Change Lives

Change Lives

Monday, 31 January 2011

Paper Boy And New Boy.....

Forgot my camera today, so I apologise for the poor quality of these photos.

First up, having just finished Chance's kennel, I took my equipment away and returned to find he had pushed the paper under the door so he could put his feet up and catch up with the latest news!

The next handsome boy is Harvey who became an official SHAK dog at the weekend. I picked up Harvey as a stray and he was very under weight. His gums looked sore, and he had a fresh gash across his nose. Perhaps worst of all was the pungent smell of urine. His first full day with us saw him promptly bathed, and he was an absolute angel.

Despite his poor condition, Harvey is a friendly boy who just loves being around people. He will be fully assessed once he has had a little bit more time to find his feet.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Breedism And Pathetic Reporting Once Again.....

Another example of breedism and pathetic, lazy journalism. Used in the "article" is a picture of a Rottweiler, but where in the piece does it name the breed of dog responsable for the attack?

And The Human Race Sinks To An Even Deeper All Time Low.....

Facing prison, the pet crematorium boss who gave dog owners fake ashes after leaving their bodies to rot in a field:

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Happy Birthday Harlie.....

Just wanted to wish Harlie a very happy birthday. 4 today, Harlie came to us at 16 months old, and her serious medical condition meant she could never go into a home. She enjoys the simple things in life with us, and very much sums up what this charity is all about. Mind I wouldn't fancy your chances of getting a piece of her birthday cake.

You can read her story here:

Thursday, 27 January 2011

How Could Anyone Neglect This Face.....

Just received these photo's from the groomers, how sweet does Wilf look? Its hard to think anyone could neglect him in such a cruel way that they have.

Baths And New Friends.....

It has been a busy couple of days for Wilf the Lurcher with the horrendous skin condition that arrived at my door as a stray last Tuesday. First up, he completed his 7 days as a stray and is now officially a SHAK dog. I wasn't surprised his owner didn't come forward, but it just amazes me that anyone could allow him to get into this state, you can only imagine what themselves and their house is like.

Wilf came home with me last night, as today was a very busy day for him. As I write this he is flat out in his bed after a walk in the woods rounded off a hectic day.

First stop was Moorview vets as we stepped up his recovery. Thank you to Jonathon for taking so long with him this morning, and for taking the skin scrapes that showed further mites on him. Wilf is on another course of antibiotics for the skin infection that is still irritating him, and we have also started a course of bathing with medicated shampoo.

That brings us very nicely onto Wilf's next destination, Bella's Dog Grooming Parlor in Forest Hall. Thanks to Lucy and the girls for bathing him and making Wilf all fluffy, but for also donating him his wonderful new coat to keep him warm.

A busy day indeed, a lot of progress made, and perhaps just as important, a lot of new friends for Wilf to help make him realise not all humans are scum like the ones he has had the misfortune of knowing so far.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Pippa Goes Home.....

A slightly different story for you tonight, as baby Pippa went home. Not the usual SHAK dog, I picked Pippa up as a stray, and was shocked to see how young she was. We think she is only about 16 weeks, and clearly kennels at such a cold time was not an option. Maybes she was an unwanted Christmas present, we'll never know I guess, but being a soft touch she stayed with me for a couple of days, but then volunteer Andrew got to see her, and well the rest is history. She has now served her time, and tonight is making herself at home with her new family.

Kai In The Bottle Pool.....

Not the best quality photographs, but I wanted to show you Kai enjoying the bottle pool! He's taken a slightly different approach to Otto who deliberately puts his ball in so he has to get it out again, but Kai certainly enjoyed his time in it!

Today's Journal.....

A DEDICATED pensioner is pleading with animal lovers to come to the aid of a unique dog rescue charity.

Derek Hepple says Bedlington-based Safe Homes and Kindness (SHAK) is already suffering from council-imposed restrictions on his fundraising activities.

Last year the 68-year-old, raised £12,000 for the cause, which rescues and cares for large dogs whose aggression, behaviour or health problems would otherwise result in them being put down.

