Category Archives: Dogs

Rise in Rehoming Despite Recession

The number of animals being offered new homes is increasing at the Society for Abandoned Animals despite the tough economic times.

The rehoming figures for dogs, cats and rabbits are up by around 25% compared to this time last year, which is good news as more animals are being admitted to the sanctuary on a daily basis.

So far this year 13 dogs, 162 cats and 36 rabbits have found new homes after coming into the SAA’s care for a variety of reasons. This time last year, just 111 cats had been offered new homes.

Natasha with two new kittens

The Sanctuary Manager, Natasha Woest, is delighted with the figures: “We’re really pleased that more people across South Manchester are choosing to adopt abandoned animals. Our priority is to ensure the animal will fit in with a new owner’s lifestyle and we can also offer a wealth of advice about caring for a new pet.”

Earlier this year the sanctuary opened its newly refurbished kennels which has boosted the number of dogs the charity can care for.

Natasha says: “We’re delighted that we can offer sanctuary to more dogs as there are so many animals that need our care. We take in animals for all sorts of reasons and with more people needing to downsize or rent we’re taking in pets at an increasing rate. It’s good news for all our supporters and hardworking volunteers that these unwanted animals are finding good homes.”

The support of volunteers has been vital to the SAA’s rehoming success. A big rise in kittens has put pressure on the foster carers as many of the young animals need to be fed by hand several times a day. So far this year 177 cats have been admitted to the SAA, alongside 11 dogs and 49 rabbits.

Caring for that many animals takes time and costs a lot of money. The SAA has been finding new ways to raise money through selling items on Ebay and sponsored challenges. On the 1st September volunteer Darren Richardson walked 60 miles from the sanctuary to Blackpool dressed as a giant dog! Seven volunteers will also be taking on the London to Brighton cycle ride in aid of the SAA on the 16th September.

Closer to home there are always opportunities to donate or pop in to see the charity and take a look at the animals. Our next event is a party to celebrate what would have been the 99th birthday of the charity’s founder Peggy Henderson on the 8th September at the Chorlton Irish Club from 8pm.

Tickets for Peggy’s Birthday Bash cost £10 in advance and £12 on the door. People should email to buy them in advance.


Flash Finds a Family

Flash ready for action

Earlier this year the SAA took in little Flash, who couldn’t move abroad with her new owners. They were devastated to have to leave her behind but confident the SAA could find her a new and loving home.

She was a real delight to have at the sanctuary, always bouncing around and wanting to make friends with all the volunteers and other animals and it didn’t take long for the right family to come looking for Flash.

The Miley family came to the SAA after deciding to get a rescue dog because they wanted to be able to ask for advice about finding the right pet to fit into their household. Ellie says she’d wanted a dog since she was little and had finally persuaded her parents that it would be a good idea.

Ellie with Flash

“We thought it would be best to get a rescue dog so we could ask about information because we have cats. We wanted to make sure that the animals would all get on with each other.”

On their first visit to the sanctuary the family said they were really impressed with the dedication of the staff and volunteers who were all really friendly. They say it was clear the animals were loved and cared for and were really excited to meet the dogs looking for homes.


Flash in her winter coat

Ellie says: “As soon as we saw Flash we fell in love with her. When Shirley brought out the two little dogs, Flash and Terry, Flash was so quiet and calm. We had a good feeling that her and the cats would get along.”

After a home visit and a lot of good advice from the SAA the Mileys were ready to bring Flash home. Ellie says the cats got a bit of a shock but they have now got used to having Flash around!

“Flash has been a little angel, we couldn’t have asked for a better dog as she has the most wonderful temperament. She has settled in really well and become a very special part of our family.”

Flash settling in at home

Flash does have her amusing moments, particularly when the window cleaner comes and she enjoys barking at him! She’s also made friends with the donkeys on the moors at the back of the family’s house as she thinks they’re big dogs! Closer to home Flash looks really cute chasing her balloons and playing with her squeaky toys. Ellie says she’s trying to teach Flash to dance which is proving to be an amusing task!

Flash fits in to the family

At the SAA we’ve really enjoyed seeing the photos of Flash enjoying her new life with this loving family who’ve given her a second chance at a happy life. The Mileys say their experience with Flash means they’d always recommend that people look at adopting an abandoned animal rather than buying a new pet.

Flash enjoying the sunshine

They were impressed with the way staff at the SAA really got to know the animals and how they were really careful to make sure they would fit in with family life. They say the adoption process was simple and swift and they’ve loved being able to provide such a secure and cat filled home for Flash!

Why Is A Dog’s Life So Bad Anyway?

It has been a while since we have been able to help our canine friends here at the Society for Abandoned animals. Our old kennel unit had served its purpose for many years but had become too badly outdated and worn down that we were faced with no other choice but to close it completely while refurbishment were made. Now we are very very close to getting dogs back again and once again fulfilling the wishes of the fantastic woman who founded our charity many moons ago.

