Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Book is a little nearer to being published.

Just a very short blog today as getting ready to go away for two days.I have an appointment with publishing company  re publishing book. It may be remembered that I decided to self publish because of being asked to lose the real story of the charity. I did not want to write a fluffy book of  cute animal tales.It has to be real or I dont want to do it at all. All is ready now, just collating the photos, I am so sad that so many photos have been lost over the years,I have so few of 'the old days' at Freshfields. It just MAY be out by Christmas, heres hoping it will be ready in  time.

Max has been reserved today and will be going Friday. Then Rosie can foster another!
Wonder of wonders, there has been an enquiry about an adult cat, the lady sounded very nice. She wants Eva a 3 yrs old cat.I would love to come back to find she has been adopted. That would be really great.

I will be back blogging on saturday.

Monday, 29 August 2011

A New Home for Wally.

It has been decided to bring Freddie and Callie (horses)back to the shelter earlier than usual  this year. The problem with Freddies teeth means he has to have several small meals daily as he cannot graze the grass any longer.Cariad is backwards and forwards all day feeding him and it is taking up too much time. It will be easier to  sort out his dietary requirements here. They are due to return on wednesday and the three colts  Merlin, Celt and Shamrock which are at another property are going to take over Freddies summer holiday home.They have eaten up most of the  grass  where they are and so  they need to be moved on to lusher pasture.

Little Old Wally met his new family today (see photo above)and he seemed brighter than he had been since he was admitted. He appeared to like mum and daughters more than he liked me so I felt glad for him when they decided they wanted to take him home. I hope he didn't find the temporary stay here too unsettling, at 13 years of age it was a big ordeal for him to leave the family he had known since he was a puppy. It is so heartening when a family are willing to take on an elderly dog and the girls seemed as happy with Wally as with a pup.That IS unusual,but lovely to see.

Trish from our Porthmadog shop rang this morning, an injured kitten had been taken in to the shop, she thought maybe he had been hit by a car. I rang the vet to make an emergency appointment and Trish shut the shop to take him to the surgery. Sadly  the news came back later that the poor  cat  had been put to sleep. That was not a not a good start to her day. I wonder if an owner will turn up looking for him?

News of the day is that I drove our tractor this morning - TWICE! The first time I drove down the track to the road and could see John coming towards me in his car.He took one look at me in the driving seat and reversed so fast he could have been driving a get away car at a Bank Robbery!  Cheeky Sod.
Anyhow I managed very well and even took it for a second trip (Its very handy for taking the binbags down to the bins which are situated on the road.) It is a pretty ancient machine but very useful for taking bales of hay to the horses and it is also used for when the staff are mucking out stables. We bought a tip up box for the back of the tractor  and they load the muck on to this and when it is full drive up the fields to the midden(muck heap to the uninitiated!) and dump it out of sight of visitors (whose sensibilities may be affected by the appearance and smell!).

The afternoon was quiet and we only had one volunteer today - Nurse Heather on one of her precious days off from working at Ysbyty Gwynedd. Most of our volunteers come here to work during the week, they must have fantastic weekend social lives or maybe they just have family things to do ? I always thought there would be more people volunteering saturday or sunday but in fact we are always short of help those days. Mind you I have had an online vol. application form from someone who actually WANTS to work weekends so I have telephoned in the hope he/she will come next weekend to help. The only thing that makes Saturday and Sunday different from any other day here is that there are fewer people around the shelter. Otherwise I would have no idea what day it really  is ! I Need to Get A Life!!! Oops I forgot - This IS my life.

Mei is in terrible pain with her wrist, she is fed up waiting for the operation and I dont blame her,it is now nearly two and a half years since she first sought medical help.Volunteer Kim is also waiting for the same op. I cannot imagine how it must feel having so much pain every single day. This morning Mei was unable to even get the lead on her chihuahua Benjy(who is missing his pal very much) and she will need help giving the horses their hay tonight.

Time for my own dog walking now so  here endeth the Bank Holiday Weekend report in favour of romps round the fields with Meg, Jackson, Paddy , Patch and Little Old Lady(never did find a name to suit her)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

A good day for Dogs.

Sunday was a  great day for dogs,pups Dolly and Daisy were adopted together and little  Alfie too has found a home.Patches people arent coming to see him until Tuesday but that is looking hopeful.He is so gorgeous I can't imagine anyone saying they don't want him.
Sadly nobody came for cats although one person did ring to collect a reserved kitten but was so obstreperous I was quite glad he failed to turn up.Some people expect us to fit in with their routine, rather than the other way round and do not seem to care whether we work 12 hour days as long as it means that they can come here when it suits. I always say to the staff, remember that no shop, office or rspca centre would open especially for someone who could perfectly well call beteen opening hours. Every day here is a working day and sometimes it is more difficult attending to visitors eg: if we have staff off sick or on holiday  but we try our best .That does not mean we allow ourselves to be bullied into seeing people out of hours when we are impossibly busy or are in the middle of a crisis. We are open 7 days a week with 2 hours in the morning set aside for visitors/prospective adopters and we allow people to make afternoon appointments IF there are enough staff on duty and it is not often we have to refuse.  To my mind that is a pretty good service we offer  but I'm afraid you can't please everybody all of the time. There will always those who want to visit at unreasonable times - I often have people turning up here after 6 pm.Where is open at this time? Why come here at that time? Well thats my rant for the month over!

