Change Lives

Change Lives

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Maddie and Bronson Take Time Out.....

I'd just like to thank Jill and Eleanor for giving two of our dogs a welcome break from the kennels recently.

First up Maddie had a sleep over at Jill's where she really enjoyed herself,  then just last week Bronson had a trip to the seaside with Eleanor and as you can see had a ball too.....

These little trips away are great for the dogs but also help us see them in a different environment, which hopefully helps us find a better place for them. 

'Caring For Your Dog Through The Ages' Presentation At HQ.....


Just a reminder that we welcome Hannah Walker from Moorview Vets at HQ this Thursday for her presentation on 'Caring For Your Dog Through The Ages.'

It promises to be a really informative night, covering all aspects of looking after your senior friend. Doors open at 7.15 for a 7.30 start, usual minimum of £3 donation entry fee.

Look forward to seeing you there. Please RSVP shakclub@shak.org.uk to guarantee your place.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Launch Of The SHAK Club Sponsorship Scheme.....


SHAK CLUB SPONSORSHIP - OUR DOGS NEED YOU.....
The start of 2016 has been the toughest year yet in the 10 years that SHAK has been operating. Tough in every aspect, but two in particular have had a serious effect on our work.
 The volume of stray and unwanted pets in the UK seems to be at a record high, with rescues saturated everywhere, and at every level. The rehoming centres are full, the breed specific rescues are full, and the specialist rescues like ourselves are above and beyond capacity. Like us, many I’m sure have endless lists of lost and unwanted souls just waiting for a space. We receive requests every day, but with our resources always stretched to almost breaking point, we’ve had to say no to so many.....

The reason for SHAK existing is to help the dogs that really need it the most. To provide sanctuary and a safe haven for those dogs that have nowhere else, to give them somewhere to work through their issues, to give them somewhere to call home..... even if that means for the rest of their lives.
With over 70 dogs now in our care, we are struggling to save more. We have to protect the ones that we have, but by saying no we are consigning many others to death. In today’s world that is the stark reality.

On average at any kennels you’d expect to pay at least £5 per day to keep a rescue dog safe. That equates to £35 per week, or £140 per month for every single dog we have. Even in our most quiet spells we operate with at least 50 dogs in our care at one time. That’s 50 x £140 which comes to an enormous £7,000 per month.

YOU CAN HELP.....  Saving the lives of these dogs is paramount to us, we have to continue to be able to provide them with somewhere safe to go. If you were to donate just £5 a week a dog would be guaranteed a bed and food for a day. If 6 other people did likewise then that would be a kennel secured for a dog for a week. It soon adds up, that £5 per week, every week, would mean a dog would be looked after for a whole month for just £20 or £260 would look after that dog for the full year!

So we are asking you to help us continue our work, asking for your help us to safeguard these dogs that have already suffered so much. If you can afford to donate £20 per month or if your business can afford a one off sponsorship donation of £260 for a full years support, it would mean so much not only to us, but to the dogs themselves.

Please print off the standing order form below and send it to your bank. If you are a business we can show our gratitude by adding you to our list of sponsors on our SHAK Club Sponsorship page on our website. Your name and logo will also be added to all the SHAK Club correspondence and be displayed on the walls of our head office in Alnwick for everyone that attends our regular talks and seminars to see. Whilst providing you with recognition of your support and generosity, such promotion will also act as a small token to show our appreciation.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this post. Working together you really can help us make a difference to the lives of the dogs that have been let down so badly by humans already. We are their only chance, and their only hope. By helping us you really can be the deciding factor between life and death.....


SHAK. Greenwell Road, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1HB.

Registered Charity Number:1125159




Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Difference In Moby.....

You may remember a little while ago I released a series of prints, SHAK dogs captured in a moment in time with some special words alongside them.....

Moby was one of the dogs featured, and the words I wrote for him seem even more poignant now.....


The picture below I received last night, Moby in a new environment, and settled in a new home!


You can buy Moby's print and the rest of the set at :  http://www.shakshop.co.uk/The_Bars_That_Bind/p168627_14623427.aspx

It's Not Too Late To Book Your Place.....

I believe there are still a few places left on the course at HQ tomorrow. It's not too late to book your spot or you can pay on the door.....



Infection Management With Natures Remedies.....14th April 6pm.....Course Fee £25

Helping animals to manage infection with natures remedies. We know that nature is full of potential remedies for a whole host of ailments, and many essential oils and herbs can be useful in preventing, managing and sometimes destroying infection caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses. In this 3 hour intensive course we will look at how animals can use a range of remedies to help in managing a range of infectious conditions. The method we will specifically be looking at is Applied Zoopharmacognosy, so you will learn much about this behavioural science in using nature’s remedies, as well as the specific remedies which can be so useful here.

