me in that area)and they brought with them their own cats(freshfields cats of course) old scratching post/play center. Our ferals loved it , they started investigating the new toy immediately and thoroughly enjoyed themselves jumping up and down and using the scratching post(until it fell down!)See the video on Flickr of them shortly after it was installed.

It has been a lovely sunny day here and the opportunity was taken to paint the outside of the kennels and cattery again, it gets so scruffy looking after a while.We also had new signs for two of the buildings so after John and new helper Jason had painted the exterior, they fixed on the new signs. Jason pictured here admiring his handiwork! Now we need someone artistic who is willing to volunteer to paint animal footprints and a mural type scene of animals on the side of another building(the old kennels). I want to "tart" them up to improve the overall look of the site. is there anyone out there who could do this for us? It could make a real difference to the general appearance of the old and it has to be admitted shabby buildings. The trouble with nice weather is that everywhere looks as though it needs revamping, so you start with one area and then that shows up everywhere else, it has a knock on effect.

This weekend I will be doing the publicity posters for the forthcoming Easter Fair at the Royal Sportsman Hotel in Porthmadog , I have just finished the Sponsored dog Walk ones and the sponsor forms for that, so will be distributing those in the next week or so. Mion has telephoned me with dates for the various stalls she and Elspeth will be having at local Fairs and shows, last year they raised over £3,000 doing these stalls;they work really hard doing these and I cant begin to tell them how grateful I am. I appreciate everyones help, no matter how big or small, every penny counts.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Oops, wrong shelter in Mumbai was featured in the Passage to India documentary - sorry to mislead.,I did not realise there was another shelter there doing same work as Renus' Freshfields shelter.Still it was an interesting documentary though I feel the lady interviewed was rather misleading in her comments about most dogs belonging to people.From what I hear from Renu, many are regarded as pests and have stones thrown at them to keep them away from humans! Certainly she feeds over 200 street dogs every night. and is not regarded as a saviour to the homeless dogs but more like a nuisance in encouraging them ,to the extent she has to move her feeding stations from place to place to avoid creating confrontations.

I have discovered there are three major animal welfare organisations in Japan which are helping animals in distress and made homeless through the dreadful earthquake which has devastated the area.It is good to know there are people helping, I dont envy them their difficult job but well done to them. I have been feeling very low lately having descended into one of my black phases but the plight of those in the stricken area leaves me feeling ashamed of myself.
The two labradors which have gone to live in Cardiff are doing really well, there are people travelling here from Essex on Sunday for Jenny Lurcher and Tizer Jack Russell is going today.The dogs are going fairly well but the cat side of it seems to have ground to a halt and I cannot afford to pay for newspaper adverts at the moment. I will send some more photos of cats to the catchat website and hope that brings something. Oscar the poor cat which was returned is on their topcat page in the hope that someone will take pity on him.
We are full to the brim with cats and the waiting list is growing every day but yesterday I agreed to admit a cat of 9 years whose owner had died, her only relative lived in the Midlands so it was pretty urgent for the cat to go quickly.Cuddles is used to living indoors and has lived with a dog and another cat(adopted by the relative) so in spite of her shyness she may have qualities which will endear her to a prospective adopter. Todays video shows some of the many resident cats eagerly anticipating their lunch. I am the popular Dinner Lady on duty today!