 I finally did the cat poster so it should be available for download from our website within the next few days so I am hoping all readers in this area will download it and place in shops,offices etc. Anywhere you can think of where people may read it and take note .There  has to be a way to find homes for all these cats,Please help in this way of you can. I would really appreciate it.

Photo is of our lovely foxhound Bonny who is constantly disappearing into the undergrowth, usually with a stolen sachet of cat food! She is a real character and it seems impossible that she was once a  very thin working hound, she is so scared of men and most strangers.That life must have been a miserable one for a dog like her.Even now, 3 years on, she still acts as though she will never see food again.Dear old Bonny.She is so gentle natured and a great favourite with me.
I cant believe it but someone is coming tomorrow to see Wally the old Yorkshire terrier, he is a funny old dog, very nervous and wary of strangers so I just hope that he will 'sell' himself tomorrow. I feel he would be better off in a home where he will have more attention. It would be so nice for him to go now instead of getting used to being here with me and them being moved, he is too old to be passed about which means I would probably end up keeping him.(I dont really want to keep another at this moment)

Must go, I need to let the conservatory cats out for the night, Its the other way round in cities.I always got the cats IN and I continue to advise people to endure their pets are in by dusk.So many are run over at that time.The shelter cats are lucky , they are  so much safer living here with no traffic and lots of fields for them to wander in.

Friday, 26 August 2011

William Meets the Pups Dolly and Daisy.

Friend Nicky was over to take a photo suitable for the cover of impending book. It MIGHT be out before Christmas if we are lucky, I am hoping so but struggling a bit for a title. Any ideas? I have narrowed it down to two posible ones but still think could do better. I cant believe how hard it is to find the right words. Anyhow This was one photo she took ,which did not quite turn out , largely due to the interference of William who just had to come and investigate the intruders in his field, he was so curious about the pups who were not altogether impressed with having his huge head so close to them. She did manage to get a good one later though so all as not lost.

The lovely collie Tyler with the cleft palate has been found home. I had a call from someone who said she  didnt want a pedigree dog, just a crossbreed would be fine  and she was not keen on collies. I told her that this one was really well behaved and sweet natured but there was not a spark of interest until I told her that he had a deformed face. That did it. Immediately she said she wanted him. A woman after my own heart! Today she and her husband came to see him and they fell in love with him straight away. When they were introduced , there were smiles from them  and a wagging tail from a very happy dog  who was just loving all the attention they were giving him.  A Happy ending for Tyler. It proves that not everyone wants a pretty chocolate box pet, that some look beyond the outer appearance. It restores my faith in human nature.

A stray terrier (See left)was taken into our Machynlleth shop and although Elinor, the manager was told he had been wandering about for several days, he has the look of someones pet so he may yet be claimed. He is  a sweetheart of a dog, very cuddly and gentle, not as old as he looks , I estimate his age to be around 4 years.  I wonder if he has been tied up becaus e as you can see from the photo there are remains of a lead attched to his collar. Maybe he is from a farm after all, time will tell.
Another collie has been admitted due to her owner moving to a pensioners bungalow where they are not allowed pets. The collie although a pet has lived in a shed and been left for long hours so I think we can do better for her. After not having any collies for a few weeks , all of a sudden we are receiving lots of calls asking us for help with them. Usually if we have a good response via the internet for one collie, we end up rehoming all those we have so I hope that will be the case again.

Our pink pig is not doing so well, she is so old now and arthritic and she can barely walk, I am dreading the day she goes, her companion will be very distressed and they keep each other warm throught he cold winter days.(which appear to be soon on the way!) I have to make a decsion very soon , this is the worst part of this job. I was so glad when the craze for Potbellied pigs faded but now there is a similar craze for micro pigs(which arent micro at all!) The Liverpool shelter has had its first unwanted Micro pig admitted and I was fortunate to meet little Hooper last time I visited. Unlike our  anti social pair Hooper likes his tum tickled and rolls over for you to scratch his tum. He is still a youngster but he is hardly tiny as people expect them to be.Its such a con and apart from that , pigs are pigs and as such like to do piggy things like rolling in mud and enjoying rooting around in the soil.

Sean the sheep will not be joining our own rescued sheep, he has apparently been found another home.I hope its a good one!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

(Almost) The Great Escape.

I have a new friend in my living room - Wally is a 13 years old yorkshire terrier whose owner  has died. Poor little dog, he is very bewildered but he gets on fine with other dogs so mine have accepted him with no trouble at all. Normally I would have kept him but I am taking on a  collie from the Liverpool shelter.Rory is agaraphobic and has to be forced out for a walk, he has been at the shelter for three years and it is unlikely he will ever get a home so as sooon as my garden fence has been reinforced,he will be coming to live with me permanently. I think that  Wally will be happier in a quieter home than mine so I shall start advertising him straight away.

