Monday, 31 October 2011

An Armful of Puppies.

Just a quickie to show everyone the delightful but motherless pups we admitted today. Gail and Sue had just fed them when this was taken, Gail has found a foster home for them so they have left us already. It is sad though, that the mum Jack Russell was so ill having them, Hope she isn't missing them too much though if she is unwell she is probably glad to be released from the pressure of feeding her babies.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Hello, Who's the New Girl ?

Another successful day. Holiday makers(and readers of my blog)Sara and Dave from Northumberland fell in love with Ben, the labrador cross found abandoned near Caernarfon. After taking him for a long walk they felt they could not return home without him. Unfortunately Bud the cocker spaniel is still with us as his home fell through at the last minute and the others who were desperate to give him a home, were contacted but they have all now adopted dogs from other shelters. very disappointing and sad for Bud who is losing weight with stress and needs to be settled in a home pretty soon.

Another little dog has been admitted, Sally a deaf jack russell/whippet was unwanted and to be frank when the owners wife approached her, the dog cowered to the ground so I am more than happy to take her over . She is in the house with mine and will stay there until the right suitable home turns up for her. Here is Paddy and gang taking stock of the new arrival. As usual they were very accepting and after having a few sniffs , soon lost interest. Sally is so excited to be with company, I cannot think that she had much of that. I would like to home her with someone who has had experience of a deaf dog previously.The last deaf dog we had was a Jack Russell and he went very quickly, as did the deaf dalmation Dotty. It would be nice if this girl was adopted quickly too.

I am looking for a foster home for 4 puppies, born just one week ago.Their Jack Russell mum is unwell after giving birth and is unable to care for them and if we dont take them, there will be an untimely end for them.That is not an option so I will care for them myself until someone with more time on their hands offers to take them on. It is hard for me to keep it up because I work every day and I have little enough sleep as it is. Apparently Dad is a neighbours Sheepdog! If only spaying/neutering  was compulsory!

No cats have been adopted today, it has not been brilliant for the cats this weekend but I am still hoping for a good response from the newspaper article(if it gets published)

If you haven't voted yet for Freshfields please do so before or time runs out(end of the day) we may still lose as we are neck and neck with another charity.Dont forget the link is on one of the blog entries a few days ago. Please ask everyone you know to vote whilst there is still time

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Happy Dogs and Cats.

I had a lovely email from the lady who adopted Charley and he is winning everyone over  with his charm and personality.Isn't that great news?What a happy little man he will be now.
 I have also heard from a couple of other people over the past few days. who adopted pets from us. These are emails I love opening, they cheer me up for the day. On the left here is collie Ryan(now called Owain) with new pal Daisy. Ryan was another Pound dog doomed until he came to Freshfields.
Angie who has Jess and lives in Milton keynes writes to tell me that Jess the cross labrador she adopted from us a year ago, is doing very well and her behaviour is improving all the time. I hope that is not clean washing she is sitting on! Jess, it has to be said was not an easy dog and this news is very heartening and the fact that they love her so much in spite of her personality dysfunctions makes me realise that there are people out there who do not expect wonders from their rescued pets and are, in fact, willing to work with them.
Sonny the cross chihuahua/jack russell  is also a happy little man now he has a loving home.From being tossed out of a car, abandoned and then spending a week in a cold kennel in a dog pound, he is now being cared for as he should have been all along and he has a canine pal too. I think you will all agree that these  photos show very happy dogs.
The cats pictured all live with members of the same family.Katherine has adopted three cats from us and her parents recently gave a home to teenagers Henry and Leo seen here surveying the layout of their new home.Here are the Williams cats in their full glory., left is Hedges who was adopted in 2007 enjoying a stretch on the bed. Below is Rusty adopted earlier this year and  being cuddled by Katherines daughter  and finally Jazz who has only just left the shelter but has clearly made herself very much at home already as she is sharing her sleeping space quite happily with Hedges.I wonder if are there any more cat lovers in the family? maybe we could persuade THEM to adopt a few more.
I am unsure if the article on black cats went in the newspaper this week because there have been no telephone calls about it,perhaps it will be in next week?I do hope so as we really need to home some of the bigger kittens and definitely more adults, so we can make room for and admit some more needy cases.

Sparky the Jack Russell has left us today for his new home in Canterbury and I have no doubts at all that he has now fallen on his feet. Also adopted is Sam the cross labrador and |Misty the collie Spaniel fostered by Rosie . We are now waiting for the people to collect Bud the cocker spaniel and that will be the last adoption of the day. For a horrid, wet, cold day it has proved to be a good one for the animals.

The starlings have well and truly arrived, Veronica counted over 90 sitting on the telephone wires on Thursday and they have started to come down on the bird tables which means my bird food bill is about to be trebled! I had almost forgotten how many times I had to refill the containers last year when they arrived en masse but the memory rapidly came back as  I  am refilling them  three times daily at the moment! I dont know why people dislike them, the markings on them are brilliant, almost iridescent and they can't be blamed for being hungry, they have flown thousands of miles to get here, who wouldn't be peckish?

