Sunday, 31 July 2011

Will she stay or will she go?

Well, I have started the office tidying,its  beginning to look better and I am at least once again able to find things!
Mei is still bruised around her chin and nose and her lip is swollen with several stitches in but she is lucky nothing is broken. I doubt she will play that agility game again.Best leave it to the dogs Mei!
We have had an old dog in whose owner has died, he is very arthritic and wobbly on his legs.We will see if he improves with treatment but in truth I feel he may not have more than another 6 months, having said that he is a happy dog and is not the sort to fret, being perfectly happy just pottering around and having a fuss off people.Some animals really go downhill when they lose owners and it can take a few weeks for them to settle, on the other hand most seem to adjust very well to new  circumstances and this chap is clearly one of the more adaptable ones.I am going to see how he gets on with Meg lurcher and Jackson staffie in the house .Jackson will be fine with him other than the fact that he young and strong and may knock the old dog over in his attempt to be friendly. There has not been one enquiry for Jackson and speaking as  a person who is not usually overly keen on this type of dog, I have to say he  would make someone a delightful pet, he is just a bundle of love and affection and his friendliness to other dogs is such a bonus.
If any readers could post his facebook profile on their own and spread the word I would be very grateful.

The Facebook page has proved to be a great success with the homing of animals,it takes the word out to so many more people and Smokie the 12 years old cat found his home that way; there is another show of interest in Lola the black cat who has been here for two years,it would be wonderful if that adoption went ahead. The internet can be a real pain sometimes, the amount of rubbish(spam) that gets sent via email daily is mindblowing but where it comes into its own for an animal shelter is the ability to spread the word around the country so we are no longer restricted to a small radius to  search for help.
NOwadays the network of animal rescuers means that we can arrange homechecks all over the Uk, we all can help each other..Just this week a homecheck is being done for me in Norwhich., not only is this support a great help but it also brings me  into contact with likeminded people and the more we can help each other the more animals we can rescue between us all. It has opened up so many possibilities and when I look back to the early days of Freshfields I see how limited I was, no wonder I struggled so much for help.

Mion is fostering another mum cat and babies, their owner was moving and gave us 2 days to find a place for them! Sometimes I know that people will not  abandon their pets no matter what, other times I have a gut feeling that if I dont make a decision to move quickly on a particular case, that it would without doubt result in abandonment .These cases put a great deal of pressure on rescues, it is easy to deal with when there is room but more often than not we are absolutely full, what do we do then? Well I make dozens of telephone calls to people I know and hope that one will relent and offer a temporary home to the animals in danger. There are many who would love to offer this help but their personal circumstances do not lend themselves to fostering,however I keep trying until I either find a place or resign myself to finding space in the house and to do this it has to be an animal my own will accept and again there is a limit to  the numbers I can have and care for.As it is I wonder if Jackson will ever be placed or the little old girl from the Dog Pound who has made herself at home now they stay it means I cannot take in any other needy dogs.
Jackson surely will appeal to someone but I think the little old girl will stay somehow. Pictured above  with glowing green eyes (Nicky what do I do wrong?)

Cariad is spending some time today with Phoebe and Caradog.We hope both will eventuually be placed out on loan together but we need to keep them fit and used to having people handling them.Pictured here is Phoebe being put through her paces with the help of Ethan.
Phoebe has been a childs pony but has had little exercise for some time, she is only 10 years of age and without some schooling will never find a home.
Her companion Caradog is also in need of some one to one attention, one wonders why a horse ends up so nervous around humans? Of the two it is Phoebe who is the more sociable and will be easier to place but  it could prove harder to place them together, nevertheless they are going to stay together whilst they are so bonded. Unlike most horses who come here neither horse has  has shown any  interest at all in others and prefer to keep themselves to themselves. If Phoebe is out of sight Caradog becomes fearful and agitated, she gives him confidence so we are looking for a very special home for these two,

Finally, I must add that this past two weeks has seen  new visitors to my garden bird table, two greenfinches and a female siskin. This may sound dull to those who have numerous species visiting their gardens but I have very few so any new arrivals are regarded by me with great excitement! In particular the siskin landed on the feeder whilst I was standing very close waiting for Meg Lurcher to have a wee! I even for once had my camera on my person, however my hand was shaking so much trying not to scare the bird away I screwed up and the photo is blurred.

When I was in Peru I went to see birds feeding  on a salt lick at the side of a river (just off the Amazon)and this amazing vision was made all the more interesting by the fact that each species of bird clearly had a pecking (sorry for the pun) order. The beautiful scarlet and blue Macaws came first, followed by different species of smaller green parrots , each species taking its turn on the lick. Here I notice that the siskin and greenfinches come later in the day when the chaffinches and others have taken their fill for the evening.Sometimes it is 9pm when they arrive. Have others noticed this?

Friday, 29 July 2011

We are kept busy with adoptions.