3 dogs have gone for neutering/spaying today - Jenny the lurcher from the Dog Pound, Lad the Collie from the Cage and Ellie a dear little terrier found a few weeks ago and was admitted here in a very neglected condition, covered in fleas, underweight and with ears that looked as though another dog has had hold of her.Ellie(pictured here) is currently living with the gang in the living room.Jenny lurcher is going on Sunday so I will back to a manageable three!Tizer Jack russell has left us us today for his home in Shropshire, he is going to live in Plumtree Cottage, doesnt that sound wonderful? He will be companion to a very sweet but boss lady Scottish terrier. Its a very strange thing but sometimes we have a week or two of receiving calls about a certain breed as we did with Jack Russells a few weeks ago, now we are back to collies again, every call seems to be about a collie at the moment.When I speak to people at other shelters they have experienced the same, nobody has any idea why this occurrs but it happens all the time. For instance I seldom have requests to take dobermans, in fact in 9 years I have only been asked to admit one and last week I had 3 calls about dobermans within a few days! Weird!
We are struggling with the lack of foster homes and therefore having to "stagger" the dogs we can help and prioritise the most urgent.As always the ones at most risk are the strays in the pound , the neglected or mistreated ones and those whose owners have died, but everyone thinks that their problem is the most urgent and as such a lot of pressure can be put on us to take action, it is quite often the cause of my frequent headaches.
Ken (pictured here)one of our horses out on loan has passed away at his home with his carer Nicola who has done all she can to give him a good quality of life the past 2 years. Nobody could have done more and he has had a wonderful life with her and horsey companions.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Watch This

Just a quickie to say that at 9pm tonight on ITV1 (I think its tonight!)Caroline Quentin is on a documentary and is talking about the stray dogs in Mumbai.India and is talking with Renu, my friend who feeds the street dogs of the city and who runs Freshfields Clinic (named after us)spaying and neutering as many strays as she is able.A photo of her when she paid me a visit is on Flickr. Try not to miss it.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Paddy Takes A Tumble and Office Dogs on Film

Saturday:We said a fond goodbye to Bonnie and Bramble this morning, they have gone to live in Cardiff to a couple who have kept two labradors before and were thrilled to be able to adopt these two. I'm not sure the Saturday Staff are that unhappy about seeing them go after this mornings hour of unwanted exercise! As Rosie got the dogs out of her van when she arrived for work, they pulled away from her and raced down the track with Rosie and Harley(our dedicated volunteer)in hot pursuit.They chased them for over a mile until they finally caught up with the naughty pair. The new owners have been warned to keep them on extended leads otherwise they too will have enough training to enter the next London Marathon.I did take a photo of them with Bonnie and Bramble but it was not clear enough to print. If you read this Andrea and Richard, please send another of you all together.
I had thought it would not be too easy to find someone to take on both and especially as they are 9 years and 6 years but I was surprised to receive several enquiries. Another of Rosies foster dogs has also left us.Ty the staffordshire bull terrier cross pup who was admitted only last week has been found a home locally. He is a lovely little dog and a good advertisement for the wonderful nature of most of this breed.He ALMOST converted me!

Paddy and Patch have a new (temporary) pal in Jenny a Dog Pound lurcher.Another unclaimed stray.As I type this she will probably be in her favourite position, stretched out on the sofa in my living room. Like all lurchers I have 'met', she is affectionate and loving and is actually house trained (what a blessing). She is not in bad condition, nothing that defleaing and worming will not resolve and she does not even seem to be too bad with the cats, well at least she shows no interest and even backs away from them when they hiss at her.Of course I take no chances and she will be on a lead at all times, it would not be fair on the cats to have a potential aggressor at large.

It seems I have unwittingly upset some supporters in Anglesey through turning down a potential home for Jenny.Veronica Bookeeper had mentioned Jennys plight to several friends and acquaintences and subsequently one offered her a home(Jenny not Veronica)Unfortunately the person planned to keep her outdoors in a kennel and I turned the home down.The charity policy is that all adopted dogs should live indoors and not in an outside kennel, they are to be part of the family, and whoever heard of a member of the family living in a kennel? Anyhow that is the Charity Policy and most other animal welfare organisations adopt the same guidelines when homing dogs.Well because of this we appear to have lost supporters and fundraisers which is very upsetting when I am trying so hard to add to our supporter database,not reduce it. It is such a shame that the policy which was added for the protection and future welfare of the dogs we rehome has caused such a furore. My personal feeling is that no matter how comfortable the kennel is, dogs prefer to be inside the house with their owners and family and as a charity we have done the correct thing by making our adoption criteria with the dogs happiness and future wellbeing in mind. Due to the fact we have a non destruction policy we are not in a desperate race to find suitable homes,we can afford to wait if we feel the home being offered does not meet the Charity adoption Criteria. What more can I say about this? I suppose its a case of you can't please ALL of the people All of the time.It is still upsetting though for both me and Veronica who with the best will in the world was trying to find Jenny a home by spreading the word amongst her Dog Training contacts .Still we have to stick to our principles and policies and hope that those whom we have upset will realise that the only ones who will suffer from the charity receiving no more help from them, will be the Animals.