Mei has just popped home to change her wet clothes and I am just about to do the same though at least I only have to walk a couple of yards. Somehow I doubt my dogs will want to go walkies in this, they are all rather nesh and not at all fond of the bad weather we are having right now.Meg the lurcher just takes one look outside, sees the rain and rushes back to her comfy bed. Only Jackson the staffie is interested in walks in all weathers but if he does not have another dog to play with, he rapidly loses interest in exercise. I do wish I could have found him a home, I have just had another call about an unwanted staffie locally and it is so very hard to find people willing to take them on. Poor dogs, they didn't ask to be brought into the world.

Thats it for today folks, I am off to have a change of clothes , refill the bird feeders for their last meal of the day and then try to persuade some of my dogs to venture outside. I will not be trying TOO hard to persuade them today!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Glad To Be Home!

Yesterday we decided that we would send Heather and Paddy shetlands back to their summer grazing fields for a month as there is so much grass to be had there and little left here. The fields are only in walking distance and opposite where Mei lives so she keeps an eye on the ponies in those fields.As they are both hardy little ponies we felt there was enough natural shelter for them and they would be content there.  However ,this morning we were shocked to be met by two little shetland ponies determinedly making their way up the track to their old field by the house.Clearly they had decided they preferred to be here, broken out of their field and trotted back Home! What a pair of tinkers. Although not at all happy about them being out on the road between the two properties, we had to chuckle at their determination and intelligence. None of our ponies have ever escaped from those fields before, so at the moment we have no idea how they have managed their Big Break Out. Mei is going to check everywhere today but for the time being we will keep the michievous pair here. I do not want to risk the same happening again.

What a glum day it has been here, if I had the opportunity I would emigrate to Australia tomorrow,if only to bask in the sunshine and if one more person says I would soon  get fed up of the sun I will personally decapitate him/her! Just give me the chance, I say.(to bask in sun, not to decapitate anyone) Still, looking on the bright side the animals are finding homes and that is what it is all about.Of course I could emigrate and rescue Kangaroos! Mmm now theres a thought.

I had an email from Liz at the Great Dane rescue (Great Dane Care) and she tells me that they have had 45 dogs in, that is a lot of huge dogs to find homes for. If I had not had Paddy I think I would have offered a home to the two who have been in the news lately, the Blind one and her pal. I do hope they find someone nice to care for them and that Liz manages to find some suitable homes for her bunch of giants. I remember once turning someone down for a yorkshire terrier because they had a Great Dane, I felt that the big dog could unintentionally harm the little one.Now I know more about the breed and have kept both of mine with little dogs very satisfactorily,I realise that I probably made an error of judgement at the time. My dogs were both exceedingly gentle and careful around the toy dogs they came in  contact with.

The kitten situation is not lessening at all, there is a whole new batch of kittens waiting now to be admitted, the second wave of kittens to be born  are starting to arrive and we have not even homed all of the last lot! Please, please let the newspaper article this week  bring some more homes amd especially for the older kittens who are rapoidly losing their appeal. nFew will choose these when there are younger ones to choose from. maybe I should hide the littlies?

Monday, 24 October 2011

A Plea for Our Many Black Kittens and Cats.

We admitted the two cats mentioned in last blog and I am pleased to say that they are very  homeable. Mum Suzy is a ginger and her daughter Becky a lovely dark tortoishell. (pictured below)It would be nice for them to be adopted as a pair and I think they will appeal to visitors unlike the poor black ones.
In fact, we have so many half grown black kittens now that I have contacted the local newspaper  this morning to feature them in an article about unwanted cats. We had high jinks trying to gather an armful of black youngsters for the photo shoot and in the end only two remained in Sues arms!  5 months old Misha and Sophie have been here since they were 8 weeks old and have been overlooked every time. I am confident though, that the newspaper feature will result in a good home for them .
One of Meis relatives was forced to part with her Golden Retriever Max  due to health issues and I have rarely known so many people to be clambering after him. I was kept very busy fielding calls from hopeful people desperate to adopt Max.The truth is that within an hour of advertising him, a suitable home was found. Some very good homes were offered  but it is a great shame that a mixed breed dog does not attract the same attention.
Mind you, there seem to be just as many pedigree dogs needing homes nowadays, I am sure that was not the case when I first started in animal welfare.Having said that, in those early days I saw far more badly neglected animals , dogs in  particular ,than I do now so  SOME things have improved slightly.The worst cases of neglect  I have seen have  been with pedigree dogs and  the ones which spring to my mind immediately are a Poodle, an Afghan Hound, an Old English Sheepdog and a Doberman, all of which were extreme cases and will stay in my mind forever.
I think that the introduction of Council Dog Wardens made a huge difference to the situation and of course more animal rescue organisations similar to Freshfields were set up in and around cities in the Eighties so there was less reason for a person to simply leave an animal to deteriorate.; there were suddenly more  places these dogs could be taken when no longer wanted.
That doesn't mean that there will not be any more heartrending neglect cases , I'm afraid that there will always be people who will behave irresponsibly and cruelly ,but at least now  there are more options  available which must have some effect on statistics.

Just had a call from a man who wants to board his  4 pet hens for 4 -5 days. I dont feel I can have them here, it would not be safe for poultry.Am trying to think of someone who has a safe enclosure.Does anybody know anyone who could help?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Have you Voted Yet? We are losing the Voting race.

Its a wet and windy Sunday, I have donned my waterproofs in the attempt to keep dry,  so many waterproofs do not live up to their name so I am hoping these new ones will do so.  It is so essential here. Being on the side of a hill we are very exposed to the elements as vistors who have been here will know. Bit by bit we are getting ready, the field shelters still have to be reinforced and the water bowser which is being donated (and which will be invaluable when we have a Big Freeze)has yet to be collected from Lampeter but we are getting there slowly but surely.There are always so many things to do at a shelter, there never seem to be enough hours in the day.

