Chaldon Animal Sanctuary
OPEN FOR BUSINESS.
Hello and welcome to the annual bumper issue and the news that Chaldon is open for business again. I have gone from ‘treading water’ to being able to help and accept new arrivals, more news of them in a moment.
You will of course have noticed what a lovely copy of our news letter you have in your hands and the reason is that I didn’t print it, but it has been printed by a firm. This was something Jacky & I spoke about last year but with everything else going on, we didn’t get organised soon enough to go ahead. This particular edition is hard to print on our home printer - both in terms of quality of the photos plus the hours and days of time and effort, so it has been an absolute delight to hand printing over and say thank you to Printmeit.com.
ONLINE READERS - if you would like a proper paper copy, send me an e-mail with your address.
The cost difference is minimal ( a few pence per copy ) and I suspect I’ll still print the smaller editions during the year. I think you all know how Chaldon works well enough to know that money isn’t spent lightly on non - essentials and I’m certainly not going to ‘waste’ the money you send for the animals on extra printing costs.
However it has made a big difference at this busy time of year and we can all see the benefits in the quality of this Christmas Special Edition. Mind you, it did mean I had to finish writing the newsletter earlier than usual to allow the printers time to get it back to me for posting to you - so that you have time to place any orders if you want to. "Order what?" I hear you ask - more information at the end of this newsletter but a clue is that more thanks are due to the printers for their help.
Every newsletter this last year, my brother and sister have been valuable proof readers, and my sister has come over and got stuck in with the folding, labelling, stamping and stuffing envelopes which has been an immense help, thanks Jennie & Chris.
We missed telling you about a couple of arrivals in last years Christmas edition when Jacky was poorly so before going on to the newest arrivals this year, I’d like to introduce Rainbow, Rosetta & Jetta - OK, maths was never my strong subject, that’s 3 not 2, who’s counting !
Rainbow was the first to be rescued from the streets where she lived. She’d been seen by one of our supporters and appeared to go home each day, however in fact there was no home or owner and she was surviving on handouts. Her skin was a mess with a dreadful flea allergy. This is now kept under control with regular treatment, and she has blossomed.
A cat moved into a friend’s summerhouse and when enquiries were made, she found that the previous owners had moved and left the cat behind - two years ago! So poor Rosetta survived all that time living on the streets in a busy town with everything that entails. She is blind in one eye and was terribly nervous, but has now gained confidence and thoroughly enjoys being a country cat.
Then there’s Jetta, a very nervous girl who was taken to the vets to be put down after biting her previous owner. It’s a bit of a complicated tale of quite what went wrong but Jetta certainly wasn’t a very settled cat when she arrived. After giving her the chance to settle down at her own pace, she’s now loves life and a fuss.
Before introducing more, here are some ‘friends’ photos.
CAT & DOG FRIENDS A mixture of pets but you will notice one in particular who loves dogs, perhaps Echo ( cat ) would like a collar and lead !
HELLO & GOODBYE
I mentioned Ford briefly in the last newsletter as having arrived, another poor street cat, being fed but without a home, Unfortunately, he was complete with his ‘equipment’ so goodness knows how many kittens he is responsible for over the years. He didn’t keep those long as he was castrated the same day he was caught and it turned out just as well as he also had a mouthful of rotten teeth and a tooth root abscess. He took a little while to realise that this human ( me ) was safe and is now progressing well, wants a fuss, and very much enjoys his cosy bed and the easy life.
Then onto completely new friends who recently arrived. Schui was supposed to be only temporary, a little Pomeranian who came to us instead of going into kennels. After a bit of sorting out ( teeth, castration, grooming etc ) he was going to go and live with a lovely lady and her other 2 Poms but it didn’t quite work out like that.
When Schui arrived he was very lame which was attributed to his badly overgrown nails, however the limping continued. An x-ray showed that years ago he suffered a dislocated shoulder that appears not to have been treated and now has arthritis in it which will only get worse, so he’s staying as one of the group here. More information later came to light and it turns out that Schui had quite a poor home life previously but he’s certainly making up for lost time here and having great fun. It really was a case of me being in the right place at the right time to help this lovely little chap and it was when he became permanent that I stated Chaldon is again open for business.
A family of cats came after the Mumcat gave birth in an old fridge in a back yard. They were taken indoors but none of their local rescue places could help and there was a risk of them ending up back on the streets. Friends collected them from London and bought Mumcat and 3 kittens into safety here. Mumcat was soon spayed and at the time of writing this, she is still not keen on being handled so will be staying here for the foreseeable future, if not permanently. The 12 week old kittens didn’t need to stay and went to a friends rescue, thank you Animal Protection Trust. Hopefully they will be homed by the time you read this, but black & whites are not generally popular, sadly.