You will be given a pack of potential remedies to take away and use at home with your own animals too.

This course has been designed and will be presented by a qualified Zoopharmacognosist who also happens to be a Registered Nurse.

If you wish to gain further information AND TO BOOK YOUR PLACE please email Leigh Smyth on leigh@animalhealthefe.com/ see her web site www.animalhealthefe.com

http://www.animalhealthefe.com/store/products/master-class-in-infection-management-for-animals/

Doors open from 5.45pm tomorrow at SHAK HQ Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

A Year On For Lewis.....

I can't believe that today marks a year since we had to say goodbye to a dog that really summed up what SHAK is about, and from a personal level a dog that really did test me. His story is below, you can read it for yourself and join the dots, but one thing is for sure..... I will never ever forget him.....

A really sad time today as we had to say goodbye to a dog that was such a big part of this charity and our day to day life. Despite being full of life and playing with his boomer ball yesterday, cancer won it's fight against the very brave Lewis this morning.

Lewis was an enigma, a one off and also my nemesis.  The only dog whose trust I never completely gained, but then his past was so bad that he didn't trust anyone. We worked around that though, and whilst my body carries some scars as a reminder of his fear, I'd like to think that by the end we had a mutual respect.

This morning was very difficult, days like today are never easy, and with Lewis's history it made it even more so. But I have to say my team where incredible despite their hearts being visibly ripped in two. Nobody panicked, nobody lost the plot, everybody stayed focused on what we needed to do for the best for Lewis.  For that both me and him will be eternally grateful.

Lewis as I have said left permanent reminders on my body that now serve like tattoos regarding someone that was close and lost. That's how I like to think of them anyway. In reality they are marks from a dog that was so badly damaged by humans he shut himself off to everyone apart from his cuddly toys and his boomer ball. He warmed to us over the years, and I'd like to think that he trusted us even if just a little by the end. One thing is we didn't give up on him and take the easy option..... that is something I am very proud of.

I remember the first time that I suffered at the hands of his fear, as I drove myself to casualty a Biffy Clyro song came on  the cd. The words were perfect for that moment..... perfect for what had just happened and how our relationship now was.....

"You say "I love you, boy"
I know you lie
I trust you all the same
I don't know why

'Cause when my back is turned
My bruises shine
Our broken fairytale
So hard to hide

I still believe it's you and me 'til the end of time

When we collide we come together
If we don't we'll always be apart
I'll take a bruise; I know you're worth it
When you hit me hit me hard."

All the bruises were certainly worth it, and I guess today was the end of time. And we were together.

I will miss you Lewis.  We will all miss you. I hope now you know how much we loved you.



Friday, 1 April 2016

Thank You And Welcome?....

I'd just like to say a big thank you to Andrea from the Northumberland Animal Welfare Team for providing a brilliant service at our Free Microchipping event yesterday. It was great to see so many dogs at HQ, and no matter how big or small she took everyone in her stride!

I'd like to thank everyone too for all their kind donations that came along,  some people didn't even have a dog with them to microchip but tool the time to drop off food, bedding and toys.

Thank you all so much.

Now it's time to focus on tomorrow's event.....

The 'Interested In Fostering' open day runs along the same format as the previous 'Join Our Team' days have, but this time the morning will focus on another very important way you can help our dogs without being involved at the kennels.

We are looking to build a network of foster carers that range from taking a dog home for a short period of time so we can assess if he or she is ready to make the next move, to providing a caring environment for a dog to recover after surgery, illness or emaciation, to a longer term commitment until they find a new Forever Foster home.

It is important that the environment is right for each individual dog, so I think its very important to point out that we will not place dogs with children or cats and small furries unless we have prior history that they have lived with them before.

You really could make a difference to one of our dogs, by helping them take the next step.....

So if your are interested why not come for a 'no strings attached' talk on the 2nd of April at 10.30am at our base in Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB. Please RSVP shakclub@shak.org.uk

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Essential Equilibrium Courses At SHAK HQ.....


There has been quite a lot of interest in Leigh Smyth's courses being held at SHAK HQ over the coming months, which is fantastic! However, I have to point out that these aren't SHAK events, but Leigh is holding them in our pemises. So..... to hopefully answer all your questions, here's the lady herself:



Infection Management With Natures Remedies.....14th April 6pm.....Course Fee £25

Helping animals to manage infection with natures remedies. We know that nature is full of potential remedies for a whole host of ailments, and many essential oils and herbs can be useful in preventing, managing and sometimes destroying infection caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses. In this 3 hour intensive course we will look at how animals can use a range of remedies to help in managing a range of infectious conditions. The method we will specifically be looking at is Applied Zoopharmacognosy, so you will learn much about this behavioural science in using nature’s remedies, as well as the specific remedies which can be so useful here.

