SANCTUARY NEWS - SPRING 2019
It has been impossible to write before this because the sanctuary has been hit by a major crisis that totally threatens our work! Work we have done peacefully for 28 years here, saving many lives and giving homes to many creatures, some that other sanctuaries will not take, or if they do, only to euthanise them without giving them a chance of life. At the beginning of January we were approached by our landlord who informed us he needed to renovate our cottage. Goodness knows it needs doing, it needs major work to bring it up to scratch, date-wise it is probably circa 1970! New legislation coming in makes this essential, but it means rehousing us for an unspecified number of months, in itself a massive upheaval, but a couple of weeks later he suddenly informed us, we can then no longer have animals and birds in here!
This is a massive over-whelming concern. When I expressed this and mentioned our cats, he coldly and cruelly said 'not my problem, you'll have to rehome them!' Can you imagine what we felt at that? Devastating doesn't come close! This whole situation has made us both ill. We now have severe clinical depression and anxiety requiring medication and therapy. Every year we take in baby birds and injured creatures requiring hand rearing/treating in a safe, warm home environment, something we do not have in our paddock. If we cannot do that, it is a huge part of our work badly and negatively affected, not only harming our entire livelihood, but the many birds and creatures that need our help. All of our indoor residents are there for a reason, some are very old, what will moving them do to them? Some are traumatised and needing special care and treatment, a couple waiting for a purpose built, required unit in our paddock.
Again and again I have berated landlords and agents about banning pets that mean so much to people, are family, some themselves elderly pets traumatised and bewildered about what is happening to them, and the many, many distraught people who contact us about this. Now we are becoming victims of this ourselves. Thankfully this issue is being considered, there is currently an All Party Parliamentary committee looking into this very ruling, especially the importance of cats to those who are lonely or have mental health issues – now one in four in this country, is it surprising? This group is contacting rescue organisations and mental health organisations to judge the impact of this insidious rule that causes so much distress to people and pets, and of course results in extra strain on the NHS. I have contacted the Co-Chairman about this to give our experience from both sides. Hopefully something will be done now to stop this inhumane practise. Plus the CPL is working on a special cat insurance policy for private tenants to cover costs of any damage done, possible positive steps at last?
We feel that for our work and well being to continue and to go on rescuing and saving all creatures, our only hope now is to raise the funds to buy our own property, or at the very least to be able to create our 'animal room' in our paddock to go on with our work in peace, and for the sake of our animals, birds, cats. We do have an old store room there we can convert for this but it needs a lot of work and funds to give them the same condition they have in here. So we have now set up a massive fundraising campaign for this on gofundme. Life or Death at Phoenix PAWS. Hopefully this will bring us the fast and magnificent response we so urgently need and a saving grace for our work. Paul also now has a profile on facebook, log onto https,//www.facebook.com/paul.kennedy.18847 for more on all this. Please share this info with as many as possible, we have to maximise the results.
Apart from trying to deal with all that, we have had disappointments in our early rescues this year. We had a first for the sanctuary when a gorgeous lapwing was brought in with a broken wing. We hoped so much to be able to help him and let him go back to the wild. However the vet said his wing was broken in two places and he would never fly again. The kindest thing to do was to euthanise him although it was heart breaking, especially as these birds are in decline. It was a such a pleasure to see such a beautiful bird up close and spend an all too short time with him which he responded to with seeming joy. I am sure all creatures know when they are being helped and are loved.
We also had three baby rabbits brought in, found sitting in a road. One had a small head wound and was obviously not right as he appeared a bit manic and we lost him after two days, a second passed away after a few days unexpectedly but we were hopeful for the third who was eating well and lively. Sadly he suddenly passed away too. Baby wild rabbits are very tricky to raise and get stressed easily unlike hares that adjust readily.
It has been a dreadful start to 2019 for us after another difficult year in 2018. Thankfully all the residents are doing well and it has not been a hard winter. What will the rest of this year bring? Goodness knows but with luck and help from some wonderful folk out there, it will finally bring us and our residents the secure and permanent premises we have needed for so long and allow us to go on doing this vital work to save even more creatures.
Photos here of residents from Christmas and after. Please send us your positive thoughts. We and our residents need them so much.
Our grateful thanks to all our wonderful supporters and the messages of support we have already received. Hopefully more positive news from the sanctuary soon.