There have been sad goodbyes this year to cats Fleur, Lotus, Mittens, Timmy and Milly, (and Buzby, Spice & Meadow already mentioned in earlier newsletters ) - wonderful characters all of them and a pleasure to have known.
I mentioned in the last newsletter how Fifi ferret now has a new friend Java and here are some pictures of them exploring their outside run.
Shall we go down the drainpipe?
Coming out the other end.
Meeting the new neighbours.
Well, this is a completely wrong name to use apparently !
On a cold walk back last January, when the temperature was only a couple of degrees above freezing and you’d expect dogs to be running around to keep warm, Harley was sitting in the middle of the field.
A few minutes later he was in another part of the field but just sitting again.
Then he moved but sitting again - tiring work these walkies!
And again a bit later, same thing but relaxing appeared to be contagious !!
I looked round to see who else was having a relaxed walkies and as you can see, at one stage or another, lots of them were.
So perhaps walkies should be renamed 'sitties' !!
As I write this in July - yes, I honestly start jotting bits down that early, there are only three of our chickens left from the original eight ( buy 5 get 3 free ) that Jacky and I bought from a battery farm in April 2010. By the time I review this to include in the next newsletter I hope there will still be three girls here but realistically, am well aware there sadly may not be. Their lives haven’t been that long as they are bred for a single purpose - to lay eggs until 18 months old when they go for slaughter.
For those of you who remember our old rogue ‘Trevor’ the turkey who escaped from a turkey farm on the way to slaughter, it was the same for him. He was bred to be put on the dinner table so his legs couldn’t easily support his weight as he grew older, but he made a big impression while we had the pleasure of him for 4 years.
While it’s not long the girls have been with us, they have enjoyed every moment as they are able to be chickens - simple but previously denied pleasures they discovered when they arrived here -
- scratching around in the grass,
- sun and dust bathing,
- stretching their wings etc.
It’s good to see how much they have improved given space and a natural life. And a happy update in October as there are three hens still here - Digestive, Hobnob and GingerNut.
A few paparazzi type shots you hope no-one else sees when you’re about to sneeze, having a bad hair day or caught yawning or yowling !
BARNEY ARNIE BINGO
SPIRIT MUNGO TIGS
It’s said that money can’t buy happiness but I beg ( sorry, pun intended ! ) to differ. As you can see throughout this newsletter, we have happy faces and healthy bodies and that doesn’t 'just' happen, it happens because of all of you. Your support, not just stamps, food, towels, blankets, donations but in friendship and belief in our Sanctuary, is what has always helped keep Jacky & me going on difficult days.
Many of you will remember Chico when we appealed for help as he needed a specialist vet for his 2 broken legs.
Look at him now and it was your donations that saved his life & put him together again.
Here’s Granville who needed major surgery on his leg due to an inherited bone problem,
You paid that vet bill too and doesn’t Granville look happy now.
Every worming or flea treatment, vet visit and operation, every meal and treats, toys and bones, every new collar, basket and bed are supplied by you.
The Sanctuary was here to take Schui in who you’ve read about elsewhere in this newsletter. Ford is having his first Christmas not living on the streets,
as is Mumcat, and hopefully her kittens are enjoying their first Christmas in new homes.
The list of little furries that have come to us instead of a one way trip to the vets is long - if we hadn’t been here, their lives would have been cut short.
Here are just some of them, past and present.
Mungo, Parker, Fennel, Freebie, Nikkie, Romeo, Frisbee, Polly, Widget, Chips, Panda, Branston, Mermaid, Jess, Fiddler, Thomasina, Thumbelina, Chiffon, Fizz, Bodger, Ebony and many others.
The photos throughout this newsletter are some of the many lives where you have made a difference - and no doubt, there are more yet to meet.
People say "It must be rewarding" - undoubtedly and resoundingly YES. When a dog comes to be groomed instead of running away when I pick a brush up, as Fiddler now does. When a cat begins to flee but stops as soon as they hear my voice and realise it’s me, not a stranger danger as Rosetta now does - those moments and a thousand others are the rewards.
The other comment "It must be hard work" - undoubtedly and resoundingly YES, however there is a BIG but. When you do something you love doing - when it’s not a job or career - when it’s your choice to do it, then it’s not work.
I’d like to say a special thank you to all the staff at our veterinary surgery for all their help during this year. The receptionists and nurses helped me many times with their patience, and our wonderful vet of many, many years, Ian Dibble who has understood and supported me through decision making without Jacky - thank you all.
Last year you may remember that we held a fundraiser split between ourselves and Deno the rescued horse. Deno is doing very well and this year, Chaldon friends Lyn & Maggie who run Pigeon Recovery are struggling.