Little Charley went off yesterday to live in Southampton with new Mum Ellie and a new pal, Miniature Shnauzer Chloe,  On meeting Chloe, the little tinker immediately transferred his attention from my leg to her nether regions! Im sure she will show him who's boss before very long and that his recent  neutering will soon put an end to his amorous overtures!

The police arrived last night at 9.30, with a young  labrador cross found tied up on Caernarfon, Mei was still here finishing off her work and looking after my dogs whilst I went out to Llandudno theatre with a friend to see Bill Wyman in his new band.  Not exactly the Rolling Stones but still good.
Mei  has taken the lab home to foster(hope her chihuahua copes with him?) We rarely see the police now as that was another thing the Council did, contacted the police to tell them not to bring dogs here but to send them to the Dog Pound!
One of my house dogs Max has also gone to a home, I was planning to (reluctantly) keep him because of his problem of not allowing people out of the house.Once they are in, they can't get out again! He has gone to very nice and experienced dog owners but I am still thinking he may be returned. I hope not , not only for his own sake but for mine.He made it difficult for me to get away even for a day because nobody could get into the house to let my dogs out(well they could get in but not out again!)

Three cats went out today,  a gentleman adopted two youngsters and his daughter came along and decided to give a home to a lovely tabby cat called Narla who had been here for a year .Having already got one of our cats we knew she would offer a great home to Narla and we are so happy for this little cat. I am currently trying to prioritise which cat to bring in next, there are so many urgent cases but I think I will opt for the  two cats belonging to an elderly person as she is forgetting to feed her pets and although there is no deliberate neglect on her part, this is an untenable situation in which to leave an animal.

The cats are not enjoying this weather at all and I have seldom seen so many cats curled up together on the conservatory sofas. One of the outside sheds used for living quarters for feral cats, is falling apart and they desperately need a new one before it gets any wetter and colder. Kitty Kottage has proved to be very popular with the wildies but it is not big enough for all of them to happily bed down in.  Looks like I will be paying the Shed Shop a visit tomorrow. Then, of course it will have to be insulated and shelves put up.Anybody out there fancy a voluntary job doing this?

The publication for my book will be December, no date yet but am hoping it will be the very first week to allow for the thousands of readers desperate for a copy to read/give as a xmas present!!!! Well I can hope can't I?

Finally we are losing the voting for the Animal Friends  Donation so if you have not yet voted for Freshfields and you are a facebook member PLEASE PLEASE do so today and send the link to anyone you know who could also vote for us. A £5,000 donation would be lovely especially at this time of year when our expenditure is sky high.  Please go to  then go over to the left hand side and click on "Vote for a charity". Once on the page you will be asked to allow access to your details, but this is just so they know you aren't voting more than once - your info won't be used for any other purpose. If the app isn't showing properly use the tab button to move it across. If you get a blue box showing that says "Go to Facebook" click on that and it will take you to the app. Once there just click the little circle in the bottom of the box that says Freshfields and then click submit. Please help us to help the animals! It would also be great if you could share this on your own page. Many thanks for your support. :-)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Bright and Breezy Charley.

Here he is, beautifully clipped, neutered and ready for adoption.What a change! I cannot even begin to imagine how good he feels now and he has a home already, lucky little dog. His life really starts now he does not have the pain and discomfort of that dreadfully matted thick coat. It has taken years off him and he is just like a puppy now. Its just as well he has a home waiting or I would be tempted to keep him.  On second thoughts ,perhaps not, he has not quite got over the leg humping yet and moving round the office with a dog clasped tightly to ones leg is not terribly comfortable! We have changed his name to Charley in celebration of his new life. Isn't he gorgeous?

There have been lots of comments on our facebook page about the unsuitability of keeping rabbits with guinea pigs, this started because we have a bunny and guinea pig which we are trying to rehome together.They have been together a year and love each other but there are people outraged at this.Their reasoning is that Guineas should NEVER be kept with another species because injuries can occur and even fatalities . This is perfectly true and is not something to be recommended but when a pair DO get on, why part them? I know of many such pairings which are successful, the problem is that if people  buy one of each,, there could be problems and therefore it is obviously not wise to even attempt it. A general rule should be to keep rabbits together and guinea pigs together but when a couple are   living happily together and have done for some time, is it right to take them away from one another?  I think not .  There are worse issues concerning small animals which bother me more than an individual (and successful)case of Rabbit/guinea pairing.  That is not to say it is something I recommend , I certainly dont but  lets not get it out of perspective!

The first starling of the year has arrived, I wonder when the rest of the gang will appear?  I had best get stocked up on their  favourite fatty treats or they will be devouring all the food out out for the small birds. have you noticed how hungry they all  are now the weather is becoming decidedly chilly? Speaking of which,  Im feeling a bit peckish myself -  I could blame it on the coldness of the day but then I am just the same in the spring, and summer and the autumn! lets face it, Im just greedy!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

An influx of Cats and a Happy Shi-tzu

The shi-tzu is now clipped entirely except round his eyes which he refused to allow. As it was , Rosie and Vanessa struggled with him; poor little chap was clearly in great discomfort and when they got to his ears, they were red and felt very hot to the touch. The weight he was carrying on his ears alone must have been painful for such a little dog. Now we can actually feel his body, he is also somewhat underweight. What a  miserable time he has had during his life, however he has now livened up considerably and  is pictured here happily humping the duvet!  He has gone to be neutered today and the scruffy bit round his eyes will be taken off whilst he is under the anaesthetic. I hope too, that his humping habit will soon disappear!
lately my arms and legs seem to have been the unwelcome recipient of such behaviour!

