Just a quickie to let you all know I'm still alive and not buried under one of my many paper mountains.
I'm sorry it's been a while, but I've not even had time to scratch my you-know-what let alone blog. In the next couple of days though that will be rectified, honest.
Before that though, I have a request. There is a very special lady (Michelle) in the Republic Of Ireland that needs our help. Can you spare a few hand made cards or even other small handmade items to help her raise money for her animal sanctuary. Michele is battling against the tide as it were and really does needs our help. Please read the piece below, which explains all about CandyFloss Animal Sanctuary and the wonderful work she does.
For further details on where to send anything on to, please email Lynne on the address below
CandyFloss Animal Sanctuary
Thank you very much for enquiring about our Sanctuary. Before I explain about the animals I would like to explain how we came to be here.
My Partner and I are originally from the UK. My life long dream was to have an animal sanctuary, but I was too busy working and bringing up three children to do anything about it although I always had several dogs and cats. Once my children had gone through university and had started out on their own life’s adventure, my Partner and I decided to take the plunge…….
I was aware that the issues concerning animals were much worse in Ireland than in the UK so we looked for, and found, a small farm in the mid-west of Ireland. In May 2007 we packed up and with our own cats and dogs came over and settled in.
As soon as word got around that we were opening a sanctuary we were inundated with animals. We were horrified to discover that cats are classed as rodents over in Ireland. They have no rights and no one to stand up for them. Cat ‘flu is at epidemic proportions, as is FIV and FeLV. Kittens are regularly thrown out of moving cars or tied up in bags and left by the roadside to die an horrific death. Indeed, we have several cats that were literally “thrown over” our hedge into our pig meadow. Cinders, one of these kittens, suffered a broken jaw and was blinded in one eye by the impact of being thrown. Happily, she recovered and is one of our many house cats, although her jaw is still slightly crooked! We have several cats that were just left in boxes by our front gate in the middle of winter. Many suffered hypothermia but all have thankfully recovered.
It is almost impossible to re-home these cats. Primarily because no one wants them and also because they almost all have cat ‘flu (or are carriers) or have FIV. Both of these viruses mean that they have to be house cats in order to stop the virus spreading. In Ireland there is no such thing as a “house cat” unless they are pedigree cats. There are some wonderful people over here that trap cats and neuter them and then release them; this stops breeding but doesn’t stop the viruses continuing to spread.
There are probably thousands of feral cats living in colonies which all have one or more of these viruses. It is truly heartbreaking to see them.
Dogs, although technically protected by animal welfare laws, don’t fare much better. Neutering is still something that many Irish people don’t agree with, so there is constant breeding of crossbreeds and they are unwanted and discarded. Collies and Lurchers are not treated much better than cats – they are at the bottom of the dog hierarchy in Ireland.
Most dogs are kept outside in sheds or small kennels and never allowed in the house. Many roam the streets all day – this is “normal” here. We have re-homed some dogs to caring families and sent many more over to the UK or Scandinavia to be re-homed.
We currently have 18 dogs living with us. Six dogs are our own that we brought over with us from the UK and the rest are dogs that we have taken in or been given here. Most have come to us with either behavioural or psychological issues and are unable to be re-homed. All of them live in the house and have their own comfy beds (but usually end up in a pile on our settee, while we sit on hard chairs!), with regular meals, and a huge field to exercise on. They all get on very well together and we rarely have any problems with arguing. This takes a great deal of time, training, rewarding and patience but the end results are well worth it.
Laddie, a beautiful black and white collie, was brought to us by the garda (police). He had been found wandering in the town centre. His collar was a makeshift one – two pieces of belt attached together by staples. The staples had buried into his neck so that every time he turned his head he was in agony. It took us a month to get this collar off him as he would bite you if you touched his head or his neck – understandably. Two years on and he is a happy contented boy, but he will not tolerate a collar or lead.
Hannah, a yellow Labrador was brought to us by someone who had found her wandering down a country lane. She is not a young dog and appears to have had several litters as her paps are hanging at almost ground level. Her hind legs are deformed – possibly from broken knee joints and her claws curl around her pads. We think she had been kept in a small shallow kennel where she was unable to stand up properly and possible used as a brood bitch; perhaps thrown out eventually as she was too old to breed from any more.
Barney, a St Bernard, was kept for all his two years in a cow-shed and never exercised. It took us almost three months to get him to come into the house. Even now, he will go and lie outside, even in the rain.
These are just a few of our stories about the animals we care for. There are many more stories, but too upsetting to recount here. We also have a rescued goat called William, who was brought to us by the ISPCA after being rescued from life in a filthy horse box, and four pigs – two we saved from the bacon factory, and two pot-bellied who had been living inside a terraced house for six months! The pigs have their own sheds and field to run in (and share it with two feral cats) and William has his own field and shed. He runs with the dogs every day on the field and I don’t know who enjoys that more, the dogs or William!
We don’t receive any financial help from anyone and cannot register as a charity because both my Partner and I are disabled. We fund everything ourselves. My dear friends on Twitter, who I cannot thank enough, picked up on this and have offered to help us by making cards for us to sell to raise funds. I make cards in my spare time to sell for funds, but don’t have that much spare time……. Martyn Parker – who I also cannot thank enough – has offered to spread the word as well, both on air and on Twitter and Facebook.
Our main concern is the constantly huge vet bills we have to pay. If you can help in any way – by sending me cards to sell, or even some die-cuts so that I can make cards more quickly – we would be so grateful.
Thank you so much for your enquiry, I have attached a few photos of our animals for you to see.
(Sorry folks but I can't get the pictures to load at the moment. If I get it sorted I will add at a later date. Dee)
Due to the cost of postage to the Republic of Ireland, any cards/card making materials you donate can be sent to a UK address for onward posting. Thank you.
Bye for now, luv Dee