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Summer is most definitely here, with soaring temperatures, brilliant blue skies and rapidly dwindling water resources. The extreme weather has prompted advice from all quarters about keeping your dogs cool and protecting them from heatstroke, which can be very dangerous and sometimes fatal. Yet we are still seeing dogs left in hot cars, and walked in the mid-day hours on scorching pavements under a burning sun; unfortunately all the advice in the world will not change the attitude of some people.

The holiday season, now in full swing, creates a double whammy for rescue: dogs being dumped by selfish owners, and fewer fosterers and adopters coming forward to help us protect them. We do not have limitless space, we do not have a string of fosterers waiting to take whatever dog may come our way, we do not have infinite resources to answer every single plea for help. But we do our best, and thanks to the amazing team who give their time freely, wonderful fosterers who will go the extra mile, and all those people who spread the word about our work, donate so generously, and support our fund raising efforts, we continue to save precious lives.

And that is what Last Chance Hotel is all about.....

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Bumper Issue!

In this newsletter issue, we have all the regular features, plus a tale of determination, how NOT to rehome an animal, and an informative article on muzzle training from our in-house behaviourist, Sarah Higgins. 

New Arrivals

With well over 20 dogs, one pig, a ferret and three cats coming onto our books since the last update, it's tricky to pick out a few to showcase here. Let's begin with little Doris, an adorable 6 week old kitten, who was found in Redruth and taken to Cornwall Animal Hospital. No one claimed her, so she has come under team member and cat lady (we won't say 'crazy'!) Louisa's wing, joining David, another recent addition, and the other LCH feline inmates. Little Doris is deaf and has neurological, kidney and development problems, but despite her disabilities she is enjoying a great life, full of love and cuddles and will be given every chance to fulfil her potential.

Teddy here was found tied to a lamppost, a friendly, scruffy boy, and it would appear a Spanish connection due to his microchip. He now has a lovely foster home, has had a spruce up courtesy of The Dog House, Helston, and is looking and feeling so much better. Hugo, a 1 year old Lab, has a foster home to go to, but Wizzy, a 2 year old Bedlington Terrier, and 10 year old SBT Molly, are still waiting for theirs, which they need for assessment prior to adoption. Sam and Bonnie Boo are ready to go into adoptive homes. Bolan was surrendered to LCH by his owners; our vet had never seen a dog with such a bad skin condition. He is a happy boy though, a typical Lab, and his skin has improved massively since he's been in foster. Bolan has just this week found his new forever home...

Top pic: Doris. Middle pic: Teddy

1st row: Hugo, Wizzy, Molly.   2nd row:  Sam, Bonnie Boo, Bolan.

These are just a few of the recent incomers. If you would like to follow their progress, and find out more about all the others, please check out our Facebook page and website lastchancehotel.org. We now have a news section on the Home page; dogs are constantly being assessed in their foster homes and information changes regularly.

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Happy Departures to New Homes

Here are a few of the waggy tail endings since our last update; unfortunately we don't have room for every one....

We all love a 'failed foster', even more so when the culprit makes a habit of it. Wendy has fostered for us for a few years, and has failed several times, giving a permanent home to her charges, with the best care and much love. Buster has become her latest fail, and who can blame her, looking at this little chap?

Bailey's fosterer failed after just one week, and has given him a new name too, - Ollie. This boy was scared of everything, but is gaining confidence daily, with the help of his two new friends.

Leo, who came into rescue after his doting elderly owner sadly passed away, now has a new loving home; he had been so depressed, but his spirits are lifting now. Tallulah, a beautiful husky, has a home where she has already blossomed and put on weight. And dearest Archie, who came to us severely abused and literally broken, can now look forward to many years of contentment.

These and the many others who found their forever sofas, are now enjoying a summer of love!

Top pic: Buster.

1st row: Bailey, on the left, with his new friends, and Leo. 2nd row: Tallulah, and Archie.

Free..... to a Good Home?