Several cats have been admitted from the waiting list though it is taking quite a time to make any inroads into it.  This morning  I had a lady being very rude to me because I said I had no room and she was not the first I'm afraid.. Everybody thinks their particular  situation warrants immediate action and  some do not want to hear that we are full, they just want their problem solved. I do understand this but if there is no space, then there is no space! When we have a space, it is give to one of the most needy on the current waiting list,
 I wish those who are so nasty would come and work here for a day and see  for themselves that we are full to capacity , do not have much money  or indeed facilities to take unlimited numbers of pets. Perhaps then they would understand our situation.

So , new to the shelter is Lucy (below) a young white and black cat whose owner was not allowed to keep her in his flat, two tortoishells which had been abandoned (Pictured above) and now called Venetia and Geneva.
a black longhaired cat which was abandoned by holiday makers (no photo or name yet) and a 7 years old cat called  Bushka whose owner has died.
Bushka has  been well loved and cared for during her life and is one of the few cats admitted from a home with an up to date vaccination certificate.

Yesterday we admitted two gorgeous guinea pigs, longhaired boys Bob and Ted who are actually handleable for a change. Most that are admitted are nervous but these have been well cared for and handled regularly. the owner has reluctantly given up her pets due to a change in personal circumstances.

Winter is not a good time to rehome small pets, perhaps the idea of cleaning out hutches in snow and rain has little appeal?
Nevertheless I am hopeful that these two will be adopted before next spring. if anyone knows any guinea pig lovers please let them know about Bob and Ted.

I am looking for volunteers to help at the LLandudno Fair on Nov 18th.If anyone can help or bake a cake or two please let me know asap. Thanks. It will be our first fundraiser in that area so it could go either way though  it would be nice to make a success of it and then  we could have more regular events in Llandudno. I'm sure there must be animal lovers around there who would be happy to help?

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Long Term Cats leave us for new Homes.

I just love the morning walks with the dogs, the  dew is glistening prettily on the grass and this morning there  is a feeling of crispness in the air; it is so energising and gives me a boost for the day ahead. The  scenery here is beautiful  and  I love just standing looking  around me ,especially across the valley  towards the Irish Sea. If ever I feel low(and I often do) the beauty of the surrounding  countryside will take those feelings away for a short while.

After the meeting with the environmental health people I sank into a dark place but  this morning I am determined the comments made will not get me down any longer. The shelter is going from strength to strength and there have been so many improvements to the property and this will continue  until it is exactly how I want it. There is a great need for an animal sanctuary  in this area and once the old cattery is replaced, it will have all the facilities needed for the animals which need us so much. We will be going all out to apply for grants to do this work, it may take years but we WILL get there in the end. NOBODY SAID IT WOULD EASY!

We have had two adult cats adopted today and both have been here the best part of a year, how wonderful is that. The day has got even better! Diamond (on left) was one of a number of cats admitted because their owner was going to live abroad, they have all been so slow going to new homes but I am hopeful now for the remaining ones, perhaps it is their turn next to be noticed. She is so lovely, I am amazed that she has not been snapped up but she is a little shy and the shy ones do fade into the background when we have visitors. The other cat Jeremy is a lovely tabby and white but for some reason I am unable to find his photo, maybe the new owners will send one of him in his new home and then I can post that instead.

Pictured here is Tangy one of our feral cats  sitting on a fence surveying the scene around him(and not I hope waiting for hapless birds who stray into his path!)
Tangy was a youngster we were unable to domesticate so we neutered him and released him, he is seldom very far away from his little all black pal  Peta but I have never been able to photograph them together as the other is so timid still and always runs like hell when she spots the camera. As you can see Tangy is not overly impressed either. I have a lot of camera shy animals here, not to mention the staff who all seem to disappear as soon as I start walking  about David Bailey style.

I received an email  today from a  US based charity who rescue Mares and Foals from those dreadful Premarin farms. I do hope those readers who are on hormone replacement are not on either Premarin or Prempak, if you are, ask your doctor to change over to a more ethical HRT. I asked mine and she refused so  if that happens to you, do as I did and change doctors! I wont go into it here but if you want to know why I am so against it please look it up on the net. This charity has saved thousands from these hell holes, thankfully many such farms are now closing down but everyone needs to be aware what goes on if they are on HRT.

Ps: saw a Rock Pipit  and  a Shag (Cormorant like bird to the uninitiated) today on the beach.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

A badly Neglected Shi-Tzu.