The pensioner brought in the vital funding by selling coffee, tea and scones every Sunday and most Bank Holidays from a makeshift cafe in two caravans parked on the driveway of his home in Seaton Sluice, Northumberland.

In December, following an investigation into complaints from a neighbour, county council planners ruled Derek can only open the cafe on two Sundays a month from now on.

The former police officer says the loss of trade will result in a 66% reduction in the amount he can raise for SHAK this year, down to about £5,000.

Derek says the charity, which currently looks after 53 dogs at kennels in north Northumberland, is already feeling the effects of his reduced fundraising, and faces a major struggle to make up the shortfall.

He has now appealed for people across the region to donate cash and dog food to help SHAK survive the serious blow to its finances.

Derek said: “I used to make £1,000 a month but have managed just £410 from my two Sundays in January, and the next one is three weeks away. I have organised raffles and tombolas, and am planning a race night, to try to raise a bit more.

“The council decision means I will lose about 26 Sundays and eight banks holidays, which will mean SHAK will be £7,000 down this year.

“That is going to have a big impact, and Stephen Wylie, who runs the charity, is a very worried man with 53 dogs top look after.” Mr Hepple said dog owners are looking to off-load their pets but are being turned away because of a lack of funds.

He added: “People have been telling me how sorry they are about what has happened with the council, and I am appealing to everyone to help out by donating money or dog food to SHAK, which is running on a shoestring.”

The council ordered Derek to scale down his Sunday cafe operation despite a 700-name petition from local residents and customers.

Four letters of objection claimed the two caravans are an eyesore and spoil the area’s character.

They also said the activity creates an unacceptable disturbance for neighbours on Sundays.

To donate go to

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Codename Wilf.....

I cannot say a lot about the dog in these pictures at the moment, other than he was picked up as a stray by Gregg and brought to mine last night. He is in a shocking condition, and I rushed him straight to the vets this morning. He has various forms of medication, and we believe it is a serious reaction to a flea allergy that has been left to get out of control.

He is a lovely boy, and is so sad. More on this as it develops, in the meantime we have called him Wilf.


You can see how quickly he is making friends.


Monday, 17 January 2011

Man Caught On Camera Kicking Puppy Jailed.....

Sure you all remember this story. Some justice done, but only 8 weeks?

A man who was caught on camera viciously kicking a puppy has been sentenced to eight weeks in custody and disqualified from owning animals for five years.

Star, Tilly & George.....

Just thought you might like to see this. Tilly and Star playing with George trying to get into the action. Remember both of these girls were found in a terrible, skinny and covered in fleas. Star was so ill that she spent a week in the vets, and it was touch and go for a while. She won my heart and I've fostered her ever since. It's lovely to see all three of them playing, even if George cannot get a look in.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Forever Foster Home Wanted For Tilly.....

After a great response from Tilly, we are now looking for a "Forever Foster" home for her.

Tilly is a gorgeous Lurcher girl that we picked up as a stray running across the A1. She was skin and bone, and had fleas so big I picked them off with my fingers. She is very sociable and playful, and likes the company of other dogs.

If you think you could offer Tilly a new start please email or call 07931 702345 (please leave a message stating clearly that you are interested in being considered for Tilly.)

Please note, we are looking for a home in Northumberland, North Tyneside or Newcastle only. Normal SHAK Foster Conditions Apply.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Good News From Jake.....

More good news as I received an update from Jake's Dad John yesterday:

"Jake has been back to see jonathan @ moorview vets for his check up and he couldn't believe how well he was doing most of the swelling was gone and the wound was healing up great back week on monday for stitches to be taken out thanks for all your support and get well wishes."

Jake is another SHAK boy who has come from a real tough background, and we're all very proud of, and who has a great family supporting hm. Thanks John and co.

Proud Of You Till.....

Its always great to hear how well a SHAK dog is doing in his or her "Forever Foster" home, and to hear how the training/development plan that goes home with the dog is going. This week Till (Boris as he was known) passed his novice exam at the dog training class. Remember this is a dog who was left with nothing after his owner died, and had spent the majority of his life living outside in a haulage yard. A very proud Mam (and rightly so) sent me these photographs of Till being presented his certificate by trainer Sue Chambers.

