Back to work, refreshed and rejuvenated! Well, back to work at least.

Storm Doris was a killer, we lost the back part of the old cattery.It was on its last legs anyway but we need it to keep going at least another year if at all possible. I am looking at a way to repair the damage but at the same time make it a bit more weather hardy. Don’t ask me how this will happen, I have no idea at present but plan to get estimates for more professional repairs. Once I have an idea of the cost I will up a crowd funding appeal. It would be helpful if we could get local builders yards/wood yards to donate some materials but we cannot bank on that. One of the field shelters has also lost some of its felt roofing and that needs replacing and fixing on before we have another storm to complete the damage. We really could do with another voluntary handyman here, on any smallholding there are constant repairs to be done and John, our current handyman, now also helps with the horses so does not always have enough hours in the day to get all the necessary jobs done. I know he would welcome another pair of hands to help out.

Due to A big cash flow problem in January, staff hours were reduced to try and make ends meet and animal admissions were also stopped at both shelters.This time of year is never good, people have spent up and there is little money available to donate to charities, therefore an appeal was made on the Fresh fields Facebook page and also on North West television, The resulting donations helped us limp through February and we are now back on track though it has made us aware that we really do need to pull out all stops this year to both publicise the work of the shelter and to fundraise so if anyone can help with fundraising it is more urgent than ever- please phone :01286 479711. Freshfields has been in existence since 1975 and we have experienced many highs and lows financially over the years, but closing down permanently has never been in our thoughts and we hope will never have to be.

We have been doing very well with our adoptions recently. Over the Past two weeks no less than 10 adult cats have been adopted and 6 dogs, which for a small shelter like this, is an excellent result. Our collies, particularly, are always in demand and the success rate homing mostly unwanted farm dogs is phenomenal. We must be doing SOMETHING right!

The new law about microchipping which came into effect last April has had a two edged effect.On one hand I believe that pets SHOULD be microchipped so stray animals may be reunited with their families.On the other hand there is a problem with those who fail to microchip their pets.That is that they are unlikely to claim their pets because they either cannot afford to pay the £500 fine or they may be unwilling to pay.To that end, more dogs taken to Council run Dog Pounds could be destroyed. The only positive aspect of this problem is that those people who fail to protect their dogs according to the law, are unlikely to be good owners who truly care for their pets. I wonder what others think? Such an issue cropped up today with a dog which appears to have been abandoned in the Caernarfon area..He has no identification on him whatsoever and has been running free for at least two days. Nobody has rung the Dog Warden or here to report him as lost. If he was not abandoned and simply lost, then will the person who lost him turn up to claim him and pay the fine? I think that is highly unlikely, and so he will need to be found another home. That may well be the best outcome for such a nice little dog. If one of my own dogs were lost, I would be frantically ringing every authority, every animal rescue, everywhere I could possibly think of in order to find my beloved pet. Wouldn’t you? I am inclined to think that he has been abandoned.

I must thank Tescos Bangor for allowing Freshfields to have a petfood collection box in their store (located next to the Food bank container). They have been so helpful and are the only supermarket in the area to support us. It makes a huge difference to receive donated petfood and really does help keep our food bills lower. Thank you Tescos bangor and thanks also to Jac our cattery manager who very kindly collects it twice a week.

Last night when my cat Lucy came home through my bedroom window, I got up to close it and saw that everywhere outside was covered in snow, this morning there was no sign of it, just more rain and sleet.The fields are in a terrible state with all the rain, I can’t wait for the horses to go back to their other grazing fields so we can rest these.

I am not sure if we will be able to hold an Open Day this year, it all depends on the weather , but we will be holding a fundraiser in May (date to be confirmed). It will be called ‘ Welcome to the House of Fun’ (apologies to Suggs and Madness) and will likely be a 60’s,70’s and 80’s night held in our Barn, with live music, bar and food. Look out for more details nearer the time.