24th December - Happy Christmas!
Happy Christmas to the sanctuary members! There are 27 people now contributing towards the costs here on a monthly basis. I really appreciate your continued support. Thanks again & I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. I got my Christmas present from Anastasia today (the rescued new forest foal - it was a bite on my left sholder as I mucked her stable out..... ...which was nice ! - She has painfully damaged my shoulder & side & I just about managed to get the jobs done today. I had already given her, her present which was an extra bucket of carrots !!!
24th December - Thank you to Kevin's previous owners
Thank you for your donation for Kevin. It was very thoughtful of you. Unfortunately I have no contact details for you & Kevin isn't letting on ! - If you see this, please send me a mail & I can let you know how Kevin is getting on. Kevin has settled down in a run with a new lady friend and they are both getting on very well! (Kevin is a Cockerel ! - see below 24th Nov)
21st December - Rescued Turkeys making progress
The six Turkeys (see below) are making good progress, as their wounds slowly heal. One of them (Lurkey) is a lot stronger than the others and is alredy jump/flying out of the pen and mixing with the 11 other turkeys who have free run of the yard. He jumps back into the others when it's feeding time !
Don't forget you can help Lurkey or any of the animals here by sponsoring them from the cost of a half of lager a month ! See here for the details
18th December - Corporate Sponsorship - Ho Ho Ho!
Following a suggestion I recieved by e mail, I decided to write to all the Banks I could find in Chelmsford - being my nearest "large town", to see if there was any way they would be able to offer any kind of support to the sanctuary - even if it was just advertising the web site on their staff notice boards) There were about 15 banks in all. Guess what? Yes - only one actually bothered to acknowledge my letter (the Co-Operative) but sadly they said "not today thank you" - or words to that effect !! - Well at least I tried.
14th December - VIVA! Life article arrives
I have now had sight of the article which tells the story of the three little pigs Claudia, Matilda & Jayne who were rescued by VIVA! from slaughter. I won't comment about the article here as I will need to get my head out the door when I finish typing this!
Thanks to all who helped with the article & special thanks to everyone who is helping me with the animals. Unfortunately the article said my site was .co.uk when it is in fact .com, but if you are reading this post reading the article - you already figured this out !
Claudia, Matilda & Jayne are all very excited about being famous, so much so that I can only now see them via their Hollywood agents ! However I'm sure they will start talking to me direct again when they want their next donut treat !! ...like tonight for instance
Six more Cockrels are coming tomorrow - if you are a regular reader you will know that I have been inundated with Cockrels in the last few months. I will update the site when they arrive. I have no where for them to go, but necessity is the mother of invention... they were facing slaughter
13th December - VIVA! Life article
The article about the sanctuary and my work here has been published in the December copy of VIVA! Life. VIVA! are a major vegetarian charity based down in Brighton. I know the magazines are out there, as I have recieved some e-mails from people who have read it. Unfortunately my copy hasn't arrived yet, so I don't know exactly what they have said !!!
VIVA's web site can be seen here, and has a lot of excellent information. The Turkey featured on the VIVA page is one of theTurkeys living here at the Sanctuary. "Big Bird" - he's really famous now !!
As soon as the magazine arrives, I will arrange to have it scanned & hopefully mail it to my supporters - there are 27 members now !
11th December - Christmas Turkey Rescue
As in previous years I have rescued a few Turkeys from a Turkey processing unit. This year I was able to save 6 of the poor things, bringing my Turkey tally to 17 now! Also this year for the first time I have taken some pictures of them which you can see here, but please be warned it may disturb or upset you. It can take 4 months for them to recover from their injuries, caused by the frustrated pecking of so many birds being kept in such unatural and cramped conditions. If you are not already a vegetarian, please think about these pictures.
Johno (from below) is really settling in well. He has been successfully introduced to Monty & Judy, but not yet to Maddie, Flick & Tess who are all much bigger & I will need to carefully manage this as they are very big dogs by comparison.