"We had a fantastic night last night at dog club! How Till has progressed, you would have had a tear in your eye as he was doing all he should (not so good with the dumb-bell yet but it is very early days) in the most calm and friendly way of any dog I have seen. All testament to what time and patience can do. I think that Novice 1 is too easy for him. He was great at "positions" on the box, heelwork etc. as well as making friends with many other dogs and not grabbing the teats quite so enthusiastically."

Time and patience indeed Helen, and a great family to help him through. Thank you for being there for Till

Friday, 14 January 2011

New SHAK Logo T Shirt.....

The sun shined for a couple of hours today, and made me long for the summer. As a result, I've decided to launch a new SHAK T Shirt to keep us all in the sunshine mood. With the SHAK logo in silver on the front, and "Saving Dogs On Death Row" and on the back, this discreet and stylish T Shirt is a great way for you to show your support.
Order yours from the SHAK Shop:

Come Support Us On Sunday.....

Just a quick reminder that Derek is OPEN this Sunday. Having missed out last week and then the next two Sundays, we need your support now more than ever. Please get down there and support help keep this wonderful Sunday social alive as well as contributing to the up keep of the 50 plus dogs we have in our care. Every penny, every pound goes to the dogs and helps us buy the medication and food that is needed to help so many, and keeps the roof over their heads as they have no where else to go. Thank you in advance for such wonderful support.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Blame The Government.....

Unfortunately the recent rise in VAT and costs means that the prices of SHAK merchandise have gone up from our supplier. I'm sorry but we have had to add the increase to our prices.

Thank you all so much for your continued support.

Speedy RecoveryJake.....

I got an email with a little bit of bad news last week, which I didn't want to put on here till there was some good news to report. Jake has been to the vets recently, as there was some concern over a lump on his bottom jaw. The result of the biopsy weren't great, although the tumour could be removed and didn't appear to of spread.

On Monday Jake had his operation, and I'm pleased to say it went very well. I guess there is no one better to fill you in than Jake's Dad John, who clearly loves him very much:

"Jake's opp went really well the swelling is going down. Jonathan was really pleased with how the opp went on Monday he's back on Friday for a check up but we are happy probably not know much difference after hair grows back in."

Everyone at SHAK wishes you a speedy and full recovery Jake, and thanks to your family for taking such good care of you.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

No Funds This Week.....

Please note that because of the action taken by members of Northumberland County Council, Derek is not open tomorrow. I know he is deeply upset by this, but it has finally been taken out of his hands. The top and bottom of it all though is that we are going to be £250 worse off on Sunday night than we would of been. I'm not quite sure how we will cope with this shortfall, but we will. Any ideas on how we can try and make up the deficit is greatly appreciated. (

Whirlwind Week.....

It has been another whirlwind week where time just seems to fly without you even noticing it. There has again been progress, and also a little disappointment.

Please ignore the scruffy man on the left of the photograph above of Chance, I've posted it to illustrate the severe lack of muscle tone on his back legs. I think from this you can see how difficult getting up and down has been for him. On Tuesday Chance decided it was time to come out and face the world all by himself. You can imagine the shock I got when I opened the door to his kennel and he simply pulled himself up and wondered (granted a little bit wobbly and stiff) out into The Rescue Place to sniff around. There was so many plus's in this, him wanting to come out, him being able to come out, but the one that struck me was he started sniffing where all the other dogs had been. He was interested in something for the first time since he came into our care. The rest of the week saw him come out even more, and that lead to him discovering a little bit of an appetite which in turn appears to of corrected the regularity of his toilets, which again will be making him feel better in himself. There is a long road ahead of him, but this week Chance took his first step onto it.

It has also been an eventful week for Brodie the Spaniel, as yesterday he enjoyed a day out with the Police. He was being assessed to see if he could make a sniffer dog, and that included a full day running around empty buildings searching for a ball. I'm sure he was in his element. Unfortunately despite putting in a superb performance, it was decided that when he searches Brodie uses his eyes rather than his nose too much, and the Police decided against taking him. Not to worry Brodie, we're all really proud of you, and in the words of Andrew "You can be SHAK's own little Police dog."

