Change Lives

Change Lives

Monday, 4 December 2017

Santa's Helpers And Thank You.....

I know this is short notice, but Christmas has crept upon us and with a fund raising diary that is chocker this weekend really is the only time we can fit in a couple of Santa's Helpers days.

You may remember last year was the first year we opened the doors to SHAK HQ for people to drop off food, bedding, toys and cash donations,and it was an enormous success.

So this year we have decided to repeat the event but spreading it over two days, this Friday (8th December) from 10am till 2pm and Saturday (9th December) from 10am till 4pm.

This event is a great opportunity for some of our fund raising team to meet the very special people who support our work, but also a great chance for you to pass on your donations personally. Unfortunately due to a really busy diary we are unable to come and collect any much appreciated donations this time of year.

Thank you so much in advance and we hope to see you on wither Friday or Saturday.

I'd also like to say a very big thank you to everyone involved in the SHAK Boutique event over the last couple of weeks, especially Kerry and Natasha for getting the whole event off the ground and Gordon for being of friendly doggy face in the public domain!

Of course the event wouldn't have been a success without your support and I'm delighted to say with money still coming in we have surpassed all expectations and records! Currently the total stands at around £3,500 which is simply unbelievable. Thank you all so much for helping us raise a mind blowing amount.

I'd also like to say a thank you to the fundraising girls who raised a fantastic amount at Alnwick Christmas Market last weekend, but particularly to my daughter Neve who gave up her Saturday to help. At 11 she has seen so much in the world of rescue and Saturday she helped in a way she could. I'm so proud of her.

It was also great to see some of the dogs we have helped get into loving homes, you will all remember Lilly and I think you'll agree she is looking fantastic. Whilst Fagan is certainly enjoying an extended stay with Sheena and Roger.  Thank you all so much.

Neve in charge of the stall. 

And her reward!
Lilly and her dad.

The legend that is Fagan.
Facebook viewers will need to click on the link to see all the pictures.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

An Afternoon With Ian Lavery MP.....

It was a very proud moment to receive the 2017 Charity Champion Runners Up award this afternoon from MP Ian Lavery.

Thank you to everyone who voted and congratulations to Team Susie for their brilliant work being recognised as the winners.

Keene Discovers Snow.....

I love these photos of Keene that Rich took yesterday. Sitting so well behaved and then having that little look behind him as if to say "Whats that I'm sitting on?!?" As he discovers snow. Good job he didn't know how much snow was coming today.....

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Dude Becoming A Dude.....

Just a couple of photos to show how little Dude is coming on. He's just finished his last course of treatment for his skin and workers and as you can see his fur is coming back nicely.....

Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all the pictures. 

Eden Comes Forward.....

I love this snapshot Amy managed to get of Eden yestereday. Not only has she pinched Ged's bed, but she's sitting at the front..... on her own!

Friday, 24 November 2017

Where Is SHAK Boutique.....

Anyone in Alnwick today or tomorrow and looking for the SHAK Boutique at HQ, just keep an eye out for one of our biggest dogs 😃

Otto Has A Little Holiday.....

We'e had a really wet spell recently and it had a particularly difficult effect on one of our longest serving residents Otto. The damp seemed to really effect his arthritis so I decided to bring him home for a couple of days of respite.

He is such a complicated character, set in his ways and very nervous, but I think he enjoyed his little break.

I am delighted to say as the weather has dried up, or should that be frozen over he is back to his best, and I am now working on a potential foster home for him.

Facebook viewers will need to click the post to see all the photos and video.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Living With A 3 Legged Epileptic Lurcher.....

One little boy we're really proud of is Haden. Found as a stray with only 3 legs, it wasn' until he came to live with me that his biggest medical issue was discovered..... as well as missing a limb, Haden is epileptic.

He has been with me for a few years now and his illness makes things hard at times, but you can't help but love him.

He has fits in clusters despite being on life long medication, we are currently going through one of those cycles. Tonight he had another fit and once I got him sorted he riddled off to the sitting room to join the others. He decided Sam was his shoulder to lean on tonight.....

Haden (Left) and Sam.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

SHAK Christmas Boutique.....