New cat Molly is a lovely pale ginger and white and was brought in because the owners dog was trying to attack her all the time! She is very appealing, she will probably be the next cat to be adopted.There are so many gorgeous young cats here, look at these two black brothers.Tom and Jerry who were initially in a foster home and then admitted for rehoming.They are so loveable but are still here two months on! I have just remembered I had promised to do a general poster for cats in need of homes for people to download off our website and then distribute. It completely slipped my mind so I will make a note to do this tomorrow. I have notes everywhere reminding me to do certain jobs but half the time I lose the notes too!

We almost had a disaster when rabbits. Tilly and Lucy almost escaped from their hutch when the floor collapsed. Fortunately for us (and ultimately for them)they were found just as they were preparing to make a break for freedom through the bottom of their hutch. This is no place for bunnies to be roaming free, far too many predators about. I had to buy them a new house quickly but all the rabbit hutches I looked at were so flimsy and inadequate that there was no way they were built to last. I also noticed that very few had an overhang on the roof so if it rained there would be little protection for the buns inside. I ended up buying a chicken coop! Perhaps because hens need protection against marauding and hungry foxes, they are built to stronger specifications but don't rabbits need this  protection too? all the hutches I looked at could be knocked over so easily, I wonder why they are made this way, they are not cheap either! MInd you neither was this but at least it is sturdily made.
We have had some donations of cat food today, I am very grateful for these donations, our cat food bill is astronomical and the extra food really helps keep our expenditure down.Keep it coming!
I have just spotted Mei running for shelter (run Forrest, Run!) there has been a torrential sudden downpour and the sky has gone very dark. Another early night for the horses methinks. 

I have been trying to think of more fundraising events and had been considering doing something at the shelter for Halloween in October . The trouble is I have never ever attended any event for Halloween and so have no idea what would draw people and their children in to this kind of event. I would be glad of opinions and ideas.I am unsure yet whether it is a viable idea but I have to think of something to bring extra funds in. If only I had a creative side to me this sort of thing would be much easier for me to contemplate. We will be holding a Christmas Fair in Porthmadog but this year I would like to also hold one in LLandudno so have to find a venue and helpers  for that. As Rhian would say, tongue in cheek "Its all such a Ghastly Nightmare! It certainly is. When I started doing animal rescue I  definitely did not envisage that I would end up organising fundraisers and doing office work most days. I had a nice image of being with the animals all the time.How wrong I was. Oh well too late now to stop. I started so I'll finish!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

From Farm Dog To Film Star!

This has truly made my day.take a look at this wonderful video of ex farm collie Rosie who now goes by the more appropriate Lady Penelope!
It brought tears to my eyes, knowing how sad and timid she was when she arrived at the shelter.Just look at her now. 

Monday, 22 August 2011

A Very Neglected Cat is Admitted.

Yesterday afternoon we had a cat admitted which was in a very poor state. A very pretty but elderly pale tortoishell female, she was very thin and had a large wound on her side which was full of maggots.UGH! Thankfully it is very rare for us to admit animals with these and I showed Sue (holding the cat)how to get rid  of them.We use  a hairdryer directed at the spot which makes them wriggle to the surface and clean out the wound with hibiscrub. Mei and Sue did it between them, a very unpleasant job but far worse for the cat which would have been suffering from its unwanted guests. Apart from this infestation she was full of tapeworms which is likely to be why she is so thin.Today she went to the Vet and she thought , as we did, that this cat is around 12 - 13 years old, she badly needs a dental also which she will have once she has gained a little strength. We have named her Lottie.

Mei has been very distressed today, Ella, one of her chihuahuas who was on medication for a heart problem, died at the Vets this morning. Although we are all used to animals passing away, it is always harder when that animal is one of our own beloved pets. This past year several of the staff have  lost one of their own own dogs so we can all empathise with Meis grief.

I have been to our charity shop in Machynlleth today.The main reasons were to erect the new Freshfields sign and to take a memorial plaque for manager Elinor whose husband Gareth died not long ago.We all wanted something to remember him by, he was such a great help in the shop and now there is something tangible to show for our appreciation of his support to Freshfields over the years . Elinor is seen here in the doorway and her son is just putting the finishing touches to the sign.  I always enjoy a visit to this shop, apart from seeing Elionor of course, I come back loaded with books to read!
After saying goodbye to them it was off to a farm  in that area to collect Patch, a 5 years old sheepdog who is not interested in working, he just wants to be with people and have a fuss made of him. I was more than happy to oblige. He is a really good looking collie and once all his matted coat has been dealt with, he will be a stunner. He is one of several we have admitted from this farm . I prefer to stay friendly and help the dogs and even though I am often tempted to say something I refrain from doing so. It is the welfare of the animal which is the most important issue here. isn't he beautiful? Volunteer Kim has offered to foster this one so I am just waiting for her to arrive.

Tiny Tim  the JR pup has left us again and this time I hope for his sake that it will be for good, I hate it when they are returned and each time it happens the animal becomes more and more bewildered. I am really hoping that I have chosen the right home for him this time.It is a great responsibility choosing where an animal is to spend its life and when it fails to work out, I begin to question my intuition and my ability to match the right pet with the right owner.  Fingers crossed for Tim everyone!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Bad Weather but A Good Day.

