Change Lives

Change Lives

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Poor Poor Journalism.....

Hang on, so was this an Akita or German Shepherd??? More lazy journalism and prejudice reporting...... Funny its happening in the same country where there is outcry over Lennox:

A County Londonderry woman has been fined £500 after her dog mauled a council dog warden leaving him with wounds requiring 28 stitches.

The Japanese Akita dog inflicted bites to the foot, leg and forearm of warden Malachy Duddy.

Caroline Corr of Glenrandel Road, Eglinton, was convicted of being in charge of the dog.

Eighteen month-old Reben, bred from a German Shepherd, was on a lead at the time of the attack.

Mr Duddy described how the dog bit through his steel-toecapped shoe.

"The dog got me to the ground and bit my left arm and pulled part of my forearm skin off," he said.

"After the attack blood was dripping from my forearm."

Ms Corr was also ordered to pay costs of £206 when she contested the case brought against her under the Dogs Order by Derry City Council.

The warden had called at Miss Corr's home to remove the dog at her request as it had become too big for her to look after.

Changing Rooms.....

At The Rescue Place we try and give the dogs as much socialisation, exercise and stimulation as possible. However, our indoor runs were getting slightly passed their best. Due the obvious lack of finances though it was impossible for us to update them.

Step forward Graham and Gordon Wilson of Glendale Engineering, and Craig Henderson and his pal Chris. Glendale kindly donated all the sheeting to give the runs much needed strength, whilst Craig and Chris gave up their own spare time to come and play football with Doyle and fit the panels. Thank you all so much.

Although he doesn't want thanked, THANK YOU to Mike Galloway who arranged all this, and in doing so has made the life of dogs at SHAK so much better.

On behalf of all those dogs, and the human element of SHAK thank you all so much.

The Fight For Lennox.....

I'm sure a lot of people will be familiar with Lennox's story. The dog seized by authourities in Belfast simply because of the way he looked. If ever there was a case that proved Breed Specific Legislation was wrong this is it. Yesterday was a sad day as prejudice overcame common sense. Keep the fight going.....

On 29th March 2011 family pet Lennox was ordered to die by lethal injection because of the way he looks. The powers that be decided it was humane to forcibly slow a dog's heart beat, watching him to struggle as he fights to keep breathing knowing all the while the lethal dose of anaesthetic will eventually kill him.

Across the world an army of individuals who still remember the meaning of the word "humanity" are fighting back.

Fighting for lennox. Fighting for all dogs held under Breed Specifc Legislation worldwide.

There will be no white flag above our door.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Pigeon Update.....

An update on this little fellow that made a few friends at SHAK over the weekend. Tonight he moved to a specialist rescue who know how to handle pigeons and all sorts of wildlife. Thanks to John at Blyth Wildlife Rescue for taking the smallest ever SHAK member, and please check out the work this wonderful group do at:

It's coming to their busiest time of year, and still managed to squeeze our fella in, so any support or funding they can gain would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Patrick The Pitbull.....

This story is from America. The dog pictured is a Pitbull Terrier. In all the stories and dogs being destroyed in this country because they "look like Pitbull Types" here is the horror that our species has caused one of these dogs. Now tell me who the monster is.

"It's the news that thousands have been anxiously awaiting - the person that starved Patrick to the brink of starvation and subsequently threw his body down a trash chute, has been found.

According to Fox News, Kisha Curtis of Newark, 28, was charged Friday with two counts of abandonment and two counts of failure to provide proper sustenance to the animal.

Curtis is the alleged owner of the emaciated dog that was found by a maintenance worker on March 16 in an apartment complex trash bin.

Patrick was within hours of death at the time that he was discovered - in fact, the photos taken initially look like those of a corpse.

Curtis faces two criminal counts and two civil counts, which could result in up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine and community service if convicted.

Patrick continues to get stronger with each passing day. The dog has been treated by Garden State Veterinary Specialists and his progress is shared on their Facebook fan page, as well as on his own Facebook page, The Patrick Miracle.

As for Curtis, she claims that she could no longer care for the dog, but denies throwing his body down the trash chute."

