Change Lives

Change Lives

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Eden And Her Friends.....

Thought you all might like to see a little more animated Eden, she likes it when her friends Sky, Star and Haden come around.....

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Mayor's Civic Award 2016/2017.....

I was extremely proud last night to be awarded a Mayors Civic Award from Alnwick Mayor. I was awarded alongside people who do such incredible work,  it all felt a little surreal.....

Monday, 15 May 2017

Eden Makes Two New Friends.....

I'm first to admit that I think I'd reached a little bit of a stalemate with Eden in terms of getting her up and about and moving from that corner.....

So I woke up this morning at just after 6 and decided I was going to try something different.  I was going to try and introduce her to some new doggy friends.....

Star and Haden are two of my fosters that have lived with me for years. You'll know the stories of both of them. Haden only has 3 legs and is epileptic,  Star has cancer of the mouth. She is so brave. Both are amazing.

Anyway, today I decided they were going to meet Eden. The way our isolation kennel is set up means there is the no man's land between the two gates.  My plan, to put my two in there.

When I opened this morning I found for some reason Eden had trashed her bed. I went in to clean her out, and for the first time EVER I saw her leave her corner..... straight over to the other dogs. Of course she then remembered where she was and ran back to her corner! So I let Haden and Star in.....

As you see she responded so much to their actions. Every time I approached the kennel door all 3 got up to greet me.  Such an incredible moment.

(Facebook viewers will need to click on the original post to see all the videos and photographs. )

Sunday, 14 May 2017

A New Friend For Eden.....

Although we've reached a bit of a stalemate in getting Eden to trust us enough to come for a walk, it's great to see that she's making more friends, and at least Rich doesn't bore her with doing the rota!

Rocco And Bud.....

Had some great fun yesterday as we took two boys who are becoming good friends around the back for a run off lead for the first time yesterday.

Bud and Rocco were amazing, and it was great to see them playing together so well.



You may remember that Bud was the stray tied to a lamp post with a horrific haematoma on his ear, his operation has been a huge success and we are still looking for a Forever Foster home for him. Rocco has a fee issues with the lead so therefore would need a specialiseductive home. If your interested in finding out more about either then please email

In the meantime I'll leave you with a video of how to get a ball off Rocco!.....

(Please note Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all photos and the video.)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Can You Give Luna A Home.....

Luna is a 3 year old Akita,  she is quite petite, and she's absolutely adorable.

Luna is so affectionate,  loves cuddles,  and is a very well behaved girl.  She's dog friendly. Luna is definitely one in a million, and her quirky mannerisms give her such a distinctive character.

Homecheck and adoption fee applies- email

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Hug Time With Eden.....

Another little thing that means such a huge step today..... I was able to have a proper cuddle with Eden. Yes I had to pick her up to move her away from the wall she so desperately clings too, but the twenty minutes we shared together was so special. You can see on the video she is still shaking, which shows just how damaged this little soul is, but I'd like to think she enjoyed just a little bit of the affection.....

(Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all photos and videos.)

Friday, 5 May 2017

Little But So Significant.....

I made a little bit significant progress with Eden yesterday as I wanted her to have her new bed! She let me put the lead on again no problem, and I was then able to coax her into getting up and moving 3 or 4 steps to be able to place the bed where she lies. As soon as I took the lead off she quickly ran back to where she sits. Incredible for as far as we know that's the first time she's EVER walked on a lead.....

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Even Closer.....

After a couple of days off it was nice to get back in with Eden this morning, and whilst she didn't run over to the door wagging her tail excites to see me, she did lift her head and licked her lips, a calming signal and one that at least acknowledged I was back.

We quickly got reacquainted and I moved a little closer....

Next I got out the lead, and although she definitely didn't want to go anywhere she let me put it on.....

Whilst it's clear that Eden is still terrified, almost shut down to human interaction I'd say, it's great that she is allowing me to get this close in just 5 days. The mental state she was in when she arrived made me think to get this far would take weeks. She's an amazing girl.....

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

Leave Us A Legacy.....


For SHAK to survive and continue our good work, we require funds to cover our daily running costs and to safeguard SHAK’s future.  Fundraising is often a tough task so Legacies form one of the largest proportions of charitable income; without these funds it is a constant struggle for charities like us to carry on.   