He was so nervous at first & growled at any approach, but now a few weeks on he won't leave me alone & wags his tail for all it's worth. He has been "seen to" now and was a bit of a handful at the vets - due to being so frightened I think - but fortunately they used dissolving stitches so Johno won't need to go back.
1st December - Sonny passes on
Sonny the blind cat who had been with me about 2 years passed away on Sunday night.
Sonny was 20 when he came to the sanctuary and had been blind for some time. He was a little sweetie and needed special care because of his handicap. He was already quite old when he arrived & it had been difficult for his owner to find somewhere for him to go. Clearly at that age he didn't want to do much more that sleep & eat & have his head scratched! I knew he was not going to be with me much longer a few months ago as he became incontinent. But becaue he was still otherwise healthy and still eating well I would not consider having him put to sleep. He continued to eat well right up until Friday night & passed away sleepinging in his bed in the small hours of Sunday morning. He loved to be in his bed, one of those ones that hangs off the radiator. Even being blind he was well able to get down from it, wander round the house & find his way back. His bed is empty now but none of the other cats will sit in it. That must be because he's still there - in spirit. Good bye Sonny, I really miss you
24th November - Kevin the cockerel
From below you may have read about Kevin the cockerel who refused to get on with the main chicken herd ! I have today introduced him successfully with a little chicken whose partner died on Friday. A few weeks ago, I took delivery of a poorly cockrel & his partner, a little chicken. The cockerel had had some sort of stroke and sadly passed away about a week after he arrived. The little chicken looked distressed to me and so I thought that she may get on with Kevin so thet they could be company for each other. It was a successful operation & they were both snuggled up to each other in their run when I turned the stable lights out tonight.
24th November - Ollie arrives
Ollie is a 4 year old rabbit with one back leg missing. I have not had a chance to get a photo of him yet but will try & do this within the next few days. Ollie is used to living with guinea pigs & so I will carefully introduce him in a run with the new guinea who arrived a few weeks ago. At the moment Ollie has a large run in the conservatory where he is currently tucking into some fresh hay.
23rd November - Jonno arrives
Jonno is a 13 year old dog whose elderly owner has had to go into a home. Jonno is some sort of Terrier and very nervous. He has been through a lot recently and it is going to take a bit of time for him to settle down. There is a picture of him on the dogs page at the bottom.
20th November - Rosie passes away
Rosie the pot bellied pig passed away a few weeks ago. I have not been able to update the site with the news until now. It is very upsetting that she only had 6 months or so here, but I knew she was quite old when she came & I recently found out that her twin sister died about a year ago. She did not however suffer a lingering illness. I had thought she was not quite right as she was not eating her normal hard feed but just the fruit, she was particularly keen on grapes. I bought a lot for her in the last few days & found that she passed away in the night.
16th November - Pictures
Managed to get a few pictures of Jayne (below) and also Florences new Apartment.
Jaynes pictures are on the Pig page, right at the bottom, & Florence is on the Goat page also at the bottom.
10th November - 4 more Cockerels !!
Today another 4 birds arrived ! As you will see below, the last batch of these birds were very difficult for me to take & so I decided with these birds to see if they would integrate with the main "herd" of 20 of so chickens & cockerels. It can be difficult to introduce cockrels together as if there are 2 dominant birds they will fight and they can cause significant injury to each other.
Tentatively I introduced them, but one of them (called Kevin) decided to take on one of the existing cockerels. We waited to see if they would establish a heirachy quickly, but this was not happening. Kevin was not going to take orders from anyone, inspite of being smaller!
I stepped in & removed Kevin from the danger. The other three were already subservient to Kevin & had no problems with the other birds. So, what to do with Kevin!
I had another "single" cockerel in a pen down the stables called Mr Chicken. He is a very pretty bird with a long decorative tail & I thought I would see if Mr Chicken might like to live with the larger herd & donate his "apartment" to Kevin. I carefully put Mr Chicken in with the others & thankfully after a bit of running around (by a very fast Mr Chicken) he settled down with the other cockrels very well. Later that evening when I checked up on him he was sitting on a perch sandwiched between the other "newly" introduced birds - So in all a result !
