Change Lives

Change Lives

Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Duke.....

Got to love this picture of big Duke..... Thanks Ameri.

Me And My Honey.....

Progress With Honey.....

Amazing the turn around in the last 48 hours with this little girl. She was so frightened on Monday when I collected her that I couldn't get her on the lead, then after a couple days off Thursday was just as bad. It is clear that it has been a man or men that have abused her. However, with a bit of help from Ameri on Friday I got her out and on a lead, and the following 48 hours have progressed to this.

Pet Cats And Dog 'Ate Each Other To Stay Alive' After Owner Moved House.....

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Nearly The Winter Dog Walk.....

Doesn't time fly, I can't believe that its nearly time for the Winter Dog Walk. Sunday the 7th November see's the second sponsored walk in aid of SHAK, and this time it has been kindly backed by Jollyes Petstore in Blyth.

After the success of the one in June, we have decided to do the same route, meeting at Blyth Promenade at 11am and walking along to Derek's for a cuppa at Seaton Sluice.

Please download a sponsorship form from above, or forms are available to collect from Derek's this Sunday and Jollyes in Blyth.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Little Honey.....

After being allowed to settle for a couple of days, it was time for Honey (the "bait" dog I picked up on Monday) to venture out with her biggest fear..... a man. She has settled well with Ameri, but yesterday I couldn't get anywhere near her to even get a lead on. It took a while, and a whole packet of treats, but we got there.
In the post below you can see the scars all over her head, and the massive one that has permanently disfigured her mouth. I think it easy to see why we have come to the conclusion that she has been used as bait in dog fighting.

Scars On The Outside And The Inside.....

Here are the scar's that have done as much damage on the inside as they have on the outside. Notice the huge scar down her jaw and around her neck that has lead to her jaw not sitting right, and also the huge slit in her left ear.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Little Seymour.....

Email from Seymour. Sounds like Mr Foxy is doing really well:

"hi there mum and dad said they might bring me for a visit if thats ok, whens best? they took me to the vets today and when he opened the fridge i thought i was going to get something nice but he stabbed me instead!! i complained bitterly and i don't know who got the biggest fright me or the vet!!! but they did say it was for my own good! don't believe them though so i will make them suffer a bit longer before i forgive them!"

If Only They Could Talk.....

After the drama of last week, this afternoon I'm driving halfway to pick up the frightened crossbreed that was saved from being destroyed on Friday. I haven't seen her yet, but the way her wounds have been described it does sound as if she has been used as some kind of "bait dog" for dog fighting. Obviously we will never know that for sure, but she does come from an area where it appears that there is a serious problem with dog fighting.

That is perhaps the most difficult thing to deal with when taking in such dogs, that we have no definate history, all we can do is try and piece together what has clearly been an awful experience for the dog in question. Below is sections of the dog wardens report from when this dog was picked up:

"Lab. x bitch red white on rear toes med size & build (very underweight) med smooth coat full tail few old scars on head and front legs. No collar no tag nor scanned (snappy due to nerves)Had to use a pole to get her into the van approx. 2 yrs old.

This dog is very emaciated and is about the most nervous dog I have ever collected. Lady provided a dish full of dried food, and she never lifted her head from the dish until it was all gone. She also drank a full dish of water after the food. This dog is NOT nasty, but shows "nervous agression"."

We now have the task of trying to build up here trust, and although we cannot do anything for the scars on the outside, see if we can heal some of the scars on the inside.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

On Her Way.....

I'm pleased to say that the little frightened girl I mentioned yesterday is safe, all that needs arranged is transport upto here. It will take a little planning because of her mental state, important thing is she is coming.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Desperate Times.....

We really do not know if we are coming or going up here at the moment. The calls for us to take dogs average 2 per day at the moment, and how do I justify saying yes or no. Thankfully, two dogs we had arranged to help have found a home through the people who were actually trying to get them to us. Guess its true, you don't know what you have till its gone (or nearly gone) in these cases. Good luck to the boys who both have difficult transitions ahead of them.

