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 to guarantee your place.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

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

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 :

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 see her web site

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