I am feeling totally overwhelmed by the daily requests I am receiving to take animals .Today I just want to sit and cry. Included in this mornings plea for help  – A young pony whose selfish and irresponsible owner has simply moved out of the family home leaving mum to deal with the problem of finding the pony a home.(I’m sorry to say that is a common occurrence with young people), an unwanted pony whose owner says she cannot keep just as  a ‘field ornament’! (what a terrible attitude)a little JR left alone  in a house for 6 months whilst the owner is in hospital, a call from Social Services about a dog in urgent need of help,a bull mastiff whose owner is ill and cant walk her, a starving cat on a golf course, 2 calls from people whose cats have been on our waiting list for some months, the list just goes on and on…….Sometimes I cope well but eventually it becomes so that I dread picking up the telephone. Today is such a day.

I have people coming to see the two jack Russells but I fear neither will be suitable, one is not house trained but loves everybody, the other only likes women and I don’t think he would be suited to a home with visiting grandchildren. Perhaps one of the prospective adopters might be suited to the JR in the empty house? This is what it is like, if we don’t have a suitable animal ourselves, there are details of other animals swimming round my head.It is almost like being a Marriage Broker! First we need to assess the animal to ensure  suitability and then we need to arrange a meeting between the prospective adopter and the giver upper(can’t think of the right term)and then if it goes well, homechecks have to be arranged. This can be quite successful though if we had the funding, I would prefer the animals to be under our care when adopted. I have always thought my brain was quite small, with not enough space for everything I want to remember but maybe it is just too full of information and needs a tidy up as we do with our emails and other computer data.If only it were that easy!

Two of the cats admitted have been reclaimed by their owners.Depending on the reasons the cats have been relinquished, we often prefer to keep the pets at the shelter rather than give them back .The reasoning behind this is due to the fact that if a cat is brought in due to a child’s allergy, well, surely  the allergy will still be there when the cat is returned to the home, so there would be no justification handing him/her back to this situation  , or maybe the cat has been admitted because the owner is moving to a flat whose landlord does not allow pets so  what has changed? Half the time the real reason for parting has not been given to us but in the cases of these two particular cats, we felt happy enough to return them. Sometimes people DO have a knee jerk reaction to a problem or a solution genuinely turns up after the cat has gone. We never hand animals back lightly, most remain here in spite of  requests to  have them returned. Everything we do at Freshfields is with the animals welfare in mind. I once had a pony for 2 years when the owner decided she wanted him back! There was no change in her circumstances,  she had never visited him (she lived walking distance from the shelter)payed anything towards his care, or even enquired after his welfare. Needless to say, he stayed in our care, however we are prepared to listen to the more genuine requests and make a decision based on the new  facts we are given, after all we would not want to part someone from a dearly loved pet for the sake of it. I do wish though, that people would try all other avenues before a shelter. Occasionally relatives  will help out especially if it is for a short period of time,eg, during a person’s bout of ill health but they are not always given the chance. Shelters should be the final resort, not the first choice.

The week has been a very sad one for us after losing our beloved bay horse Morris or Mo Mo as he was affectionately called by the staff and me. The dear old horse had heart failure and his loss devastated everyone at the shelter.I don’t want to write too much about him as it brings it all back and is upsetting but if anyone has not already seen his story, please look at the Freshfields  Rescue Facebook page. Just scroll down a few posts to read about him and to see his photo.

I am pleased to announce that our Dartmoor pony Axel is almost back to normal now. The infection in his foot seems to have cleared and he is now mobile again. This is such a relief, I have never before known an abscess to take so long clearing up. Altogether it has taken almost a month and two courses of antibiotics. That is a  long time for a pony to be immobile ,and the ever  faithful chestnut mare Dids remained by his side the entire time .She must have been desperate to get out into the fields but obviously supporting  her sick  pal was more important to her. Aren’t animals wonderful? It will be a few more days before he is able to leave his ‘sick room’ but it is imminent and we could not be more pleased.

Our Llandudno shop is desperate for reliable volunteers, if you know anyone who has the time and could be interested , do please pass on this appeal. Perhaps it would suit a retired person with time on his/her hands? Just a commitment of one day a week would be helpful – more would be a bonus. If you can help please ring the shop manager Jan    01492   875747.