Early evening I took my dogs out whilst Mei popped home to let her own dogs out for a wee ( she has two chihuahuas)In my return Paddy was ambling along placidly with Jenny and Patch and then to my horror, he stumbled near the top of an embankment and before I could do anything he tumbled down to the bottom.It is only about 8 feet but enough to hurt his back. He was stuck at the bottom and could not get up. After 20 minutes of shouting for help Nia my next door neighbour (Nice Neighbour)who was walking her three dogs, heard my shouts for help which were echoing through the valley and ran to the village to get Mei. Between us we managed to get Paddy to his feet but then we were stuck, we could not get him up the bank for fear of hurting his back and the adjoining field had impenetrable wire fencing. Nia ran back to her house and within minutes her husband arrived with a saw to cut through the wire.(We could not find our bolt cutters!) After making a gap in the fence Paddy was able to walk through andthe field and back safely to the house. All in all it was a nightmare and all I could think of was whether Paddy had done more damage to his back.
Thankfully he appeared unhurt albeit a little stiff .What a Close Shave.I will not let him off his lead along that path ever again.
A very quiet day today with no visitors at all,It is a bright sunny day and I thought we would have loads of people here to look at the animals, maybe they are all enjoying their gardens or going for nice country walks!
Paddy is fine I am pleased to say. he seems to be showing no ill effects from yesterdays traumatic fall and was happy to go out for his daily walk this morning, though we steered clear of the path where the embankment starts.
We now have a Flickr account - see a sample of photos taken at the shelter on the right hand side of the blog so I will be uploading more photos to that so people can see more of the staff and animals over the weeks and months.
As it was quiet I took the opportunity to make another attempt at uploading a video and decided to use Office Dog Lucy and her pal Billy as guinea pigs.If this works I will be more adventurous next time.It takes me a long time to work out something new, I have only just got my head round the Flickr phenomenon! I promise the videos will become more of a regular feature and will hopefully improve in quality and content .Billy was a rescued dog from the Pound and is waiting for a nice home to come along.Lucy with the coat is of course a permanent resident here due to her habit of nipping anyone new she meets.When people come into the office, she has to go in her crate, when they leave she comes out again and I think this is how it will always be. With us she is wonderful but she is 11 years old and I cannot imagine anyone seeing beyond their initial impression of her which has to be said is never good. Maybe this video might help Billy but I'm afraid Lucy will be here forever. Mind yopu she is good company in the eveinings when I am on the computer, she sits behind me and keps me warm!
Roo the Siamese gave us a scare today, Sue came over to report that he had disappeared from his pen, we searched high and low for him but only his friend Eric was there .I was very upset and not in the best of humours thinking this poor old cat was lost somewhere in a strange environment never to be seen again.I had visions of his elderly companion pining away for him and then Sue came into the office to say that she had discovered the missing cat ! Roo, oblivious to our calls and the frantic search going on around him was fast asleep having curled up in the base of a cat scratching post! Panic over, cats all present and correct, equilibrium restored and the staff live to work another day!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Lad Enjoys His First Day of Freedom