Kevin now has his own apartment next to the other birds from below & is none the worse from his experience - hopefully wiser - although I don't think so !
If you would like to sponsor Kevin, or any of the other animals here please click here
5th November - More Cockerels arrive
Five more Cockrels arrived today, they are quite small & I have had to temporarily place them into a rabbit run until I can get something more appropriate sorted out.
2nd November - New Piggy
Claudia & Matilda were joined today by a pig twice their size ! Orininally called Bernie, but now Jayne, she came from the same pig unit as Claudia & Matilda (see below) & was saved from slaughter to now live out her life in safety at the sanctuary.
She was called Bernie because she had been badly burned in a fire at the Pig unit & was in fact the only survivor on that occasion. She has some scars & her tail has actually become fused with her rump. It must have been terrible for her at the time, but now she is having a ball with Claudia & Matilda playing in their paddock. I managed to get a lot reduced bread rolls from Tesco last night and the three of them (plus the others of course) had a real treat to suppliment their normal diet. ( It's incredible how everyone stars at me in Tesco or Azda when I have a trolly full of 10p reduced loaves & rolls but I don't care, I cannot afford to buy treats like these at the full price & there is absolutely nothing wrong with them & the animals love them !!)
I was a little concerned at first as I wasn't sure how they would all get on together, but after an initial few squeals & a bit of "nipping noses" it is quite obvious that Jayne is the boss ! Fortunately, although I was warned by the man who brought here here that Jayne may bully the other two out of their house (Arc), this has not happened & they are all sharing the luxury Pig Arc together on a very deep bed of straw.
I have some good pictures of Claudia & Matilda on the Pigs Page, but none of Jayne yet. These will feature shortly.
1st November - New Goat House
From below you may remember that I was having a few problems with the goats not letting poor Florence share their cosy field house. She has been sheltering under some tempoary accomodation, but today her new house was completed and she is now very cosy inside it. The others seem to be content to stay in their own house. I will get some pictures at the weekend & post them on the goats page.
28th October - Cats, Guinea Pig & Chinchillas
I was asked if I could take 4 more cats, 2 Chinchillas & a Guinea Pig this week !
The Chinchillas are both very sweet & both white & the Guniea Pig is multicoloured and has long hair. Only one of the 4 cats have arrived so far, Chloe a little white cat. The other three are proving a challenge to catch, but hopefully will be with me soon. All 4 will need to be checked over by the vet & 3 of them need to be either neutered or speyed before they can be introduced to the colony down the stables.
20th October - Jelly Bunny Passes away
Jelly was my eldest rabbit, his sister "Baby" passed away about 5 years ago, & Jelly had done incredibly well to reach the grand age of 10. He was a very strong rabbit, and always had an incredible appetite. A few days ago I thought he had passed on in his hutch, but as I approached he woke up. I sensed that he was "very tired" & decided to bring him into the conservatory where I gave him the run of it in the day. Inspite of his age he was still bounding up & down for the next two days, but on the third day he stopped. I put him in a blanket & placed him so he was looking out of the window over the fields down to the stream & in a few hours he went to sleep. I always think of the last paragraph of Watership Down when a bunny passes away, it always makes me cry. I can envisage the angel bunny appearing by his side & taking him over those fields to bound happily once more & forever
14th October - Goat problems
Florence, Ermintrude, Radagast & the Likey Lads (see goats page) have been living together successfully now through the Summer in a penned area of one of the fields. However now it's getting colder (& wetter) I have semi enclosed the front of their field shelter to protect them from the cold at night. (It is very cosy inside) However now they effectively have a doorway to the shelter, they have all decided that they won't let poor Florence in ! I completed the shelter on Saturday & noticed that on Saturday night she was still standing outside & then it started to rain ! - I have constructed an emergency shelter alongside the existing shelter which will allow Florence to be sheltered from the elements until the weekend when I will have to get a second shelter built !