There is a bit of an anti climax after the hustle and bustle of Open Day but now ther are other jobs to see to and other events to organise. The takings were up - just over £4,000 but of course not all is profit.Nevertheless it was the best day yet so next year I aim to take £5,000.Nothing like optimism is there?
Teddy lurchers home did not materialise so he is still in need of a home, as is Honey lurcher.One  lurcher WAS adopted through being seen on the day so Hobo a handsome black and white male  has a good future ahead of him now.
Also adopted  are the three terrier strays which came in from the Dog Pound so all in all it has been a very uplifting week. We all feel happier when animals are going out to homes, our moods are definitely affected when it is quiet and nothing seems to be leaving us.
12 years old cat Smokey came with me to Liverpool where I was attending a trustee meeting, his prospective owner lives on Merseyside and was eagerly awaiting his arrival. The meeting went smoothly, I stayed overnight with Wendy Salt, one of the trustees and in the morning we went to the LIverpool shelter to have a look aound. The wildlife unit was the first stop as we wanted to see the new duckling pond and it was great seeing the hand reared babies doing so well and having such a lovely time in the water.
 (have a look at the video on the website)  -
Lyn in charge of wildlife there showed us round and as usual it was full of hedgehogs and baby birds including more orphaned ducklings.They take their lives in their hands when they toddle across busy roads and these had lost their mums that way, poor little things. I was more than a little tearful when we visited the old graveyard which is now a lovely area of wildflowers and mature trees but it is where I scattered the ashes of my partner Steve and is also the site where my old dogs and cats are buried so emotions were close to the surface. Nowadays this small area situated in a corner of the shelter contains a couple of pre release avaiaries and they were full of birds on the last stage of recovery. The garden is tended by volunteers and is a credit to them, as is the front of the shelter which is bright and cheerful with plants all along the perimeter. It was nice to meet some of the staff whom I rarely see since my move to Wales and to meet new ones too.

Back In Wales I have come back to an office which desperately needs tidying and more animals needing help.Where does one start? At a glance the list of animals seems to be mainly of dogs and mother cats and kittens. I will have to meet with the cattery staff to see what spaces we have and regarding the dogs, there are more staffordshire bull terriers and crosses of that breed which fill me with despair.There has not been one enquiry for Jackson the staff cross I have in the house and he at 10 months is an ideal age and temperament for homing.If I fail to home him, what chance have the others? There is a lady who is losing her home soon and she has three dogs with whom she needs to part and one of them is either a cross staff or a pitbull!  It truly is a nightmare situation.
Some kittens have been reserved which I am pleased to hear, at least they are starting to move a little now.It will pick up in August when most people have been away for their holidays and start to think again about buying a pet. I wish it would come quickly!

I noticed more photos had been posted on flickr but was horrified to see an old myopic, fat, ugly woman who looked remarkably like me, what was she doing sitting with my sister and nieces? Nicky,  I will personally see to it that you are hung drawn and quartered if you ever post a photo of me looking that bad ever again!!!
On that cheery note I will immediately go and book a face lift and everything else lift(only joking, cant afford it!)
The photo is of our  hit the huntsman(with a wet sponge) game at open day. Bravely placing his head in the hole is Josh(Gails son)  and no he is not a child with extraordinarily long legs, he is standing on a set of steps!!!This game always goes down well.Wonder why?
 I am almost decided that my next charity sponshorship challenge
 will be through the jungles of Borneo with the added challenge(albeit a welcome one for me)of working in an ornagutan sanctuary for a few days. The problem is I need 9 others to accompany me to make the trip viable for the compnay involved. It would be october 2012 and £3,000 sponsorship has to be raised during the twelve months from date of booking.(this october)
Last time I failed to persuade anyone to join me on the Kilimanjaro climb so it was cancelled, This time I really would like to do this one so if anybody out there fancies an adventure or knows someone adventurous and who wants to raise money for Freshfields tell them to get in touch with me. How wonderful it would be to have this experience and raise much needed funds for Freshfields at the same time.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Late addition to Sundays events.

And here is Teddy, from abandoned and disabled pup languishing in a Dog Pound at the age of eight weeks to a dearly beloved pet who walked away with the title of Best Rescued Dog. oh how his fortune has changed!

Also a photo of the wonderful cake donated by supporters for our raffle and to the delight of the staff, the winner , a lady from Anglesey kindly donated it to to them. What a thoughtful gesture. They will all have to work extra hard this week to work off the extra pounds they will have put on ! That is with the exception of superfit Teg who ran the Snowdon race on Saturday and managed it in 1 hour 25 minutes. Up the mountain and down again in this time is no mean feat. I think he is more than entitled to his fair share of fattening cake.

Today there has been interest in Teddy the lurcher  who was at the Open day trying to find adoptive 'parents'. They are going to meet him on thursday so heres hoping that they will all like each other  and a family on holiday who attended the Open Day and briefly met one of the jack russells are returning tomorrow with their own dog to see if they get on together.If we home even a couple of animals it will be good and well  worth all the time put in to advertise them with their stories and photos on our display boards.

Finally Mei is back home and looking very sorry for herself.She has been in work this afternoon  but her face is looking very bruised and no doubt will look even worse in a few days time. Sooner her than me although I have to confess that earlier on in the evening Helper Kim and I were doing the very same thing on the pretend assault course, will we ever grow up? Speaking for myself I have no plans in that direction!

The Open Day is A Success.

What a fantastic day we had.The weather was perfect, around 460 people attended and everybody seemed to be having a lovely  time. As usual the dog show attracted a lot of people anxious for their pets to show off their appeal and good looks.  Sadly Although we made much of the fact we had dogs desperate for homes , none attracted any serious attention  though one kitten was reserved. Next year at the dog show, I think we will have a parade of dogs in need of homes which may be a better forum for them.Better to see the actual dogs than a photo on a  poster.Another big draw is the display by the Ynys Mon dog training team whose display of  "dancing with dogs" went down a treat with everybody .Fun was also had by those who had a go with their own dogs at our agility course (set up for the day only) Who knows, one day we may be seeing one of them on the X Factor!