Rosie had on her Dog Groomer Head today and spent a couple of hours clipping two matted dogs, Gemma the cocker and Celt a shi -tzu I collected from a  home yesterday. Celts owner had died and his new owner was unable to care for him. His coat is so terribly matted and had obviously been this way for quite some time.He must be very uncomfortable. Gemma has been reserved already so we hope she will be leaving Rosies care this weekend sometime. What a dear little dog, everyone who meets her falls in love with her, it is hard to understand why she has not been claimed but as her coat is in a bad condition it may be  a similar scenario to that of Celt. We may never know her background but at least now she is going to be well cared for.
Celt has had to be done in stages, he becomes very stressed whilst being groomed and there is so much work to be done on him, he looks a little odd at the moment because the hair round his neck and head is still intact until the next session! Even so, he is so much happier and livelier which is hardly surprising.We will be weighing the hair that has been removed which should prove interesting. The photo on the right is of a lump of hair taken off his back!
He still has his head and neck to be done so will show that when Rosie comes in Monday and finishes him off (I mean that in the best possible way of course)
In the meantime Vanessa is caring for him along with her own menagerie.

Friday, 14 October 2011

An unpleasant Visit from the Council

The pony is not coming in, not because the owner has claimed him but rather that he has been found a home, which is great for us. I spoke to the World Horse Welfare Inspector who went to see the pony to check for a possible micrichip implant, of course there wasn't one.  He told  me that many ponies are being abandoned at the moment, usually young males who will need to be gelded so maybe the owners do not want the expense of this?  It all boils down to the fact that far too many people are breeding equines and there are simply not the homes for them all.Tragic! What is this obsession with breeding all about? In the spring, every field containing horses has at least one mare with a foal at foot and the horses sales are full of unwanted youngsters who will never have the chance of a full life. can't horse and pony owners understand this? What  is the justification for bringing more and more equines into a world where so many end up as petfood,it breaks my heart.

Amazingly The Staffordshire bull terrier was claimed, five days after we admitted him! Suffice it to say I was not particularly pleased that she had not even noticed his ears were bald and he had ear mites or the fact that she had not bothered to inform the microchip company of her change of address and telephone number, never mind ring her local shelter(us) to see if we knew anything about his whereabouts. Oh well, such is life, nothing I can do about it except maybe pop round in a wek or so and see how he is getting on.Yes I think that's what I will do to set my mind at rest.

A dear little middle aged Cocker Spaniel (pictured here)is being currently fostered by Rosie, initially I had to place her in local Boarding kennels because Rosie was away but she is now esconced in the Parry household and Rosie tells me she is a sweet little dog. Being a professional dog groomer , Rosie will be grooming her and getting rid of those matted ears (the mats not the ears!) I dont think she has lived in a home with other animals as she seems very nervous of them so I am looking for a nice quiet(ish) home for her .My grammar leaves a lot to be desired, have just read this back and it sounds as though Rosie is nervous of dogs. Trust me she IS NOT!

I had a lovely day off yesterday, I went birding with bird tour company 'The Biggest Twitch'. We only went round Pwllheli and Porthmadog harbours but it was very relaxing and I am learning more about birds each time I go. The only problem is that by the time I go again I have forgotten all I have learned! I rather like the idea of  going on a four - five day  holiday to Scotland with them, anybody fancy that too? It would be good to have three or four like minded people joining me.

Back to work issues.
Work is going on repairing the field shelters ready for the winter months ahead and I need to buy another shed for the feral cats here, one of theirs is falling apart and will not make it through another winter. I thought we were pretty organised for the next Big Freeze but all of a sudden there seem to be a million jobs to do!

Regarding the planning application I put in during the year 2008 which has been held back due to the future change in cattery regulations - I had an appointment here with  one of the people from the Environmental Health dept to discuss some of the possible changes and I must say it was extremely upsetting. Not only was I told that I may have to reduce the number of cats to something like 30! but that if I was not happy with these changes that I could always move somewhere bigger! Also I am  not allowed to give shelter to a dog in my own House!It seems that not only am I not allowed to use the kennels here but I cannot even have a rescued dog in my own  Home!!! Not content with  forcing me to foster my dogs out if I want to continue helping the many unwanted dogs in this region, I cannot so much as take a chihuahua in myself? 
Oh, and if I wanted more space for the cats I could always use the stables and get rid of the horses! Finally she told me (out of the blue) that she disagreed with my views on Aids cats! Where did that come from? Clearly she has been either reading my blog or the website but what has that got to do with the Council? I felt she was being very personal rather than just doing her job and I have decided that enough is enough.
I will be seeing my MP to attempt to garner some support for the charity. WHat really makes me upset  is that we are providing a fantastic service to this community and  yet I feel that the Council would only be happy if I closed down.  Well,  Hell will freeze over before that happens.
There has certainly not been any support from them since day one. We have provided jobs for local people, provide work placements for youngsters and have disadvantaged and disabled people working here with their carers.Not only that we help not only individuals with their animal problems but  work with the police, social services and other institutions. Clearly this all amounts to nothing in the eyes of Gwynedd Council.
Dont forget to vote for Freshfields on the link on my last blog. wqe still need more votes to win the money.Please send the link to all your animal loving facebook friends.

A friend who has a  nice mobile home on a nearby beach is willing to rent to people with pets and we will receive the deposit as a donation so if any of you are interested in a  caravan holiday in Wales , let me know and I will put you in touch. 01286 880808

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Two Unclaimed dogs and a Stray Pony.