Lad the collie from the cage is enjoying the company of the other dogs (see photo taken with Cariad , they had all taken shelter on the Office Verandah after being caught in sudden rainstorm) .
I wish there was a compulsory
course on animal welfare that
Farmers had to take AND PASS! Most I come into contact with have no idea about the welfare of their working dogs(never mind the other animals)
I am fortunate that the farmers on both sides of this property look after their dogs well and I have nothing to complain about with their situation, thank goodness - I would hate to be forced to see cruelty daily on my own doorstep.Unfortunately to many farmers it is enough to feed their working dogs and put a roof over their heads(albeit a small one) and they are the GOOD ones.The rest do not deem it necessary to even provide a decent shelter.It is an enormous problem and I am afraid that without proper legislation it will continue.The Welsh Assembly have brought out several publications on animal welfare and the guidelines are not bad at all, however there is no legal requirement to put these practices into being and unless the law starts to take animal welfare seriously there is little hope of improvements in the near future. What I find incomprehensible is the fact that all animal shelters soon have to abide by the same regulations as boarding kennels/catteries which means that most small sanctuaries will find themselves unable financially to make these changes to their our cattery pens are about 2 inches too short in length!!!!Already I have had the Trading Standards from the Council looking and measuring our pens with the view that we will need to upgrade to their specifications sometime in the not too distant future.The same officer tells me that a mother cat and newborn kitens will need the same size pen as adult cats.This, even though a mum and newborns prefers a small contained cosy area whilst she is nursing. Our mums and babies have a small pen until the babies grow and then they are moved to a larger one but soon this will not be acceptable! Our ferals who love to curl up in large groups will be forced to live 2 to a shed. Whereas we currently have 20 ferals in two sheds with indoor runs and access to a good sized outdoor enclosure ,this number will have to be reduced to just 4!
Tell me how is it that there is so much concern shown about this and yet it appears to be acceptable for farm dogs(and other animals) to live in cramped kennels and /or on short chains? Why were Lads living conditions deemed acceptable? Imagine if my animals had water bowls like his, I would probably be in court by now! Similarly in the past I have seen much cruelty shown by the huntsmen towards their foxhounds ,some incidents shocked me to the core but when I complained, nothing was done .As with Farmers, these vile people are allowed to get away with it time and time again.Where is the justice? Well thats my Rant for the Day,its one which really bothers and upsets me and each time I find a dog living in these conditions my anger starts up again.
The cats arrived with Veronica, and they are even older than I had been told.Roo the Siamese is 10 years old and his companion Eric is 13 years. My heart breaks for the oldies as I have mentioned so many times before,I just hope that someone kind will take on these two in spite of their ages.They are inseparable and used to rural life so I needs to find a similar home for them though I will be insisting that they live indoors in the next home , they are too old to live outside -in this weather especially and I want them to have some comfort in their old age. Perhaps a Siamese cat lover will take pity on Roo and his pal? I'm sure they will appeal to someone nice.

I have been listening to the reports on the dreadful earthquake in Japan, what terrible news there is nowadays in the media, sometimes I feel as though I no longer want to read a newspaper or watch the news on television, I do hope the animal welfare organisations get there quickly to help the poor animals affected.I don't mean to sound as if I have no concerns for the people, I do, but for what it is worth to them, they will receive help from all over the world and the animals will not be high on anyones agenda.

I want to finish on a high note because we all need to hear of nice things when we are surrounded by so much grief and catastrophe so here is my new list of good things that have happened this week.
1. Lad was rescued and is now a Happy Dog.
2. We received a cheque for £200 in todays post.
3. We had a visitor from France, the man who adopted Gilly collie paid us a visit, Gilly is wonderful, from abused farmdog to a life of luxury on the outskirts of Paris.
4. Legend is doing really well in his new home.
5. We have had some nice donations from local shops for our Easter Fair Raffle
6. There is a home waiting for the two middle aged labradors I admitted earlier in the week.
7. Paddy is putting on a little weight after we changed his food .
8. We have had two separate donations of cat food from supporters.
9. Sister Sandra is doing well after her operation.
10. I am being taken out to lunch today.

Thats the Best I Can Do!
PS: I forgot, there is actually a no 11 - I had a lovely letter and photographs from the lady who took on Starlight a disabled black cat. This kind lady travelled all the way from Liverpool to our shop in Porthmadog in order to adopt this little cat. Receiving letters like this are a great morale boost, heep them coming(especially by email as I can forward to the website to be put under success stories.)

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Mei gets a Soaking and Lad is Released From Cage.

