29th December - Marathon update
This is just to let you know that I have a place confirmed in the London Marathon at which I hope to compete to raise awareness for the animals here and in Moscow and hopefully raise some funds. I have updated the Marathon page with the details. You can see this here or by clicking the marathon button on the home page
I have at last managed to take some pictures of this years rescued Turkeys. Click here to see them
23rd Midnight Snack for Bess
People say I spoil Bessy, but as a very old Piggy having had an appalling past I try & make sure that she has a special time here with me - as I do all the rescues of course. Now Percy Piglet is living in a stable, I have to make his milk up in the house & take it to him during the day & evening. I give him his last feed for the day at about 10 pm & I take the opportunity to sneak Bess a treat too. She is always asleep on her night bed with a couple of cats curled up next to her. I leave the treats by her so that when she wakes up in the night she can tuck in.
16th December - Percy, Rudolf & Vladamir see the vet
All three were very brave today as the vet came out to see them. Percy had a "local" but the two Goats had to be knocked out, as for them this was quite a big operation as they are not babies and were "quite big" if you follow me!
All three operations were successful which is great news. Percy is now living oustside in a stable which has a very deep bed in it. He is still drinking an enormous amount & today I am having to use a 2 litre empty lemonade bottle to hold his milk !
15th December - Doves released
A few months ago I found two baby doves had fallen from a collapsed nest & were cowering in a corner of the stables. I couldn't leave them there as with so many cats here they would not have lasted 5 minutes. I caught them & had fed them until they could feed themselves.
Now they are fully grown & keen to leave the pen I had been keeping them in. Fortunately one of the Sanctuary supporters has a cat free zone where other doves live & she kindly offered to take them & release them there. They are now free & setling in with their new friends.
14th December - Christmas Open Day
A big thank you to everyone who came today to see the animals, I hope everyone had a nice day & that Percy did not cause too much damage to peoples fingers, boots & trousers ! Percy had a very exciting day & has just had his bed time bottle of milk & was sleeping soundly last time I looked in with a torch. He has decided not to sleep in his "house" & has made a bed out of the straw - with which he has covered himself.
I am so grateful for everyone's generosity - a massive £670.30 was donated today which is really wonderful - thank you all so much. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate your support. Also thank you for the Horse rug that was donated, this will help to keep someone snug during the coming months.
Quite a few Sanctuary mugs were bought & if anyone would like one with a particular animal featured, just let me know.
Thanks again, love Fiona & the gang
11th December - Christmas Turkey Rescue
Today I was able to rescue 9 poor little turkeys who were in the hospital wing of a turkey farm. These are the ones who have been injured & are in a special unit in order to try & get them well enough to kill them...um?
They are so meek & mild. Many have leg and joint infections & need to be on antiboitics. I haven't had a chance to take their pictures yet, but will do so at the weekend. The sad thing is that I had to leave some behind as the farmer was not sure whether they were beyond 'saving' for slaughter. He did agree to telephone me if there were any more left he did not think would be suitable for his purposes.
As I am sure you can imagine, it makes me very sad that I could not bring them all today but if I had said something it may have jeopardised my chances of rescuing any in the future.
8th December - Bear news
I am still trying with my Russian friends at VITA in Moscow to secure the release of the two bears that featured on this site a few months ago. There are serious problems in Russia as I am sure you will have seen on the news earlier this week. A bomb went off right where I stayed when I ran the Moscow marathon in September this year - I knew the doorman of the National Hotel who was one of the victims of this attrocity. It once again highlights the fact that what hope is there for animals when humans are capable of doing this to each other!