Guess won the Best Rescued dog class in the Dog Show?  Our handsome Teddy the abandoned three legged GSD pup, of course he is now 8 months old  but still incredible looking and he manages so well without the damaged leg he once dragged about. It was great to see so many of our own dogs again and especially good to see dear Gel, the middle aged collie who now spends his time   in Hampshire/Spain. It was a real treat to see him again and looking so happy.A different dog entirely to the sad neglected animal he once was. It totally made my day.(and I  was so pleased  I  completely forgot to take a photo!)

Sorrell the horse which needs a hernia operation  attracted some interest and support from visitors and there was £70 collected for her in a special fund raising appeal.We will be forging ahead with this appeal now Open Day is over and done with for another year.Now I can concentrate on Sorrells Fund and hopefully by next year she will be able to have the operation which will cost at least £2,000.
Morris was also popular, his gentle nature made him a hit with children and he is always happy to have a pat or two and a bit  of admiration!

The Teddy Bear Stall was manned by my sister Sandra and her twin daughters (Talitha and Lucinda)accompanied by Talithas sons Reuben and Atticus.  all Pictured here wearing their best smiles for the camera.Reuben aged 4 was a great help on the stall, as someone was handing over money for a toy, he announced "of course you know it doesnt work but it doesnt matter does it?"
Salesman of the year he is NOT!!

Altogether the day went really well, there were a few minor glitches which were to be expected but by and large it was agreed that this was our best Open Day yet.Well its only the third one but its getting better every time.
Naturally the sun coming out is always a great bonus, everyone is happier when not having to shelter from wind and rain.

It has been hard work getting the day organised and the staff are all tired today but still here cleaning out the animals  etc. They had a party in the evening to wind down and enjoy themselves but it came to an early finish  when Mei fell face down off some hay bales(?) and was taken to hospital with possible concussion. After an overnight stay she is back home but has a broken nose and has had stitches to her lip.Suffice it to say that she will not be happily posing for any photographs over the next week or so !
The top photo shows stalls set out in the stable yard.Now we have  had the area concreted it is so much cleaner and greatly improved.
A few people who had not been here for a few years commented on the difference to the shelter, of course when you live and work here every day it doies not always seem that much has been done but really there has been a great deal of improvement over the ten years. I will only feel truly content when the cattery is pulled down and rebuilt.THEN I will feel that we are getting somewhere. It does take a long time to get work done with limited funds but little by little the work is beign done.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Roy Makes a Faux Pas!

Here is a photo of the beautiful rabbits, now called Tilly and Lucy after my twin nieces. Whether they will find this flattering is dubious especially as their full names are Talitha and Lucinda. (the nieces not the buns)At least I will soon know if they bother to ready my blog!
I decided  I had to publish this photo of Roy and the story behind it.
Today has been manic with lots of deliveries and preparations  for Sunday and Roy as usual was happy to give his time to help out tidying up and painting. Then he got a bee in his bonnet about finding a bigger pot for this plant which he said would be potbound as it was far too big for the pot (see photo)and did  I have some compost. I said I did but failed to see what difference it would make to a tree made out of plastic. Do you think Roy looks suitable embarassed?
.It reminded me of when my sister stayed in my house and when I returned from wherever I had been she was very cross with me for allowing a potplant to dry out so she had left the silk hydrangea plant in a sink of water to try and rehydrate it!

The pound dogs are in and so so nervous.There is an elderly Jack russell, a youngone about 12 months and a cross JR/collie pup. I hate to see dogs cower when you open a door or lean down to stroke them. here is a pic of the pup and the young JR called now George and Hughie respectively. I have yet to take a pic of the older one. I wonder if they are all from the same farm, the young one and the older one were picked up together! Wherever they came from and whomever they belonged to failed to claim them and the apprehension these little dogs are showing is just not right at all.
One of the collies went to a home today, the lady has already hadFreshfields dog for 15 years and  I know Megan will have a lovely home there. The people are coming for Nell on Sunday and Floss should be adopted also this week, A successful homing of this trio of collies.

geri the lovely little ginger cat has been given a home by one of the staff here - Sue whom is a great cat lover has fallen in love with her. This is why nobody whom works at an animal shelter has an animal free house!

Abandoned Bunnies.

Just a quickie as so busy getting organised for Sundays Big day. Two young rabbits were found abandoned on the side of a road and taken to the Vet so when Roy went to collect the two collies Floss and Megan after their spaying operation, he returned with these two lovely girls.
Wales on Sunday Newspaper contacted me about the high number of unwanted litters of kittens being born and I was more than happy to talk to the reporter about the problemespecially if it results in a few homes. I hear Battersea dog and cats home have a massive influx also, think it is the same everywhere.I cannot understand why the problem is worsening and not improving when nowadays there is so much neutering assistance offered! Could it be that we are becoming a nation overcome with  Apathy? That there are some  for whom, this is extremely low on their list of priorities, who will not be bothered to make appointments for pets to be neutered and go to the trouble of taking them and collecting them? If it was all arranged for them would they agree? I suspect this could be the case but at what cost would it be to have to do this for everybody? Imagine the funding and man power needed!

