Abby, one of our big horses has been lame and  off her food, this is most unlike greedy Abby so it was clear to us that she was in great pain. A visit from the local vet   confirmed that she had an abscess and with antibiotics and a hot poultice, she is already much better and beginning to eat with enjoyment once more. Abby is very special to us as her previous ‘carer’ was taken to court by the RSPCA and found guilty of  severe neglect.  We will never forget the sight of her when we brought her back to the shelter, she was in an appalling state, emaciated and with scabs covering most of her body. Now she is getting on a bit at the age of almost 30 yrs and is  a big, beautiful animal.We will never part with her so she  has become a permanent resident here with a home  for life.

Oh well, Another Christmas over and now we are into 2018.What will the year ahead bring ?  Plans for the new (main) cattery are about to be sent to the Council for approval and with luck the ‘Vegan Builders’will be beginning the work  in the Spring. How wonderful it will be to have a decent cattery at long last.That is really something to look forward to.Already 2 of the pens are not fit  for purpose and it would not have been long before the rest of the cattery followed suit.It is long overdue but lack of funding has prevented us doing anything constructive about it and now thanks to the Meade family’s  donation, a new cattery is finally about to  become a reality.

Perhaps 2018 will bring us more luck and who knows, we may even be able to improve the rest of the animal facilities at the shelter.Everything here needs demolishing and rebuilding, from the rabbit unit to the Kitten room and adjoining kitchen to the old wooden dog kennels and office. All are in desperate need of a rebuild but now the cattery is about to become a reality, I have high hopes for the rest of the shelter. Fingers crossed for a  prosperous New Year for the animals.

On New Years day, two of our dogs were adopted.The first to go was Lurcher pup Mia who went to live with Millie ,another Freshfields lurcher. Second dog to be adopted was an ex farm dog – Collie/whippet Lucy who has gone to live in Mid Wales and  Mia’s brother  Barney left us for his new  home just 24 hours later. 10 kittens have also been reserved and will be leaving us over the next few days. (although there are 11 still with us awaiting homes!) Altogether, a propitious start to the New Year. I  need to try bring some attention to the fact that we have rabbits here too. It is so hard to find good homes for them and we had 4 babies brought in just before Christmas.I hope they will find homes before they grow into adults!

2nd January:

The day begins quietly .It seems everyone is recovering from the holiday and the telephone too is quiet, a far cry from the  constant ringing of 3 weeks ago.Long may it last, but I know from experience that within a few days it will be back to normal. At least it has given me extra time to do a couple of homechecks for the kittens waiting to go out and to catch up on other jobs.

By noon,  we had  the first dogs of 2018 needing  homes.We  have been asked to find homes for a 6 months old collie female and a  sweet natured, happy little 9 months old Jack Russell (pictured here) He is a real livewire but loves everybody. So much for a breathing space of a couple of days!

More donated petfood has arrived. This  Christmas  has been a bumper year for animal food donations though I wish some would remember us throughout the rest of the year.Our storage facilities are minimal and it would be great if the donations could be staggered throughout the year although I would rather receive more over the holiday than not at all.

3rd January:

I spoke too soon! Had several calls today from people wanting new homes for their dogs and even a litter of 7 weeks old kittens is in need of a place here. ( I thought we had seen the last of the kittens this winter but it seems I was wrong). Having succumbed to the flu virus which seems to be going around workplaces at the moment, we have 2 staff off sick. This is always a problem as we do not have many regular volunteers willing to help us out when we are short staffed.Many come once and  find it too hard or they do not want to commit to regular help. I think another facebook appeal is the answer today,otherwise we will really be struggling for the rest of the week. Fingers crossed it will be successful.