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The Birkett-Smith Animal Sanctuary

Oct
12

Chances

A chance to live.. Over the last year we have given a lot of last chances, taking in more and more 'at risk' dogs who had run out of options and were facing being put to sleep. These dogs are often extremely damaged and highly reactive and when we take them on we know we are taking on a big task and although it is always our goal to rehabilitate a dog so that they can go back out into the world with new skills we know that these dogs are so damaged that they are likely to remain with us forever. A chance to turn it around.. We ignore the critics and shoulder the heavy burdens that come with these dogs, working with them each day and their rehab and learning are made part of thier daily routine. Each dog has its own type of day depending on the issues we are working with. Those that are terrified of touch get lots of touch work, those that are resource guarders play regular swapping games for treats with precious items they hold on to for security. The reactives are gently and safely worked with so that thier triggers become more neutral and they are slowly...sometimes very slowly, desensitised. There are no pressures here, no expectations and no rush, a dog can only be the dog he can become when given the right tools, environment, love and time and all of those are in abundance here. The definition of the word 'Chance' is 'the possibility of something happening' Soza was one of these at risk dogs. When he came to us he was around 17 months old, he had spent the first 6 months of his life living in a drugs den where he was taught to attack and kill cats and dogs and used as a bait dog for 6 hellish months. He was then passed to a person that crated him 24 hours a day which was like a prison sentence; left in his own urine and faeces as they 'did not know what to do with him'. He was surrendered in July of last year and went into foster but sadly he escaped and attacked a dog, doing what he was trained to do in the drugs den because he knew no different. He was punished and beaten severely but Soza did not retaliate. I don't think any of us will ever forget the picture we recieved of him battered, bruised and swollen, it was horrific and heatbreaking. Despite all...

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Sep
29

Mighty Thor Finds Love

Snoopy has a new name and a new home.... Snoopy came to us as an 'At Risk' lad, direct from the pound after Shelle Alders contacted us. We pulled him and took on the role of lifetime rescue back up for him. He was a total star in rehab and went out to foster a couple of weeks ago which we had a feeling might become premanent. We matched him carefully and he commenced on a mission to steal his foster mum's heart by being as chatty and adorable as we always knew he could be. And of course it worked...he's irresistible! And so his name is now Thor, his paws are firmly under the couch, and this chunky hunk of love God has landed in heaven! "He's a good boy and I just knew he was meant for Cara so I am very pleased for them both. Joy." Thor's mum said "I have nothing but respect for Joy and all she does for the animals in her care so when Joy found out I had sadly lost my big boy suddenly she offered me support and compassion and was a rock in my time of grief, I have always tried to help out by means of donations and the offer of fostering if I could when at the end of August Joy contacted me regarding a big boy in her care, I remember her telling me she thought this boy would be ideal for me to foster so she sent me some info and photos to look at, I agreed that he sounded lovely and I would foster him and the wheels were put in motion for him to come to me. Well what can I say within 24hrs I was messaging Joy to say I wanted to adopt him he had stolen my heart and everyone that has met him so now Thor (was Snoopy) is now the proud owner of me and my family." "So a huge thank you to Joy and all the gang at The Birkett-Smith animal sanctuary for bringing him into my life and for all you do in the animal world you are all amazing people and I will be forever grateful to you all, Cara xx." Happy New Beginning, Thor x

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