VITA are still trying to negotiate with the owner, but also another bear is on the scene who we may be able to rescue - He is a Circus bear called Dodon, who through the frustration of being kept in appallingly cramped and unsuitable conditions, actually killed his "trainer" last week. We are trying to negotiate with the Mayor of Moscow & the Circus owners so they will agree to give him to us and we can then arrange his safe passage to a Sanctuary. So far they have agreed that if the Circus decide not to keep him if they assess him to be no longer suitable for them to use, they WILL give him to us. This is a huge step forward and we are now hoping they will agree to hand him over. We are also using his case to highlight the issue of wild animals not being kept in captivity. In Russia it is very common for animals such as tigers, bears and other exotic creatures to be used in street photography or at studios where people go to have their photographs taken with such animals. It is considered a status symbol to have such a photograph. The media are beginning to take an interest in such issues and last week we organised a protest against wild animals being kept captive and anti hunting - a passtime which again is becoming popular in Russia amongst its new 'elite' society. Among those oppossing hunting are: Minister of Culture M.Shvidkoj, Russian celebrities - singers L.Vajkule and Zh.Aguzarova, fashion designer A.Bartenev, and others. We are also trying to get Mr Shvidkoj to lend his support to our rescue of the bears.
I thank everyone who has sent funds towards the bear rescue project & I assure you I will not give up on this very difficult negotiation.
5th Thumper passes on
Thumper was a large black bunny who has lived with me at the sanctuary for about 7 years. I do not know how old he was when he arrived here. He had problem teeth which meant that they needed clipping occasionally.
He passed away in his sleep last night - I will miss him
3rd December - Vet sees Goats
A vet has seen the Goats from below to check them over in readiness for the 2 boys to have their "opp". They are booked in for mid December (...along with Percy but don't tell him!)
They have all been treated with an anti parasite drug which will kick in over the next few days. I'm sure they will feel the benefit. They have been eating everything I have given them, but were a little off their food today - probably full up!
2nd December - Scruffy the GP passes on
Little scruffy the GP had been with me about a year and although there was no outward signs of illness I found him gone to sleep in his nest this morning. He was a very cute little GP, but I don't know how old he was. I will miss him & so will Mr GP his friend.
29th November - Goat Rescue
We were asked by the Vegan Essex group if we would help with the capture of 4 goats who were living on a bit of rough ground in Becton, East London. The land was owned by a football club & in spite of advertising no "owners" of the Goats has come forward to claim them.
My partner, Martin, together with about 10 people from Vegan Essex managed to catch them and they were brought back to the Sanctuary here late Saturday morning.
There are 2 males & 2 females and they are all in appalling condition. See them here
28th November - Goodbye Bluebell
Today was a very sad day. Bluebell the little Cow who I hand reared with his two sisters some 4 years ago passed away in the night. I knew something was wrong when as I went to the stable block at first light this morning I couldn't hear him mooing.
He was always very small, the runt of the litter, and because of that I always put him in a stable over winter to ensure that he got enough food. Bluebell was never a big eater but I always ensured that he got extra rations & treats.
You would think that with this many animals you would get used to this happening, but you don't. I have to think of him enjoying the last 4 summers out in the fields with his friends, and know that I did everything I could for him. I will really miss him, he was my little cow & had such a sweet face.
8th November - Percy Piglet Arrives
I recieved a call from some people who had found a day old Piglet wandering in a main road at 1 am last night. They asked me if I would be able to take him. Although I am well over capacity I could not stand the thought of a day old Piggy not having anywhere safe to stay after such a trauma. (the larger well established & staffed sancturies had said "No" by the way !)
I do not know how he came to be in the road - I know of cases where Pigs have been transported to the abattoir & a pregnant sow has given birth en-route & the babies being so small have fallen out of the grills on the transport lorry - ( & we call ourselves "human") or he may have been small enough to sneak out unseen from a breeding unit - I believe the former is more likely.
1st November - My First Stall !
I was offered the chance to have a stall at a Vegan Essex event on Saturday night in Brentwood in celebration of World Vegan Day. I was unable to get there at the start because I can't finish all the outside animal jobs here before about 5 pm at the earliest & the Chickens won't go away until dusk !
We arrived at about 6:30 & Percy & I set the stall out with all our leaflets, Sanctuary Mugs & Mouse Mats !
We had to leave at 9 pm because we can't leave the dogs for very long and we had about 30 miles to get home. We sold 5 mugs & 1 mouse mat ! & took £15 in donations. This meant that after the production costs of the merchandise we made about £30 for the animals on the night.
Thank you to everyone who helped us.