Well I must say that this staffordshire bull terrier is winning me over.I hardly know he is here, he is so quiet and well behaved.He is to be neutered on Thursday so that should take care of the one problem he seems to have!
 The black cocker spaniel still has not been claimed which has surprised me though why I am ever surprised is beyond me - I should be used to unclaimed pets by now. The Dog wardens came today to see if she had a microchip in but as I told them we had already checked for that and the dog was in boarding kennels anyway.They thought she might have been a dog they had reported as missing but it turned out theirs was a Cavalier spaniel so not the same dog at all. 
I told them about the staffie Fraggle and how he was microchipped but the registered owner had denied  all knowledge and it seems this is occurring all the time, especially with staffies who tend to be  passed from home to home without the chip details being changed. They had quite a few cases similar and were unable to trace the real owners.

Now on to strays of another type. A young pony has turned up roaming around Lampeter and has been given temporary shelter until Friday ; I have been told if I don't collect him by that day ,  the meatman will be called in!"
No Pressure then! 
I have arranged to collect him (it is costing |£200) so  I am half hoping the owner WILL turn up before this. It could happen, the pony was found on Saturday and some people do not check their ponies every day, (the irresponsible ones)perhaps the owner does not yet know his animal is missing?
I had been hoping there would be no emergencies this winter as we have just about sorted out enough stabling for our own equines.It looks as though we may have to use at least one or two of our field shelters if any more turn up unexpectedly.
Much as I would love to take on every unwanted horse I have to think of issues such as whether there is enough grazing for another, whether taking on another would be to the detriment of those already in residence and of course the great expense. They require so much care and attention to keep them in tiptop condition and these factors have to be considered when making a decision to admit another. It would be so easy to agree to take on more, some of the stories really pull at the heartstrings but what would be the point of doing that if it meant that those we have would suffer. It is impossible to care for a large number of horses without the staff and the facilities ,and the money for veterinary ,farrier and dental treatment which they all need. So reluctantly and often with great sadness I have to be sensible. We have 36 horses and ponies here this winter and many are very old , requiring extra care and attention and already the staff have their work cut out, our horses need the best care we can give them.They rely on us and we cannot let them down.
Andre, the equine dentist has been here today and he was just amazed about old Noddy (see left)and the wonderful condition of his teeth. He said that the old pony  has All his teeth and for a 30 yrs old that would be pretty amazing but for an old chap of 38, it was incredibly unusual. Dear old Nod Nod.  He'll outlive us all!
Caspar. the bereaved pony has palled up with Noddy and Maggie so this winter he will be able to share their stable.Although many people keep their horses and ponies stabled individually I have always kept most of mine in groups and I find they are much happier stabled this way(as long as the stable is large enough)

So watch this space to see if the stray pony will be claimed!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Oh Dear , Another Staffie!

Yesterday afternoon I went to collect a dog which had been scavenging in bins near the town centre of Caernarfon. He is a 6 years old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a little underweight and with ear mites which seem to be bothering him quite a lot. At first I thought he will never be claimed and 'Oh No what am I going to do with such a difficult to rehome dog. Then we discovered he was microchipped to someone in Caernarfon,  but who ever answered their telephone denies all knowledge of the dog!!! So it looks very much as though he will be up for adoption and I am very worried that we will not find anyone for him even though he has a lovely nature. He even came face to face with the formidable Jimmy Ginger and simply backed away so it appears he must have been in contact with cats before. That has to be a bonus. Later we will see what he is like around other dogs and if he is good with them, that may make him more adoptable. Poor dog, he was very hungry when he was found and it does look as though he has been without a few meals lately. As I have mentioned before this breed has such a raw deal, so many fall into the wrong hands. We have two Staffs which regularly return (with their owners of course!) to see us. Both Billy and Tess have such wonderful homes now,  and Che the Pound dog which my Niece Vanessa adopted is also greatly loved  - if only all  Staffies could find  such happiness.  Fortunately 'Hassle' who has now been renamed ' Fraggle' (how horrid to call a dog Hassle) is a quiet well behaved dog (apart from being oversexed - my leg is the major recipient of his attentions!) so he can be kept temporarily in the office until we are sure he won't be claimed.

It continues to be a good weekend for  adoptions; the returned grey and white kittens are going together to a home, as are the two black kittens which were abandoned.  Young (black) adult cats Tom and Jerry have been reserved also which is just amazing.  Even young black cats are hard to home and we have done really well with them this weekend which is a great morale boost for the cattery staff.

Another Caernarfon stray, cross breed (not sure which breeds he is crossed with) 'Oscar ' is also off to his new home so things are indeed looking up!

Foster mum Gail has another dog to care for in the shape of 6 months old Springer Spaniel Beauty whose elderly owner could no longer care for her. Gail has a special liking for this breed, she has one herself and has been tempted more than once to keep one of her temporary residents. I know she is trying to let her head rule her heart so hopefully this little dog will find someone nice quickly.

It is definitely the week for spaniels, |I am currently trying to find a place for two Cocker spaniels (one is a stray) and also a pregnant labrador due to give birth to a litter fathered by one of the Cocker spaniels. We need more Foster Homes and QUICKLY!

P.S. Had to place the stray Cocker spaniel in local kennels as run out of foster homes at the moment. She is a middle aged black Cocker, very fat but matted ears and undercoat. I think she may belong to someone older who has been unable to groom her,  I hope the owner has not died and the dog been turfed out.  With a bit of luck she will be claimed soon.

As I come to the end of this days entry another car pulled into the yard and another kitten has been reserved by these late visitors. Result!