11th October - Pigs move into permanent home
Claudia & Matilda the two pigs rescued on 10th September (see below) have been moved to their accomodation in the field. They have a fantastic Pig Arc to sleep in, with a solid wooden floor & closed end & their "Pen" is some 120 meters in circumference! It is currently full of vegetation about 3 feet high & they are having a brilliant time playing in it all. I will get some pictures this weekend. The accomodation & fencing was paid for from money raised privately by VIVA volunteers (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals) - through boot sales & stalls etc, so a big thank you to everyone who bought something or donated directly to the Claudia & Matilda fund. There will be an article in VIVA's Christmas magazine all about it.
18th September - cockerels & cats
The 5 cockrels have arrived and settled in fine. Additionally the new cats have been successfully released down the stables and are all hanging round which is excellent news. There is always a risk that when you finally release a cat into their new home they will take flight, but this has not been the case with these ones. Black cat is now called Bean & Grey Cat is called Barney. Bod has been successfully neutered too. I still haven't had a chance to get pictures of them, but will try & do this weekend
11th September - telephone call
Just to let you know that things never stop. It is now 10 p.m. and I have just been contacted by a lady trying to re-home 5 Bantam cockrels. These are not the easiest of animals to home, not least because of the noise they make in the early hours of the morning. I will let you know when I take delivery of these new arrivals.
10th September - 2 more Pigs
I have been working in conjunction with the charity Viva to save two pigs from a food production unit ( how disgusting - I can hardly type it) in Oxfordshire. The two lucky pigs in question are going to live in a field across the road which will be absolutely perfect for them. Viva employees are privately raising the funds to provide a pig arc & for a 30 meter square area to be securely fenced off for the Piggies to live in. I am very grateful for the financial help as I could have never afforded to do this myself, the food costs alone are impossible to find let alone aything else.
At present, they are still fundraising, but I took delivery of the Piggies today & they are living in a stable for the next few weeks until the work can be done. They are very very nervous & have obviously never seen bedding in their lives before. I have taken a few shots of them as they are today & will post them on the pigs page soon. One of the poor little dears has a capped hock which looks like it has had an abscess on it which has burst out. I have treated the wound but this confirms to me that they have been kept in very cramped conditions with no bedding on hard concrete which is most likely sodden with urine and faeces. The other thing which leads me to this conclusion is that they smell absolutely appalling it is almost as if their skin is ingrained with urine and faeces. None of the other 18 pigs I look after have any odour at all, in fact, I have to say they are possibly the cleanest animals I have. However, an animal can only be as clean as it's environment allows it to be.
9th September - 4 new cats arrive
Today 4 new cats arrived from a house in Essex where they had been left by their owner who took a job elsewhere, moving to a house where they couldn't have pets. If I had not taken them they would more than likely still be there.
There were no details left, no names - nothing other than the fact the the eldest was 18 & the youngest 6 months and in need of neutering. To be fair to the previous ower, she had contacted all the major cat and animal charities with regard to re-homing the cats but as soon as they learned that one was 18 she was told it was her problem and not theirs!
The eldest cat I have named Sooty & he is going to live in the house as it would not be fair on such an old cat to expect him to live in the stable block as he has been used to a house. The others I have not named yet, apart from the baby who looks very much like "Bill" (see cats page) & I have called him "Bod".
Of the other two, one is Grey & one is Black. Grey cat & Black cat & Bod have gone to live in a feral pen inside a "warm" stable for the next 4-6 weeks until they are used enough to their surroundings to be released. Black cat won't come out of the little house inside the feral pen yet as he is very nervous. The stable is warm, as it is "internal" & has no direct outside access.
All 4 are doing well & eating everything they are given. As soon as they are more confident (i.e. will stay still for a moment without dashing off to hide) I will take some pictures & post them on the cats page.