PATRICK UPDATE 25/03/2011:

"(From our director at AHS) The emaciated pit bull continues his long road to recovery at the Garden State Veterinary Specialists (GSVS). He was thrown down a garbage chute at a 22 story apartment building -- minutes away from being horribly killed by a tr...ash compactor. Patrick's story has gone all over the world! Phone calls and donations are coming in from Australia, Italy, Greece, France, United Kingdom and more. The outpouring of sympathy has been overwhelming & heartwarming. Although Patrick does not go in his cage, he has just started letting the GSVS staff know when he is ready for his bathroom break. He is very responsive and affectionate. The NJ SPCA is investigating the incident (1-800-582-5979). If you would like to donate to the Res-Q Fund, this is a dedicated fund for animals that come in that require intensive care, specialized veterinary surgery and more. According to GSVS, they may sedate him next week to see what foreign body he has swallowed. Once that physical problem has been solved, they will be increasing his food intake.....and he is quite anxious for that! We are going to give Patrick a brief break over the next day or two. We will monitor the situation and we thank all of you for your generosity and concern. Please feel free to contact us at for any questions. See more
by: Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter.."

A New SHAK Addition.....

I always think that the dogs that find their way to us are destined to do so. We have had dogs from all over the country, but the latest lost soul literally landed on our door step this afternoon. Whilst walking Oliver and Judy today, Andrew and Lynn stumbled across a young pigeon in the straw pens set out for lambing. On first look it doesn't look injured, just lost, but then I'm a total pigeon novice (thanks Lisa for the advice.)

He or she is in SHAK's hands now, and we will try our best to get it through or to somewhere safe.

Amazing Fundraising Day.....

Thank you to Carol, Joan and Sonia for an outstanding day at Killingworth shopping centre. There was a que to go on the tombola (which sold out) and both the "Barking At Winston" books and SHAK Easter Raffle were both also good sellers. The girls raised an incredible £331, so thanks again to them and everyone who supported their hard work.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Toot And Flute.....

Even with the sadness and sombre news about Chance there was some positive news at The Rescue Place yesterday, as two Jack Russells I picked up as strays moved onto a rescue that specialises in rehoming small breeds. Toot and Flute (as Andrea nicknamed them) served their seven days with us and certainly weren't intimidated by the big boys and girls. Both are very young and should never be in this situation. Best of luck little uns.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Farewell To Chance.....

As expected we had to say good bye this morning to a brave brave soldier that has won the hearts of us all. Chance has now moved onto a better place where I am sure he'll be running riot and having fun.

Special thank you to Karen and Mike for giving Chance so much, and they were with him right to the end. Even as he slept away, his tail was wagging, it was as if he knew he'd be without pain soon.

Special thanks to too Andrea and her family for offering him somewhere to go if a miracle happened, and also to Jonathon at Moorview vets for making the morning as dignified as possible. Chance really was such a brave boy, and we can only imagine the pain he must of been going through.

However despite coming to us after biting his owner just three weeks after a double cruciate ligament operation and when a vet was booked to destroy him, it wasn't aggression that cost him his life. We had to let him go purely because his body was breaking up, and that is something that means a lot to us all individually and as a charity.

We were lucky to have shared three months with Chance, he was one special dog. The photos above are of goodbyes this morning. Even in excruciating pain, look how proud he is.

"No one is more proud of you than me big man, enjoy the running. I'll never forget you. X"

Monday, 21 March 2011

Upsetting News.....

We're all pretty low today, and in that horrible zone where you're just waiting for the inevitable to happen.

Chance has taken a real turn for the worst, and is now clearly in more pain than is fair. This afternoon he started to yelp every time he tried to stand up, that front left shoulder is obviously now unbearable despite his high dosage of medication. I spoke to the vet and an appointment was made for tomorrow morning. I really think it is time to let him go, we cannot do anymore for him.

Ironically its two years today since we had to make a similar decision for another wonderful SHAK boy. Roman suffered badly with CDRM, but he had a fantastic end to his time on earth in a wonderful foster home. Roman, you will never be forgotten, and you showed me that there was hope even for the hopelessly ill. You gave me the strength to give dogs like Chance a chance.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

An Amazing Achievement.....

Here is a story that makes everyone at SHAK so proud. Congratulations to Till (Boris) and Helen on being awarded the Ted Trophy as Rescue Dog Of The Year. I've included a story telling the origination of the trophy, but when you remember Till spent most of his life in haulage yard and was left unwanted and dumped when his owner died, the turn around in such a small space of time is truly amazing. Well done Till, but also thank you to Helen and family for giving the best home, and putting in such hard work. Look how proud he is in these photos.

