Well what a month May was! Joy moves so fast and does so much it's like trying to keep track of a pea on a drum but here I go with a very rough round up of what's been happening down on our 'sleepy' Dorset hill...
The sun was shining and we were off finishing the areas for phase one of the massive sanctuary rebuild. The houses are now being installed today so lots of jobs needed doing to get us build ready and we put a call out for volunteers to help us with creosoting, general tidying up, slab laying, concrete mixing, french drains, guttering etc. Thanks to them, all the prep work is now done and once the houses are up we just have the wash room and stores building to complete, a little fencing and all the finishing touches and we'll be able to post pictures for you to see where the amazing 20k you the sanctuary family have given so far has gone and how many animals lives you are making a massive difference to. Within the next couple of weeks Phase 2 will see 16 sanctuary dogs move into their new houses and play areas and with the new stand alone houses that have also gone up over the past few weeks we will have rebuilt for over a quarter of the Sanctuary's forever dogs and cats which we hope makes your hearts smile because without you and the support you have given us we would not have been able to do half as much. We can't thank our volunteers enough for the work they have put in and to those who have so far donated; we still have a way to go but together we are getting there. Watch this space for pictures and if you can volunteer to help with muscle or money, we still need you!
We start with sad tidings...
Last week Joy sat through the night with one of her Romanian dogs, Oldie as he made his way to The Bridge. I spoke to Joy late that night to make sure she was OK. She was cuddled up with him and said “I knew he was going a few days ago and told him he can go and it's OK.” I have to say I was struck by how deeply it affected her...every dogs passing is sad but this is a woman who has over 90 dogs and I was reminded again that every dog at the sanctuary is special to her and have their own space in her enormous heart; she felt Oldies passing as keenly as you or I with our one or two. Oldie was old but we don't know how old, he was saved from Romania where his legs had been deliberately broken. He had a special bond with Neggie, another rom who has epilepsy and relied on his companionship. His passing has left her heartbroken but Joy is on the case to find little Neggie another friend to help her face the day. Sleep tight Oldie x
Neggie (left) and Oldie x
SOS News in brief: Everyone is doing well on the SOS yard and all are slowly moving forward. Those that are wary or reactive of humans have been having lots of time with Sandra Umfreville and Sheralyn Stuckey and Teresa has been spending time with the very fearful dogs. The dog re-actives have been positioned on the SOS yard opposite stooge dogs to help their reactivity and will be spending time with Tonky our number one stooge dog and all round placid lad in order to really bring them on further.
Scoobie has gone from strength to strength...he is braver, more adventurous and is embracing life. He is maintaining his gained weight and worrying less. He will soon start trips outside the sanctuary walls to brave a new world with some new tools. Good lad x
Beautiful Bessie is meeting more new people for fuss and treats and coming along nicely with her touch therapy and we are now working towards being able to pick her up and handle her. This is her with Sheralyn.
Harley has been such a good lad and so far has shown no issues at the sanctuary and we get lots of cuddles and love from him.
MR JENKINS from NFAR recently moved to the big boys area and is gaining enormous help from our resident boys bing kennelled opposite him who are helping him become less reactive with visual contact which is a good first step in working on his socialisation and intense dog reaction.
LOLA is doing well with her dog reactivity and is also in the big boys area being helped by the sanctuary boys in being around big dogs and in fact opposite them with no reaction from her now. Good steps for her and she is moving forward too.
Benny and Rena have been spending some quality time together with Sandra Umfreville and Joy , after some free play then a nice slow meet up whilst out on a walk they got on really well. Benny has in the past been dog reactive although he has not shown this here yet. He is also wary of full on, larger than himself dogs but after the careful introduction he felt very comfortable with Rena despite her bouncy, excited playfulness. Good work Benny and Rena.
Fantastic news for Noel...he has his foster sofa YAY! Huge thanks to Nicola of Last Hope for finding him the perfect one. He has gone from pound to sanctuary to sofa and we could not be more chuffed for him. Good luck Noel, we are so proud of you and you are nearly home x
The sensational SOZA is currently with Last Hope Rescue where all his details can be found and is still looking for his forever home..