There are 3 Jack russells coming in from the Dog Pound, Vanesa has offered to foster one and no doubt one will find its way into my home, will ask Rosie to foster the third.She is not in today so will have to ring her. I am sure she will help. I do wish there was a big dog shelter (with a non destruction policy) in this area, when it is down to just Freshfields and Paws(who have a small number of spaces in boarding kennels) there simply is not enough help for these unwanted animals. One of my lottery plans would be to purchase another property away from all neighbours and have a state of the art dog shelter with Vet in attendance, behaviourist and big enclosed fields in which the dogs could run freely and safely. Then there are the neutering clinics and the feral cat enclosed fields with cat houses dotted all over! Oh well Dream on, these are  just some  of the many dreams I have but some I feel sure will come to fruition eventually (maybe not in my lifetime) Positivity is the answer (and a lot of luck and some super super  animal loving ultra rich friends!)

Next blog will be after Open Day. Hope to see many of you there.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Jackson finds a Friend in Paddy

We had a trial run through today erecting the gazebos which we will be using on our Open Day.Well, I say "we" but in fact it was Jason(Vanessas partner) and John handyman extraordinaire! (he will like that title) who put their backs into it and very well they did too. Mind you they were of the pop up variety so even John couldn't go too wrong there! Seriously he has been brilliant lately and has stayed late painting and tidying around so good on him.
There was a moment of sheer panic when  there appeared to be a large part of the tent missing  and my heart sank until there was a  triumphant shout from Vanessa who was rummaging in the depths of one of the storage containers, thankfully  she  had found the  lost items.Panic (temporarily) over. I dare say there will be many more such moments in the lead up to Sunday. I am running round like a scalded cat(what a horrid saying) issuing instructions on jobs which still need to be done and  trying in my inimitable and disorganised way to pull everything together in time for the weekend.

Jackson the cross staff is doing well with my dogs and in particular he appears to have become   Paddys biggest fan. Paddy was bemused by this  newcomer who was gazing up at him  and wagging his tail and then  jumping up to lick his nose.He even had a  little game of "Chase me" with him. Paddy does occasionally display a sudden burst of energy and will have a little gallop round the field but it is generally fairly short lived and he will then slump back into "Its all too strenuous " mode again. I have now discovered that Jackson is only a pup at 10 months, he has lived with a cat and a dog so that explains his  tolerance with other animals.He is also(like so many staff types) excellent with children.,Altogether he will make  a great family pet. Lets hope someone will see him and appreciate all his good qualities.
The bottom photo shows Meg Lurcher with Jackson and Patch the scouse Jack Russell. He is around 11 years now and is the bane of my life(but I do love him). He is like one of those children about whom people say "only his mother could love him!"

There is still no sign of our old cat and I feel now she will not turn up so with sadness I have to accept she is gone. Another little cat has had to leave us today, poor little soul came in looking not quite right and he has been confirmed as having feline peritonitis and is in advanced stage. The decision to let them go is still so very hard even after all these years and I know both Gail and Rhian had a soft spot for little Huw which made  it so much harder for them.

Finally I have to now finish the posters I am doing for next weekend so I will do my best to fit in another blog before Sunday but dont be too annoyed if it doesn't happen!

Monday, 18 July 2011

A Very Handsome Duo.

Thought you would like to see A video of our most recent equine arrivals Caradog and Phoebe, these two are inseparable  - Caradog is extremely shy but getting better all the time and Phoebe also is a little apprehensive of being handled at the moment. Both need some more work doing with them to become more accustomed to having people handle them and be around them but they are lovely animals and Caradog (the big one) in particular elicits many admiring looks and comments from visitors. They are so healthy it would be a shame for them to spend their lives here so we are hopeful that eventually we will find a nice home where they can remain together.

It seems very quiet here on the horse front as  half are on their summer holidays elsewhere, but I have just heard that the carer of one of our ponies  is very poorly, she has had two ponies on loan for several years and one has already been  moved to another loan home so the remaining pony  has to be sorted out fairly quickly. I hope it can wait until after next Sunday!

I have just  had a lovely letter telling me that Ember and Fred Shetlands have adapted well to their new surroundings in Conway, now if we could find a similar home for Heather and Paddy we would only have the elderly shetland ponies left to winter here at the shelter. This is both a sanctuary and a shelter which means that the old and infirm will have a home for life here (thats why I am here!) but we do attempt to find homes for the younger and fitter ones. If we kept them too there would  not be enough space/stabling for those ponies which desperately need our care. We are always being asked for riding ponies and horses but it is seldom we receive such animals, most come here because they cannot be sold for one reason or another . It is unusual to have two like Caradog and Phoebe who have no health problems at all. Most of the homes we find are with people who simply want pets they can care for and enjoy, or as a companion to a solitary horse which is lonely and in need of a friend. Keeping on top of the homechecks for these out on loan is proving difficult and we really need a little band of people to help us in this way.  Our horses are placed all over Gwynedd and all areas need to be covered. Is there anyone out there who could help us in this way? Let me know if you can.