For once I did have my camera on me when one of the Jack Russells chose to relieve himself on Meis leg.Little tinker!Champ, the naughty one is proving to be rather difficult, he is not used to having a collar and lead on and has to be lassoed in order to take him for a walk.He will need an experienced terrier owner, he will prove too much of a challenge for most prospective adopters.He reminds me very much of my own JR Charley Patch who took months to settle and would not let me touch him for about 4 months.Of course I wouldn't part with him for the world now, these naughty dogs have so much character and when eventually there is a break through with them it is so satisfying. Still they are not everyones cup of tea.
Rosie is fostering ANOTHER couple of dogs , someone turned up yesterday with a 6 months staff pup, now they really are not my favourite breed but this one is a sweetie and today I went to check on a farm collie in appalling conditions, he was being kept in a small wire run after his owner had retired, the water bowl was disgusting(see photos of him in his pathetic home and the water container) but before I even opened my mouth the man said he wanted a home for him so it was all so easy which is not very often the case.So another foster dog for Rosie.What would we do without her?

Yesterday Mei and I checked out some free grazing which had been offered in the Criccieth area, there is 8 acres of rough pasture which may do some of the hardier, younger ponies, we will be having a meeting this week to organise which ponies will stay the summer and which we will put out to other fields.It is still so very cold, icy even and whilst it is this cold I do not want the horses and ponies to leave here, at the moment most still need overnight stabling but as we all know,the weather could change anytime.I notice lots of newborn lambs in fields and wonder if they will all survive if this icy wind continues. For a few weeks the birds were not quite so noticeable on the feeders but now they are ravenous again and demolishing everything in sight, as soon as the feeders are filled, they descend on them and the next morning all are empty again.Its a never ending feeding frenzy and it is costing a fortune keeping them in seed, nuts and fatballs.

There has been no sign of the badgers so maybe I was wrong or perhaps they WERE here but have relocated.Shame I was longing to see one that wasn't stretched out lifeless on the side of a road.My sister(who is doing well now after her operation) has them in her garden and when I have stayed overnight the highlight has been watching them come out of the bushes around 9pm and scuttling over to the food she puts out.Sandra puts on the outside light so we can see them really clearly,I am so envious of her nocturnal visitors.

I have set the date now for the next Open Day here, it will be on the 24th JUly and we are also holding a sponsored dog walk on Sunday 15 th May.I will be sorting out the sponsor forms this weekend - if anyone would like some please contact me at the shelter. What I am trying to do is have a fundraising event at least once a month to supplement the income, the next one is organised by supporter Lindsay and is a quiz night at the cross foxes pub in Trawsfynyfdd. 8pm.If you are keen on this sort of thing please support Lindsays evening and help the animals here in the process.

There are lots and lots of cats waiting for places here now, the list is getting frighteningly long and they have to be prioritised depending on the urgency of the situation, the problem can be when most are desperate cases- people leaving their homes, owners who have died and the mnost urgent of all - those cats with no homes or owners to care for them.How does one prioritise these? they are all so needy. For every cat which is adopted another 50 are vying for that single place. I had no idea what an enormous task I was taking on when I set up the cattery here.If there were 200 pens, there would still not be enough for all the homeless and unwanted cats in this county. What I find strange about living here is that there are so many rural properties, so many people with land and yet there are fewer animal rescuers than there are in Liverpool and as for wildlife ,well finding injured wildlife creates a real problem; as far as I know there is only one person in the whole of the county who can help. A wildlife rescue is desperately needed here and a dog shelter AND a rescue cattery.I do wish the big National Charities would think of North Wales and
set up their next sanctuary here.Maybe they too are suffering from the recession! It is just so overwhelming trying to do so much, there is only so much one impoverished shelter can actually do and there are so many animals needing help.