What a horrible day.It has been pouring with rain and blowing a gale. Great weather for ducks if we had any! All the animals are unhappy being out in this and we have just brought the horses in early, they were all waiting impatiently at the gates to their various fields, they had had enough, you could see it in their expressions. Know how they feel.
In spite of the appalling weather we have homed Marley the last collie to be admitted. He has gone to live near Wrexham with another lovely collie Ellie, and her humans .The two dogs really got on well together and make a lovely pair. That brightened up the day for Mei and me who are soaked to the skin!
The pregnant mum cat has been collected by Mion who will foster her until her babies are born and old enough to be put up for adoption. IN exchange we took in 4 of the kittens she had been fostering and who are now ready for homing.  What can we do to find homes for all thes lovely kittens? Please spread the word around friends and relatives , surely there must be some homes out there or will we end up keeping them all until they grow into adults? I fear this will be the case.
I have just received two lovely telephone calls. The first came from Angie in Milton Keynes.Angie and her husband adopted a cross labrador from us early int he year, she was a difficult dog, not good with strangers but they persevered and they think the world of her now, we are kept informed about her exploits regularly and it si a real pleasure to hear that Jess is doing so well.they ahve put a great deal of effort into training her but as they say it has been so worthwhile now that she is improving all the time.They would not part with her for anythingThat is so good to hear.
The second call came from the couple who took Toby the Jack russell rescued from a Dog Pound. They tell me they have had one and a half days of fun and enjoyment with him! He is already much  adored and is marvellous with the old cat and their daughters Retriever. We are so grateful to the kind people who adopt our animals and  when we receive thanks for allowing them  to adopt one of our pets, it is truly cheering.
The Day has improved already!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Billy and Harvey come to Visit.

I couldn't resist taking this photo of Squirmy one of our resident cats posing in the long grass. He has lived at the shelter for 7 years, he was an ex factory cat and the business closed down leaving him homeless. One eyed Squirmy  has always been too tempermanetal to home but he enjoys the freedom of the shelter and a fuss off the staff (when he feels like it!)

One of the pound collies has been claimed, this has to be a first! He IS a  farm dog, 8 yrs old and his real name is Jim(I had called him Joe) I will be sorry to see him go , he is a really nice dog but I have mentioned to the farmer that if he retires him or doesn't want him any more that I will have him.You never know!One of our volunters has brought in a heavily  pregnant cat this morning belonging to one of her neighbours.This is the cats fourth pregnancy.Why oh why do people not get their animals neutered?  I would like these irresponsible people to come and work here for a week answering the telephone and caring for all the unwanted kittens! To add insult to injury this neighbour has now left her flat and abandoned her pregnant cat. Is this the way she will go through her life, showing no responsiibility or commitment?  I wish I had the answer and more importantly the solution to this behaviour because that apathetic attitude will show itself in many ways throughout her life and it will not just be animals which bear the brunt of it. If only it could be stamped out early in  the lives of such people. if only......

Today old Nell the 12 yrs collie has gone on trial to two ladies who wanted a companion for their 11 yrs old dog.I just hope the two dogs will get along.That is why occasionally I will allow a dog to go on trial, sometimes the resident dog will take umbrage at the interloper in his/her home and the only way to find that out is if the dogs are together in the home.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for her,it will be a wonderful home if it works out so Nell please behave!
It has been a day for reunions - two of our rescued dogs have been back to see us and how lovely it is to see them looking so happy and well,I just love seeing them again. The first to pay us a visit was Billy the staffordshire bull terrier, he was a Dog Pound rescue and his photo and story was seen in our LLandudno shop window 18 months ago by holidaymakers Dennis and Margaret who had just lost their old Staffie. They fell in love with Billy and he is a much loved part of their family in Stoke. Here they are with the greatly adored Bruiser Bill!
Then in the afternoon we were visited by terrier Harvey Moon and his owner but I did not have my camera handy to snap them unfortunately. Harvey looked wonderful, a happy and contented little dog, just what I like to see. I know I am always saying this but it means so much to see our animals again and we are very lucky that so many people do keep in touch with us.

Just look at this adorable litter of feral kittens.They could almost be saying"We are fierce so keep your distance' In actual fact we managed to cuddle all three almost immediately , who can blame then being scared of big noisy humans? These three had been born to a feral mum but she was taking them in to a busy garage premises and the staff were scared that they would be run over. I was very pleased that an enquiry was also made about catching mum and having her spayed.Veronica has dropped off a cat trap at the premises so with a bit of luck  there will soon  be at least one cat in Caernarfon which will be breeding no more unwanted babies.
The situation with unwanted cats and kittens is frightening. I feel quite helpless most of the time.With all our pens full and all our cat foster homes brimming over with mother cats and kittens  I dread answering the telephone.What can I say, what help can I offer when there is no other cat sanctaury in the area? It is a hopeless dilemma.

We have had to have the vet and Dentist Andre out to Freddie Kruger who is at his summer grazing with his pal Callie. Fred has lost weight which with all the lush grass was clearly not right. Cariad who has been checking on him was  worried there was something underlying wrong with Freddie and  after Andres visit we know that he is no longer able to masticate the grass due to his teeth having worn away quite badly and so he will now have to have several meals of hard feed daily. This poses a problem with him not being at the shelter and I am afraid his days of summer holidays are over, this will be his last trip abroad(well to Caernarfon actually!) To be able to monitor his diet correctly he will have to be at the shleter where staff can control his food more efficiently.Above is pic of him last year when his teeth were still working well.