FREE TO A GOOD HOME...... we see this happening all too often in online selling sites. Whatever the reason for wanting to re home an animal, the letters FTAGH should never be used. Why? Because they can attract the wrong kind of people; dog fighters, puppy peddlers, backyard breeders, being the worst kind, but also those who should never have an animal in their lives. Colin was offered as FTAGH, his picture here showed him to be a happy, confident, alert pup, oblivious of what was to come in his new home.

Colin is just 6 months old; in a short space of time, he ended up in the pound, a terrified wreck. Colin is now safe, he is here in Cornwall in a fab foster home. On his journey down to his rescue space, his transporters said that at first, he wouldn't look at anyone; he crouched in the corner, hoping he wouldn't be noticed. Gradually he realised that he was in a safe place, and began to relax, even giving jumped up hugs, and then kisses when he got to his foster home, full of sausages! Colin can now be the puppy he should be, playful, curious, cheeky, and, as a lurcher, an occasional counter surfer.... this beautiful boy didn't deserve to end up in the pound, his spirit broken. But his life can begin again now, he has all the time in the world.

He is one of the lucky ones.

Fundraisers

Everyone loves a dog show... especially if it has a fab venue like the Rashleigh Arms at Charlestown. Many thanks to Char for organising such a well run show, which had a fantastic turnout with so many beautiful dogs. Thanks also to LCH fosterer/adopter Cassy and her lovely family for manning the info stall, and also to Andy and his very cute daughter Hattie for being on the judging panel. Well done to Cheryl and Iggy for winning “best 6 legs” and going on to win “Best in Show” and to another Last Chancer Flo for winning “loveliest lady”. A very lovely event all round!

Pictured above: Iggy, Best in Show, and Flo, loveliest lady.

 

 

Pets at Home love to give......

A fundraiser which had a massive amount of support resulted in a fabulous donation of £1000 worth of Pets at Home Lifeline vouchers and an additional £1000 into our bank account! Massive thanks to everyone who voted for us in the recent Pets at Home 'Love to Give' campaign to give away donations to rescues. It just shows what can be achieved by the power of social media, which was the main spur for this campaign. Please like and follow our new Facebook page to help us with the next one!

 

Unfortunately not all campaigns are successful; we had a great deal of support for the Calor Gas Community Fund campaign, and reached 9th place in the initial voting, out of scores of entrants, but the final decision was down to a panel of judges and we just missed... there is always next year though, we will keep trying....

If you would like to help LCH with a fundraising event, please contact the team with your idea on 01209 281159 or email Louisa on louisa@lastchancehotel.org.

Lead On!

Our new website page 'Lead On!' will offer outside articles which may be of interest and use to prospective adopters and fosterers.

The second article now available is a look at the "Dominance Theory"

Many leading animal behaviourists are concerned that the “dominance” model of pet dog behaviour continues to survive, despite the accumulating evidence that it is at best unhelpful and at worst highly detrimental. Read this informative article by APBC member David Ryan, you may learn something new!

Visit our Lead On website page to access the article.

Thank you!

Pets at Home

A huge thank you to the staff at Pets At Home Pool and Bodmin and to Support Adoption For Pets for the recent fundraising campaign and for all their continued support. We hope you enjoyed your cakes, baked especially for you by our very own Carla.

Postman came knocking again...

A big thank you to Sally-Anne Martin for these two super gifts from our Amazon Wishlist. Thank you so much for your support for our dogs!

Tyacks Rock!

A huge thank you to the Tyacks Hotel in Camborne for choosing Last Chance Hotel as one of the charities to benefit from their rockfest held in May. Our volunteers said what a fantastic time they had. Thank you - we really appreciate your support.

Wedding bells

Many congratulations to Mr and Mrs Nick Keen on the occasion of their recent marriage, and who very kindly chose us as part of their wedding gift list for their guests. Thank you so much for thinking of us, best wishes for a long and happy life together, from all of us at LCH.