You will be given a pack of potential remedies to take away and use at home with your own animals too.

This course has been designed and will be presented by a qualified Zoopharmacognosist who also happens to be a Registered Nurse.

If you wish to gain further information AND TO BOOK YOUR PLACE please email Leigh Smyth on leigh@animalhealthefe.com/ see her web site www.animalhealthefe.com

http://www.animalhealthefe.com/store/products/master-class-in-infection-management-for-animals/



Reiki Level 1..... 30th April All Day.....Course Fee £82.50

Reiki level 1; There are some aspects of our lives and bodies that we cannot see, but that are very important to our wellbeing. Subtle energy is something we cannot see but that is part of our whole body and soul. Energy healing is a way to rebalance our subtle energy systems, which can help people and animals in all aspects of wellbeing. Reiki is a form of energy healing which emphasises the need for us to look after our -selves and our own energy system so we are able to also help others; both people and animals.

This Reiki level 1 course is taught by a Reiki Master who also happens to be a Registered Nurse and Complementary therapist for animals and people. In this one day course, you will learn how to tap into your own ability to heal yourself and others. You will be supported to discover and explore your own innate healing ability and given advice about how to practice at home on yourself, friends, family and your own animal companions.

 Fully certificated course, with follow up support for all learners.

There are 2 follow on courses to Reiki Level 1 for those who wish to know more; Reiki for Animals and Reiki Level 2, more info to follow soon…..

If you wish to gain further information, AND TO BOOK YOUR PLACE please email Leigh Smyth on leigh@animalhealthefe.com/ see her web site www.animalhealthefe.com

http://www.animalhealthefe.com/store/products/reiki-hands-on-healing-level-1/



Parasite Management With Natures Remedies.....5th May 6pm.....Course Fee £25

Helping animals to manage parasites with natures remedies. We know that nature is full of potential remedies for a whole host of ailments, and many essential oils and herbs can be useful in preventing infestation by pests, and also in preventing them from breeding once an infestation has been established. In this 3 hour intensive course we will look at how animals can use a range of remedies to help in combatting a range of parasites, both external (ie fleas and other insects) and internal parasites (ie worms). The method we will specifically be looking at is Applied Zoopharmacognosy, so you will learn much about this behavioural science in using nature’s remedies, as well as the specific remedies which can be so useful here.

You will be given a pack of potential remedies to take away and use at home with your own animals too.

This course has been designed and will be presented by a qualified Zoopharmacognosist who also happens to be a Registered Nurse.

If you wish to gain further information, AND TO BOOK YOUR PLACE please email Leigh Smyth on leigh@animalhealthefe.com/ see her web site www.animalhealthefe.com

http://www.animalhealthefe.com/store/products/master-class-in-natural-parasite-management-for-animals/

I know from my own experiences working with Leigh how enlightening her work can be, if your lucky enough to do one of these courses, I'm sure you will see what I mean!

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Munch Update.....


Just thought I'd share these photos of Munch..... as you can see he is doing well and his leg is healing very well. Such a brilliant turn around for this lively little guy. 

Thanks again to Sarah and her family for being there for him when he really needed them and for doing such a great job putting him back together.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Have You Ever Thought About Being A Foster Carer.....



There's been a lot going on of late, as more and more dogs seem to find themselves unwanted. However, we have to keep going and I am delighted to announce some more exciting new SHAK Club dates for you diary which are listed below.

Further details will be available soon, but they include a new ‘Interested In Fostering’ open day, a ‘Join Our Team’ day and something I’m really looking forward too..... ‘Care Of Your Dog Through The Ages’ looking after an older dog  with guest speaker Hannah Walker from Moorview Vets.

The 'Interested In Fostering' open day runs along the same format as the previous 'Join Our Team' days have, but this time the morning will focus on another very important way you can help our dogs without being involved at the kennels.

We are looking to build a network of foster carers that range from taking a dog home for a short period of time so we can assess if he or she is ready to make the next move, to providing a caring environment for a dog to recover after surgery, illness or emaciation, to a longer term commitment until they find a new Forever Foster home.

It is important that the environment is right for each individual dog, so I think its very important to point out that we will not place dogs with children or cats and small furries unless we have prior history that they have lived with them before.

You really could make a difference to one of our dogs, by helping them take the next step.....