We have so many old horses and ponies now, I took this photo of Tangy and Blue who are both in their late thirties.I have just checked Tangys record and he is 37  now. The oldest horse I have had was  in Liverpool, ex riding school horse Romney was 45 years of age when he died.
That is a great age for a horse, not quite old enough to be an entry in the Guiness Book of Records but still pretty ancient. I remember a couple of years ago seeing  a photo in a local paper of a Welsh pony aged 54. Amazing.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I discuss the Days work with Lucy!

When I first set up this shelter it was so quiet here, hardly any visitors and hardly any cars in the parking area.Today it has seemed more like Euston Station in London!
We have set up a small animal  admittance  room in the near end of our canteen area and this has improved matters for the staff who have to run the gauntlet of office dog Lucy every time they want to come in for paperwork.I adore Lucy but she is so   unpredictable with some people she meets, others she likes on sight and once she has approved of someone she loves them forever. At the age of 11 years it is a fact that she will be with us for life but she seems to be always happy and loves sitting behind me when I am on the computer, she is like my personal living back rest!Self portrait of Lucy and I having a serious chat!

It looks as though the pale ginger cat from yesterdays blog, has been claimed.He has been missing from his home apparently  for 6 weeks and the owner is coming to see if he is hers.I have told her that if he had been neutered this would most likely not have happened and he needs to be done as soon as possible.The roaming is a problem but I am more concerned about the number of unwanted kittens he has been undoubtedly siring!

Toby Jack Russell has gone today and Tiny Tim once again reserved, he is going Monday. There are two more Jack russell pups needing homes now - Dolly and Daisy pictured here are  4 months old and very cute, should be easy enough to find suitable places for them.people seem to want little dogs more and more. I have never known so many of these particular terriers being in need of homes, there seem to be a never ending supply of them at the moment.
Two more Pound dogs are in foster places, both collies though one is a true Welsh collie, the smoothcoated red and white type and poor Joe is blind in one eye which willl not make him easy to home  unless we and he are very lucky. The other one now named Marley is only young and he is so underweight and matted but underneath he is going to be a very attractive collie and finally we have a collie with a deformed mouth, this friendly dog has not yet been claimed and he is such a nice animal.Someone must know him from his unusual appearance.Will he also be hard to home? I hope not for both their sakes.

Veronica is in tomorrow and will be pleased to know that our new filing cabinet has arrived.The old one has caused many a sigh of despair from everyone who has attempted to open it! It is so temperamental and usually two good kicks and a slam  do the trick but now it has decided to drive us all mad by refusing to open at all.  There will be joy and happiness tomorrow when it is finally thrown in the skip and a shiny new compliant cabinet takes it place!

John has been busy putting up shelves in our storage containers and at last everything is stored neatly and tidily, volunteer Jason too has been busy making a fence around the rabbits area so they will not be bothered by my dogs when they have to pass them to have their daily exercise. Both have done very good jobs and I have to say I am quite impressed by the standard of their work this time!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Sheep Have Their Feet Trimmed

We have had two dogs returned this week,Old Nell the 12 yrs old collie came back because she was howling when the people went out and neighbours complained, and Tiny Tim the Jack russell pup (pictured here sharing Padys bed)was too nippy with a visiting child.Both have other people interested in them so watch this space for further news.
Missy the cross Great Dane(?) is leaving us this weekend and several cats and kittens have been adopted too so it is not too bad on the rehoming front at the moment.Long may it last!
As I had  expected I am receiving more and more calls asking me to help with horses that people can no longer afford to keep , if only I had the land, staff and funding I would help them all. esterday someone wanted to find homes for three, today someone needs help with 7! 
One of the most difficult jobs I have is telling people I am unable to help , my mind races ahead and I can envisage what lies ahead for the unfortunate animal. Of course I tell myself over and over again that I cannot help them all but it still doesn't help. It is something everyone involved in animal rescue has to face  and I am just thankful I am not doing this work abroad where the conditions are so bad and the attitude of people far worse than in the Uk. Those are the people who have my greatest admiration, they see  terrible things, far worse than I ever do and yet they still carry on doing their utmost to help. That is why I am trying to find a home for the dog In Cyprus Pictured here at the rescuers home.)There has been one enquiry so far but she wanted him house trained!
The reality  is that no dog from there will be house trained, it is custom to keep dogs outside,Gypsy will have had no experience of being in a house but then the collies we have here are in the same situation and  it is seldom we have one returned for that reason. The people adopting them are aware that they will ned to be patient and they take them on knowing this and dealing with it.
I have tried the Basenji forum but again there has been no response.I had thought someone into the breed would have shown interest!
Never having 'met' a Basenji I have no idea of their foibles and characteristics other than the fact they dont bark(I think they do make some sort of noise)If anyone has  a facebook page maybe they could spread the word about this poor dog.
We have been asked to help with a situation with 18 cats, all are breeding profusely and they are in very poor condition as they never get taken to a vet.The grey and white mum shown here is a loving sweet natured  cat who came in with three identical babies(all homed)Some of the kittens from this same place are being fostered and nursed back to health by supporter and fosterer Nicky and we have started  to make inroads into spaying the adults.
The pale ginger is a stray which has been scavenging for food for at least two months, he is absolutely adorable, a real charmer of a cat though he is glaring at me taking the photo.Dont be misled by that glare! He was just wanting me to put some food in his bowl and clearly thought
I had my priorites wrong! Whoever adopts these two cats will have found themselves great companions.