Leaving a legacy to our charity helps towards not only the day to day running costs, food, clean bedding, veterinary care, but also their safety and development.  You don’t have to leave a large amount to make a difference.  It really does add up.  There are also tax advantages as giving to charity can reduce any liabilities for Inheritance Tax.  As every charity has its own dedicated charity number it must be used on all legal documents to ensure that your gift is going to end up at the right place.  Always consult your legal adviser for specialist advice before making your Will or legacy.

Abandoned, homeless and mistreated animals totally rely on the love and care of sanctuaries like us to look after them in their time of need.   The extraordinary work of our charity can only be done with adequate funding which, sadly, is often lacking.  Leaving a Will is a wonderful way of helping to carry on with this caring and much needed work.

Why it’s important to make a Will and to keep it updated
With an up to date Will you have peace of mind that the people and causes which matter to you have been looked after the way you choose.  It is the only way to make sure your wishes are followed the way you intend.

A Will makes it easier for your family and friends to take care of your estate and be sure they are acting on your wishes.  Without a Will the process can be difficult, stressful and time consuming. 

Write a Will to keep control.

There are difference types of Legacies:

After you have provided for your loved ones, you can leave a share of what remains to the charity.  This is known as a ‘residuary gift’.

This is when you leave an exact sum of money to the charity.  It’s known as a ‘pecuniary gift’.

You might choose to leave an item to the charity, such as a car or a piece of jewellery, which can then be sold to raise funds.

What if you have already made a Will?

If you have already made a Will it’s simple to make changes to it.  You can either add a supplement to your existing Will called a codicil, or if the changes are quite substantial it may be better to make a new Will.  Either way, we would always recommend that you consult a solicitor or legal advisor.  

SHAK (Safe Homes and Kindness) receives no government funding and depends entirely on the generosity of the public.

What we do

Celebrating our 10th anniversary on June 19th 2016 SHAK has come a long way since its founder Stephen Wylie uttered those fateful words ‘never again…’ after the shock death of his dog and best friend Shak.

The hundreds of dogs whose lives have been changed because of that loss is a testament to a dog that had a lasting imprint on everyone he met…

Today the registered charity has approximately seventy-five dogs in its care, offering sanctuary to the ones that really need it or a place to simply become a dog again for others.

Working only with destruction cases from vets, strays and dogs from our trusted charity partners, SHAK does not take in dogs from members of the public.  Likewise we are not a rehoming centre, although we do offer the opportunity for people to apply for our Forever Foster scheme.

We concentrate all of our time, energy and resources directly into the wellbeing of our dogs, enriching lives that others had written off….

Axel when he was found.....

Axel today.....

Thank you for caring Stephen Wylie Founder of SHAK

Registered Charity No: 1125159

Greenwell Road
NE66 1HB

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Eden Day 3.....

A simply amazing day with Eden.....

Friday, 28 April 2017

Eden Day Two.....

Little steps but massive progress.....

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Eden Arrives.....

The waiting was over today as a dog I described as "potentially one of our biggest rescues ever" finally arrived. In a rescue that's taken weeks to finalise, Eden as I have decided to call her, travelled all the way from Romania in a journey that took over 48 hours. I drove to Doncaster this morning to bring her home,  and already I can see what a challenge we have on.....

Eden''s mother was taken to a 'kill' shelter in Romania when she was pregnant. Nobody seems to know what happened to her or the rest of the litter, but for around a year Eden did nothing in the shelter but hide between her pallet and kennel wall. Facing away from everything, she spent her entire day's like in the picture below:

Eventually she was moved to somewhere else where some work was done with her,  but now at 18 months old she has still never been on a lead or been outside. Incredible to think but also very sad.....

That's when I was asked if we could help, and as I've said before, it doesn't matter to me where a dog is from if they find their way to SHAK and need help. However on that note  I would ask pepole to show us respect and to emphasise that the flood gates to dogs arriving from abroad or anywhere are certainly not open. We can only help so many and with Eden with certainly have a fill time project and won't be taking anymore.

Today though her 48 hour trip across Europe came to an end. Here's how it went.....

(Please note Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all the photos and video. Also anyone wishing to make a contribution towards Eden's transport costs to us or for her general upkeep can do via PayPal to or via cheque made payable to SHAK and sent to SHAK HQ Greenwell Road, Alnwick,  Northumberland NE66 1HB. Thank you.)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

On Her Way.....