Remembering Frank Lucas. From an article written by Alyson Lockwood on behalf of German Shepherd Rescue & Rehoming North East. Dog Law Seminar, 2nd March 2008.

"Frank Lucas first introduced himself to me in 1999. He left a message on my answer machine to say "This is Frank Lucas from St. John's Chapel". At the time, I remember saying to my husband "Mind your language, I am going to ring the vicar". It wasn't until a few phone calls later that I realised St. John's Chapel was a village near Stanhope and not our local Methodist church!

At the time, Frank was looking for help with his old rescued & retired police dog Ted who'd gone off his legs - I introduced him to Jim Colla who fitted Ted up with a doggie cart. Frank was delighted, but sadly Ted died from a stroke not long afterwards.

Almost against my better judgement, our rescue rehomed a very young bitch with Frank shortly after he lost Ted. Tess was younger than dogs I would normally rehome with elderly people, but Frank fell in love with her the minute I got her out of the car. Tess needed a friend and a special new home, and Frank was available - what more could we have asked for? Not long afterwards, he bought her a friend called Prince and the 2 dogs have lived fabulous lives out on his remote farmhouse in the hills at Weardale.

Although not always in good health, Frank has worked tirelessly as a volunteer for GSD Rescue & Rehoming North East, and GSD Helpline alike. If ever I was late sending him his newsletter he would call me to ask where it was, and if (as sometimes happened) I didn't put sufficient stamps on the envelope, he would ring and tell me not to worry - he'd paid the excess postage.

Every month without fail Frank would ring or call to visit me to see what he could do to help the dogs. If we weren't doing any particular fundraising, then he would nag until we felt guilty. He'd tour his local pubs and shops selling raffle tickets, coffee mugs, key rings or whatever we could find for him - his many friends must have dreaded meeting up with him!

I have lost count over the years just how much Frank helped to raise, but it ran into many hundreds of pounds, and his offer to help in other ways was open-ended and enthusiastic.

Frank also presented us with an annual Trophy and Plaque in memory of his beloved Ted - The plaque was to be donated to a person we felt had worked hard to overcome a problem with their dog, and the trophy was to be awarded to the dog who'd achieved the most. Over the years many rescue dog owners, including owners of dogs from Vigil GSD rescue, have been proud to become recipients of these memorial awards.

In October last year, I accompanied Frank to Northumbria Police HQ where he proudly awarded his Ted Trophy to Jake a 3-year-old rescue dog who is now working with the force. Jake had hit the headlines for his bravery in finding a local woman who had gone missing from her home. Without his help she would almost certainly have died. It seemed quite appropriate that a trophy in memory of an old police dog was being awarded to a younger force recruit, and Frank was clearly delighted that his award was received with such special pomp and ceremony.

I saw Frank just before Christmas when he had a chest infection and wasn't looking very well. He had called at my house to see if we had anything he could sell as Christmas presents to raise money to help the dogs, and he left with the last of the Helpline mugs we had to fund identification of GSD's working in the minefields of Afghanistan. It was, therefore, of deep regret that I received the sad news from the Lucas family on 20th January 2008 that Frank had died.

GSD Helpline & Rescue have lost a hard working volunteer, and GSD's have lost a good and loyal friend in Frank Lucas - The type of friend who doesn't come along all that often."
Till we are all so proud of you.


There is one thing that never ceases to amaze me in this job, and that is how quickly time progresses. Everyday SHAK dogs amaze me and the last week has been no exception. You have to remember that these dogs have been written off and discarded by people, they are a burden to the human race, yet you ask Gregg, Andrea, Andrew, Karen, Jan, Mike, Geoff, Paula, Matty, or Lynne (all of who have been lucky to share this week with the dogs) and they'll agree that it is us that has benefited from being around these rescue dogs.

They give so much back, and ask for so little, no wonder my weeks whizz by.

Of course we couldn't do our work without your support, and thank you to everyone who has donated towards helping us give Chance the best treatment we can. The appeal currently stands at about £350, so thank you so much. However, we still need more, as we fight tooth and nail for him. I do not want to say too much at this stage, but we still face bills for medication or the unmentionable. You can donate via the paypal link on the right hand side, and thank you so much for sparing us even a £1.