Please remember to head across to Facebook and vote for us in the Animal Friends competition.  Whoever gets the most votes will win £5000 and as always we are desperately in need of funds to help see us through this coming winter.  This is the link: Animal Friends Competition  All you need to do is to go to the left hand side of the screen and click on the "Vote for a charity" link.  Once there an app will appear asking for permission to access your details.  The reason they need this is to ensure that you don't vote more than once but the info will not be used for any other reason. Click agree and then cast your vote by  clicking on the little circle in the corner of the Freshfields square and then click on submit.  Many thanks for your support. :-)

It has been a very busy and hectic day but at the same time it has been a very satisfying one.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Champ enjoys an evening of Television.

Having moved office dog Lucy into the house, I then began to feel sorry for Champ left alone so I have moved him in too! He has settled very well though is livelier than Lucy being only 5 years old. What I have discovered about him now he is in a home environment is his entertainment factor! It appears I now have a canine television addict!
Last night I was watching a programme on Sky and to my amazement Champ ran over to the TV and starting staring at the images flashing across the screen, he then jumped up to get a better view and stayed there for about 10 minutes, just quietly watching. Here he is enjoying 'Animal Cops'.

Somehow I think he is enjoying life in the old homestead!

Possible titles for the photos;-
' Wots he doing in this funny box, and why doesnt he smell like me?

The ASPCA Inspector says
'If you dont behave ,Champ, I'll be  coming for you next!'

 Its been a good day for cats, two half grown kittens (teenagers) have been adopted and adult cat Tabby who has been here for a year is going to be leaving us very soon.Wonderful, and to make the day even better I have just had a call froma  lady called Victoria who adopted two cats Luther and Marley a month ago and she tells me that they are settling really well. Luther is 7 years old and had been here a long time and Marley the young one  is very timid  so this is particularly nice to hear.  Quite rightly she told me that she felt it had taken a good month before she saw any great difference in their behaviour.At first they were both nervous in their new environment but they are now truly settled and content. It is true that some animal adapt better than others to chanmges in their lives but like these two, most may experience signs of stress initially and it is important that new owners understand this and give the pet enough time to become settled. In the past we have had pets returned after twenty four hours because ' he wont settle!' Do we humans settle that quickly when we first move into a new home?  Very rarely I suspect

Finally a friend of mine recently returned from a holiday in Crete, her holiday was ruined by the plight of many neglected dogs there who live terrible lives chained to  barrells. I have seen this for myself in Cyprus so know how she feels. Anyhow a local organisation is trying to help these dogs and there is a petition to  try and prevent this abuse.Please, please take a minute to sign. Click on the link below.

Also can everybody vote for Freshfields Animal Rescue on the link on  our facebook page. If we receive the most votes we are eligible to receive a decent sum of money. PLEASE VOTE.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Kittens Returned

No sooner do I write about an animal then something bad seems to happen. having shown a photo on last blog of Shane and Bobby, Shanes health has deteriorated , as has that of little Maggie, Noddys pal! I can't believe that Noddy may soon lose yet another companion but the fact is that her arthritis and tendon problems have worsened over the last week, and Shane who has the same health issues is also not doing brilliantly. Of course we all knew that Shane would probably not have a great lifespan due to his  neglect at the hands of  his former owner, all we could do is give him the best quality of life possible until his bad days far outnumbered his good ones. I fear that time is edging nearer and nearer. The Vet is coming out tomorrow to look at the two of them and also to see Crystal the mare with melanomas under her tail. We had Crystal on treatment which successfully stopped them growing but it cannot be used permanently and so during the break from this,  it appears they have grown. Maggie is the one causing me the most concern at the moment so I am anxious to hear the opinion of the Vet.

The Vet has been,Maggie has arthritis in her knees and he does not think she is at the stage yet where she needs to go. Same with Shane and Crystal has an infection which is being treated so all in all it was not the  bad news I expected.Thank goodness!

A black labrador cross was admitted and reserved within hours! Everyone seems to want this type of dog, whenever we have one in, there are always loads of people after him/her.  I took a call this morning for another labrador but she is not ready yet for adoption as she is about to give birth . We are trying to get a foster home for her.The father of the pups is the familys cocker spaniel which is also in need of a home due to relocation!

Two kittens adopted three weeks ago have been returned because they were not using the litter tray though they had not been confined to the area where the litter tray was kept so poor little things were all over the house. They are foir months old and absolutely beautiful though as you can see were not overly keen on having their photos taken.
No matter how much the staff talk to new owners about caring for their new pets, so many do not listen to the advice given and then weeks later ring to complain. Oh well, that is the way it will always be. There will always be those who choose not to listen.These stunning grey and white kittens will not be here for long and next time it will hopefully be a permanent home.

Marco, the Dogue de Bordeaux who was returned  will be going to live in Scotland next week with a lady who has recently lost her old Dogue, she is very excited about him and  is making plans to collect him next week. Joe the blind Springer Spaniel should also be going soon, pending a successful homecheck in Derbyshire. Looking at the success stories we have of our dogs in NorthWales , I realised that there are actually very few crossbreeds! Most are pedigrees. When I first started rescuing animals, pedigrees being admitted to the rescue were few and far between so what has changed? Quite clearly there are too many people breeding dogs and the Uk is being flooded with them. I must contact a few other shelters out of curiosity and see if they are seeing  the same statistics in other parts of the country. Certainly the Liverpool shelter has many pedigrees through its doors nowadays,it will be interesting to find out about other areas.