One of our old permanent cats has vanished, she has not been seen for a few days.  Tiddles has been living contentedly here for a few months, she seldom leaves the warmth and comfort of the conservatory and NEVER misses her food so this is very unlike her. I hate it when this happens and I know how people feel when they phone me to report their pets missing.  Its that feeling of not knowing that kills you. Over the past ten years  three of our cats have disappeared like this, not a huge number considering we have so many here but with all three I never found out what had happened to them and still wonder now, years after they vanished. The common denominator with them is that they were all very elderly so it doesn't take much imagination to realise their fate. I can't help wonder why all the others don't disappear too, if they are looking for a quiet place to end their days? It doesn't make sense to me. Any comments about this from anyone? I would be interested to hear other view points.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Mei and Jackson Share a Kiss (or three)

What an awful day for the Liverpool Open Day, I feel so sorry for them as I know they will have all put so much work into the preparation, every year the staff there stay and work  extra hours, often into the evening , painting and generally getting everything ready so how disappointing for everyone. Will ours be the same next sunday?I hope not but its anytbodys guess as the weather is so very unpredictable.

Some good news is that the lurcher in Machynlleth has been caught after a local vet gave her sedative tablets in food, she was eventually caught as she slowed down and there is someone caring for her at the moment with the view to keeping her i she settles with his own two dogs. What a relief! I woke up this morning, looked at the weather outside and thought of this dog trying to keep warm and dry, so I am over the moon that she is no longer on the loose.

Regarding the other little stray, Roy went out to have a look for him/her and after making some enquiries he felt the dog had an owner in the area, though considering the poor state his pet is in, it is small wonder people thought the dog was a stray or abandoned. We will still be looking out for him to try and do something to improve his life.

Our animal videos are succeeding where photos have often failed. The lovely grey tabby kitten shown on Flickr was spotted by great cat loving supporters of ours and he has gone today to join their feline family. Freshfields facebook page is also proving to be a good place to show some of our older animals. 12 years old Smokie has found a home  this way, I will be delivering him to a home on Merseyside when I go to liverpool  for a trustee meeting on 27th of this month.

All three collies featured on the blog the other day have all now had interest shown in them, so pending homechecks they may all have hit the jackpot! Speaking of that wouldn't it be lovely if  for once a lottery winner would also be an animal lover and plan to help some struggling animal charities (like Freshfields maybe?).  I am so tired of reading about offenders winning large sums of money, or lager louts, and my own personal dislike - those who insist that their lives will not change!!!!!! What is that all about?  Imagine what could be done to help the abused and unwanted animals of this world if one of us had won £162 million. Now if any of you are the winner, I would like a  very large cheque sent in the post ASAP and if you would like to add a smaller (but still  outrageously generous) cheque for my own personal use I can promise you that my life would definitely change thanks to your generosity!

Check out this video if you would like to see why I chose the title for todays blog! See story below.

Jackson the cross staff is a rather nice animal and has been no trouble at all, he and Meg lurcher are getting on fine in the house.  He is full of fun and affection, as  indeed is Mei shown here with him, and I think it highly possible that once this video hits youtube, that she too may be offered  a loving home!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

I'm Back.

I returned from holiday last night , enjoyed the break and respite from animal problems though couldn't resist stopping almost every person who walked past me with a dog - to talk to the dogs, not the people! I spent 6 days in France and the last night in Liverpool where friend Diane lives. It was nice to see that there were no stray dogs (saw only 2 cats) and all those dogs I did see were well cared for and accompanied by humans. I spent some time at a bird reserve in Arcachon (near Bordeaux)where there were Storks nesting - a fantastic sight but It was lovely to  arrive home and have such a warm greeting from my pets.Even Holly no ears the cat who loves to spend the night on the tiles(or rather in the fields) refused to go out, preferring to lie next to me all night purring away.I think it meant she was glad to have me back. Either that or she knew she would persuade me to give her an extra sachet of food! Yes that was probably far more likely.
I was thrilled to discover Cleo and Barney had been adopted and today a gentleman came to see another dog Glenn which  sadly turned out to be unsuitable. He was about to leave empty handed with his own dog who had not taken to Glenn at all , when I suddenly thought of Gel who has been living in the house with me. He is only 3 years old and although I had resigned myself to keeping him, it was not the ideal option for such a young dog.   As luck would have it, the two dogs appeared to get on well and the gentleman fell in love with Gel. .It was a bit of a shock, this collie  has been returned twice, once for chasing cars and also for jumping up aggressively at someone. Although I always have to take seriously the comments made about returned animals, With this dog I can only say that we have never seen any sort of aggression in him whilst he has been here although we have noted his problem with cars. I never withhold the truth about animals so often these bad habits understandeably put off prospective owners.This time ,however, it happily failed to do so and so off Gel has gone to a new home.I can only hope that his problems do not become an issue though I always half expect to see such dogs back at the shelter eventually. Lets hope it wont happen in this case, he is such an affectionate animal, it would be wonderful for him to have a place he can truly settle in.
The staff have obviously worked hard whilst I have been away, lots of preparation work for the forthcoming Open Day has been done, the stable yard has been concreted and looks so much better, what a differnce that will make when winter arrives. Speaking of the weather ,fingers crossed for the  Liverpool Open Day tomorrow.The forecast is not good but it is not always correct so please will everyone send positive 'sunny' thoughts for a successful day over in Ince Blundell. There is just over a week to go before we have our own annual Open Day and Dog Show and this coming week will be a very busy one for all of us here at the Welsh Shelter. We could still do with some people baking cakes if there is anyone able to help us in that way? Please telephone if this is something you may be able to do.Also if you have any chairs
or benches we could use - last year we were desperately short of seating.