With Christmas approaching (yes I know I can' believe I'm saying that either!) This week sees the start of the really busy season. Operating out of HQ as a fundraising hub, we are looking to give our dogs the best Christmas yet.

First up is the SHAK Christmas Boutique, a great opportunity to grab a bargain from our range of new and designer party dresses and accessories.

It is also a chance to buy your brand new 2018 SHAK Calendar or the very specially designed range of SHAK Christmas Cards.

Open 10am-5pm on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th November.....

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Pin Up Boys.....

Just a couple of pictures of our pin up boy with one of our older pin up boys.....

Well done Dude and Bruce.....

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

An Amazing Picture Of Two Amazing Dogs.....

I have to share this picture of Eden with Ged that Rich managed to take this afternoon.

This is sensational in so many ways. First up she's sharing a bed which is a first, she's looking very comfortable with her new friend but more importantly..... she's at the FRONT of the kennel!

Eden and I have been through so much together, but even this brought a lump to my throat!

Day 2 For The Newbie And A Load Of New Friends.....

We'e still working on a new name for out newbie, but today he took another huge step and the rest of my dogs for the first time. They were all incredible, and whilst a few manners were taught you could see friendships developing so quickly. Bruce especially kept him right!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Day One And A New Friend.....

Our new boy has really made an impression since he landed and it' hard to believe he has only been he 24 hours.

This afternoon I decided to put him through a little test as he has been reactive to other dogs whilst on a lead. So step up my hero, big Lennox.....

I'm so proud of them both.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Thank You!....

I just want to say a huge thank you for all the words of support both to me personally and my team in being able to turn this latest boy around.

Thank you too to everyone who has made a donation to help him recover (especially Animal House Rescue!) We really are extremely grateful.

Your faith gives us the faith, thank you so much.

Our New Boy Arrives.....

Whenever I get a call from our good pal Lynn at Animal House Rescue I know it' going to be a sorry state, and the dog I got called about on Saturday certainly fits that bill.

Found emaciated, weighing just 27kg, tied to a tree and riddled with fleas, most of his fur was gone.

Lynn and her team did a wonderful job and a trip to the vets confirmed his skin issues were solely down to a flea infestation. Medication was prescribed a the skin is already beginning to look better.

His backend doesn' look the strongest so x rays were taken and revealed he does have a few spinal issues that are probably degenerative.

However perhaps the biggest upset was watching how he reacted when taken into Lynn's house. The Animal House is a foster based rescue and doesn' have kennels, and Dude (As he is currently named but we may change it) really found it a difficult environment to live in. Hence the phone call.....

Dude arrived north this dinnertime, he has put on 2kgs and already he looks a lot brighter. On a walk those it is clear to see that he hasn't seen a lot and he has a frantic scurry to try and get away from anything he finds strange.

Still he's a loveable boy and seems to enjoy the company of humans which is quite amazing considering what someone has done to him.....

(Facebook viewers will need to click the post to see all the pictures.)

Obviously this amazing boy is still going to need medical treatment and possibly in the future things like hydrotherapy. If you'd like to donate towards his recovery you can via PayPal to

Or by sending a cheque made payable to SHAK to:

Greenwell Road
NE66 1HB

Thank you in advance for your support.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

A Tortured Soul On His Way.....

As the photos in the post below were being taken I received a message from one of our trusted rescue partners asking us to help with a dog that is quite simply in horrendous condition.....

Of course I said yes, and we await his arrival tomorrow when I will fill you in fully.....

Thank You Andy Commins.....

We had a really good afternoon with our very good friend Andy Commins on Saturday, as he very kindly gave up his time to produce some brilliant promotional photo's.....

You can see them all on our Facebook page.....

Monday, 30 October 2017

This Christmas.....

I've had a lot of people ask recently what the charity needs or would like for Christmas donations, whether it be individually or an organised group donation.  Can I just say straight off that we are extremely grateful for everything your kindness brings us.....

2017 has been perhaps the biggest year yet for the charity, we have grown beyond its wildest expectations.  Going right the way back to January and an incredible donation that lead to the entire kennels being renovated, we then secured some very generous sponsorship that helped us staff our wonderful new premises, and of course just recently we had our first television feature on the BBC's Inside Out.  All of the above has changed the day to day lives of our dogs beyond belief.