So if your are interested why not come for a 'no strings attached' talk on the 2nd of April at 10.30am at our base in Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB. Please RSVP shakclub@shak.org.uk



“DATES FOR YOUR DIARY.....”

Mar 31st 2016... - FREE Microchipping with Northumberland Animal Welfare Team &
a ‘Donation  Drop Off’ Day 12pm-3pm

April 2nd 2016... ‘Interested In Fostering’ Open morning 10.30am-12pm

Apr 14th 2016 - 6pm... ‘Infection Management’ with Essential Equilibrium with Leigh Smyth

April 23rd 2016... ‘Join Our Team’ An opportunity to learn more about how to become a SHAK Volunteer. 10.30am-12pm

April 28th 2016.. ‘Caring For Your Dog Through The Ages’A talk about the older dog by
Moorview vet  Hannah Walker 7.30pm

Apr 30th 2016 - All Day.. ‘Reiki Level 1 with Leigh Smyth

May 5th 2016 - 6pm... ‘Parasite Management’ with  Leigh Smyth

May 15th 2016 - All Day... Reiki For Animals with Leigh Smyth

Aug 14th 2016 - All Day... Reiki Level 2 with Leigh Smyth

Sept 18th 2016 - All Day... Reiki Level 2 with Leigh Smyth


A Little Reminder.....

Just a little remember about our FREE Microchipping day at SHAK HQ next Thursday in today's Northumberland Gazette......

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Tinned Dog Food Appeal.....

You have all always been so supportive of us, but I'm afraid its that time again when I have to ask our brilliant supporters to help us out. We have run desperately short of tinned dog food, I don't know why these things literally run in feast or famine, but whilst the dry dog food is ticking over the tins have gotten really short.

Please, if you can spare one tin of food it would be greatly appreciated. As I have said before, the dogs will not starve so please don't panic. We will starve before them, but every bit of help will be a massive boost.

There are a couple of ways you can donate..... dropping off at one of our drop off points, bringing some to'The Donation Drop Off' day at SHAK HQ on the 31st March or by ordering through out Amazon Wish List:

SHAK Amazon Wish List.....

Thank you in advance, below are some food drop off points:

Pets At a Home, Cramlington.
Taylor's Newsagents, Alnwick.
Moorview Vets, Backworth.
Sainsburys, Alnwick.
Carlton's Feed Merchants, Seaton Delaval.
Wilkinsons, Alnwick
Carlton's Feed Merchants, Benton.


Thank you.

Another Great Night..... And FREE Microchipping.....



We had another great night on Tuesday at HQ as our good friend Emily and her technical assistant Kerry travelled all the way up from Moorview Vets to give us a talk on 'Preventative Health Care and Canine First Aid.' It really was both informative and entertaining, and I have to say a huge thank you to another sell out audience!



We are already in talks with Moorview about planning the next talk, so I'll keep you posted on that, but in the meantime I'd just like to thank Emily and Kerry for giving up their own to to support us, not only on the night, but in all the time it took to put the presentation together!

Next up at HQ is a FREE MICROCHIPPING event and a Donation Drop Off day on Thursday 31st March between 12-3. In conjunction with the Northumberland Animal Welfare Team anybody who hasn't had their dog microchipped are very welcome to come and get it for done for FREE before the law changes on the 1st of April.

The doors will also be open to anyone who has any donations of bedding, food etc as a drop off point. We had a great success with such a day at Christmas time, so hopefully this one will be as big a success.

SHAK HQ is located at Greenwell Road, Alnwick, NE66 1HB and both events run from 12-3.

Look forward to seeing you all there.


Petplan Awards.....


I came home to a very nice surprise yesterday to find that the charity, Joan and myself had been nominated in various categories of the 2016 Petplan Animal Charity Awards. In a period when things have been so difficult it is nice to know that people still recognise the work we do. Thank you to the people who have nominated us.

ASDA Green Tokens.....

I am delighted to announce that we have once again been chosen for the Asda Green Token campaign at the Ashington branch. Running from yesterday until the end of April, we really need your support to help win the prize money.

So if you shop in Asda and live near Ashington please ask for your green tokens and put them in our container. We've had such great support with this in the past, thank you in advance for helping us this time.



Sunday, 13 March 2016

Two Special Girls Enjoy The First Day Of Spring.....

I made the most of the nice weather today to take two very special girls down to the seaside. Star has worked so hard this week helping Donnie,  whilst Gema is battling so hard against her bone tumour.

Her determination to enjoy life is second to none, and she is showing bravery that I could only dream of. Seeing her on the beach, amazed by so many people and dogs was an emotional sight to say the least.

Amazing girls who both faced a vets needle before I got the phone call..... I am so very proud of them both.