Finally , a lovely white odd eyed cat was admitted as a stray(see here) I was so sure she would be claimed but a week has gone by and nobody has come forward for her. Tomorrow two more cats are coming in - their owner is moving house tomorrow and Veronica is collecting them from Anglesey on her way in to work.They are middle aged cats, 10 years and 8 years which takes the number of middle aged and elderly cats here waiting to be adopted to around 19.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

A new Life Ahead For Finchley Ferret,

I wrote yesterdays blog too soon because shortly after I left the office, we homed two adult cats and Finchley ferret. Finchley you may remember was the emaciated ferret we admitted several months ago, he was so weak, he could not stand and today he is a big healthy animal with an attitude! Most of the staff are nervous of him as he is inclined to nip so we have had a few people intrerested but his temperament has put them off. Along came a lady with her daughter who wants to do work experience here and lo and behold she is a ferret lover with a few of her own and she has adopted Finchley, this is great for him, soon he will have companions of his own species and a large enclosure to play in, life is going to be a lot rosier for him after today.The Liverpool shelter has really good facilities for ferrets and they admit quite a few annually but here we have limited facilities for such animals, I am not going to turn one away which desperately needs shelter but it is only suitable for temporarily accommodating a ferret or other small pets which is why I am overjoyed to see Finchley go.Nothing to do with his habit of biting of course!
It has been such a nice day that some of the horses have had their rugs off so they can enjoy the sun on their backs.Pictured are Rocky andEmber,Freddy and Grandad just after they have been put out and hovering round the fence for their daily supply of hay.There is not enough grass at this time of year so we are still supplementing their food and will probably continue to do so for a while, at least until the spring grass starts to come through.They love to be out, the first noise I hear in the morning is Big Buster kicking the door of his stable in impatience to be out in the field with his pals. Try and leave him out though and he stands by the gate for hours until he is brought in.We cant win!When I went to see the horses this morning, Cariad was in the middle of feeding the older ones their breakfast and was being pulled round the yard by Little Bobby shetland who had the toggles on her coat in his mouth and was having great fun with his new game.Why do I never have the camera with me at times like that?Most of my photos show placid horses standing quietly, believe me they are not always like that and the staff often have High Jinks with them, its just that there is never a keen photographer around at those times.
2 nice little Jack Russells have joined the Freshfields gang today,Champ and Tyson(I do hate these butch names)from different homes but the same area so one owner was decent enough to collect the other and bring him in also.They seem to get on well together and with office Lucy so until they go to their foster homes tomorrow they can all be exercised together.

Friday, 4 March 2011

A Dog with An Embedded Collar.

Scamp the collie we admitted today was found to be wearing an embedded collar which had started to infect the skin. The sore goes right round his neck. He has come from a private home, how disgraceful that this was left unattended, maybe not even noticed.It is nowhere near as bad as poor Robins neck (remember him)but if it had been left for another month or two it could well have been.The photo does not show how sore it was and how infected but perhaps that is as well, its not the nicest thing to look at. Rosie will be fostering him after the weekend, she is away at an agility show with her clever dogs along with Veronica and HER equally clever dogs.Its a great life for collies, their minds and bodies are kept energised.maybe they will take ME along next time. I could do with some energising activities!
A little stocky Patterdale was taken into our Caernarfon shop after twice narrowly escaping being hit by cars, he had no ID on him but was well fed and cared for(not neutered though) The little chap was claimed later in the day which was a relief to him and to us.He had been fretting and was looking very depressed until his owner arrived.Its easy to put on a collar and tag and yet so many fail to do this .I hope that the fright of losing him will do the trick and they will buy him a collar and tag. We will try to persuade them to allow us to microchip him(at cost)It is a small price to pay for peace of mind and to know that a lost pet will be returned quickly to his home.
PS: they were happy and willing to let us microchip him and are bringing their other dog back for us to do the same.Thats progress.

