We are all still missing Alex. I still expect to see her as I drive in through her gate - the gate with the sign that says - Beware! - Dobermans, Donkeys and Ducks.
It always makes me smile. She should then come out looking gorgeous in her old workclothes, and regale me with all the latest animal news. But it’s not to be, so we will all just try and continue her good work..
At last the weather is improving and our helpers can actually push a wheelbarrow without being knee-deep in mud! The animals are mostly doing well, and there’s some good news about the ponies. Of the ones we featured last time, my favourite – big hairy Marty - has been rehomed (hooray!) and has been going for walks round the bluebell woods near Fittleworth. Little George is off for a bit more schooling and we have hopes of a loan home for him too. Hamish and Hogan, two cheeky Shetlands, are going next month as well to a lovely forever home. We particularly appreciate it when someone can take two chums, as they form such strong attachments, especially if they’ve had a tough time in their past. Several cats have found homes too, which is great.
We are gradually re-organising the area for the chickens, ducks etc. A couple of birds have moved on. The white peahen has gone back to her original owner and Narcissus the peacock has been rehomed in style, as he deserves. It was apparently a bit tricky getting his elegant tail into the back of the estate car, but he managed it, and we hear he is now being ‘spoiled rotten’ and lording it over an assortment of bird companions.
But, as I’m sure you know, there are always others who are in need, and whenever we can we do our best to take them in. Two orphan lambs that were hand-reared are to join our three sheep in the bottom field. It was a choice between coming here or an untimely end, so we felt we had to take them. And we would like to divide one of the other fields in order to rotate the grazing, so the next extra expense is some solid fencing. And of course just the regular day-to-day care eats up our funds.
Work is continuing on various smaller projects, with some new comfortable pens coming along nicely in the old cattery – beautifully made by helper Mac – thank you Mac!
A while ago, three volunteers, Gill, Maggie and Annette, started the Cost-of-a-Coffee Club. The idea is to ask people for the price of a cup – just £2.50 a month – towards the animal care. They’ve now raised money for the new Orchard Cattery and building work is just starting. Also planned is a small memorial garden for Alex.
The website is www.costofacoffeeclub.co.uk for news of events etc.
Talking of fundraising – two local schoolgirls, Molly and Faychesca, have been doing just that for ABC. They set up a stall, made lots of little bon-bons themselves and sold them to all their friends and neighbours. They also sold some of their old toys. They came to the sanctuary a few days ago and presented us with a decorated box containing over £118! A wonderful achievement, and entirely their own idea! They also made a lovely banner for ABC - again all their own work. They wanted to meet some donkeys, so here they are with Starsky and Hutch. At first Hutch didn’t seem to want his picture taken, but as you can see, the others got him up in the end!
Molly and Faycheca are offering to come to our Open Days with more tasty treats. I hear they are delicious, so why not come and join the fun see all the animals, and have a yummy bon-bon. I’m planning to try one or two! We will have the usual stalls, food tent, musical entertainments, a few celebrities around and a fabulous palmist too. So maybe put the 2nd and 3rd of August in your diary now. I’ll be reminding you nearer the time, so look out!
If you would like to support the ABC Animal Sanctuary you might consider becoming a Champion, abcFriend or even sponsor of one of our resident animals. Details on our website: www.abcanimalsanctuary.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Report and pictures contributed by Sue Jameson.