Lyn & Maggie have been running Pigeon Recovery for 21 years, rescuing injured pigeons and garden birds ( blackbirds etc ) They also save rabbits, guinea-pigs, ex-battery chickens, budgies, cockatiels and other abandoned pet birds.
They are wonderful artists and have painted a gorgeous design for us to use on Christmas cards as you will see from the one enclosed. The profit from the sale of these cards is being split between us, 75% to Chaldon, 25% to Pigeon Recovery. For those of you with internet access, I have also been selling their ACEO paintings on Ebay and those profits are being split 75% to Pigeon Recovery, 25% to Chaldon.
Chaldon 20 Year Anniversary DVD
After Christmas last year, Jacky said "Wouldn’t it be nice to update our video we made at the beginning, for our supporters to see the difference they have made over the years".
Jacky was absolutely right that it was a great idea but instead of being ready as intended for our actual 20 year anniversary in Easter, plans went a bit - - - errrr - - - awry! We did make a start on it together during January but then it was put to one side of course. However, as you receive this newsletter and order form, I am putting the finishing touches to it to make it a worthwhile celebration of all that Chaldon has achieved. My hope is that it will be ready for posting early December, however, please don’t count on it arriving in time for Christmas, as it’s far more likely to be during January due to not enough hours in my days !
I’d like to thank a lot of friends for their support ( you know who you are ) as while I’ve been working on this it has been bitter sweet - looking through old videos of Jacky & my years together, so many memories. Thank you for listening to me and propping me up when I felt like giving up on this project.
Also my gratitude to Caterham Valley Computers who have been wonderful with their help by donating and producing the copies of the Chaldon Anniversary DVD, thank you. They are a small local business with friendly and knowledgeable staff who are very helpful if you need computer items, repair or advice.
This is a home made film ( not David Attenborough style ! ) from video and photos I’ve taken over the years, a snapshot of our animals doing what they do - dog walks, goats, cows, chickens, cats etc. Running time approx 150mins.
Cost £6 per dvd, including postage.
There is a chapter per year with a mixture of video clips if available ( one year we didn’t have a video camera ) and lots of photos as well. Of course the quality of the old photos etc is not brilliant but the quality does improve as the technology does.
I hope you enjoy sharing memories of Chaldon’s pets from the past 20 years.
The Special Edition Chaldon Friends sold out,thank you.
I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Elaine and Desmond, our friends who have for more years than I can remember, sorted and sold the used stamps for us but are no longer able to continue. They have come and collected the stamps, sorted them into British and Foreign and taken them to the ’Stamp Man’ in Harrow. Through their hard work, they have converted the stamps you send into literally hundreds and hundreds of pounds for Chaldon and it’s been very much appreciated - thank you both.
If there is anyone fairly local to Chaldon who could take on the job of stamp sorter, please get in touch with me as I’m hoping we can continue to raise funds and utilise stamps that otherwise go in the bin.
- - - - -
Progress has been slow on making Jacky’s Patch rockery as other jobs for the animals have needed doing and that is what Jacky would rightly expect to be done first. However it is now progressing and I’m looking forward to planting it up and showing you.
Now we head towards another ‘first’ without Jacky - this Christmastime and it won’t be long before the first year is completed ( Jacky died in February. ) A year ago I was scared about Jacky’s health and losing her - now it has happened and somehow, life continues, as we know it must. One comment I’ve heard quite a bit is "you must be lonely" but my answer is "No", not in the accepted sense - but I do miss Jacky of course, which is entirely different to loneliness.
I am sorry that this year I can not do individual cards from the sponsored animals as we usually do, but I thought it would be a chance for me to send every one of you a card as a small token of my personal thanks for all your help and support given to me during this difficult year. Jacky always said I’d be able to keep going after she’d gone but I know she would be as amazed as me, as well as thrilled at just how much you have all shown your intent that our Sanctuary will continue.
To us, we always said we are lucky to be able to run our small Sanctuary but you have shown how important you all feel it is as well - that means the world to me - you have given me the strength to carry on with that knowledge. Without the support from all of you - our friends - it would not be possible to go on. But thanks to you all, Chaldon is still here and will continue to go on being here, for those pets in need.
From all of us, cats, dogs, ferrets, chickens and Albi the sheep -
Our heartfelt thanks.
Saving one pets life won’t change the world...
but it will make a world of difference to that one pet.
Recently when I gave them some titbits and they came running over, my sister saw them, commented how strangely they ran and realised it was presumably because of their battery cage existence. This makes perfect sense as when the girls arrived, as you can see in this early photo they stood very low down on their legs.