Chance is back with us at The Rescue Place, and living not in a kennel but in the cabin where he sees a lot of the SHAK team. In fact yesterday he trotted around with me and helped me dish out the evening feeds. He is a bit up and down, when he's good he's good (even ran yesterday) but when he's down he really does break your heart. Thanks to Karen and Mike for all the hard work they've put in, if we do lose this battle it won't be for giving it our best shot.

Life here is such a rollercoaster, and I'm pleased to say we are working on moving one lucky SHAK dog into a "Forever Foster" home. Second course of sleep overs went well, there was clear emotion from human and dog when he was left at kennels, and I am hopeful that in the very near future we will of served our purpose once more. I'll leave you guessing as to who the lucky boy and Daddy is.

Thank you too, to Joan, Elaine and Nicola who gave up their Saturday raise much needed funds at the MetroCentre. Once again, this charity could not exist without these people, and thank you to everyone who supported them.

On a personal note, I'd just like to remember a German Shepherd who's life was taken from him 3 years ago yesterday. If SHAK had been then what it is now, you'd still be here. I for one will never forget you.

Last Chance To Support Derek In March.....

Derek is open for the last time in March tomorrow, so please pop down between 9-5 to show your support (6 Marine View, Seaton Sluice.) As usual Derek is ready and waiting to take in any donations you may have, so feel free to drop them off there.

We have been hit hard by the weeks Derek is not allowed to open, we really appreciate the support you give on the weeks he is open.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

My Afternoon Work Out.....

Here is Wilf out for a walk with my other SHAK foster dog Star and Oskar and Sky. I'm sure I'm going to have arms like Geoff Capes walking this lot.

Thanks Rebekah.....

Thank you to little Rebekah who raised funds for us this morning by selling cookies. Animal daft Rebekah picked us herself along with a couple of other charities. Maybes the next generation of fund raisers has been found!

Chance Update.....

Chance has had a good night last night, and I'm told he appears brighter today. Here is an update from Karen:

"The boy is bright and happy this morning and a little more mobile today - the warmth and pampering he is getting seems to be agreeing with him ..... we have found our voice and are extremely talkative this morning - not quite sure whether he or Mike can talk more !!!!!! Have to say thank you to Mike too hes a pretty good nurse as well and I couldn't have got Chance here yesterday without him being here to help me !!!"

Thanks to the people who have made a donation towards his vets bill, we all really appreciate it. Anybody else wishing to donate can do via the methods in the post below.

Friday, 11 March 2011


Today has been one of those days that sees your emotions dip and peak so many times that you really don't know whether you feel happy or sad.

Gregg had to rush Chance to the vets last night as over the last few days his condition had deteriorated. He is having problems with his front right leg, and limping very badly. After a consult and quick checkover last night x rays were planned for today, but we were told to prepare for the worst.

We knew that Chance went into the x ray room knowing that if we were unable to make any improvement in his condition that then maybe we would have to let him go. It was a very worrying and stressfull 5 hours.

The x rays revealed our worst fears, Chance's joints are riddled with arthritis and beyond repair. To make things even worse though the bones in his two back legs were he had the cruciate ligament operations haven't knitted back together yet, so therefore he is in pain with those. Despite the arthritis in his elbows, it is believed that his left shoulder is the cause of the severe limp on that front leg, and action was taken in the form of a steroid injection to see if we can settle that down a little bit.

On vets advice it has been decided to give Chance "a chance" and see if the injection and medication can make any improvement over the next two weeks. Long term the future doesn't look good, and if he deteriorates anymore within these two weeks we will have to make the decision nobody wants to make. Tonight Karen has taken him home to be in the warm, and I will keep you posted on a how he gets on. I'm sorry for what is probably a very poor interpretation of the information past on to me by the vet, but despite trying to take in as much as I could my head was swimming.

Please remember Chance in your prayers, we are trying to do all we can but we are really up against it with this one.

From a Bernese to a Yorkie, Moorview Vets had both ends of the SHAK scale in their care today, as Little Jack went in for his dental. The poor little guy came out with only 5 teeth left, which just goes to show what a state he was in. I met his family straight afterwards, and he has gone home to his Mam tonight to be spoilt.