Chloe, our oldest sheep who is around 8 years of age, has been limping so the girls, Vanessa and Rosie decided she needed her feet trimming. The other sheep were huddled in a corner with worried looks on their faces." Are we going to be next, those women seem to be doing somthing really horrible to poor Chloe? Im sure that is what they were thinking.
Well they WERE next so all have now had their feet trimmed and at the same time were treated with an anti maggot preparation. Thats what Rosie is holding, she thinks she looks like a paramedic On Casualty!  Mary the last little lamb rescued has really palled up with the Handsome Jacobs and poor Chloe is always on the edge of the group. We have a new rescued lamb arriving this week, perhaps she will make friends with him?  I think Chloe misses her brother Bertie who died last year and it would be lovely for her to make a new friend.

Our washing machine has given up the ghost,has anyone an old one in good  working order  they would like to donate to the shelter?

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A Cry for Help From Cyprus.

Although there has not yet been time to discuss our problems I feel that the storm has blown over with myself and staff member. Good Friendships thankfully transcend the occasional disagreement no matter how serious it appears at the time. I dislike atmospheres and even more I dislike those who brood and harbour grudges  and neither of us are of that temperament so all is well again.
Another kitten has been found abandoned and has joined the ever growing number of homeless but beautiful felines in our care. Pictured here is are the latest arrivals, the pretty little  abandoned tabby and two kittens which Mion had been fostering.She brought in the four on Sunday and two have already been adopted which will I'm sure bring a smile to her face. Tabby has slightly runny eyes and is squinting a little because she had just had eye drops inserted.
It has been a good day today for helpers. One of our best volunteers came in today.Heather is a  full time nurse so is so busy (and tired probably) that she only manages to come in  once a month . We do have another girl coming soon for three weeks under a Government scheme which is great, the extra volunteers mean that lots of extra jobs can get done.

Everyone seems to be talking about the riots going on in London and other cities.It makes for very uncomfortable reading and the scenes on the television are dreadful but I wonder is anyone like me and worrying also  about the animals caught up in it.The noise must be terrifying for animals living nearby! Bonfire night is bad enough!
It would be lovely to watch the news or read a newspaper and learn about wonderful things happening in the world. Nowadays I dread hearing about yet another disaster or tragedy. Good news clearly does not sell newspapers!
I have just heard of  a dog in Cyprus needing a home over here, she has her passport and papers and will be ready to leave the country in September. There will be those who think that we have enough homeless dogs here without bringing over animals from other countries and they are quite right.However, as one who visited Cyprus and had a ruined holiday due to the abuse of many animals in that country I would wholeheartedly back anyone who plans to send a dog or cat over here  from there  or any another mediterranean country. I will never forget the terrible living conditions they had and the way strays are treated is  abominable.
Years ago I brought 12 cats over from Cyprus to England and many people stopped speaking to me because they believed I was wasting money! Well as the money was mine.I think I was entitled to spend it how I wanted and I wanted to save those cats from poisoning which was to be their fate.I had been feeding and caring for those strays and when I found out what was to be their fate I could not leave them behind.Call me foolish(and many will) but I do not regret it for one minute .Therefore I will be doing everything in my power to help that dog in Cyprus.She is a Basenji called Gypsy and out of the dogs this lady June has rescued, she is the only one who does not have a home to go to. I hope that someone will offer her a permanent home but if not I will beg one of my foster people to help out!
An animal in need is exactly that no matter where it is located.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Bottoms Up Meg!

There was a strange call about the pup in the skip. A woman rang me saying she wanted him back! I asked who she was and she replied that she saw the police officer taking him out of the skip and now her husband said ok! Ok to what I asked her. She then kept repeating she wanted him back and her train back to Birmingham was in an hours time and she didnt have much time to come and get him! Was this the owner or just someone concerned? My gut feeling is that she had bought the pup here whilst on holiday and her husband was not pleased. Someone placed this little chap in the skip and this phone conversation did not somehow ring true. Anyhow as it happens he has already been reserved and pending a homecheck will soon be off to his new home. When I told the caller this , she started crying which was very hard to deal with but at the end of the day I have to do whats right for the pup in our care and he came in as an abandoned animal, not as an owned pet.
He is such a sweet pup, he plays on his own with anything he can find.Last night he found the remains of a ball which dear Patch had chewed up and he had a wonderful time throwing it in the air and catching it.This went on for at least half an hour after which time he jumped on to my knee and went fast asleep Seen here playing with Jackson and my dogs Paddy,and Meg. Bottoms Up Meg!.
The scared little dog Monty has been reserved and will be going this weekend, I thought he would be here for some time so he is a lucky boy.

A few kittens have been adopted, someone came to see Lola the black cat who has been here for two years but they left empty handed, she was too timid for them unfortunately.That was very disappointing but I know the right person out there somewhere for her as there is for all the animals.

