Sunday, 27 November 2011

New Neighbours come To Visit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Porthmadog Fair is a success.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

We have A Feature In The Daily Post Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Dog With No Name

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

My soul has now been laid bare!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Homes for dogs but not for Cats

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Bryn models a Freshfields T Shirt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 17 November 2011

A Poor Old Farm Dog Needs some TLC

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

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

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

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Where are all the Black cat lovers?

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 11 November 2011

A Bad week for Pigs.

The Liverpool shelter has lost one of their old pigs,Fred was found dead this morning, I know the staff will all be upset.Most Pigs do not get much appreciation  unless they are being devoured off a plate but  at both Freshfields shelters we are very fond of our piggy residents.What most people fail to realise is that they are intelligent and sensitive creatures, so sensitive in fact that even a change to their sleeping quarters can cause immense stress and trying to relocate them can be almost as stressful to the staff caring for them, than the pigs themselves.They simply hate any change to their routine(pigs not  staff!)
We too are faced with losing our two pigs, both are extremely arthritic and old. Pink Pig,especially has too many bad days where she cannot get up and walk and I feel it is time for them to leave us though I have been putting off the dreaded moment for the past few weeks. I wish they could go in their sleep like dear old Fred , Anyhow the Liverpool shelter are taking in two more needy piggies after hearing of the plight of a group of pigs being neglected by their owner who had stopped looking after them. I gather the band of ten Kune Kunes include elderly females and pregnant ones too!
One of my readers has a pig sanctuary in Canada and I love reading her blog, it is such a  treat to know of someone who sees the intelligence and the personalities of these animals. I always thought I would make a good partner for the lovely George Clooney whose girlfriends never seemed to appreciate his pet  potbellied pig. If only I had mixed in the same circles, I'm sure we would have got on brilliantly and that he would have fallen madly in love with me!  Mind you , I thought the same about Richard Gere who is a Buddhist and another one with whom I had something in common.One can but dream!

Now back to reality, we have had torrential rain here all; day and no electricity since nine this morning.Workmen have been replacing telegraph wires in the back field so there has been a great upheaval all day and it has caused some stress to some of the animals , especially Callie and Freddy who would not come in for their evening meal and that is so very unlike these two who really love their food. Poor Mei was calling them from the field for at least half an hour and was getting thoroughly soaked to the skin in the process. I think the vehicles, the noise and the strange men(they were actually very pleasant) all  added to their nervousness. Horses are so easily spooked by anything new and it is not uncommon for a horse to refuse to walk past the tractor if it has been left in  a different place than usual. Even an old jumper left hanging over the fence can give a fright. Anyhow they are all in their warm stables now and  the scary events of the day forgotten as they munch away happily at their hay.(I love that sound) Above pic is of one of the scaredy cats(or rather equines) Freddie.His name was originally Freddie Kruger after the scary character in the horror film.When Freddie first arived from Jersey, he was extremely nervous and rather wild.Nowadays he remains shy and will not enjoy attention like some of the others but nobody is scared of him as  some of the girls were who worked here at the time.
Many animals are nervous when they arrive, some  have been through a great deal in their lives and understandably have little or no trust in humans but nearly all will eventually respond to kindness .A secure home goes a long way to achieve this.

Tomorrow I am taking Dodger and Nancy (left), the two middle aged Jack Russells who are living in the house with me, to a friends house to see if they would be likely to settle there. Sue lived in the same road as me when we were children and has recently moved to this area and she can't wait to have a dog.Whether these two are the right ones for her remains to be seen. More of this in next blog entry.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

And still the calls are coming in for abandoned or unwanted cats and kittens, its unbelievable, if only there was another cat shelter round here to help with the sheer numbers. Every caller believes his/her situation is the most urgent, most are accepting of the fact that when we have no space, that is all there is to it but some can be very difficult and put a great deal of pressure on whomever answers the telephone. It is like the Triage system at any casualty department of a hospital.We have to prioritise the most urgent cases - not an easy task when the very fact that we have received a call to admit an animal means there is a little (or large)creature about to become homeless.

The article about our unwanted cats has been published in the local newspaper so fingers crossed that it will result in some homes being found.