In the van and on her way.....

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Journey Begins.....

Potentially one of our biggest rescues ever starts her journey to us and a new life today.....

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Can You Give Biscuit A Home.....

Biscuit is looking for a forever home. He’s been in foster care for six weeks and has settled in beautifully whilst recovering from a leg injury. He’s a friendly, joyful chap and likes playing with his toys and other dogs but most of all he loves cuddles and snuggles. He’s a typical lurcher so will want to share a space on your sofa, preferably with his head on your lap!

He’s been staying with multiple dogs so should be fine to be rehomed with another resident dog though may be best with an older buddy as he does pester to play initially. He is a good boy in the home, very happy to settle downstairs overnight and fully house trained, absolutely brilliant on the lead.  He does have a prey drive but usual with lurchers.

He is 14months old. He's chipped, neutered and had all his injections.

For more information on Biscuit email Home check and rehoming fee applies.

(Facebook readers will need to click the link to see all the photos.)

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Tina And Duke.....

Melissa had a great idea during our staff meeting yesterday when discussing how we move forward with Tina.....

Tina was handed in as a stray. So frightened she was in great danger of having nowhere to go because nobody could get in her kennel.

I went and got her and she has really blossomed.  Three weeks on from what really was a life or death decision Melissa came up with a moment of brilliance when I asked if we cold think of a playmate to help her even further.

Duke has been here so long because of abuse he suffered years ago.  He turned the clock back today and became a puppy again....

(For those unfamiliar with the dogs,  Duke is the dark brindle and Tina is the black and white.)

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

We Need You.....

Such is the demand on us at the moment, with so many dogs looking for specialist rescue, it's time for us to launch a new recruitment drive covering all aspects of our work.

So whether it is your dream to help dogs with issues and horrific pasts, or that you simply want to help keep their home the way it should be, provide that stepping stone back into the world, or if your talent is in the fundraising sector to make this whole thing possible, then we'd love to meet you.

We are looking for committed and dedicated people to join our team of Canine Welfare Assistants, the housekeeping team, the foster team and the fundraising team.

Saturday the 6th of May at 10am we are holding an open day at our HQ in Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB where, if any of the above even slightly appeals to you, will provide you with an opportunity to find out exactly the kind of work SHAK does, meet some of the team and see exactly what it's all about!

For this charity to continue to grow and help dogs who really do need it then we need help..... we need you!

Friday, 7 April 2017

An Opportunity To Join Our Team.....


We are a registered charity and are looking for flexible volunteers who are passionate about dogs to join our team. Successful candidates will be given full training in the areas where help is required. Your duties will include:

·        Working along other volunteers and members of the team in our doggy kitchen
·        Preparation of dog meals (some require three meals per day) & giving out medication.
·        Wash feeding and water bowls
·        Update feeding logs on a daily basis
·        Replenish food stores at the end of each day
·        Wash and dry soiled bedding
·        Ensure bedding shelves are kept neat and tidy
·        Cleaning materials to be replenished, cleaned and stored in relevant area at the end of each day
·        Ensure Dog food preparation area is kept clean and tidy to the highest possible standard
·        General housekeeping duties

This will be a shared position as we need to cover the kitchen seven days.  Minimum 3 hour shifts from 10am – 1pm or 1pm – 3pm.  Alternatively, a full shift from 10am – 4pm.
Full driving license and use of your own vehicle is required.  
Previous pet care experience would be an advantage but not compulsory as you will not be dealing with the dogs direct. 
If you are interested please contact Kerry Bagier at for an application form.  If you do not have internet access please apply in writing, enclosing a stamp addressed envelope to Mrs K Bagier, SHAK, Greenwell Road, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1HB.  (Please note no dogs are kept at this address).

Registered Charity No. 1125159

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Learning To Trust.....

It appears I'm finally gaining the trust of Keene as recently he has began to interact ever so slightly.

I took these photos today, a far cry from the bottom photo which shows the dog I was first alerted too at the vets awaiting the needle.

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

Can You Help Little Bud.....

We've had so many really sad stories arrive over the last couple of weeks,  and little Bud''s tale is right up there.....

Dumped and tied to a lampost, he was suffering from obvious signs of neglect such as a skin problem and being under weight. However the worst part of his poor condition was the huge haematoma that had taken over the whole of his left ear. The ear itself had ballooned to about an inch and a half thick!