Peggy Henderson started off the SAA as a way of feeding the stray dogs that were left to fend for themselves during the housing clearances in South Manchester in the 60s. Her life is a wonderful thing to learn about and we have a few remaining books on her life story available to purchase from our site.

With this mission in mind it never really made sence to us to not have dogs, why wouldn’t we when that was the one species the SAA was founded on? Well soon we will be graced by the incessant barking of happy dogs once again but until then we are still very keen to help rehome as many dogs as possible by less direct methods.

First there was Harvey – The dog that everybody needed but didn’t know it yet. Now there is Alfie. Watch his story…

If you have any questions about Alfie’s campaign or where you can adopt a dog in the Manchester area while we are still dog-less them please leave a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

We don’t think there is anything wrong with Alfie

Read All About It! Bruno’s Best Foot Forward.

Animal Care Coordinator Helen Messer, General Manager Bob Gregson and Bruno. (copyright The Messenger Newsgroup)

Our boy Bruno, the 3 legged staffy, is making is mark once again by winning the hearts and minds of readers of our local newspaper the Sale and Altrincham Messenger.

A THREE-legged dog has given a ‘paw-up’ to impressive new kennels at Trafford’s Society for Abandoned Animals – eight months after a Messenger-backed fundraising campaign saved the centre.

Six-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier-cross Bruno was the first canine ‘guest’ to sample the state-of-the-art kennels, which have replaced outmoded ones that closed 18 months ago.

The new facilities have been completed thanks to a Messenger-backed ‘Save our Sanctuary’ (SOS) campaign raised £50,000 to prevent the cash-strapped 45-year-old centre from closure.

But, even though the kennels are superb, Bruno is not staying on there – as he has become the first dog to be rehomed after completion of the £10,000 project.

His new owner is the animal sanctuary’s general manager, Bob Gregson, who couldn’t resist the lovable pooch – who has twice been nursed back to fitness by the sanctuary.

Bruno has cancer which will cut his life short, and no-one knows how long he has left.

Bob said: “I want to make sure that every day is the best day of his life.”

Bruno – who lost his leg at a young age in a road accident – was first taken to the animal sanctuary in December 2009.

The sanctuary eventually found him a new home, but he came back to the sanctuary when the new owner became unable to look after him because of a change in circumstances.

Bruno before being nursed back to health

When he returned he was in a very poor condition, suffering from dehydration, malnutrition and with multiple sores.

Now though, he has regained his strength and has settled in with Bob and his two other dogs, as a member of the ‘pack’.

Bob added: “On walks with his new pack he is so happy it seems as if he is smiling.”

Bob said the Messenger had played a vital role in saving the sanctuary and ensuring it had the funds to upgrade its facilities.

He said: “The momentum of the SOS campaign has led to us being in a position to improve facilities for all our animals.

“I would like to thank Messenger readers for really caring about animals, and contributing both time and money to help them.

“Financially, things are still difficult, so improvements are being done in phases.”

*If you would like more information on our new kennel facility or about what we are planning for our dogs then feel free to pop down to our site off Dane Road in Sale and have a chat with our members of staff.

Every Dog Has It’s Day!

And Sunday the 26th of June is no exception! This year’s all Trophy Dog Show and Family Fun Day promises to be a fantastic success with new, never before seen games, a brilliant barbecue (with stuff for the veggies among us too), stalls and prize games galore and not to mention the Dog Show in all its glory!

This year sees a very busy schedule with 7 (yes, 7) classes including Cutest Puppy, Most Amazing Trick and (my personal favorite) Best 6 Legs where our panel of expert judges will look ast not only mans best friend but also his human handler! So ladies, time to get your glad rags on and fellas, well we never could say no to a touch of designer stubble.

The full range of classes will be announced shortly on this blog and on our official website so stay tuned! There will be rosettes and certificates awarded to everyone placing 1st 2nd or 3rd in each class with a trophy being awarded to those placing 1st! Your dog will then have its photo taken by one of our brilliant photographers to be included in your winner’s package.

In addition to this the winner of each class will then be entered into the last category of the day, BEST IN SHOW! To win a fantastic huge trophy aswell as a hamper of doggylicious prizes including a voucher for £25 redeemable at Petlife, the UK’s leading supplier of pet bedding and health care.

Gates open at 12PM with the first class (Handsomest Dog) starting at 12:30PM so get here early, we are expecting a fantastic turn out. registration will end 30 minutes before the start of the final class.

2010, the year of the abandoned cat.

2010 has been a very hard year for all animal rescue shelters but for us, it was the hardest on record. We had to contend with problems and challenges coming at us from all sides and when you run on resources as limited as ours, keeping your head above the water is not easy.