7th September - Poor Sweetie passes away
I just don't understand why she gave up, she was appearing to recover from her infection & her eye was staying open all the time to receive it's three times daily drops, but for some reason she passed away last night. She was a pure white Chincilla and was called Sweetie as she was an absoute little darling. She had perfect health from the day she came to me about 8 years ago. I will really miss her little face.
4th September - Operation Monty
Well an operation is required to remove a lump from Monty the dog. Monty has been with me over 8 years now. He has however developed a lump on his stomach which looks like a cyst, but the vet has advised that it is removed before it develops into something else. Monty is booked in Tomorrow at 9 am & we are all keeping our fingers, paws, hooves & claws crossed for him.
Sweetie, from below (27/8) is making steady progress, but is still needing treatment 3 times a day.
28th August - Holiday ! (not) (I'm back now (3/9) & will do a report to be uploaded to the site in the next few weeks)
This weekend I'm taking my annual trip to Moscow to meet with my Greenpeace contact there, the pensioners who look after 60 cats & dogs whom I help as much as I can & lastly to run the marathon there on Sunday to raise awareness for the animals & to promote Vegaterianism /Veganism.
Additionally though Greenpeace & CETA, the centre for the ethical treatment of animals, I am hoping to arrange transport for a Calf who was born to Cows destined for slaughter at a Moscow bullfight. Fortunately the bullfight was cancelled with the help of the Mayor of Moscow & anti Bullfight supports worldwide, & the animals have been moved out of Moscow. Their future is still uncertain, but the Calf is now targeted to be a symbol against bullfighting worldwide. I am hoping to arrange transport back to the sanctuary here.
My partner is taking time off work to look after all the animals whilst I am away for the 3 days.
27th August - Sweetie in the wars
Sweetie the Chinchilla has been taken ill with an infection in her eye. I noticed something was wrong over the bank holiday weekend just past & by Sunday night her left eye was completely closed. I arranged to have her dropped off at the surgery first thing this morning & the vet has cleaned her eye out & perscribed some drops which she needs to have 3 times a day.
Chinchillas rarely get ill & this is the first time anything has been wrong with Sweetie. The nurses said she was as good as gold with her treatment and I hope she will be soon feeling 100% well. She has temporarily moved from her run down the stables to a smaller holding cage in the house whilst she recovers.
20th August - Membership up to 17 now !
There are now 17 members out there supporting the animals in the sanctuary on a monthly basis. Thanks to all of you for your help and continued support. I really am grateful to you. I have taken calls this week about 3 more animals that need a home and will publish the details here as soon as the positions are clarified one way or the other.
If you are not a member of the sanctuary and would like to help the rescued animals please click here to see how you can help
19th August - Field repairs completed
Sorted out Daisy's "hole feature" (from below) & have electrified the entire boundary concerned. Daisy is refusing to go into that field now as some sort of protest I think!
12th August - Daisy strikes again
Daisy the cow - an established escape artist - got up to her tricks again in the early hours on Monday morning. She managed to eat her way through the natural boundary of one of the fields & escaped with her accomplice Bluebell. Fortunately they didn't get far as my next door neighbour farmer spotted them & called me. I managed to coax them back down the drive with a large bucket of food !
The other cows & none of the horses had not followed them out, they are far too sensible & were happily still grazing in their own fields.
I have had to close off the field with the new "hole feature" as designed by Daisy, until the weekend when I will have to arrange for electric fencing to be run down the entire side of that field. Fortunately I have all the necessary equipment here - it's just a matter of the time to trim the hedge back, sink the posts & run the electric rope up & down the field !!
The animals all respect electric fencing, it doesn't really hurt if you touch it, it just gives a bit of a sting which is enough to keep the horses & cows away from any areas that need extra protection.
10th August - Baby dove rescue
This morning I found a young dove sitting on the ground, drenched to the skin & clearly a bit confused. He would have made easy prey for a cat & so I caught him & popped him into a spare aviary. From his size (& he is fully feathered) I would guess he is about 2 weeks away from being fully flighted & able to keep out of trouble. He is doing fine & I will release him in a few weeks when it is obvious he will be able to fend for himself.