Sticker Fun

Very many thanks to Cynth Barker and Christina Barrett for holding a Fun Dog Show at a charity weekend in Sticker, raising over £200 for LCH in the process. We are very grateful for your support, and are glad to hear you had a wonderful time!

Houndsinpounds

Houndsinpounds is a fab Facebook group who devote their energies into raising funds for animal rescues up and down the country. During July they held an online auction and raised just over £150 for Last Chance Hotel, - thank you so much to everyone in the group, and to Allison Porter and Jean Woodlands for running the auction.

High View Farm Update

The farm has been a hive of activity since our last update. Many newcomers, four-footed, feathered, and winged have moved into the Sanctuary, and work is still continuing on the farmhouse itself. 

 

First to arrive were ponies KC and Orinoco, followed swiftly by Womble, a young goat. They settled into their new surroundings well, and the ponies provided a bit of company for Womble whilst he waited for a goat companion.  

Not long afterwards, 37 ex battery hens arrived. These ladies came via British Hen Welfare, who rescue layers discarded by battery farmers when they become less productive. We agreed to take however many chooks were left from their latest rehoming session at Redruth, and were glad to have enough crates to carry all these girls to their new temporary shelter of the stables. They now have their own corner of the Sanctuary, with a purpose built hen house, grass beneath their feet, the open sky above, and lots of interesting things to eat. Their feathers and colouring are improving, and they are looking so much happier. 

Womble now has a new playmate in young Billy; they get on brilliantly together, two youngsters having fun as only goats can do.... Not only that, they have a goat playground, with trampoline, Wendy House, tyres, platforms, and soon, their very own wooden playhouse on stilts, very kindly donated by an anonymous supporter. 

Finally, the latest residents moved in this week. Sue and Chris Harlow from Cornwall Bat Aid came over and put a bat house up for us, and placed 3 rescue bats inside. These bats had been nurtured by Sue and Chris after being found underweight and in need of some TLC. These wonderful flying mammals add yet another dimension to the Sanctuary, and we look forward to seeing them flitting over the fields at dusk. 

Dougal's Magical Turnaround

A Tale of Determination

A fair few of the dogs that come in to Last Chance Hotel have behavioural problems which can test the most patient of adopters. But determination and hard work can pay off in abundance. This is Jackie MacLeod's story of her Last Chancer Dougal, in her own words.

I arrived at the foster mum’s door with my dog Mollie and immediately saw an adorable Shih Tzu with big brown eyes running around the garden with his foster mum’s three collies. Mollie made friends with him and after a discussion about his preferences and how he had behaved in the past 24 hours since he was collected from the pound, Mollie, Chester (as he was known) and myself got in the car to drive home. I decided to rename him Dougal as he looked like Dougal from The Magic Roundabout. After getting him home we gave him some quiet time to settle in. I tried to stroke him but he would flinch and try to bite. If he was lying on the floor and someone walked past him he would try to bite their legs.

We took him to our vets for a check-up and we were told more about his history. His previous vet had emailed his health history to our vet and she told us that he was seven years old, had not had any vaccinations since his first one at 6 months old and that he had only been neutered six months previous to us rehoming him. He had bitten the stiches out and an infection had set in. This explained why he didn’t like being touched on his front paws and back legs. When I tried to put his lead on he’d try to bite my hand. He bit me very badly the second week we had him and the bite mark lasted a month. He also attacked Mollie in our lounge when she walked past him. Mollie stood her ground and he eventually backed down. It was very frightening and I thought seriously about returning him to The Last Chance Hotel.

We sought help from a dog behaviourist. When she came to the house for our first home visit she came into our lounge and he bit her foot and was really aggressive towards her. She stood still for about 20 minutes before he calmed down. We were told he had fear aggression, dominance and territorial issues. The instructions she gave us were totally alien to us. Dougal was our fifth rehomer and none of the other dogs had behaved like him, I knew he needed help. I saw something in him that made me think there was a nice dog inside all that anger. He wasn’t destructive and didn’t have accidents in the house, he was just aggressive. We followed the behaviourist’s recommendations and started to ‘retrain’ him.