So I guess we have better news tonight than we were expecting. I really did expect that the little time I spent with Chance this morning was going to be t our last. Little Jack has had the opposite, he has fallen on his feet and after the next couple of days should be feeling a whole lot happier about life.

Thank you to Moorview Vets for taking such good care of both of the boys.

We knew about Jack's treatment, but the severity of Chance's has been a bit of a shock. Although we will do all we can to save him, we are in desperate need of funds to pay his vets bill. If anyone would like to donate:

Please send a cheque (made payable to SHAK) to:

Wildwood Cottage, 3a Stead lane, Bedlington, Northumberland NE22 5LT

Or via the paypal button below (

Or get in touch with Moorview Vets direct and ask to make a donation onto the SHAK account.

Moorview Vets, Station Road, Backworth NE27 0AA - 0191 2566990

Monday, 7 March 2011

Catch Up.....

There is a lot of work going on at the minute behind the scenes to try and raise as many funds as possible to help our dogs, so I apologise for maybes not updating here as much as I'd like too. Anyway, here is a little update from the last 3 or 4 days.

Little Jack the Yorkie has settled in well to his new foster home, and is booked into the vets again this Friday to have the work done on his teeth. We will not know till the vet has a good look whether any teeth need tobe taken out, but he is with a family that love him already and want the best for the little man. Thanks to everyone who has shown an interest in him.

Another SHAK boy who has been at the vets today is Harvey. Thanks to Geoff (another newbie but of the two legged kind) for taking Harvey to get castrated, and for also giving him somewhere warm and cosy to spend the night afterwards. Harvey is a truly wonderful dog who makes friends wherever he goes, once he has recovered from the op we will be looking for a "Forever Foster" home for him too.

I'd also like to thank everyone who went down and supported Derek on Sunday, once again we were amazed at the amount of food and other donations we received. Thank you, and of course thank you to Derek and Sandra. Also thank you to Andrew and his family for another huge food parcel. The support you are all giving is making such a difference.

On a personal note, its twelve years today since Shak walked into my life. March the 7th 1999 was the day my best friend picked me to take him home, if only I knew he would lead me to all of this.

The All New Wilf And Star.....

I get asked a lot about Wilf, and how he is getting on, well here he is with his new best friend Star. As you can see his fur is growing in extremely well, and he is blossoming into the handsome big boy we all knew he would.

Wilf is back staying with me for a little while as Ameri moves house, and as you can see, he has made a real good buddy too.

Some long time followers will remember that Star was another stray we picked up from the same area as Wilf. She was extremely ill and emaciated. I took her home to warm her up and she never left. She spent 8 days at Moorview vets, and dropped down to just 13kg, but she really is as her name suggest..... a true Star.

A Hairy Wilf.....

Shinning Star.....

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Thank You.....

Thank you to Joan, Sonia and Carol for giving up there Saturday to raise some much needed funds at the Metro Centre Pets At Home Store. Once again, a great day was had, so thanks to the management and staff for allowing us to be there. And of course, thank you to everyone who came and supported us.

SHAK T Shirts.....

As we seem to be getting a little bit of sunshine and we're into March,I thought it would be a good time to remind you about the latest SHAK T Shirts. Kindly modeled by Kate Moore and taken by Craig Averall, you can see just how great these T Shirts are.

They are available from the Official SHAK Shop here:

Portrait Of Scooby.....

This amazing portrait of Scooby was kindly and painted and given to me by SHAK volunteer Nicola Craig. Please get in touch for further details on Nicola's work. And thanks Nicola, it is amazing x

Coffee Time.....

A reminder that as its the first Sunday of the Month tomorrow, Derek is open for coffee from 9 till 5. Thanks in advance for your support.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Little Jack.....

I picked up Little Jack as a stray, and as you can see he is in pretty bad shape. Not a normal SHAK dog (I think I'm going soft in my old age) his condition was so poor I knew he was a special case. Jack is extremely skinny, recovering from a flea allergy, and as you can see his teeth are rotten.

Tonight Jack is spending his first night as an official SHAK dog in a foster home, and I am taking him to the vets on Friday to get those teeth looked at.

With his teeth protruding out of his mouth, Jack is a real cutey, he might be a tiny little dog, but he has a big personality waiting to just flood out. That's enough to make him a SHAK dog in my book.

Cute Face.....