Two more dogs are in our care - Leti  is  a young, handsome and loveable cross Rottweiller/German Shepherd  female who is like a big teddy bear.She was due to  be destroyed as an unclaimed stray in a dog Pound.That would have been criminal! She is such an amiable natured animal.The other is June, a 6 months old collie pup whose owner could not cope with her liveliness (she has somebody interested in her already) Kim is fostering both of these - I dont think she will be keeping another foster dog, she has enough already though I know she has a soft spot for German Shepherd type dogs.
Bud, the  Cocker Spaniel has gone to his new home In the Isle of Wight. John kindly offered to meet the lady in Birmingham, as she had such a long journey to collect her new friend.  As with all the animals who leave us,  I  will be waiting  anxiously to hear how he has settled down .Bud will be living in a home which has had a cocker spaniel in residence for many years and it is to be hoped that Buds  presence will alleviate some of the grief felt after the loss of the old dog.

We had a lovely delivery of petfood today from the Liverpool shelter who sent a van with goodies for their poorer relatives here in Wales! It was exciting also to receive some of our new sales goods, the attractive pawprint bracelets which will make good stocking fillers(available from our shops, shelters and online) and the pawprint keyrings.. Helen (Liverpool manager) and I are always trying to think of new and reasonably priced goods  to sell at our fundraisers and I think these are great new additions.
You will be pleased to know that is the end of my Sales Speech!!

Whilst I was putting out the bird food in my garden this morning , a little robin hopped on to the branch just inches away from me and sat there until I had finished filling the feeders. I am sure he waits for me because he appears each time ,seemingly from nowhere and is so bold and brave. It was a wonderful experience having him so close. I experienced one of my few and fleeting moments of happiness. The next one will be when I sit down to eat!!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

We Won the Voting.Yippee!

There is good news to start the day.Freshfields won the voting and we will soon be £5,000 richer.We will divide it between the two shelters and a very big thank you to everyone who voted and rounded up so many friends and family to do the same.It was a very stressful time for us all, sometimes we were ahead and then we were falling behind.nerves were shredded! I only wish that Shropshire cat Rescue could have won the same, they did so well, I felt quite guilty at taking the prize away from them, at least they will receive the second prize of £2,500.

The sad  news is that we lost the little abandoned grey kitten. He had been reserved but 2 days after he arrived, Rhian came in to find him virtually comatose and despite everything we did to bring him round, he passed away within the hour. My gut feeling is that he died of pneumonia, he was only about 8 weeks old and being out in the cold and wet probably was too much for his little body to deal with. Fortunately the others admitted round the same time are all doing well but we don't like to lose even one.It was very upsetting for us all.

I wonder how those of you with pets got on with the fireworks last night? (and the preceding days!) For once I was glad that my lovely William lurcher was no longer with me, he was always terrified out of his mind when he heard the bangs and nothing I bought to allay his fears worked for him. He would shake and tremble with fear and his eyes would almost appear to be on stalks. No amount of ignoring or cajoling would help him, believe me I tried everything but he would spend the evening hiding. It is a very upsetting thing to witness and it made me feel so helpless . None of my current canine family suffer the same so that was a great relief. I believe the awful motorway crash yesterday has been attributed to smoke from a  nearby firework display. It is time the Government banned the whole business, there is something incredibly barbaric and uncivilised about  burning an effigy of a human being  and I know of nobody who is not completely fed up with the weeks of bangs and flashes in the sky above them.I cant help but wonder how it affects the birds?

It is a lovely warm and bright day today but there have been no visitors at all so no adoptions today I'm afraid.

Friday, 4 November 2011

More Abandoned Kittens are Admitted.

What is going on? more abandoned kittens have arrived.  Dont tell me it is the Pre Christmas  animal clear out already? Time goes so quickly and now we are at that time of year again when it seems that so many people are parting with their pets.Each year I forget how bad it gets from November onwards. It will worsen until Christmas finally arrives, then there is a bit of a lull until the Spring and it all starts over again.At that point many kittens and pups given as Xmas presents are at the naughty mischievous stage so once again there is an influx of abandoned and unwanted pets.Will people ever learn the art of responsible pet owning? It is just as well I meet some delightful people in my work because otherwise I would have no faith at all in human beings. The bad and the indifferent  ,do at times seem to outweigh the good people but I live in hope that I am wrong and that it is just my work bringing me more into contact with the extremes of human nature.
Pictured here are the two very scared  kittens abandoned in the middle of woods in Anglesey(definitely not feral, they love a fuss but were nervous of the camera Im afraid, the surviving tortie baby  whose sibling was killed on the road , the grey found in a local park(he has a home already)two black and white youngsters abandoned at the side of a busy road and these are just the ones which have been admitted over the past couple of days. Disgraceful isn't it?