Unfortunately time doesn't stand still, and there is always another desperate soul ready to step into the kennel space that is available. Tonight I am waiting to hear if a very young and frightened little girl has been saved from the vets needle, she has a bed waiting for her up here.

"Love Replaces Fear....."

Northumberland Greyhound Rescue.....

An Insight in to the great work done by our friends at Northumberland Greyhound Rescue. Diane was a big help to me when I was in the process of setting up both SHAK and The Rescue Place, and my very own Sky was one of her dogs.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Benson came to us after his young owner committed suicide. The dog was clearly very stressed as his lead was used by his owner to hang himself, and because of this he warned the people attending the scene away. Ultimately this went against him, and he was due to be destroyed that very same day. He has been with us quite a while now, and he has been very well behaved if not a little detached. It is important that we remember what this guy has been through, his whole world was turned upside down before his eyes. Today he enjoyed a chilly, but sunny walk down a country lane, just a simple thing, but one he nearly lost forever.

The Other Side, And Why We Do It.....

Thank you to everyone who has sent emails or texts of support and kind words after yestedays post on here. Your support does mean alot, and although I didn't post yesterday to get sympathy, its nice to know so many people are behind what everyone involved with both SHAK and The Rescue Place are trying to do. It just gets hard, and yesterday signified to me just crucial it is that we keep going. People keep telling me that we are doing something unique here. I just think we are giving the dogs that need a chance the most that chance. The fact that a dog lost its life because there is no other place in the country prepared to give him that chance, is something I have to accept. I didn't set out to do this 4 years ago when I lost Shak the dog, and SHAK the rescue began.

There has been some major progress made of late, small steps that are major developments to us. Faith was at the vets today to be speyed, quite an achievement considering the day she arrived with us I wasn't sure that she would make it through the night she was that stressed and frightened. Today, Mammy Karen reports she was as good as gold and happy to be in her house again.

A dog that reminds me of Faith when she came, is Summer. I posted photographs of her and Scooby last week. They have spent the last week together in the runs and kennel during the day, and Summer has progressed so far. Having been unable to get the lead on her, it wasn't practical to let her off lead in the runs. A couple of days with Scooby and she even comes to the door now so you can clip the lead back on. And boy does she like the other dogs.

Nina and George have also been spending a lot of time which each other, and now kennel together. Its company for them both, and its nice to see them with each other.

Sometimes news like I received yesterday clouds what goes on here, the dogs always make me proud though, and its the little things like those above, that keep us all going.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Damage Humans Do.....

In the world of rescue you have to take the peaks with the troughs, and the last 6 days or so have been no different. Things that make you proud and give your life meaning develop in front of your eyes, but then you have to take stock of things that should never happen in this country.

After several months of courting Brodie and Mona have moved in together, and she has blossomed since. Mona is a tortured soul who has clearly been beaten from pillar to post, she does not trust people and who can blame her. Brodie is her rock, he makes her feel safe, and it is wonderful to see.

Funding we were hoping to get failed to materialise recently, and as a result I had to decline a dog that was desperate to come to us because of the way some low life had shaped his life. I found out today that the dog was destroyed last Friday, all because we didn't have the funds readily available to take him. I have to sleep tonight and live knowing that a decision I made cost a dog its life, a life that had been ruined the minute it was placed in the hands on a human being who simply abused his position in the relationship. God love you big guy, your owner let you down every day of your life, I let you down the day it mattered the most.

Woman Who Put Cat In Bin Fined £250....,.

I'm sure everyone followed this story, and after the tales of horrendous cruelty that I have posted on here recently, to let this evil woman walk away from court with a £250 fine is an absolute disgrace. What example does it set?

Monday, 18 October 2010

Dog killers: Pensioner's Pet Poisoned By Council Workers As A 'Prank'.....

Thank You's.....

Just wanted to thank everyone who helped in another fantastic fundraising weekend.

Thanks to Derek and his supporters for a wonderful total for Sunday, and a whole load of goodies for the dogs.