So after a bit of a wild goose chase where we thought an owner had been found, yesterday was the day he under went surgery to cut the ear so it could be drained. On closer examination it was so bad he had to have what the vet described as 'stents' fitted.....

Bud is such a loving little guy, who love's being around people and other dogs. He deserves more from his life than hechas had so far.

We need you to help him on two counts.....

Firstly his vets bill was around £300. Any help towards paying that would make a huge difference.  You can pay by two ways. PayPal to

Or by sending a cheque made payable to SHAK to SHAK HQ. Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB.

Please mark all donations 'Bud's Bill'

Also we are desperately seeking a new forever home for Bud as recovering from surgery in kennels is never easy.

If you think you could offer this little guy a new start then please contact

Thank you.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Night Owls Piece.....

Had a great response to the piece we did with Alan Robson last night, thank you.

For those that missed it.....

Thursday, 30 March 2017

SHAK On Night Owls.....

Had a great time this afternoon with an old hero of mine..... Alan Robson from Night Owls!

We had a laugh and recorded a piece that's being aired on tonight's show on Metro Radio.

Really good guy, and well worth a listen!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Making Progress In The Sun.....

It seems that it's just the time of year for kick outs and abandonments at the moment. Many of these dogs end up suffering with behavioural issues that often lead to the worst for of aggression..... fear aggression.

I will get round to telling the stories of so many of our new arrivals at some point I'm sure,  but today in the sunshine one of the highlights of Rich and my day had to be the glimmer of hope that just maybe Keene was beginning to make a bond.....

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Great Night On Saturday.....

We had a great night on Saturday at the Shoulder of Mutton,  and I'd personally like to thank everyone who supported the event. Special thanks of course to everyone involved organising it, and to Carol and the bar staff for being such fantastic hosts.


1st Voucher for four to see The Full Monty at Sunderland Empire
Yellow 251-255

2nd Two day passes for Beamish Museum
White 51-55

3rd Afternoon Tea for Two at The Running Fox, Felton
Blue 886 – 890

4th Haircare Pack plus voucher for Wash, cut and blow dry at Albion House Hairdressing, Longhorsley
Yellow 781-785

5th Johnnie Walker 12 year old Whiskey
Blue 221-225

6th Electric Foot Spa
Yellow 716-720

7th Bailey’s Irish Cream
Yellow 201-205

8th Forever Living Goody Bag and fun size Bucks Fizz
White 316-320

9th Prosecco & Chocolate Truffles
White 466-470

10th Wine & Chocolates
Blue 976 - 980

11th Japanese Spa Gift Set
Yellow 246-250

12th Wine & Chocolates
White 421-425

13th Lagers of the World
Blue 906-910

14th Prosecco
White 476-480

15th Pinot Grigio
Yellow 761-765

16th Canvas Art Set
Yellow 206-210

17th Bombay Gin
Yellow 756-760

18th Urban Spa Gift Set
Blue 836-840

19th Prosecco & Chocolates
Yellow 121-125

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Newbies Settling In.....

Just a couple of pictures to show a couple of the new arrivals that have featured on here with such big arrivals.....

First up here's Daisy making a new friend in Paul and wearing her shiny new collar.....

Next up Keene relaxing in the sunshine..... even if it was for just 5 seconds! 

(Readers on Facebook will need to click on the post to see all photographs.)

Keene Update.....

Keene is still doing well. I'm learning more about him every time I see him, and I'd like to think he's learning about me too.

He's still a one for carrying his one lead, which he tries to turn into a game of tug everytime something alerts those hyper sensitive senses of his, but that's OK I've bought him his own wire lead.....

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Can You Give This Beautiful Girl A Home.....

Tia is a 7 year old German Shepherd who is looking for a home.  She is a gentle soul, little nervous at first but incredibly loving once she's relaxed. She walks well on lead and travels well in the car. She could live with another calm dog,  possibly not a bitch.

She is a general all round happy girl who would love to find her person....and would blossom in the right home. We advise no cats or children under 10.

For more information email or to apply. Rehoming fee applies.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

A Huge Step For Keene.....

Continuing on the story of Keene, there was a big stride taken today as we went for a walk on a normal lead. Although he was a bit mischievous trying to tug it, we both enjoyed the relaxed approach rather than the rigid lead.....

Choose Life.....