There are three adult cats reserved and it has been fantastic news to hear that Apollo and Taz have gone to live with their former companion (and Apollos brother)Max. I was starting to think nobody would take on these two beautiful but older cats. How wonderful that all three displaced cats have found a home together.
Photos of the Lucky three - Apollo the handsome longhaired and Really Huge tabby is on the left and brother Max bottom left with  11 years old mum Taz on right.
It is still hopelessly quiet on the kittens  front so I will be contacting the local newspaper on Monday, perhaps they will consider publishing an article about this desperate situation. This year we must have more grey and grey and white kittens  than ever before and they  are usually snapped up.I keep telling myself that it is holiday time and by the end of August all these gorgeous babies will have been adopted.Lets hope that will happen.

I had a call this morning about a stray terrier in Bangor which a lady is trying to find for us, she says he has a matted coat and looks weary.Poor dog, hope she finds him and contacts us. Another such dog is a lurcher in season(Oh no!) in Machynlleth. She has been wandering about for four weeks and has evaded all attempts at capture. We are trying to get a dog trap there but we need someone with a transit van to or similar to transport trap and help with catching her..The trap is quite large and is currently in Blaenaufestiniog. If anyone knows someone who might help with this problem please ring  me. I will keep everyone informed about these two   cases.

I have just noticed the photo of staff 'WORKING HARD'. Mmm!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Three Ladies Looking For Homes ....

...No not me, Gail and Rosie!!! These are 12 year old Nel and her daughters, 6 year old Megan and Floss.

 Sadly their owner died and his 83 year old mum is unable to care for them. Vicky and I went to visit them today and take some photos. For the time being they will be staying in their home, until we can find them a suitable foster home anyway! All three have only ever lived outside, but I'm sure will adapt very quickly to the comforts of living in a home, lets face it, they all do don't they!!!
Nel and Megan were pretty laid back, and I'm sure both would make wonderful pets. Floss was a lot more active, she has been a working sheepdog and I'm sure she would benefit from an active lifestyle.The girls all need neutering (Depending on health screening for Nel) a dental and some serious de-matting. I've never seen such amazing dreadlocks on dogs before. Though to be fair, they are in good physical condition and their living condition were clean.
Lesley will be back on board later today so I'll now hand the blog back over to her. I'm sorry the posts have been short....but I guess they have also been sweet!!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Meet Jackson

This handsome hunk is only 10 months old and already looking for a new home. Jackson who came to us yesterday is being fostered by Vanessa and has fit in with her family really well. Whilst Vanessa was out yesterday afternoon he had broken out of the crate and she came home to find him fast asleep in the basket with her elderly German Shepherd, Gem. Nothing had been moved or broken in her home, a credit I think to the character of both dogs. Vanessa describes him as a surprisingly gentle dog who has sadly had no training. Anyone considering a new friend in their life could surely consider Jackson?
Barney's home visit passed with flying colours and now that he has lost the "bits" that he no longer needed, he will be going to his new home tomorrow. I'm sure he will settle in brilliantly as we have found him to be the most pleasant of characters.
Talking of characters, I've fallen in love with a tiny black kitten. Larry, as I've now christened him is much smaller than the rest of the litter and has had an eye infection. This doesn't seem to have bothered him in the slightest, I guess what he lacks in size he makes up for in personality.... Anyway, I have tried at home, but sadly Stevie say "NO!"

Monday, 11 July 2011

Cats and Kittens

Finally it looks as if some of the cats and kittens have started to find homes. But for everyone that goes out there are sadly umpteen waiting to come in. Taz and her glamorous son Apollo left us on Friday, actually it's lovely to think that they have gone to live with Max, whom they originally came in with. I gather at least one of the lovely grey kittens went out yesterday and two more adults have been reserved.
This morning whilst driving into town I saw Candy the Lab being walked by her new owner.(So sorry I can't remember Candy's new name!)  Gill is a friend who use to come to The Nantlle Vale Dog Training Club some years back with her Collie Cai, she also lives in the same village so hopefully I'll get to see her very often. Mei also informs me that Cleo has been lucky and found herself a home on my days off...bless her, all the luck in the world this time Cleo.
Just before I finish, (well it is my day off LOL) I'd just like to tell you about the cat in the photo. Stevie is about 12 months old, a semi long coat male and believe you me my camera phone picture does him no justice! He has a huge character, he's affectionate, but playful and is just waiting for someone just like you to come and adopt him!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Has Scamp got EPI?

 Despite all our efforts, Scamp one of our resident collies has recently continued to loose weight and generally look unkempt. This week I took him to the vets for blood tests and it was found that he had a low count of amylase, these are one of the major digestive enzymes protein molecules and are stored in the pancreas.