They are the big things, but we are equally thankful for the individual things, such as the food and bedding donations you all kindly give. These are the bread and butter of the ongoing running of SHAK and provide our dogs with their meals and somewhere to rest their bodies at night.  Without these we would struggle, once again thank you.

Due to the generous nature of your support over the years we now have very healthy reserves of food and toys, the bedding comes in on a regular basis and at Christmas time we really struggle with where to store everything.....

The nature of our work is very specialised, Ged and Eden have proven that this year, two dogs who have really won the hearts of thousands. To carry out this work you need a very special workforce and I believe that we are fortunate enough to have built a very unique and valued team.  However, to secure the regular care and daily routine we have had to turn to paid staff, as well as volunteers who can then dedicate their skills and attention full time though this all costs money.

We also have rent for the kennels and of course an ever fluctuating vets bill..... All of this too costs money.  On average at any kennels you would expect to pay at least £5 per day to keep a rescue dog safe, that is £35 per week or £140 per month.  We operate with at least 50 dogs in our care at any one time.  50 x £140 per month = £7,000.  You can see why we need your help. 

So to go back to my original point regarding what the charity needs for Christmas I am going to be brutally honest and say money to help keep the whole project going. Whilst I understand that it may not be as appealing as a dog with a new toy or treat, it would mean that they could be kept safe and cared for, for as long as they need us, and remember, they already have those things thanks to your existing kindness!  Donating as little as £5 this Christmas will help keep a dog safe for a day, dogs like Eden and Ged.

If you would like to donate you can do so via a couple of methods:

Sending a cheque made payable tto SHAK to:
Greenwell Road,
NE66 1HB

Or by PayPal to

Or by catching up with the fundraising team at any of the events that are usually shared on our Facebook page SHAK the sanctuary.

I hope all of the above makes sense and that I have explained things clearly. We need your kindness and generosity as much, if not more than ever, only this year we need it in a slightly different way.

Thank You.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

SHAK On BBC's Inside Out.....

Just for those who missed it, or are outside of the catchment area, here is our appearance on Inside Out last night. A big thank you to Andy for providing and editing this copy!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Beautiful Words For Lenny.....

On the 24th of August we lost another big part of the SHAK family, it's just taken me this long to find the right time to share the story.

Lenny didn't like me, pretty much from the moment he arrived. However in David and Melissa he found true love, and when they paired him up with George he also found his best friend.

The love between these four was incredible to see, and something that no words could really do justice.

Lenny was found dead a week before him and George were due to go home with Melissa and David. George has made that move still, but Lenny's memory lives on in this poem written by them.....

'Our Friend.'

I don't know where to start,
Or even where to end,
But here it goes with a poem,
About you being our friend.

You came to us in fear,
Not knowing where you are,
Giving us a piercing look,
I assured you we would be here.

I came to your kennel,
An hour after you had arrived,
I took one look upon you,
We are gunna be alright.

A few days had passed,
Then your Mam came back to work,
I had mentioned all about you,
She took one look upon you,
And seen your goofy smile,
Then whispered in your ear,
WE are gunna be alright.

When it came to walk time,
You had another friend,
You walked along paw by paw,
To make sure each were there,
To guide each other through,
The tough times that were not there,
George, your bestest collie friend.

It came to kennel sharing,
With your new best friend,
It surely was a bromance that would never seem to end,
We knew right there and then,
We could see you in our home,
Jumping all around,
A forever home... you had found.

We made some many memories,
For the whole world there to see,
You were truly our best friend,
Which we knew was meant to be,
You were taken two weeks before,
You were mean to be with me.

I cant write anymore,
While you are running free,
But at least you know,
We love you our

Sunday, 1 October 2017

SHAK 2018 Calendar's Now Available.....

The brand new and official 2018 SHAK Calendar is available now!

A brand new design featuring the beautiful Mia on the cover, this years edition is really special. 

Please remember, that thanks to the wonderful sponsors EVERY PENNY made from the sale of these calendars goes straight to the dogs!

Have the faces of some of the dogs you have helped us save brighten up your day, every day.

You can see all the dogs and order your copy from the link below:

Thank you in advance for your support.