23rdth April:
We are expecting a young pig who looks to be around 2 months ,to be arriving next week. He/she was found in Blackpool town centre and local police rang our Liverpool shelter to see if they could take him. Unfortunately they have their full quota of pigs in their farm unit so asked if we could help.Our small paddock with the pig house needs more secure fencing than is currently in place, so if there is anybody out there who is able to give our DIY man John, a hand, we would be very grateful.There is some urgency to this as we only have a week to do this work.

Good news for little Thea the Chihuahua, she has found her forever home.At least I hope it is her forever home but who knows? I can only hope when each animal is adopted that , in the nicest possible way,I will not see that animal here again unless it is a happy and temporary visit. Lurcher Millie may also be leaving us soon,as will Zeb and Jake the two very shy collie brothers who as I had hoped,are being adopted together. The only dog who is ‘sticking’ is Cody the Staffordshire bull terrier and he is such a nice dog too. Although we need him to be in a home where he is the only dog, he is very good with other dogs on walks and shows little or no interest in cats either. Hopefully it will be his turn next.

The Romanian dogs I am bringing over should be here next month, foster homes are sorted,the funds for their keep and passports,vaccinations etc are coming out of my own pocket as Freshfields cannot afford to be so magnaminous at the moment ,however, ‘Promise for Shelter Dogs’ with whom I am working to rescue them are still short of 300 pounds to pay for their transport to the Uk. If anyone would care to donate please go to their website We still have a couple of weeks to raise the money, miracles do happen sometimes so we are hoping for such an event to happen for these poor dogs. My priority is always for dogs here in Wales and I can assure everyone who might be concerned, their arrival will not mean that local dogs will lose out. I have chosen(very hard to do) the type of dogs which we admit very seldom here so they will not take away homes from the collies and working type dogs we generally have at the shelter.

We have picked up 2 stray dogs this week, both were returned to their owners very quickly as they were both microchipped. Microchips do have their critics but from a rescue point of view, it is an excellent way to bring lost pets and their families back together. The only downside of returning some pets to their homes is that I pick up on emotions(or lack of them) very easily and I have lost hours of sleep after returning pets to people I sense are not that fond of them.The problem is that when animals are in excellent condition and are also microchipped, one could be forgiven for believing that the pet is much loved and cared for,therefore there would be no justification in refusing to return the pet.There have been occasions where I can tell that the animal in question would prefer to stay with me and then handing him/her over is quite distressing.Of course there is little I can do in these cases and the reality is that in the grand scheme of things, these pets are not the worst off I come across. Nevertheless it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

On the same topic, I remember when I was still living at home in Crosby, my mother came home from the shops with a huge yellow Labrador following her.Mum always befriended any lost dogs she came across and it wasn’t the first time this had happened. We kept him at home and later that day the lab was claimed and off he went back home with his relieved family.The following morning ,who was on our doorstep ? – none other than that same dog! His owners came again to take him home and the following morning he returned once again to our house. Mum and I never saw him again after that last incident so I presume the people made their garden more secure but we both felt upset for him; we knew he preferred us and if he had been able to make a choice he would have chosen us as his carers. Animals know when people are sympatico with them and everyone cannot be expected to have that same bond but it still upsets me when I feel that a pet is not appreciated and loved as it should be.

24th April:
Buttercup, one of our rabbits has been having ongoing issues with sore eyes and runny poos. Her eyes are looking better after a course of ointment but there was still a ‘bottom problem’.Thinking maybe she had been given access to too many greens (a volunteer mistake)which are a common cause of rabbits having the runs, we curtailed this treat completely and left her with just rabbit nuggets but although that seems to have done the trick, she is now showing no interest in the complete food and appears dull and listless. A visit to the Vet came to nothing, they checked her over and said she was fine so now it is a case of just watching her closely and monitoring her food intake.Rabbits can go downhill so rapidly so when one does not appear to be behaving normally, there is more than a slight feeling of concern. More of her in next blog. Our 2 lionhead rabbits have been reserved and pending a successful homecheck, we hope that they will be leaving us soon.

The weather is so changeable at the moment, we don’t know whether to keep the rugs on our horses or not and chopping and changing can be quite harmful. It is like us wearing a heavy coat one day and the next a sleeveless top only to find the chill factor kicks in during the afternoon and we are then freezing. As there is a forecast of severely cold temperatures in the next week, all the equines are now rugged up and ready to face the chill of the oncoming weather.

There is often an unexpected and unaccounted for expense on a small holding and yesterday we had to pay out for a new steel field gate when Cody, one of our Gypsy Cobs got his foot caught in between the bars and in pulling back caused the whole gate to buckle and the welded bits break away.We had the gate for over 10 years so it has done well ,but we had to rush out to buy a new one.This time we have gone for one with steel mesh on the bottom half so there is no chance of anything similar occurring .It was a relief that Cody stayed calm and did not go into panic mode as some horses would in the same situation. Cody is the youngest cob living here and after his rescue 2 years ago we have still not been able to find him a home.Perhaps this could be his year and someone suitable will come along and fall in love with him.

Photos of Vanessa and Blodwen the ex racehorse.. (Vanessa works in the stables) Cody. Buttercup and Cookie the piglet.