26th October - 11 New Arrivals
Today 11 more assorted chickens arrived ! I have integrated them in with the main Chicken gangs. Peg, Vulcha & Pigeon have moved in with the boys gang & Moheacon, choc chip, yogle, Egore, Red, Dolly & Vanilla have moved in with the girls gang. (Vanilla is a boy, but was not happy about being in with the boys & insisted on moving in with the girls. He is not dominant & so the resident dominant Cockerel in with the girls (Blackie) has not batted & eye. There are now 4 cockerels in with the girl gang, but all of the others are passive and not interested in fighting each other - otherwise they wouldn't be there.
There were a few scuffels when the three other boys were introduced as hiererchies have to be established, but all was settled down by tea time !
The only Cockerel I have who refused to settle down when he came a year or so ago was Kevin. In spite of his size he refused to stop attacking the larger birds even though he was coming off worse ! He was of course seperated & lives with a hen called Katy in a seperate enclosure.
18th October - Dolly & Skipio prepare for Winter !
With the long dry & warm spell coming to an end after this weekend, the two eldest horsey residents get ready for the coming cold spell & try their winter rugs on for size. See what you think by clicking here.
14th October - New mug designs
Thank you to those that have ordered mugs, they will be with you shortly. I have put a few more designs on line & if you would like one of the other animals featured for a mug, please let me know. See the mugs here & follow the link for the new designs
Now, Saracen the Cat, Bart the Lamb, James the Pig, Hank the Cow & Florence the Goat have their own designs !
12th October - Lucky escape for Mr Chicken
Last outside job of the day (usually!) is to make sure all the chickens have gone to bed in their houses before shutting their doors for the night. All the girls were safely away, but in the boys house one was missing! It was the old english game bird who was not there & he was no where to be seen.
I assumed he had managed to fly out of the enclosure and was hiding somewhere in the hedges or trees, however over an hour later & with torch batteries fading I had failed to find him.
Clearly the risk was that a fox might take him, unless he had been clever enough to roost in a tree.
If you are a regular reader you may recall the time Lucy the Turkey had a night out once before, and I re-used the same techniques of leaving the external lights on & also sleeping Maddie the lurcher in the conservatory with the outside door open - the theory being she may sense "things going down" as she has before & run out & frighten any opportunists off.
One of the cats, Barney, is actually the official chicken herd, as he spends all his time in & around their enclosure & sleeps under the caravan which is parked next to the chickens. I told him to "be alert"
At first light I quickly made my way to the chicken area to see Barney the cat literally walking down the path towards the chicken area & in front of him was Mr Chicken walking as if being driven towards the enclosure. When they got there he flew up & landed back inside the enclosure (not Barney!) I was amazed !
I don't like to do it, but to keep Mr Chicken in his area with the others I have had to clip his flight feathers back a bit. This will stop him flying out (the others don't seem to bother about it, although they could if they wanted to) The area is quite large & has a lot of vegetation to scrub about in. He wasn't totally amused, but this way he will be a lot safer !
I was so relieved to see that he was safe - thanks to Maddie & Barney !
6th October - Help the Sanctuary by buying a Mug !
Here is another way you can help the animals. I have have made arrangements with a company who will make special Tower Hill Stables Mugs (& other things soon).
The details & designs can be seen at this link here
4th October - Spitalfields haul increases
Special thanks to Barbara Rob and Andy who helped me today by going to Spitalfields market (see below 30th Sept entry) and collecting quite a bit of wonderful food for the animals.
I have taken a picture of the haul & also some of the animals tucking in which you can see here.
As per the entry below I would clearly be very grateful if anyone else is able to help me through collection of this wonderful free food source.
3rd October - Dolly, Skipio & Charity come in
Now that it is a bit chillier, Dolly, Skipio & Charity - the eldest horse residents - have come inside to their stables for the winter months. They have all been enjoying the extended Summer weather but the time has come for them to endure the hardships of warm stables & plenty of short feed ! They will of course go out in the day weather permitting, but will not stay out all night again until next June.
This is the beginning of the extra hard work !!!
1st October - Terence Trent Doveby Released
Terence the little dove rescued from a pond (see entry below 2nd August) has fully grown up & has flown away to make his own way in the world. I will miss him, but it was clear that he wanted to leave, unlike Bertie Basset Dove & Percy Dove who are happy to stay in the aviary even when I leave the door open !! - They know they have it good !