Animal sanctuary spring open day

Yesterday I took my friend Lin and her daughter Dee to the Bleakholt spring open day, and even Michael came along with us too, something which he’s never done before. After the last few gloriously sunny days my heart sank when I got up in the morning to find it dull and raining – the last three open days have been blighted by bad weather at some point – however by the time we were setting out at lunch time it had brightened up and the sun was shining.
The open day runs from 12 noon until 4pm, we arrived at 12.45 and already the place was swarming with visitors; ย Lin and Dee headed straight for Dee’s favourite place, the book shop, and after telling Michael where everything was I left him to wander off on his own while I went to look at the stalls in the barn. From there I went to look at the donkeys but they must have been out in the field somewhere, however near their enclosure a couple of kiddies rides had been set up and I got a great shot of the little train as it went round and round on its track. After that came the owl rescue stall with its birds sitting quietly on their perches or on the gloved hands of various visitors – two of them were only tiny but I couldn’t get a decent photo of either of them as so many people wanted to stroke them.
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Indian Scops Owl
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Not a clue what this one is!
Next came a look round the dog section, and if I hadn’t already got Sophie and Poppie I would have been adopting Disney – a 4-year old Yorkie/Shihtzu crossbreed he was the cutest little thing I’ve seen in a while. A few kennels further along was Sasha, a 10-year old Lurcher crossbreed, rehomed once but returned for being over protective in the home – she was a lovely looking dog and quite happy to pose for me while I took her photo.
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From there I went to the cat section where I saw what looked like the scruffiest cat ever. She was sitting so close to the wire that I couldn’t get her full body in the shot but she looked like she’d just been through the worst grooming session possible. Her fur was stuck out in various places and at the lower end of her back she had three tufts sticking up like little wings – she was a lovely colour though and in spite of her scruffiness she was beautiful and would have been my choice if I’d been adopting one. The kitten section was so full of visitors that I couldn’t get near any of the little ones so I took myself off to the oldies room and spent some time with them instead.
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Amy in the oldies room
When I finally got back outside I found that the sunshine had gone and it had clouded over considerably but it wasn’t enough to put people off, and with visitors still coming in the place was the busiest I’ve seen it for a long while. I met up with Michael while I was wandering round so we went in the cafe for a brew and something to eat; we had corned beef hash with beetroot and red cabbage and it was so filling that neither of us wanted anything else when we finally got back home.
Just as we left the cafe we bumped into Lin and Dee, it was trying to rain by then but it didn’t amount to anything, so we had one last look round the stalls, where I managed to get a brand new pair of beach sandals for just 50p, then made our way over to the motorbike display near the car park.ย The bikes belonged to The Cogheads, a local motorbike club, and on one Sunday every year they do a charity petfood run, collecting donations of pet food, pet supplies and money and ending up at Bleakholt. This time their run just happened to coincide with the sanctuary’s open day so there was the added attraction of 29 bikes and 4 trikes all lined up on display.
Bleakholt bikes
Once we’d looked round the bikes I left the other three near the cafe and went to get the van. Between us all we had a fair amount of stuff to donate and because of the narrow lanes and one way system in operation on open days I’d had to park quite a distance away, which was too far to carry everything, so it made sense to wait until the crowds started to thin out then I could drive down to the donations shed. When I got there I found Lin and Dee had disappeared – Michael said they’d gone to the office and when I caught up with them I found Dee in the process of sponsoring Chesney, a dog she fell in love with a while ago but one which currently can’t be rehomed because of behavioural issues. When that was all sorted out, and with all our donated items unloaded from the van and everything Dee had bought loaded in their place, we finally headed for home. In spite of the sunshine disappearing it had been a good afternoon with what seemed to be a record number of visitors – the afternoon’s final takings will be the amount they will be trying to beat at the next open day in July, so fingers crossed the weather will behave and it will be another really good day.

10 thoughts on “Animal sanctuary spring open day

  1. I’m glad the rain held off for what sounds a lovely day out and it sounds like the sanctuary raised a lot of funds which is wonderful. Those two dogs are lovely although Sasha is a terrier of sorts, not a lurcher at all but she’s gorgeous. That is a lovely looking scruffy cat, is that what they call a tortoiseshell? Here’s hoping for beautiful July weather and an even more successful day.


  2. Sitting like that Sasha does look like some sort of terrier but when she’s standing up and walking round you can see there’s quite a lot of lurcher in her. I never thought to look for the name of the scruffy cat as I was too intent in trying to get her photo without the wire being in the way. True tortoiseshells are ginger and black so she’s tortoiseshell-and-white – torties or tortie-and-whites are always females too. She was lovely and she looked so cute with her bits of fur stuck up, in fact I think they added to her charm ๐Ÿ™‚

    The place certainly had a good turn out of visitors yesterday, in fact even after 3pm people were still arriving and all the stalls were busy. Fingers crossed there’s been a lot of funds raised and the weather will be kind for the next one in July ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Aw my heart goes out to the pets. I hope they get lovely new homes soon. I have had rescue cats before from an animal sanctuary in Accrington. And my current cat Slinky I homed because a lady I knew couldn’t keep her. Have only once tried getting a rescue dog but was told it was impossible because we work full time. Sounds like the day went really well. X


  4. It was a great day in spite of the sun disappearing. The Cogheads motorbike club is actually based in Accrington and they start their petfood run from the Forts Arms in Clayton-le-Moors. I think as far as rescue dog are concerned most, if not all, places these days won’t rehome to anyone out of the house for longer than four hours, which is completely understandable – at least I have the advantage of being very flexible with my working hours and I’m not usually out much above two. I’m sure many of the pets at the sanctuary will soon get new homes – I noticed yesterday that even some of the oldies have been rehomed since I was last there ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. I hate to see any animal in a cage or pen but in places like these it’s inevitable – imagine the chaos if all the dogs were allowed to be free! Little Disney was adorable and such a friendly little thing, I bet he’s not there next time I go.


  6. Amy was lovely, she’s about ten years old and came into the sanctuary with her brother Fred, a pale ginger colour. She was very placid and loved being stroked, while Fred is quite timid and will hide away when too many people are around. I always thought black cats were supposed to be lucky so I don’t understand why they often get overlooked but it’s a sad fact that they do ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


  7. As much as I love kittens I prefer to rehome adult cats, they need homes more. They also know things like how to cross the road. Both of my gorgeous cats are black.


  8. Everyone seems to go for kittens don’t they, so sadly many adult cats, regardless of colour, get overlooked. I’ve had black cats in the past, and one I have now, which I took on when my ex partner died almost three years ago, is all black and he’s lovely ๐Ÿ™‚


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