Change Lives

Change Lives

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.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Yogi Update.....

After a routine vet check to see how the ulceration of his foot was healing last night, I met Paul to collect Yogi and due to the time said he could stay overnight. He was a star, even in the pub for the handover, and has fitted in with my dogs as if he's always been here.

Today I hopefully secured him a temporary foster home so we can assess exactly how much he uses that foot. Although in the house he walks on it perfectly.....

With that in mind, he can have a few days with us. Here he is tonight, begging for my tea to fall off the bench.....

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Keiser Meets Geds Pals.....

I'm very proud of the SHAK dogs I've taken Home, each and everyone with their own horrible tale to tell. So many of them were destined to be destroyed for one reason or another, yet the way they help others is incredible.

Yesterday I posted a video of Ged meeting them for the first time, today I'm posting a photo of Keiser out on a walk with some of them. He has met Star and Bruce before but this was the first time he'd met Lennox and Sky.....

(L-R Sky, Bruce, Lennox, Star, Kaiser.)

I think it is also important to point out that I walked all 5 myself, such was the harmony amongst the group. I'm very proud of them all, and especially of Kaiser who took his first step on the road to hopefully finding him a home of his own.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

A Sleepover For Ged.....

Ged and I had a big day filming with the BBC today (will inform you of broadcast date when I know it) so with an early start he came to my house for a sleep over last night.

As part of an episode of Inside Out Chris Jackson and his team have been filming Ged since he arrived. Today was the last shoot at Blyth beach.....

Last night was an equally big night for him though as he had to meet my gang and also handle being in a house. Obviously with not knowing any history on him we don't know when he was last in somebody's home or if he has even ever been in one before.

He took everything in his stride, and as you can see he really enjoyed meeting and making some new friends.....

It was a pleasure to spend so much time with him, and as I told Chris Jackson today..... "he has certainly done bit h himself and us proud."

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

Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Week Of Ups And A Very Sad Down.....

It has been a week of real ups and downs, and with so many emotions that I really do not know where to start.....

At 8.05am I received a call from David to say they'd opened the kennels to find Kai looking lethargic and possibly a little bloated. Knowing what this meant, Melissa rushed him into her car and sped off to meet me on the A1. A pit stop speed swap over, and I continued the journey to Moorview Vets as fast as I could.

On arrival our worst fears were confirmed, Kai had suffered a stomach torsion and we had no option but to rush him into surgery. Now for any dog this is traumatic enough, and the chance of survival is slim, but Kai was one of our more specialised dogs, and a vet handling him conscious was just not an option. We came up with a plan, and after surgery I collected him and brought him home to nurse, knowing the next 3 days were critical.....

Sleeping on the floor with him and syringe feeding him medication and baby food are now memories I will never forget, and the fact Kai let me get so close to him both physically and emotionally is something I really will cherish.

On Wednesday night Kai collapsed and couldn't stand. We were just several hours away from passing the critical marker, but my heart told me he was in serious trouble. I rushed him back to the vets where an ultrasound scan revealed his abdomen was full of fluid. We had two options, let him go right there or go back into surgery and try and fix him. I knew I owed Kai at least that.....

Opening him back up revealed that the damage to part of his stomach from the twist was too bad. It is presumed the blood vessels to that part were damaged beyond repair, and part of his stomach had died. Worse was to follow, for Kai was so weak now and his heart couldn't take anymore. He left us after suffering a cardiac arrest on the table.

I always had a real soft spot for Kai, as had so many others. He came with such a huge reputation, but gave us back so much. I don't think anyone who witnessed it will forget the way he helped other dogs such as Maisie and Ben realise other dogs were actually ok to be around. His dislike for strangers and people he didn't know meant he stayed in kennels, and I think I always thought one day he'd come home with me. In the end I guess he did, just not the way I planned it. Those 3 days were really special.....

I said it had been a difficult week, but there was also some good news, and I'd like to thank everyone who supported us in our appeal to raise £300 so we could get Yogi's foot X-Rayed. I'm delighted to say that you absoloutly smashed the target, with just over £750 donated so far. This became even more essential as the week progressed, as we spent over £1250 trying to save Kai. A huge thank you to everyone who has made a donation.

The X-Rays itself provided us with proof that there is nothing wrong with either Yogi's foot or hips, and his leg also looks perfect. It would appear that the fact he has lost his weight baring middle toes is responsible for him holding the foot up when walking. You can see the dramatic effect in the photo below after the foot was shaved.

So now it seems we need to find Yogi a very patient foster home who can help him learn to walk on that foot again, he does put it down occasionally so it even may be just learnt behaviour?

If you are interested in offering Yogi a home please email:

I also get asked quite a lot about Lilly, and how she is doing. I'm delighted to say that she is now in the process of getting acquainted with a potential new owner, and as you can see she is having a ball with Sheena and Roger in her temporary accommodation!

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