Handyman John is putting up some shelves in the storage containers, I hope it is successful though the worrying thing is that he rang me to say he had left some nails outside the container! I think they should been inside the container helping to keep the shelves in place! Oh well as my old Nan used to say God loves a trier! My washing machine broke down last week and I asked him(John not god ) to have a look at it. He looked , then fixed but when I put it on that evening there was no water going in.Yes he had forgotten to reattach the pump! Oops hes done it again.

There has been more in the saga of William the horse, his original owner came to see him(not the one who handed him to us) and she was very upset that he had been passed on to us without the correct information about his health. It would be nice if he could go back to her,perhaps that is not within the realms of possibility at the present time but it may be in the future. This is the problem when horses are sold, nobody can be guaranteed of the safety of the animal in the future.The horsey world is by and large very cavalier about  parting with  horses when they can no longer work. Personally I could not sleep at night if I sold a horse on knowing especially that he was not 100 percent fit.Mind you I could not and would not do it anyway. I think someone should design a car sticker saying 'horses are  not just to ride, they are for life!'

Friday, 5 August 2011

Where are all these terriers coming from?

What a couple of days it has been, one of those times when I wish I was a million miles away sunning myself on a beach - cold drink in my hand , a book in the other(or rather a Kindle as I was bought one for my birthday)and nothing to do other than lounge about!
Now back to reality. There has been a major upset here between myself and a member  of staff.It is a small  shelter and we are all fairly close to one another but sometimes differences of opinion and the way these opinions are put forward  can cause the equilibrium to falter.This time it didnt just falter but vanished totally. Working here can sometimes be a joy and the animals can bring much fun into daily work but there are other times when I wouldn't wish this life on my worst enemy(on second thoughts yes I would!) and this has been one of those times. Hopefully the disappeared equilibrium will soon be restored to its usual state but I think it will require much discussion before this will occur.
Anyway on to more positive issues though with a negative side too I;m afraid) Huey Jack russell and Bailey collie(a recent admittance) are both leaving us tomorrow for their new places though there are two more newies. Monty (left)was found on a busy road, he is terrified of his own shadow and cowers when anyone goes near him.This poor little white  terrier shakes with fear which makes my blood boil at whoever caused him to have this reaction to people. He has worn a collar at some time so he has come from a  home but of course nobody has reported him missing. The other new arrival is a Jack russell puppy found abandoned in a skip near Porthmadog! Still with his baby teeth, he is no more than 16 weeks ; he is a dear dainty little dog and fairly unperturbed by his ordeal. though he too has a tendency to cower.What was this little pup doing in a skip? He certainly would have been unable to climb or jump in himself , he is far too small. (His photo makes him look larger  and older than he actually is ) I have named him Tim as in Tiny Tim and he is in the house with my dogs, he has fitted in extremely well with them and Paddy just looked at him and went back to sleep!

The Liverpool shelter is willing to take on Gorgeous George so I now have to try and arrange for him to be taken there where he will join the other FIV cats in a  special enclosure. If anyone is making a trip to Liverpool from Wales or vice versa and can help please let me know.

Volunteer Kim is now working officially  for Freshfields part time and her happy personality offsets my miserable one!!  Mind you there was so much going on  here today she laughingly said that she had just started and was handing her notice in - well at least I hope she was joking. Most days are reasonably normal here but every now and again we have a manic one, like today ,.it was just unfortunate that it was Kims first day.Not the best day to start! Carwyn has spent his final day here and we will miss the extra help but wish him well in the future.

Now I am going to walk my own dogs , make something to eat and have an early night.Tomorrow is another day.(I wonder who thought that one up? )

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Gorgeous George Deserves a Chance.

Firstly, in answer to Kim, the attractively marked tabby in the last blog  is just 8 weeks old! He is almost feral but young enough to domesticate which is why he will be the first to come in.
On her way in to work Veronica has collected a cat from an Anglesey Vet practice, he was taken in there as a  suspected victim of a road accident.As it transpired he was simply a very neglected animal , he has also tested positive for FIV(Feline Aids) As supporters of Freshfields will know we do not condemn such a  cat to death unless it really is in such a bad way that it would be kinder to have the last trip to the Vet.Many Fiv cats live happily for many more years after their diagnosis and as long as they are not in direct contact with other cats (unless they too have the same virus) it is usually possible to find homes for them. Gorgeous George, as we have named him (the vets named him UGLY!!)will be given a fighting chance with us. I wanted to call him after one of my favourite actors- George Clooney and Rhian thinks George Michael is better looking  so we compromised on calling him Gorgeous George and then we both think it is our personal choice!

It is hard to know with a stray whether the poor condition is due to a virus or the result of months scavenging  so some time needs to be spent trying to build him up, the first job today was to get rid of the many fleas living on him. If he fails to respond to nurturing then we will make the decision to let him go, for now he is enjoying the deluxe meal set out for him and is mercifully free from the fleas which were causing him so much irritation. He is such a loving animal and seems to be glad of the comfort we are giving him.Poor old man.