PS: Very annoyed - the people who reserved Sam have changed their minds and I have already cancelled the adverts online and emailed others who wanted him saying he is not available!! I emailed one person but they adopted a pup from another shelter this morning! I know there will be others wanting him but I do wish people would think everything through before they go searching for a pet in a rescue centre. It wastes a lot of time for everybody and it is so unfair on Sam  who has  now possibly lost out on homes. I will email the others now  to see if they are still interested.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Lucy Joins the Clan.

What a fantastic change to the weather. I was not happy spending a full day indoors  at the Trustee Meeting in Liverpool but needs must I'm afraid. We  spent some  of  the time discussing future fundraising plans and ways to evoke more public interest in the work of the Charity.We came up with a few new ideas but like all new projects they take a while to organise and get off the ground. I am still bemoaning the fact that I have been unable to get together a group of people willing to fundraise for the Welsh shelter but I do live in hope that one day this will happen.
I did contemplate matching the Liverpool shelters efforts at Halloween  where they have a sort of mini Open Day and organise  all sorts of interesting Ghosty things but do not have the confidence or knowledge of those sort of events in order to make that a success. I did think Handyman John would make a good Ghost of Christmas Past but he might scare the children a little too MUCH!

Would you believe, we have admitted two more black kittens, this time these poor little things were found in a binbag at the side of a road! Disgraceful.I wish I could have caught the culprits but of course if I had,  it would no doubt have been me who would end up in court on an asault charge and they would get off!  Thats British Justice for you. There are a couple of people coming to see kittens this weekend so that is something to look forward to, mind you  every time we have an empty pen, the girls (or Ken, mustn't forget Ken who does a sterling job )  just about have  time to clean and replace with new bedding etc  when new arrivals  take up residence in it.(that is ' in it'  not Innit!)

We had a visit today from a  representative of the Kennel Club to whom we have applied for a grant to pay for a dog behaviourist. We did explain that most of our dogs are in foster homes but he seemed more interested in taking a look at the entire shelter and the way we operate overall.I can only hope he will back our application.Time will tell.

So much for the great weather, its been pouring with rain all day and is decidedly chilly; back on with the thermals then! The shelter is an amazing place to live when its warm and sunny but the winters here are harsh, everyone who visits comments on the fact that even the next village along experiences  slightly warmer temperatures.

Caspar has got over his grief losing his pal Honey and has joined a little group of ponies but has not bonded with any particular one as we first thought. Just after Honey died, he did seem to be sticking close to Honey lookalike Bobby but now he seems indifferent. It is early days and it would be nice if he did pair up with a pal but he seems content enough at the moment.
Speaking of pals being seperated by bereavement, Little Noddy has lost several companions and when he outlived his third friend, he appeared to withdraw from the others, as though he did not want to become close again to another pony.It was about 2 years before he bonded with Maggie, another black shetland like himself. Previously his companions were much larger ponies so it was a surprise when he chose Maggie to be his next Best Friend. We even took in Grandad for Noddys sake but  he  was unimpressed, like people they want to choose their own friends so if it happens with Caspar it will be his own choice and not our idea of which would suit him best. I tried to take a photo of him with Bobby and Shane(above) but he did not feel in the mood for a photo session and as soon as he spotted me with the camera he moved away quickly(I seem to have that effect with a lot of people too!)so I was left with a photo of the others!

In spite of the rain, we have had a few visitors today and two adult cats have been adopted - Stripey and Billy (both tabby and whites) Another called Emily has been reserved by someone who came here yesterday.  A stray dog was admitted and already he has been reserved pending a homecheck. He will have to be neutered as soon as possible though lately it has been hard making appointments to get our animals neutered at the Vets ; sometimes we have to book weeks ahead which is not ideal when the animals are waiting to go to homes.

When the Little Old Girl died, I decided to have Office dog Lucy (pictured here in the living room) in the house with me .Lucy a 12 years old cross Jack Russell/Cavalier has been with us for two years and has proved impossible to home due to her instant dislikes to some people and her tendency to have a nip if she was not enamoured of the person . After this long period of office living and joining me on the computer chair (or should I say pushing me off the chair!)whilst I was working I felt it time to adopt her formally.She has settled so well, it is as though she has always lived there with me and the other dogs. Paddy and Patch barely even noticed her arrival.Paddy sleeps on a duvet/single mattress on the floor, Patch is anti social and sleeps on his own on one of the sofas or in a dogbed and Lucy has appropriated my sofa for her sleeping area! Wherever I sit, she sits with me which is nice as the last dog to do this was my  lovely  William.. Like William before her, Lucy is more of a 'people' dog and although she is fine with other canines it is clear where her true preferences are.
Poor Lucy has had a skin rash for a few months since she had contact with some fibreglass after the old caravan was demolished, in spite of several courses of treatment her skin is still not back to normal and in fact I think it is worse.She has had a couple of biopsies done and I am waiting for the results.

Our Christmas puddings have arrived and will be on sale at the shelter and the  shops soon.This time I ordered some sponge puddings for those who dislike Xmas puds(me included) so there is  yummy sounding Strawberry and Clotted Cream , and Honey, Citrus and Almond.  they are as good as the traditional Puddings which everyone rave about, they should be very tasty indeed. Diets to be   postponed for another week!