Finally, above is a photo of Till (formerly Boris) enjoying his first Christmas in his Forever Foster home. He looks very well, and look at shiny his coat is and perhaps more amazingly how bushy his tail is considering he was an addicted tail chaser before he came to us.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Sonny And Chance.....

Some good news on two of our special big boys. First up Sonny has settled a lot now, much to the help of the rope toy seen with him in the top picture. It never ceases to amaze me how focused on one toy German Shepherds can become.

Today was a massive one for Chance as he decided to get up on his own and go out for a walk, not once but three times. We normally need to assist him, but today I approached his kennel and he just stood up and walked to the door, almost brought tears to my eyes. Once again a dog has shown amazing strength, courage and faith. They really are amazing.

Two Boys And Two Girls.....

Some more fun. Top picture is Smokey who is just obsessed with toys (as you can see!) Next up Shane who is just as obsessed as Smokey, I love the concentration on his face.

Then comes Nina, who has really fallen for Jill, and I know the feeling is mutual as you can see. And finally, little Honey. I love this picture, think you can see how happy she is.

George, Jill, Tilly And A Sunset.....

Managed to get time to get the camera out yesterday and get a few shots of the dogs having fun with Jill. Here's George and Tilly. I had to also include the back drop for where a lot of the play with the dog goes on, simply beautiful.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

One Day Into 2011 And Britain Sinks To An Even Lower Level..... (WARNING VERY DISTURBING.)

I apologise for distressing you with this sickening picture, but I feel it is about time the public of Britain realised what horrendous creatures we share this Isle with. It is no good people hiding behind the line of "I can't look it makes me upset" we have to come together and make sure the pondlife that could do something like this are caught. It is also time that the idiots that run this country stand up and treat these people like the criminals they are.

2010 was a year I was disgusted with mankind, the first day of 2011 and it has already gone even lower. Happy New Year.

Taken from the Mirror's Website:

HANGED by the neck in a barbaric, sadistic killing, two dogs dangle either side of a canal bridge.

This appalling image of cruelty in a picturesque village has sickened even case-hardened RSPCA workers.

The pups – a male and female lurcher aged around 12-18months – were both wearing leather collars, but had no identity tags or micro-chips.

The grim scene was discovered by horrified driver Mavis Taylor, 78, who found the road blocked by a 20ft rope slung around the dogs’ necks at either end.

She said: “It was terrible. I got out and looked over one side of the bridge and saw one dog, then I looked over the other side and saw the second.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes. I just got back in my car and phoned the police. How could anyone do that?

“I was disgusted. They were only young dogs, and beautiful too. It’s a terrible crime. I’m still shaking.”

She added: “I’ve lived here for 20 years. It’s a lovely, quiet area. This just isn’t the sort of thing you expect.

“I hope they catch who did it. They deserve everything that’s coming to them.” The RSPCA has launched a major investigation into the macabre executions at Congerstone, Leics.

And they released this graphic picture in a bid to trap whoever is responsible.

Local inspector Sheona Morley described it as the worst case of cruelty she had encountered in almost 14 years working for the charity.

Ms Morley told how she had to cut the dogs down with the help of two police officers. She said: “It made me absolutely sick to my stomach to see two such beautiful, stunning animals hanging there like that.

“It appears to have been a callous, premeditated act and it is highly likely that more than one person could have been involved.

“It would have taken quite an effort and a fair bit of planning to carry out something as evil as this.”

She added: “There is absolutely no excuse to treat any animal in such a way. It’s just beyond words. The dogs seemed well-looked after at some point. It is a mystery where they have come from, or who has done this.

“It could be that the animals were stolen – we just don’t know at the moment. We would urge anyone who is missing two lurchers to contact us.

“It’s just a mindless act of cruelty. It’s extremely distressing.”

Police have launched an appeal for information. They believe whoever was responsible may be deeply disturbed and could pose a serious threat.

A spokesman for Leicester police said: “We’d ask anyone who has any information to contact ourselves or the RSPCA, which is leading the investigation.”