We had a bit of a scare yesterday. Caspar the grey pony who lost his companion   Honey , a few weeks ago, developed a case of colic and the Vet had to be called out. He is fine today but we are keeping a close watch on him. He has joined Noddy and Maggie in their stable and seems to be much happier generally since he became friends with the little old shetland ponies. I love this little group. Mind you Noddy (seen here on left)has been with me so many years now that he is part of the furniture and I just love every part of him, from his big Horsey head to his  little legs and  peculiarly long body.He is The Best and when some people say to me that he is a strange looking animal, I feel quite affronted as thought they are criticising a member of my family. Well,  he is ,of course, a member of my animal family and as such I think he is beautiful. So remember if you visit to only make nice comments about this special little pony! As many will know, he is now thirty eight years old and I suddenly realised that some of the other ponies are not far off him in years.
Tangy the chestnut pony was admitted nearly eight years ago so that makes him the same age as Noddy.  Callie and grey ponies Ross and William are also  coming up to their thirty eighth year. Pictured here are The Pensioners (and I dont want any comments from anyone saying "Well where is your photo then?")  Be Warned!  So we have  a fair number of very old ponies though some years ago  Freshfields lost two horses which were  42 years and 45 years! They were ex riding school horses and they enjoyed several years of retirement with us before their demise.
Just before I finish this I must thank everyone who has voted for us in the Animal Friends competition on facebook, we are still neck and neck with another charity so may still not win the coveted £5,000 but it will not be for want of trying. I made a mistake on the end of voting date.It is actually Nov 5th Midnight. Thanks everyone and if you have any friends or family left who have not yet voted dont forget to ask them. The link is on the last blog entry.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

More Kittens Arrive.

The pups have gone to their foster home and are so far doing well.The foster mum hope to be able to keep one of them if they all make it and they are such bonny pups they have a very good chance.

4 unwanted kittens (pictured)were admitted from Machynlleth (their owner having gone into our charity shop there to ask for help)and today a young black and white kitten was brought in after being abandoned with his sibling, sadly one was killed on the road before they could both be rescued. We will ensure that the remaining kitten finds a loving home but I do feel angry with the irresponsible and callous people who abandon animals in this way, not least because there are frightening noises to be heard with all the fireworks going off at the moment.What a terrible time for a pet to be outside , alone and scared. At least the people from Mac did the right thing by requesting our assistance. As I type this, we have received a call about another abandoned (or feral?)kitten, a grey one this time has been found in the grounds of the local Glynllifon Estate. As we no longer have any room in the kitten room, a couple of pens are being put up in the staff canteen. In an emergency, it's a case of any space available put to good use.

All the horses and ponies are coming in now at night,it isn far too cold for the oldies to stay out and we have just changed over our bedding routine.Previously we have used straw bedding which in my opinion does not soak up the urine well  so is not as easy to keep clean  but this winter they will be on sawdust shavings.This will provide a nice thick bed for the old ponies , will be easier on the feet of those with tender feet  and is ideal for any with breathing problems as it is dust free.Unfortunately there has almost been a mutiny amongst the staff as they are not keen on the change over but this is with most new routines and I am sure will  soon get used to it, especially when they see how warm and comfortable the horses will be. I wonder what other horse owners think about  straw versus shavings? .Which do you prefer?
Also many of their winter rugs were worn and ripped so I had to purchase over 20 new ones,What an expense! It was absolutely necessary  but  they are not cheap and it makes quite a dent in our funds . We do get rugs given to us but they are not always the right size for the horses and ponies in our care.This winter we were short of smaller ones that would fit the Welsh Section A types.

The starlings have truly descended upon my garden now, the birds are all in a feeding frenzy at the moment and this morning I had my first visit from a shy little coal tit. There are already Blue tits and Great tits regularly on the feeders but this was a first, I hope he returns so I can see more of him than the fleeting view this morning.
I went birding to Aberdaron yesterday on my day off and there were literally thousands of starlings about, having arrived after their long flight from Scandinavia . An amazing sight. The migration of birds fascinates me, I can't even find my way to Caernarfon if there is a diversion!  I once went on a 20 minute trip to where I kept my horses near St Helens.Merseyside  and a diversion completely threw me and somehow(dont ask how) I found myself on the way to Blackpool!!! I managed to find my way home five hours later!! Unbelievable but I am ashamed to say completely true.

I made a mistake about the voting competition on facebook.It did not end on 31st as I thought, it ends on the fifth of November and the other charity is carching up to us so we may still lose the race to win £5,000.
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. :-)