As those of you who have been following this blog from its start last year will know, we had a crisis on our hands that could have resulted in this sanctuary, a much-needed and very much respected part of the local community, closing down for good. Due to higher demand for animal places and fewer donations coming in, we were running out of money fast. They say money makes the world go round and to us, money is the difference between being able to help an animal in need of a new home and having to stand by and watch that animal suffer. Without money we would not be here.

However, thanks to the fantastic efforts of our small team of staff and our massive group of dedicated volunteers we pulled through! Our campaign, the ‘Save our sanctuary’ campaign was picked up by out local newspaper group the Messenger and they followed us, running stories on our plight every week for he whole of our 3 month emergency appeal. With their help and more importantly yours, we were successful in reaching our target of £50,000 in just 3 months! This enabled us to keep functioning untill we could put other long-term plans into place that would secure our future for years to come. We are not there yet but thanks to you we are in a much better place now than this time last year.

There was unfortunately a down side to all of the local media attention we received. More people knowing where we are is undoubtedly a good thing, this means more people are aware of our situation and can come down to visit us or to volunteer with us. however, this also means that more people knew where to bring their unwanted animals. While this is what we are here to do, take in unwanted and abandoned animals, we do have very limited resources and we can’t help everyone. unfortunately, our situation was made harder to contend with by an excessive num,ber of animals being abandoned at our gates. We literally had animals coming out of our ears! For months now our foster homes have been maxed out with abandoned cats and kittens all in need of care and attention.

To give you an idea of our figures, during 2010 we took in 215 cats!! That is a lot of mouthes to feed!

We did, however manage to get through it! All of the animals left in our care received the best care and welfare standards we could provide and all have come through their ordeals in fantastic condition! This is all down to our fantastic team of staff and volunteers who spend hours each day grooming, playing and rehabilitating these very often traumatized animals.

We know times are hard for everyone at the moment, lots of people are loosing their jobs and are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Often in these situations the animals are the first thing people think of to give up. Please, if you are in this situation and feel you have no other option, speak to your local animal rescue shelters to see what help they can offer. I have no doubt in my mind that the people who leave an animals tied to our gates overnight think it is in the best interests of that animal but there is no way of knowing what could happen to the poor creature all on its own, defenseless and afraid.

The Five Freedoms – The Animal Owners Code

Animal welfare has really come into its own over the last few decades. People in every walk of life have gone from believing that an animal is a possession or a commodity to being a member of the family and something to be respected. This change in the way of our thinking has been difficult to achieve but it has made a world of difference for the animals we share our lives with.

The question now is how we make this change in thinking a reality for all of animals out there in homes and rehoming centres all around the world.

One way of doing this is by making sure each and every one of us keeps to and respects the 5 freedoms. The 5 freedoms were set out initially by the Farm Animal Welfare Council to protect the lives and welfare of every animal out there. Together they form a code of conduct for owners to live by in order to provide the best level of welfare possible for their animals. If all of us live by these simple rules then no animal would ever have to suffer from neglect or cruelty ever again.

The 5 freedoms include the following:

1) Freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition – This relates to your pets diet, it must be enough that the animal does not lose condition but not so much that it becomes overweight. Read the package of food you are feeding it for feeding recommendations or contact your vet to discuss specific dietary requirements.

2) Freedom from discomfort – This related to discomfort caused by living arrangements. Specifically regarding shelter from the elements and the ability to rest comfortably. A dog living outside with no shelter and only a hard concrete or flagged floor to sleep on would go against this freedom.

3) Freedom from pain, injury and disease – This relates specifically to the health of your pet. Nothing that happens to your pet should cause it any unnecessary pain or suffering. This is the hardest one to live by as there are naturally times when an owner must cause the animal pain for its own benefit. Recovery from surgery can be a very painful time for an animal but it is in the animals best interests. Training using punishment techniques is now generally frowned upon as being barbaric and ineffective, mainly because in the time between the animal performing the undesired behaviour and you punishing them for it they have already done something else like sitting down. The animals would therefore think it was wrong to sit down. (Training behaviours in and out of dogs will be covered in a later article.)

4) Freedom to express normal behaviour – This relates to providing the animal with enough space and resources that it may express itself in its natural way dictated by the animals genetics. In the case of rabbits that would be providing it with another rabbit as company, with things to chew and wear down its teeth on and a bedding that it can dig and burrow in.

5) Freedom from fear and distress – This is another difficult one, how do you ensure that your animal is not scared? The answer is you can’t, not all the time, but you can take every opportunity to ensure that your animal is as safe and secure as it could be. Again, using rabbits as an example, they should be provided with a shelter that protects them from the sight and sounds of foxes or other natural predators. For example a hutch should have a solid wood door on at least one section where the rabbits can hide.

In many ways it is difficult to love by all of these rules all of the time but it should not be. These rules are designed to provide guideline that will stop an animal from suffering. If all of us lived by these freedoms and applied them to our daily lives then no animal would suffer needlessly ever again.

Now wouldnt that be a fantastic world to live in.