A further blood test was necessary to diagnose Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, but Unfortunetly Scamp had woken up and was unwilling to co-operate with the vet team! (though his symptoms sadly all fit the bill!) This is a condition that sadly affects German Shepherds, and though I've been lucky not to come across it myself I do know a little about it. I'll try and explain it as best as I can...
The clinical signs are usually obvious and fit a distinct pattern, the disorder may come on gradually or very quickly, over a few weeks. Usually the dogs show rapid weight loss and poor hair quality. There is usually diarrhea with the consistency of mashed potato (bet that put you off your tea!) or it can even be watery. Affected dogs seem constantly hungry and eat as much food as they can, they will also often eat abnormal things like plants, dirt etc. The dog appearance and behavior typifies one of a dog starving to death, and in reality he could be!
When the dogs have the disorder the protein, starch and fats in the diet cannot be broken down into small enough pieces to allow them to be absorbed through the intestinal wall. The dog therefore passes the value of the food out undigested in the faces. It is estimated that 90% of the pancreas must be destroyed before we see the symptoms.
Fortunately treatment can be easily accomplished, but unfortunetly it is lifelong and very expensive! If Scamp is proved to suffer from EPI, It would be great if we could find someone to maybe sponsor him and help with his future costs. He's a cracking dog who I love dearly but I'm well aware that he has his "issues" which probably make him "unhomeable," or at least mean he would need a very experienced owner. Anyone?

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Barney has been Rescued.

You will all be pleased to know that the mistreated dog I have been mentioning over the past week or so has finally come into our care and how glad I am too. Had the owner claimed him it would have been a travesty for this animal and now he can be found a truly kind owner. In spite of the terrible treatment he suffered at the hands of his previous owner he is a calm nice natured animal whom Rosie has taken on as  a foster dog. Here he is on arrival .We have named him Barney and he is an Akita crossed with a collie.In fact I have someone interested in him already and pending a homecheck and them all liking one another, he may be off to pastures new very very soon.
Candy the young labrador  is leaving our care later today, there is no doubt she is a handful and I have been completely truthful with her new owners. If she were to be returned and then have to face going to yet another home, with mine it would be 6 places she has had to adapt to in just 9 months of life.Far too much for a dog to cope with, no wonder she is exciteable.What she needs now is stability and lots of patience shown to her but also she needs training and it will all take time.

Just look at these gorgeous kittens, if we could only have more visitors I am sure they would be snapped up. I am waiting now for 3 more to turn up.They have been born to a stray cat and have been living on a caravan site.Unfortunately one kitten has evaded capture so we have had to leave mum to look after that one.Hopefully they will go into the trap tomorrow? The telephone is constantly ringing for help with stray cats and kittens, many of which are strays or abandoned and it is becoming very stressful to  have to tell people that we simply have no more room .I want to help them all but there is only so much can be done with limited funds and facilities. All our foster homes are full now so we must find some more homes.It is always quiet in July and picks up again mid to the end of August when most people have taken their summer holidays(roll on that time)
Speaking of holidays, I am off for a week (5 days in France and 1 staying with friend in Liverpool)so I will hand over the blog for that time to anyone who offers to help! Maybe Rhian again? I will be back on the 15th energised and raring to go!!!!!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A Successful Garden Party and Jojo Finds A Home.

It was a definite YES for Jojo, she has gone to her Manchester home and I hear she is making herself quite at home there ,yet another cat homed through the wonderful Catchat website. Both she and the unlucky (but now lucky) Oscar were homed through them.Its a great site for cat lovers and rescues needing homes for their felines.I have found it to be particularly good for homing the more difficult cats.
(Have just counted the number of times i typed the word home or homing!!! I need to use my Thesaurus more)

Honey has been returned and has gone to a temporary foster home(there I go again) in Pwllheli, there is supposed to be someone coming to see her Thursday,I hope they turn up as they sound as though they would be an ideal home (now im becoming really self conscious!)for her.It appears that she is destructive mainly when there is someone with her although when I had her at my home sh(that word again)e was not at all destructive though had a habit of opening doors which proved a bit of a problem(until I had the door handles put on upside down!) Candy the labrador has the same problem  of ripping up cushions when I am in the room with her.It is an attention seeking act, when I leave her she does nothing! I have someone interested in Candy and they are bringing their own dog today to see if the two get on well together.

I have been asked by a blog reader about the connection between anaemia and veganism. I was diagnosed with pernicious anaemia about 12 years ago after 12 months of extreme lethargy and bouts of dizzinessand then my throat became partially paralysed which was very scary but at least it prompted an urgent dash to the doctors surgery for tests. PA Can be caused by a diet defficient in B12 and this can eventually cause the body to fail in its ability to absorb the vitamin.
Once that happens there is no regeneration, injections are needed for the rest of your life.
When I became vegan there were hardly any products on the market which contained B12 - nowadays, every carton of soya milk has this in its ingredients and my diet was not a good one .There is no reason for anyone becoming vegan to suffer from PA, all that is necessary is a good well balanced diet. The other reason is that it can be genetic, and in my case I suspect that is what caused mine.My brother had Leukaemia and my sister thyroid problems so it is just as likely this was a weakness in our family. I hope this explains it satisfactorily

Now to the Garden Open Day, it was a lovely day, the sun shone all day and everybody had   a lovely time enjoying Catherine and Stewarts fantastic gardens . There was plentiful food and refreshments, lots of dog owners arrived with their pets and Mei and I did quite well on the FreshfieldS Stall.Altogether the magificent sum of £1,260 was raised, a record so far I believe. Catherine puts so much effort into this event and it is good to know that all her hard work paid off so well.
Ember and Fred shetland ponies have gone off to their new home, they were easy to box and travelled well.I am sure they will be well loved and I look forward to hearing about them soon. Today another person is looking at our shetlands, they want a companion for their horse. Heather and Paddy are the next ponies we would like to see leave us - I mean that in the nicest possible way! They are too young and healthy to live here permanently and it would be nice if they could once more have the benefits of a private home one day.See Mother and son here.Paddy on the left was just 2 weeks old when he was admitted here when their owner died tragically.He is about 7 years old now  and a real character.