Thank you to the staff and management of Pets At Home in Cramlington for having us at their store Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to Carol for providing two Tombolas after we completely sold out the first one. Thanks to Marie (for helping me Saturday) and Karen and Gregg for giving up their Sunday.

Made Me Smile.....

Spotted this on the internet, and it made me smile.....

"The tree in my front garden went missing this morning, not to worry, I've got posters of it stapled to all the dogs in my street."

Lowlife Kicks Dog in Knee Hill Park

The RSPCA is appealling for people to identify the man responsible after he was caught on film kicking his dog in Knee Hill Park near Woolwich on October 1. Yet another fine example of what a great nation of animal lovers we are.

Friday, 15 October 2010

In conjunction with our partnership with the Cramlington Pets At Home, don't forget we are fundraising at the store this weekend as part of their support adoption week.

The now famous SHAK Tombola will be once again on the road, but as winter and Christmas rolls in, it is a great opportunity to purchase your SHAK Wooly Hat and Calendar.
We are there on both Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday of course also gives you an opportunity to offer support to Derek down at Seaton Sluice in the scandalous forced planning application. The date has been set at the back end of November for the "Derekgate" application to go before the board. Be great to have a few more signatures on that petition for then.

It also a great opportunity to pick up your sponsorship form for the dog walk.

Busy weekend, but we need every penny we can get to keep going, and keep saving the dogs no-one else will touch. Thanks for your support.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

By Popular Demand.....

Thanks once again for the wonderful support we receive. Having had several requests for sponsorship forms already it seemed a good idea to upload one on here that people can download for themselves.

Thank you again.

Winter Dates For Your Diary.....

Just a few dates for your diary as the winter draws in. Thanks to everyone who has made these fundraisers possible:

Saturday 16th October - Pets At Home Cramlington
Sunday 17th October - Pets At Home Cramlington
Saturday 23rd October - Jollyes West Denton Pet Portrait Weekend
Friday 5th November - SHAK Bonfire Garden Party (Details to come)
Saturday 6th November - Jollyes Blyth Pet Portrait Weekend
Sunday 7th November - Winter Dog Walk (Sponsored by Jollyes)
Saturday 4th December - Azure Garden Centre Cramlington
Sunday 5th December - Azure Garden Centre Cramlington

Winter Dog Walk In Aid Of SHAK.....

Doesn't time fly, I can't believe that its nearly time for the Winter Dog Walk. Sunday the 7th November see's the second sponsored walk in aid of SHAK, and this time it has been kindly backed by Jollyes Petstore in Blyth.

After the success of the one in June, we have decided to do the same route, meeting at Blyth Promenade at 11am and walking along to Derek's for a cuppa at Seaton Sluice.

Please email me ( for a sponsorship form, or forms will be available to collect from Derek's this Sunday and Jollyes in Blyth from Saturday.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Earning His Tea.....

An old man joined me and Summer on our afternoon walk today, as Scooby once again weaved his magic and earned his tea. Scooby is not only a great motivation to us, but he is a great teacher to other dogs. His body language and calming signals are superb, and lets just say Summer seemed to notice there was more to sniff when he was around.

10 Out Of 10 For Commitment.....

Had to laugh when I was sent these (Gill and Paul) as they show how committed to dogs Derek is. Having thrown a ball into the sea, there was no way Bruno, Sophie or Dylan were going in to get it. So in trudged Derek, only for his 3 pals to follow! Love it, whats next Derek? Them walking you on a lead?

Sunday, 10 October 2010

BIG THANK YOU To Derek.....

Just wanted to say THANK YOU to Derek, and congratulations for reaching a landmark figure today. After another great day fundraising, Derek's total since he started helping SHAK last November, is an incredible £10,025. This is why it is imperative that he keeps fundraising for us, despite the current dispute with Northumberland Council.

£10,ooo on the 10th of the 10th 2010..... You can't predict stuff like that. Thank you so much Derek.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

SHAK Christmas Gift Package.....

I've received several requests and enquiries from people asking how they can support SHAK as a friend or relatives Christmas box. One lady in particular gave me this idea, and promptly ordered two, so thanks Vivian.