Legend the dog which was abandoned in Dorothea Quarry has gone to his third home and lets hope this is his final one.Of course there are problem dogs which are hard to cope with but he is a nice dog and it is really no fault of his own that he has not managed to stay out when adopted. I had him in the house last night and he was as good as gold even with boisterous Gel and Dingo driving him nuts. These two worry me, I wonder if I will ever find anyone suitable for them. Dingo is nervous and barky round new people and I would definitely be concerned if he got off his lead, he panics and becomes hard to get hold of. On the good side, he is house trained, affectionate, excellent with other dogs both males and females and well behaved except when dinner is ready and he boings up and down like a jack in the box! Gel being an ex farm dog is very energetic and he is overbearing with other dogs, he wants to play but he constantly grabs their necks and bowls them over, Dingo is extremely patient with him and rarely retaliates but another less sweet natured dog may be provoked into a fight. Being 2 years and 4 years they are too young for me to keep and Meg lurcher gets fed up with their antics. Will I be stuck with them?Much as I care
for these two reprobates they both need more attention than I can give them.
I have been waiting for a visit from BT about having a phone line in the house as I only have my mobile(which I lose constantly). When he turned up, he said that he had gone miles out of his way because he had stopped a lady walking a dog and asked if she knew where Bryn Melyn was located.(the name of the property which is Freshfields)but she could not help him and he went on his way.The lady was Sue who has worked here for two years! When she returned she asked mei if she knew where Bryn Melyn was and Mei replied "Here"!She was so embarassed that when the BT man finally found us, Sue hid behind one of the cars! She is finding it hard to live that one down! Good one Sue.
Oh , as I am writing this two strangedogs have appeared in the yard, a chocolate labrador pup and a shi tzu!They have tags on their collars so I rang the telephone number. The adventurous pair had escaped from their home just down the lane and already they have been reunited with their owner. The puppy was enjoying allthe fuss we were making of him so I hope we have not encouraged his wandering streak. This reunion took 15 minutes as opposed to the entire day that Duke the patterdale spent with us yesterday.
Only one couple turned up to adopt today but as they had lost their own cat recently, they left without one , saying they felt it might be too soon to take on another. I understand this logic but dont agree with it.Like everyone who grieves when a beloved pet is lost, I have spent time feeling sometimes overwhelmed with sadness; when I lost William I was more devastated over him
than over the loss of any other pet for a very long time, but there are so many animals languishing in rescue shelters that to me it seems self absorbed to allow oneself to drown in maudlin remembrances. I could no more visit a shelter knowing I had a home to offer and walk away without a new friend than I could take one of my pets to one. That said everyone grieves in a different way and I am not without sympathy for such people. It is not a criticism of their feelings,I have great understanding and empathy for those who are bereaved but my heart goes out to the pets left behind to wait again for the next visitor who might stop at their pen and who might, just might fall for a pitiful cry or a desperate bid for attention. This is the side I see when visitors leave empty handed and that is what I grieve for more than anything -the sadness of the homeless pet.
PS: as I was finishing this someone turned up and has chosen a kittencat aged 4 months and a black one at that so the day is not a total washout AND supporters Ann and husband from Stoke turned up with a car boot full of petfood for the animals here so the day has improved in leaps and bounds already.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Paddy has a Lazy Day

Another bright day though all the fields(and cars) were covered in a layer of frost this morning and the wild birds were particularly hungry for the treats I put out last night.

I am so excited - I think we may have badgers here, there seems to be a tunnel made in one of the fields and the shape of an animal was on a mound of hay left in the field.(as though something had been sleeping on it): of course there was the poor dead badger we found in one of the field shelters some months ago so even though I have never seen one there must be a few about.Anyhow I put out peanut butter sandwhiches in the hope that I am right and that they would enjoy a little treat.