7th August - Perky passes away
Pinky & Perky were my firset 2 Pot Bellied Pig rescues, and Pinky sadly passed on a few months ago. Sadly, Perky who had been doing so well after her sister had gone, slipped downhill very suddenly on Monday & passed away during the early hours of Wednesday morning. I don't know how old she was, but was told that she was quite old when she was homed with me here about 4 years ago. I know that she had a peaceful few years here with lots of nice food - I can't do any more for them. I will miss her as I miss her sister.
July 21st - Toulouse says goodbye
Poor old Toulouse. She was a Siamese cat who came to stay with me here about 4 years ago. She had gone blind & it wasn't possible for her owners to look after her anymore. I don't know how old she was, but she was fairly old and sadly went to sleep on her favourite cushion on Sunday night at about 11:30 She used to "bumble" her way round the house & spent most of her time here sleeping on the back of an armchair. She was one of the cleanest cats I had in the house, & never failed to find the litter in spite of her disability - which is more than I can say for some of the others on occasion.
I was very upset last night. I can't stand this part of looking after the animals, It tears me to shreds when they die.
July - membership up to 16
Membership of the sanctuary has grown in the past 2 months from 11 to 16, so a big thank you to everyone who has been adding a link to their web sites for me & an especially a big "thank you" to all the members who help me on a monthly & ad hoc basis. If you are reading this and are not a member, please help me to continue to care for all the animals featured on these pages by sparing a pound or so each month - It really does make a big difference. Click here to find out the ways you can help me with the animals
July - Hay off the fields
This weekend has been agony. Anyone who has experienced the pleasure of collecting hay off the fields will know what I am talking about. Because I use about 5/6 bales a day it makes financial sense to get as much hay in off of the fields as possible as it is about half the price of having it delivered in. On Friday I got a call to say that 350 bales were ready & on Sunday another 225 from another farm. Well, I can only take 70 at a time with the equipment I have & when you consider that each bale has to be loaded onto a lorry from the field, unloaded & then stacked in a stable at the other end - well you can see how tired I was, plus there are all the normal daily jobs to do. My hands are in agony! Still, all the animals are pleased to see so much hay & the cats down the stables are having a whale of a time hiding in it all!
July 2002 - Chloe the 3 legged cat
Although I have absolutely no more room whatsoever, (hmm there's a theme here) I recieved a call from one of my volunteer contacts at a large charity. She was desperate for me to take Chloe as the decision hads been taken to put her to sleep as she was categorised as un-homeable
Chloe had lost a back leg through illness, but was adept at getting about with her remaining legs. She has a very cute face and I was warned that she was a greedy cat and didn't get on at all well with other cats.
I couldn't bear the thought of an otherwise healthy cat being put to sleep, so I agreed to take Chloe and she has taken up residence in a room of the house. You can see a picture of Chloe on the cats page.
June 2002 - Rosie the Pig
The homing of Bessy & her piggy family, together with the 4 goats last month had left me in a predicament as I really didn't have any more room for these type of animals - however I have managed to sort something out on a tempoary basis whilst the horses are out in the fields for the Summer. I will have to sort out something before the horses come in for the Winter.
Having said all that, I got a call from a lady who was desperate for me to take - another Pig ! She & her family were moving and were desperate to find a home for Rosie as it was not possible to take her with them, and as you will have seen from the attempts made to home Bessy last month finding a home for Pigs these days is very very difficult.
I said I would take Rosie who is quite a large Pot Bellied pig and about 8 years old. She arrived the next day with her bags, and I have made her a tempoary area up with some hurdles. She is a little wary of the other animals and clearly it is a bit of a trauma for any animal to be moved, but she is settling in now & is sharing her food with the more inquisitive Turkeys!
I have included a picture of her asleep in her bed on the Pigs page.