So here it is, for a donation of £20 plus £1.50 p&p you can buy your friends a SHAK Christmas Gift Certificate and Calendar. Personalised with "Merry Christmas (Your Friends Name) and also from which ever SHAK dog you wish, the person receiving the gift can enjoy Christmas knowing that your money has gone to a good cause instead of on a 3 pack of socks! Please note that the real certificates are hand made and have a glitter effect.

You can order via the SHAK Shop below, and please don't forget to include the name of the recipient and the dog you wish it to be from.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Paul Hinton - Animal Abuser from Darlington

Special Thank You To Pets At Home.....

Sorry to start your day by showing the disturbing images of the post below, where once again in this country, people decide to do something about an animal suffering horrendous abuse when its ultimately too late. This morning, Star and I had a visit booked to Cramlington Pet's At Home, to pick up a cheque donated by the company's charitable trust to help us continue the war against dogs ending up in the hands of people like Paul Hinton.

Thank you to everyone at Pets At Home for the unbelievable donation of £2,500 and thanks to all the staff and customers of the Cramlington branch for such wonderful support all year round. Your help really does save lives.

Scumbag Jailed Over Killing Dog.....

A dog loses its life and all this scumbag gets is 18 weeks in jail???:

Disturbing video footage here:

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Even More Progress.....

Having had a couple of walks with Summer yesterday, even more progress was made today. After our afternoon stroll, we popped into the portacabin to see Ameri. For the first time since she arrived, Summer seemed to relax. Remember this is a dog that you couldn't get the lead on. Still miles to travel, but the last 48 hours has seen progress.

Sonny In The Sun.....

Sonny arrived at SHAK 12 days ago, after I received a message from a vet where he was due to be destroyed the following day. As you can see, he is settling in well, although it has to be said he much prefers walks in the country to being in his kennel.
Sonny is clearly an intelligent dog, and I'm sure we are just a temporary stop off in his life's journey. I am just so relieved that the vets got in touch and helped save this gorgeous boy.

Two Mug Shots.....

This is a horrendous photo that I took myself whilst venturing into the village with Gunnar this morning. I am sharing it with the world to show the progress Gunnar has made since he arrived with us on Good Friday. This is the dog that quite simply wanted to get at everyone the day he was transported. It took 4 of us, yes 4, to carry him in his carry box to his kennel, and believe me we struggled to carry him as he had the box rocking. He comes from a working background, so it was only natural that he wanted to frighten off strangers.

That night I never thought I'd get a photo like this.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Summer Update.....

Summer has got slightly braver over the weekend, and we have enjoyed several walks into the local village. She is still a very stressed and frightened little girl, I can get the lead on her now and have a little stroke, but that is as far as it goes for human contact. Someone has beaten the life out of her almost literally, and it will take a long time before she regains any kind of trust in a human again. We are making a little progress every day, but it is very much a case of doing things at her speed. Here she is enjoying the sunshine this morning anyway.

Friday, 1 October 2010

I Nearly Had Puppies.....

In what has been another busy week, we had a little bit of a panic earlier in the week, as Judy suffered a prolapse and had to be rushed to the vets to be speyed.I'm sure the ladies amongst you will know the full details of what a prolapse is, but my understanding is that her body had produced too much estrogen, and her lady bits that should remain inside were so swollen they were beginning to show on the outside. You can imagine the sheer panic on my face when I went in to find it, I thought she was having puppies!

Thanks to Gregg and Ameri for vets runs, and Moorview vets for once again fitting her in at such short notice.

Till (formerly Boris) is doing well in his new home, he has even started his training classes. Here is the latest update from his new Mam.

"Last night saw the second night at dog club and he was really good. His scores this week were:

Positions (sit, down and stand all on the spot) B+
Heelwork A

The scores (for different exercises) will be allocated each week and recorded to monitor progress (A+ being the "best possible" and D- the "needs much more work") I was delighted and so was Till as he devoured a bag of lovely sausages in the space of 1.5hrs! This was great for an old boy starting a new class full of lively puppies."

Well done Till, everyone at SHAK is proud of you.