Joy had to make a tough decision for Samson and I pass over to her to explain “This little fella came in a couple of months ago from Pineapple Pet Sanctuary, Emma Langston contacted me about him as he had bitten several times, but rather than releasing he holds and we decided to get him into a SOS Haven so we could see, assess and get to know Samson. He was taught from a very young age, considering he is just 9 / 10 months now, to bite , hold on for dear life and only release when a treat was thrown. Samson joined us at the sanctuary on a temporary basis and showed very excitable, erratic behaviour and then he did bite one day and latch on and he does not let go and to illustrate the severity of his behaviour I'll describe what happened just so that people understand why a month ago we decided to offer Samson a forever home here. Usually I don't go into bites and occupational happenings but there is a need to when a decision is made to place a youngster in a forever home in a sanctuary, a decision that is never taken lightly. Samson latched onto my thigh and held on for a good one to two minutes and we could not get him to release until we resorted to blocking his airway. The end result is that I may well need surgery to remove a haematoma in my thigh and that is why our little fella needs to stay here as he and people will be at risk if he is in a domestic environment.”
Scoobie (left) and Sammie
Joy took him to the vets who took bloods and carried out other relevant tests to establish there were no underlying causes for his behaviour which would be an easy fix but Samson's physical health is all normal so this is sadly a purely learned and deeply ingrained behaviour. Joy now wears full bite gear whenever she is with little Sammie and they are moving forward and she is able to get a lead on him now without too much biting and his excitement levels are lowering using BAT. He is learning to enjoy quality time in a more relaxed way, he is the cuddliest little chap and loves it at the sanctuary and adores his squeaky toys and fuss. To stay with us Samson needs a forever house/kennel and so far he already has £300 in his piggy bank that Pineapple have raised for him and as soon as little Sammy has his £850 in total he will be packing his bag of toys, balls and ropes and will be moving into a forever space (he has ropes to desensitize his lead not for tug which he is addicted to) So if you have any pennies to spare please help this little fella get his forever space here with us, this is home now, there is no where else that will take such effected behaviour and most importantly he is greatly loved here and safe and he is happy.
To donate please follow Pineapple's link or of course you can DONATE through us here on the website.
The beautiful Beau Jangles will also be staying and no words are needed really with Mr Smiler who has been learning to come to heel and have calm moments in between his explosions of mad excitement. He has totally surprised us all, has gained weight and is a very happy lad. We promised to put that smile back on his face and here it is.....
Our Boy Daisy..
The Daisy journey is going to be a long one as he has so many deep routed issues and is still so affected by his old world but he is safe and loved and has time and the Sanctuary on his side. You can read his very special story HERE. He's been making slow and steady progress, has stopped growling and started wagging and now seems to be enjoying Joy's touch....as ever we are amazed by her dedication, love and determination to give all dogs a chance. Good lad Daisy...every day we move a step closer to seeing you running in the grass x
Sheralyn held a little daisy auction on our fundraising group and raised a fab £109 for treats for Daisy and Hugo and we are now off again on our big summer auction and we are crying out for donated items to auction off. Please pop by and get involved so we can move on with the rebuild....it's great fun and you can bag a few presents or treats for yourself whilst raising money to save dogs.
We still need Vetbed for the new kennels. Joy is trying to equip all the new housing and the thing she needs most at the moment is the Vet Bed...she has over 80 dogs on site so using duvets and blankets as the main bedding is really the tough option for her work wise and it is impossible to keep up with the washing and drying! We need 100 pieces of Vet Bed at £7.95 a piece. We have added them to the Amazon Wish List if anyone could buy just one piece or donate some pennies towards one piece we would be so grateful. Thank you! x
And I think that's about it...PHEW! I'll leave you with a last word from one of our supporters, Maggie Cassidy in response to Daisy's progress which pretty much sums up what Joy does for all these dogs "Tail wags and a happy face from a dog who clearly WANTS to believe it's really true. Well done BSAS peeps."
Please think about making a donation today to help us continue to save dogs that have simply run out of options Donate
It costs you NOTHING, it's EASY and just by shopping online you can help us to save lives here at the Sanctuary.
Please sign up today and start helping us to help those animals most in need. Just click the link:
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support The Birkett-Smith Animal Sanctuary every time you shop, at no cost to you.
When you shop at smile.amazon.co.uk, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as amazon.co.uk, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to The Birkett Smith Animal Sanctuary.
"If you have received love from an animal in your life then you are very lucky. Give back a little to this fantastic trust and see what YOU can do to make a huge difference. Love, shelter, healthcare and food. What an amazing gift you can give. Do it today. Thank you so much."