It has taken us the best part of a year to have the dog I knew he could be. It hasn’t been easy and some days I have thought why am I doing this, but it has been so worthwhile as we have a lovely, calm little dog who comes when he is called and does as he is asked. I still have work to do with him but he is getting easier. He makes me smile every day, even Mollie likes him now. He goes to obedience classes once a week and on a monthly dog walk with the class. I was chatting to a dog owner on one of our monthly walks and said that when we first started his classes we had to sit at the back in front of the stage as Dougal would lunge, growl and bark at his class mates. She laughed and said that she had to sit ON the stage with her dog!

We have come a long way with Dougal and are so proud of him. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to change a dog who had so much aggression and no manners. I have found out about Trigger Stacking and when I thought about Dougal, who had been given up by his previous owner, taken to the dog pound, travelled to Cornwall, stayed in a foster home for a few days and then come to me, no wonder he was angry/scared. He changed through me being calm and rewarding him for his good behaviour. I still watch my surroundings when we are out and Dougal still has triggers, dogs not on leads approaching him etc, but I just turn around and walk away. We are working on this and he is getting better. I am so glad I didn’t give up on him as he gives me so much joy. When I walk past him now he lifts his back leg to have his tummy tickled, I don’t even think about being bitten by him.

Happy Gotcha Day!

“Gotcha Day” is the name given to the day a lucky hound first came into his or her forever home. Here are some tributes of that celebration of love

POPPY

Happy Gotcha Day Poppy - one year today! We can’t remember a day without her. CC

 

T JAY

Happy Gotcha day T Jay. I'm so pleased that you came into our lives and brightened our world. I love you jelly tot, thank you LCH xxx KL

SPUD

A year ago I picked up a fat, lumpy hairy labrador, thanks to LCH he was given a second chance at life! Operations sorted and boot camp began! 12 months later and 6kg lighter we have a happy chubby Labrador. Happy Gotcha Day Spud! SS

 

Sit Happens

In this occasional feature, Sarah Higgins, who runs LCH’s ‘Sit Happens’ Dog Training, gives training and behaviour tips

There is a stigma around muzzles on dogs and people often assume that a muzzled dog is aggressive, but dogs may also be muzzled because they eat anything they find, or maybe they are nervous and the owner doesn’t want their scared dog to injure a person or dog that might decide to approach unannounced. The dog could have a high prey drive and the owner doesn’t want local wildlife or cats to come to harm. You may have a situation where your dog is injured and becomes aggressive when you try to move or touch them, perhaps the vet can’t get close because the dog is scared and in pain, in this case having a dog that is muzzle trained becomes invaluable.

You can’t just put a muzzle on a dog and expect them to be OK with it. It’s more likely this will make them stressed (the same goes for head collars), so you need to introduce the idea of muzzling slowly and in a fun, rewarding way. There is a game for introducing your dog to a muzzle, and it involves a small cone, bucket, or large yoghurt pot – whatever you can find that your dog can stick his nose into. Games should be short and sweet, we want to end the game with the dog still enjoying it and not becoming bored. So take 20 treats (or use some of your dog’s kibble) and have the cone in your hand. When the dog moves towards the cone mark by saying ‘YES’, ‘GOOD’ (or use a clicker) and give your dog a treat. Continue with rewarding the dog getting closer to the cone until the treats run out. Some dogs will get this fast, others need more time – go at your dog’s pace. Next time see if your dog will touch the cone, then put the tip of their nose into the cone.

The ultimate goal is for your dog to enthusiastically thrust their face into the cone! This is a great confidence building exercise and once your dog loves this game, you can try with a variety of different objects including a basket muzzle (not a soft material muzzle). Now if your dog ever needs to wear a muzzle you know they will be happy wearing one.