The Mastiff did not come in after all, they were too upset to return him(good) so we will just keep an eye on how things are progressing there and his space can go to Sweep, a 5 years old collie whose owner is too ill to exercise him. He desperately needs another home and if he is as quiet and placid as the owner says he is, then he will be quite an easy dog to home.
We have taken in two cats today whose owner rang me yesterday because she was moving where the landlord would not allow cats,"when are you moving" I asked."Today" she replied !! After asking the neighbour to feed them until we had a space she upped and moved leaving the cats behind and left a message on my answerphone telling me what she had done.That was a totally unacceptable situation so Trish and her husband Bob(from the Porthmadog shop) kindly went to the address where the cats had been abandoned and took them back to the shop where we have a room for such emergencies.neither cat has been neutered and are brother and sister of 12 months.We have no available room in our cattery so they will have to remain there until we have some more cats adopted out to make room for them.
We had some extra helpers today, Lindsay and Nicky travelled from the other side of Barmouth to help out at the shelter and Rhian had them scrubbing the walls of the cattery -they were a good help so hope that doesn't put them off ! KIm (new fosterer)also has been helping out over the past week and today she brought her foster dog now permanent family member to see us and to be microchipped(the dog not Kim)
The newspaper coverage in the local paper ,The Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald has resulted in only one donation. Very disappointing.Considering how much we help this community we receive very little support .Never mind at least there are good supporters in Anglesey and other parts of Gwynedd.
Sweep failed to turn up, he has been found a home with a neighbour so I believe and I am pleased for him that he does not have to come here after all.Next on the list for a place with us is Scamp a young cross collie from Machynlleth whose owner has a new baby and no longer has time for her dog.He will arrive tomorrow, I have arranged for him to be collected and delivered here.
We have been offered another 5 acres of free grazing for our ponies this year though sadly it is because the owners horse has died .The land is very close to Freshfields and I would see Romany the grey horse every day so it is sad know ing that he will not be there anymore. The fields are ideal for us to use, they are almost opposite Meis' house so she can keep an eye on the ponies and we can see them from the shelter too.As soon as the weather gets warmer we will start to move the horses and ponies out to their respective summer grazing.
Four of the horses due to be returned will be going to foster homes.The two larger ones Dids and Buster will be going to stay with a friend of mine and Heather and Paddy will be staying on Rosies field next to her house in Clynnog. This should be fairly imminent as they will lose their home as soon as the house is sold and I have been told that the sale is going through quickly. The same friend who will be caring for Dids and Buster has also started to apply for grants for us so with a bit of luck we may receive some financial help in the next 12 months.If any of our applications are successful, it may take some time to materialise as most grant making trusts only meet twice yearly and some only once.I am delighted she has taken on this job for us, I really do feel that this will be a better year for us.It has been off to a bad start with our dire financial situation but I am confident it can only get better.(it cannot possibly get any worse) My most urgent projects are to have the area round the stables concreted and to cover the floor of the Agricultural building where we house most of the horses, with rubber matting. The sand floor has not proved to be successful and although the rubber matting will be very expensive it will be long lasting and will not need replacing once the job is done.,It will be better for the horses with foot problems , will be easier to keep clean and will be more comfortable for them should they wish to lie down as it is gives thick cushioning for their weight. Other priorities have to be a new(second hand) tractor and the old toyoya 4 wheel drive will need to be replaced before another year goes by. If we are successful with just one of these projects I will be thrilled.
Tomorrow I will be going to see Sister Sandra and will not be back until Saturday.As usual Mei will be caring for my animals whilst I am away and I know they all love her as much as they do me so it sets my mind at rest when I am not here. Paddy is not always good with people I'm afraid and none of the staff dare to enter the house to see to him so it is fortunate that he likes Mei otherwise he would have to go everywhere with me and my car is too hard for him to get into whilst his legs are not so good. He is so loving and affectionate I have no ideawhy he is naughty with others unless he is being protective,its just as well I am anti social and have no visitors here! He has to be the best guard dog I have ever had, there is no way anyone will ever enter my house uninvited!

Paddy pictured here having a snooze on his single mattress(no dog bed was
big enough for him )and in the back yard wearing his made to measure coat.My mum used to say my old cavaliers always looked miserable, I think Great Danes always look as though they bear the weight of the world on their shoulders! He IS happy HONESTLY.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Just a quickie to let people know that I had a very nasty blog comment left which I have deleted due to its content which was entirely untrue and malicious and is being dealt with in the appropriate way.Of course the author was anonymous.Par for the course I would say! Apologies to anyone who had the misfortune to read it and thanks to those who did and wrote supportive comments in reply.