This week our attentions have turned to Christmas. I know it seems a bit early  but we have to plan ahead in the shops and on the animal side of things. Let’s face it, there’s no escaping, even the shops are blaring out Xmas tunes already and before you know it it will be Boxing Day and they’ll have Easter eggs on the shelves.

On the shop side Christmas is quite simple: we get the decs out and all the Xmas themed stock we’ve saved up all year (you’d be amazed at what you can pick up from a charity shop to deck your halls with) but on the animal side of things it’s all rather quite fraught. I try hard not to be anthropomorphic with the animals but when it comes to Christmas it’s the one area I where I fail. My rational brain says it’s just like any other day for them, but then the emotional side takes over and I feel great sadness that they won’t be in a forever home enjoying plenty of ‘comfort and joy’.

Last year there was a perfect example of my inability to be rational about the animals being homeless at Christmas. We had a young dog in called Heidi, she was too young to be in a kennel but sometimes this is unavoidable. We had a wonderful family come to view her the eve of Christmas Eve and they were just perfect for each other. I couldn’t get the home visit done until the day after Boxing Day but I just couldn’t bear the idea of Heidi staying in kennels another day longer. I did something I have never done before, and haven’t done since; I let her go home with the family there and then. I knew I shouldn’t but I just couldn’t bear the idea of Heidi being in a kennel another day longer when there just was no need.I visited her a few days later and it was like Heidi had always lived there. We got some cracking photo updates over the following weeks and months and it was so reassuring to know that I’d made the right decision.

I think Heidi was one of the luckiest dogs alive last Christmas to have found such a fantastic forever home, but sadly they’ll be many more unlucky animals this year and I already know now, out of the 80+ animals in our care, who is going to still be with us on Christmas Day. They are all animals who don’t have a universal appeal, or are maybe being overlooked in favour of festive preparations. The reduction in animal adoptions in the last couple of weeks is quite dramatic and I suspect things won’t pick up until Spring time now. This factor is probably what tugs on our heartstrings even more than usual at this time of year, so I need to share with you all some of the animals who won’t be having a happy ending to 2012.


Harley is Debs’ favourite dog by far, not least because of all he has gone through but because he is such a great dog. Harley is an energetic 8 year old leggy SBTx. He originally came into our care in 2008. He was a big, boisterous handful back then and took a year to find a new home.We did everything during that year to find him a home; I even remember distributing fliers of him all around Glastonbury Festival in the hope he would catch someon’s eye. Fast forward to September 2012 and his adopters returned him following a house fire. It’s genuinely devastating to see him back again. We love him to pieces and he loves human company too. He will make such a loving and loyal companion but his age, breed status and size are all going against him and it’s maddening.

Harley enjoying cuddles and tummy tickles

Paris, shamelessly named after a Morrissey song.

Paris is probably both Debs and Catherine’s favourite bunny at the moment. She is just the most loving and friendly bunny we’ve had in a while. She’s demanding of your attention but in a really good natured way. She wants to be loved and wants to be with you. Bunnies like her are quite few and far between in rescue but despite having been found stray (aka abandoned) she is just such a wonderful companion. Paris will make the best house rabbit and it irks me so much that she’ll be eternally overlooked all because she is black. Nothing more than just her colour is going stop her finding a home in the near future. It so upsetting because she’s so adaptable and confident and would be ideal for first timers and/or a family with children too.

Ellie dog is everyone’s favourite, without doubt. On paper she’s the kind of dog that would ordinarily be snapped up in an instant. She’s small, walks really well, she’s loving, great with other dogs, has lived with cats and doesn’t react to them in the cattery. She really is fantastic but, and here’s the but, she’s not pretty. Her personality is pretty, but photographically she is not. Sounds mean but it’s the only explanation I can offer as to why this girl hasn’t found a home already.

Ellie is a little lady

Jack and Johnny are trustee Sarah’s favourite cats. These boys are in a cattery pen together having been rescued from a  multi-cat household. They are most likely brothers and whilst they can be rehomed together, or separately, we’ve not had a sniff of interest in them. The boys are not only cat friendly but also confident and happy around dogs. Cats in shelters that are good around dogs are usually in high demand, so I just can’t understand why no-one wants these two. Both boys are wonderfully loving and affectionate so I can only conclude it is because of their colour. We’ve rehomed very few adult cats this month and of the ones we have they have been of more diverse colours. Jack and Johnny, like Carson, Cora, Sophie and Florence will most likely be with us until 2013 – they are all black or black and white.

Handsome Jack

And my favourite? Well, it will come as no surprise to learn that it’s a bunny. She’s not available for adoption and I’ve spent too much time thinking about bringing her home but so far I’ve resisted.

Come Christmas it will be sad to see these animals still with us but be rest assured they will all get Christmas treats: the cats and dogs will get turkey dinners and the bunnies will get sprout ‘trees’.Well, we can’t have them missing out now can we? And yes, I admit it, I’m guilty of anthropomorphising our animals at Christmas time, but it’s hardly a crime!