Rainbow Bridge

Lexy, Milly and Pod

Dear Lexy came to us 16 months ago from the pound. She had been a breeding machine, a cash cow for some back yard breeder; she came in for palliative care, with many problems,  - her breathing  (typical of the breed) and that ailment that there is no cure for, Old Age. Lexy was given just a couple of months...The lovely Debra Curnow took her under her wing, and there she stayed for 16 of them.  All our love to Debra and Lewis, who showed her nothing but true love and kindness, we are all so sorry for your loss .. RIP Lexy, see you again one day.

 

Milly and Molly, both chocolate Labradors, came into rescue together, just over three years ago, discarded by their owner. Charlotte and family gave them a home, full of love and fun times. Milly has now made her way to the Bridge, and has left a huge gap; our hearts go out to Charlotte and family, and to Molly, who is coming to terms with her loss.

 

Pod came to us in February and went straight into foster with Sarah, who loved her and cared for her from the moment she landed. Pod was in a dreadful condition when she was picked up by Niall Lester and friends, who let her come to Cornwall to retire... and what a retirement she had... dog shows, fetes, Heligan, beaches, seaside towns and finally she spent her last couple of months on the Sanctuary, helping to care for the chickens, horses, goats etc.. so her last 5 months have been one of fun, peace and love. Pod has just left us, off to find new adventures, with old friends who are no longer with us.. she will be so missed by all she met, and all who were touched by her plight. All our love to Sarah, and to Pod, RIP, see you one day soon...

 

Dates for your Diary

Sunday 5th August 10am - 4pm

Chihuahua World Record Attempt at Chapel Farms Venue & Function, in association with Chapel Farms Secure Dog Paddock, Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4NY.

This is an attempt to gather the largest number of Chihuahuas in one place. The event is in aid of LCH and Fibromyalgia UK.

Further details of this event can be found on the Facebook page Chihuahua World Record Attempt UK.

 

Sunday 2nd September 1.30 pm start 

Crofthandy Village Hall, St Day TR16 5JQ
Fun Dog Show in aid of LCH. Come along, meet some of the team, and show off your pooches!

 

Did you Know?

We have a NEW LAST CHANCE HOTEL FACEBOOK PAGE, which aims to keep you updated with all the latest news on the dogs and much more. Please click on the link and ‘like’ our page.

We have other Facebook groups: LAST CHANCE HOTEL AUCTION runs auctions throughout the year, with loads of fab stuff up for grabs, raising vital funds for our vet bill.

Our LCH ONLINE DOG SHOW group allows you to show off your pooches from the comfort of your armchair, and also helps raise funds for our vet bill.

Our Amazon Wishlist, by which you can purchase specific goodies and have them delivered to us, is a lovely way to send a present for our animals! The link will take you straight there for a browse of all sorts of goodies from toys and chews to harnesses, coats and lovely food.

There are also ways to help raise funds for us whilst you’re shopping online, which don’t cost you a penny. Easyfundraising is a scheme whereby you can shop at many popular retailers such as Amazon, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, and they will donate a small percentage (usually 1%) of your order to the charity of your choice, with no extra expense to you. Giveasyoulive is a similar scheme, with over 4000 retailers involved.

Like all charities, we depend almost entirely upon the generosity of our wonderful supporters. We have several ways in which monetary donations can be made: PayPal is easy and convenient for the many people who hold an account.

JustGiving provides another way of donating and also an opportunity for individuals to fundraise for us through sponsorship of a personal challenge. In addition, it allows us to claim back the Gift Aid part of the donation which can add vital pennies.

If neither of these methods are suitable, then we are more than happy to accept donations via direct bank transfer using the following information:

Barclays
Last Chance Hotel
Sort code: 20-67-19
Account no: 73797503
(Do drop us a quick email with your details so we can say thanks!)

or cheques, if sent to our Treasurer, at the address given at the bottom of this newsletter.
Thank you from Team LCH and all the animals!

Clearly, animals know more than we think, and think a great deal more than we know. 

Irene M. Pepperberg (animal cognition research scientist)

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Last Chance Hotel

14 Westdown Road, Delabole, Cornwall. PL33 9DS

01209 281159

www.lastchancehotel.org

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