Gema
Star

Munch's Vets Bill.....


I've just had a quick tally up after receiving a payment tonight, and I'm delighted to say the total for Munch's Vets Bill Appeal is..... £1201....

So I'm just over a week your support has lead us to our target of £1200. Absolutely amazing. I'd like to thank everyone who has donated or held fund raisers to help this boy. I'm sure when you look at the picture of him below you can see how much his life has turned around.....

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

A New Chapter For Donnie.....

It has been a big week for Donnie, after he somehow managed to break his tail?!? A visit to the vet resulted in him having to have it amputated but it also meant me and him have some quality time together.

I've had experience of problems with tails before. Sighthounds in particular are a nightmare as their tails are so fine. If you look around any pound you will probably see a Greyhound or a Lurcher with a tail missing or partly missing! The problem is they are so difficult to get to heal, and if infection sets in its even worse.

So we decided the best thing was not to put Donnie through weeks or months of trauma given his size and 'athletic' behavior in kennels!

Every cloud has a silver lining, and as I said it meant I am able to spend some one on one time with him as he recovers from his operation at my kennels at home. Donnie has always been a real sweetheart with people but arrived with us with a reputation for being dog aggressive and so strong! The strength I've never questioned, but the issue with dogs I've always felt was more he was afraid of them, or perhaps even worse, he'd just never been allowed to be around them.

Anyway, it was something I was determined to investigate whilst he stays with us.....


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Buddy's Story..... A Year On.....

I've had this video to put on here for a little while, but time just seems to get away from me. Melissa sent me this video of Buddy, a year after spinal surgery changed his life forever.....


Again, fitting in with Munch's story, this video shows what can be achieved when people pull together for the best interests of the dog.

I know how much Melissa and David love this little guy, but we're all so very proud of him.

Munch Doing Ok......

I'm delighted to be able to give you another update on Munch (yes for now we're sticking with his original name.) He's doing extremely well, after such intensive surgery, the extent of which can be seen in the X Ray's very kindly provided by Moorview Vets below.....


Now the surgery is over, Munch is back for a check up tomorrow, but as you can see from the  photo's below, he's settling into his new foster home, and seems to be enjoying his new lease of life. I think it's heartbreaking to that a week ago tomorrow he was facing losing his life never mind starting a new one.


All of this of course has come at a price, and with a bill estimated at around £1200 we have had to rely on your generosity once more. Already an amazing £578 has found it's to Moorview Vets via us to pay of Munch's bill, but with the outstanding balance still at £622 we have to keep asking for more.....

There are several ways you can donate......

Send a cheque made payable to SHAK (and marked on the back 'Munch') to SHAK HQ, Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB

Pay via Paypal to shak@shak.org.uk again stating you'd like to help Munch

Or via his Eveyclick page..... http://www.everyclick.com/munchesop/info

Thank you to everyone involved in this boys story, and thank you to everyone who has donated towards his treatment.

Two Dates At HQ In The Next Week.....



We've got a couple of big events at SHAK HQ in the next week, starting this Saturday with YOUR CHANCE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BEING PART OF OUR TEAM.

For us to continue to be as successful as we are in turning around the lives of so many of the dogs we have put a lifelong commitment into, we need reliable HELP. Over the 10 years we have seen so many people come and go for whatever reason,  but in all of this there is only one group losing out, the dogs. For some a lack of resources from us has cost them the ultimate price..... their lives.

We are NOT looking for dog walkers, we are looking for committed individuals that are prepared to help in every aspect of the reality that is rescue..... kennel cleaning, washing dishes, fundraising, vets runs, temporary foster when an emergency comes in, and people who aren't afraid and want to learn how to help these dogs the SHAK way.....

I know I am asking a lot, but too much time has been taken up with no long term benefits of an individual that the dogs can count on. After all they are all that matters.....

So if you really are committed to the SHAK cause and are interested in learning more about what it takes to become a volunteer at SHAK, then why not pop down on Saturday morning to SHAK HQ and find out.....

SHAK HQ,  Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB from 10.30am till 12.

(Please note we are looking for permanent and regular volunteers, we do not offer temporary or work experience placements.)


Following on from Saturday the 12th, Tuesday the 15th see us welcome Emily Renton from Moorview Vets. Emily has very kindly donated some of her rare spare time, and is coming to give a talk concentrating on 'Preventative Health Care & Canine First Aid.' So it's another great opportunity for you to come along and gain some really good information and tips, as well as coming along to support SHAK.

Doors open at 6.45pm for a 7pm start, and we ask for a minimum donation of £3 entry.

Please RSVP to shakclub@shak.org.uk

Look forward to seeing you at both/either event.