Today has been a very chaotic day which means that once again it was time for the Farrier to visit. With so many horses to be checked and feet to be trimmed it takes up the best part of a day. Most of the ponies were fine but Dids (pictured on right)has had to be shod on her front feet, her feet were tender and this is the best option for her. Big William also has had this done and both will stay indoors for a few days until their feet are better. We use a product called Farriers formula for horses with tender feet and this is mixed in daily with  food. Most of the equines at the shelter are on supplements for one problem  or another, it is a very expensive business caring for horses, and shelter animals so often arrive with existing health issues which have not been treated.
Left are Ross and Blue with Grandad in the background.. Ross was a childrens riding pony but is retired here and is now in his late thirties. Blue is 18 years of age(I always get them mixed up, they are so alike)He was one of the unfortunate ponies which had their health ruined  by their owner who thought she was caring for them in the correct way.No matter what advice she was given she chose to ignore it to the detriment of all 8 ponies.Blue was one of the better  off ones as he only had infected and overgrown hooves, however he has early signs of liver failure and is on permanent medication.
Also pictured here is our new work experience volunteer Carwyn who lives in Manchester but is staying with a relative locally and  has chosen to work here at the shelter. His help has been very useful especially on a day like this with so much going on. You will probably recognise Rosie from previous photos if not from her avant garde choice of necklace! Will this be taken up by local fashionistas I wonder ? Could string be the new Pearl? Even little Titch shetland looks a little bemused at the sight of Rosie as the Freshfields  Style Queen.

People have backed out of having little Huey Jack russell.We have no idea why, after doing their homecheck which passed, they just  refused to answer our calls to find out when they were collecting him! If only they had told us they had changed their minds.During that time I turned two others away who wanted him and they did not leave their contact details as they were going to another shelter straight away. Presumably they found a pet as neither rang back.Then another couple came to see him today but they have not reserved him so Huey is still homeless, hes a happy little dog so it should not be too long before he is adopted .It is all the matter of finding the right person and making the right match.Sometimes it takes a while but is worth it in the end to find the right placement for an animal.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Law According to Defra,

The cat adoptions are improving, we have had 2 pairs of cats go out over the past few days and 2 more reserved though I have just had a call about a lady who has 18 cats she needs to get rid of!. Nicky has been round there today as it is close to her home and the situation is bad, there are kittens everywhere and some are very timid having not been handled much. The neighbours are all up in arms at the number of cats roaming and breeding and it seems she has been offered help previously but failed to take it up. I have suggested Nicky takes those youngsters which are still able to be domesticated, the others are going to require careful assessment and we will have to help little by little or until she kicks us into touch(which sounds likely judging by prior incidents)There are still many cats in desperate need of our help which have been waiting for places here and  it is becoming apparent that our help is just a drop in the ocean. What a nightmare it is!
Pictured here are two of the many cats from this home and these are just the the ones which stood still for a photo! Oh well , at least this year there has only been one big multicat recsue, in previous years we have dealt with far more though we often had the space then.Now we are better known we seldom have the facilities to take in large numbers at one time. As I write this we have had late visitors who have reserved two kittens so things are really looking up.heres hoping this run of adoptions continues,it is a morale boost  for the staff as well as being good for the animals and of course making precious room for  other needy felines.
 I want to put in for grants for the proposed new cattery but am held up with regard to  the plans which have been held in abeyance for some time pending the new animal welfare regulations which are reputed to be bringing animal shelters under the same jurisdiction as boarding establishments.The problem is that neither Defra nor the Council seem to be sure when this comes into being and it is information I need before I can get estimates for the work.I cant get estimates if I dont know what size I am meant to be building the pens or when this legislation becomes legal(or if it ever will?) Is it just pie in the sky and will we still be waiting for it a decade ahead? Do I really need to alter my (expensive) plans and get more done or will it be really necessary? I am in a quandary about it.

Missy the great dane /husky has been admitted,I have never seen a dog less like either breed though I have to admit that occasionally I can see something a little Dane like in her profile, might be the slobbery jowls! Perhaps one of her parents was a cross Dane? She is the size of a tall collie, very sweet natured and it has to be said not in the best condition,Her coat is very dull and she is underweight and to top it all she  is in season. That is a nuisance because I had her booked in to be spayed on Thursday so that will now have to be cancelled.I did ask the owner if her dog  was in season and was assured she was definitely NOT! Oh well, what do I expect.Should be used to it by now.Perhaps she did not understand how to recognise if a bitch is in season or not!

Is everyone as horrified as me about Defras disinterest in proseceuting the wicked slaughterhouse workers filmed torturing the animals they are supposed to be humanely destroying? Well all I can say is that this behaviour has always occurred, lets face it you would have to be pretty well desensitised to work in such a place.Nevertheless this open admittance by the  body which is supposed to be in charge of welfare issues  in farm animals has been a big let  down. Apparently they cannot do anything because the workers were not aware that they were being filmed!!!!!! Have you ever heard anything so absurd?  That means therefore, that anyone can do anything, murder even and be filmed doing it but unless the filming is done with  the knowledge of the perpetrator  they will  get away with it!! Amazing.Or is it just  the poor  defenceless animals that this law applies to?Or is it just  Defra law? I am disgusted that such evil can go on in this country and that it is swept under the carpet time and time again. We call ourselves a civilised society.I dont think so.

Sorry for the Rant, haven't had a really good one for a while and this issue has truly made my blood boil.