Everyone knows how I feel about animals being given away on free sites online.Well there was a 30 years old mare being offered!!!! I emailed the owner immediately but received no reply. One of the free sites eventually responded to my compaints and it was so infuriating and patronising, apart from justifying their decision to allow pets to be included in this form of advertising they also suggested that if we were that bothered we should contact the owners and offer to take the pets. Well actually both my friend and I have done so on numerous occasions and have not had a response.One such person had a 10 years old cat, she also placed an ad on our facebook page(which is not allowed) stating that I  had said I had no room so what else could she do?
I did not have room at the time but since then I have telephoned her to say the cat could come in and she has not bothered to answer my messages.\This is what we are up against. I understand that some people are desperately seeking homes for their pets but surely it is better to wait (and most are able to do so if the truth was known) for a place at a reputable animal shelter than to give a pet away to a total stranger who may or may not want the animal for the right reasons and could give a false address.

I must go nowto collect three cats which have been neutered this morning, even the drive to the Vet surgery is a pleasure here, the views everywhere are so stunning.Although I still have my roots planted firmly in Liverpool soil, it has to be said that a drive to Orrell Park is not quite as scenic as the one I am about to take to Pwllheli! Its like being on permanent holiday(apart from the work!)

Friday, 1 July 2011

Will Jojo Find A Home?

The old staff caravan has been demolished this week, it was falling apart - I am surprised it didn't fall down of  its own accord! We will be replacing it with a better (second hand)one next week so once again we will have a staff canteen.It has been odd not having somewhere to sit and have a panad(cup of tea) fortunately it has not rained much and we have been able to sit outside and enjoy our tea breaks.
When it was being pulled down there was some fibre glass floating about for a short time and several of the staff have had allergic reactions (including me)but the worst affected was Lucy the 11 yrs old office dog who has had to have a trip to the vet for treatment, she was scratching so much she made herself bleed. Deadly stuff that fibreglass.

A lady brought in a young staffordshire bull terrier for me to asess and takea photo of for advertising purposes. Its so very hard to home these dogs as we all know but there are 5 on my waiting list at present including one in the Dog Pound so I want to try and evoke some interest in the breed. This dog (pictured here) seems a very nice natured dog and he likes other dogs too which is a bonus.He was taken off someone trying to sell him in exchange for drug money. How sad for the innocent animal!
There is another urgent case at the moment,I am trying to find a home for the dog I mentioned about 2 weeks ago.I did not explain the full details because it was so distressing but let it suffice that the poor dog in question is now away from his brutal owner and even better news - he has failed to claim him.I am delighted so will be going all out to find him a loving home. Once he is in my care I will be able to post a photo .Speaking of dogs in need , does anyone know a person who could give  a home to a 13 years old yorkshire terrier? That's another one which is urgent due to the owner moving soon to a flat where she cannot take her little dog.
Honey lurcher who was homed not so long ago is being returned I'm afraid, she is another with separation anxiety, I have no idea right now what I will do with her though hopefully an amazing plan  will pop into my mind at exactly the right moment and with a bit of luck that moment of mental clarity will occur BEFORE she arrives!

On the cat front, our kittens have had a week of being up and down with feeding and some have had the runs so we are unable to take in or rehome any until at the moment .Thankfully they are all getting better  and we have not lost any which can always be  a possibility with a room  full of youngsters, many of which have not had a good start in life.
This year our beautiful nesting swallows have been successful rearing all their babies and it is a joy to see them swooping over the fields, they have nested in the agri building and even the upheaval going on has seemingly left them unconcerned , they are still in and out of their nest and thriving. Isn't nature wonderful. When I was walking in the fields last night there were dozens of Ghost moths flitting in and out of the damp grass , they seem to enjoy the dampness and are always more prevelant at such times.
When you look closely at them they have a  furry head, there must be a reason for it but I have yet to find out the purpose - maybe it is to attract  female moths?If there are any moth and butterfly experts out there let me know or I could just look it up on the net!

There is a couple from manchester coming up to the shelter tomorrow to meet Jojo our lovely white cat who had ear cancer and has had to have her ears amputated like old Eric.Its such a common problem with pure white cats, really if they cannot be kept out of the sun(if and when we have some!) they should always have high factor sun protection on their  ears which are very sensitive and vulnerable to  extreme exposure.Pictured here is Joj shortly after her operation. She is such a nice cat,I do hope they will fall in love with her.

I have been told that a team of people who work at Pets At Home  headquarters in Cheshire are planning a sponsored trek up Mount Snowdon to raise sponsorship for us. if we had more of these sort of events going on throughout the year it would make such a difference to us financially so every effort made by supporters is so much appreciated.

Don't Forget -Catherines Garden Open day is this Sunday at Gell Farm in Criccieth.(on the main road from Caernarfon to Criccieth.)