There was an old woman that lived in a shoe, she had so many children she didn't know what to do. I often think of this childhood rhyme and liken our lives to it.
Here at the EHCRC Foundation as many of you know we are not only a home and sanctuary for 54 horses, ponies and donkeys, we have also taken in an assortment of other rescued animals that people have brought to our gates over the last five years. This also takes up a vast amount of time and energy caring for all of them every day, this is just an example of a day with these other animals.
Many of these have been rescued by distraught holiday makers who were unable to give homes for them their selves, but they cared enough to try to help them and secure their future by bringing them to us as they couldn't find anyone else to take them in, during their short stay here.
Due to this we now have 4 cats and 6 kittens, 9 dogs, 1 of which is blind , 2 parrots and a cockatiel sharing our house with us, everyone of these animals is a rescue. Thankfully Isadora the pig, who also used to be a resident in the house, now has her own dwelling in the garden which she shares with Ernie the turkey.
Ernie was a raffle prize three Christmases ago, an English couple witnessed his winners throwing into the back of a van with his legs tied together with rope, and they were so horrified that they negotiated and bought him and brought him here. Then of course there are the peacocks, who also share the garden, this all came about last Summer when one of our supporters found a baby peacock. She couldn't keep it so she brought her here, we named her Jasmine. She was so tiny we put her in a cage and kept her next to our other birds, this worked well until Jasmine started to outgrow her cage. By that stage she was so tame she didn't want to be outside with the other birds and kept bringing herself back into the house. Unfortunately one of the dogs chased her and she ran into the glass conservatory window and got concussion. We rushed her to the vets where she stayed for five days. Obviously we realised we would have to find a secure area of the garden to put her in. The only possible place we had left was where we used to keep our rescued rabbit, which somebody else brought us, that they had named Whispering Grass. Sadly Whisper contacted myxomatosis and died. Please note, anybody that has a pet rabbit, you can now get your rabbit an inoculation against this, we didn't know this until afterwards. So this became Jasmine's home, as it wasn't fair to keep her on her own, Rod went out and bought another young female peacock as a companion for her. Then somebody else brought a male peacock to us that they had found kept in a tiny cage, and yet again had nobly decided to save it, however the only place they knew where to bring him was here. As all three grew the accommodation was too small for them, so we decided to get their wings clipped, as peacocks can fly and we didn't want them to fly off and get lost. This then created another problem as Ernie the turkey decided he wanted the two female peacocks and started a fight to the death with the male peacock and at the same time Jasmine decided to make her way back to the house, where Sam our latest rescue dog, who is completely blind, and also a chicken hunter, he might not be able to see them but he can sense where they are, was sitting by the gate, as he always does, waiting for an unfortunate chicken to come into his area. Obviously our chickens and Ernie have got wise to this, but Jasmine was unawares, so we grabbed Jasmine, separated Ernie and the male peacock, but we couldn't get the back into their previous accommodation as they had now experienced freedom. Rod spent what was left of that day and also the next creating yet more boundaries and fences to keep them all safe and give them their own spaces. When we come in from feeding the horses at night, we then have to feed all the dogs, cats and birds and we mustn't forget the fish in the pond, we probably have about 50 that have also been brought to us over the years, from people moving back to England and not being able to take their pet goldfish back with them.
First of all we feed the cats, three of which were what you could call Christmas presents as they mysteriously turned up as very young kittens at our very popular Christmas carol concert two years ago. At the time, we said that's ok they can be stable cats, however they decided they didn't like that job and very soon became house cats. Amazingly this Christmas a pregnant female cat turned up, obviously we had to take her in, we named her Primrose and she ended up giving birth to six kittens in our kitchen cupboard, which now makes 10. All of these we negotiate outside into the back yard with their food and shut the door so that the dogs don't steal their food and also to stop Primrose attacking the dogs as she's still very protective over her kittens. We then proceed to get nine feed bowls out and do the dog food in the kitchen, while the three birds are screaming loudly at us from the conservatory, wanting to come in, one of us has to stand guard to make sure the big dogs don't pinch the food from the little dogs. Whilst this is being done the birds are then wheeled into the dining room from the conservatory in their massive cages. The birds consider the evening their quality time with me and Rod, two of them, Amadeus a parrot who believe it or not is also agoraphobic (has a fear of open spaces) and Joey a 16 year old cockatiel who is inseparable from Amadeus, have to have the TV on at night, so they are taken from their cages into the front room and placed on a bird stand, their favourite films are musicals and action movies, ridiculous but true. Charlie the African Grey is a secret talker and prefers to stay in his cage and talks loudly to himself when he thinks no one is watching.
Finally when everybody has what they want and need and all the barking, meowing and screeching has stopped, Rod and I eventually feed ourselves and sit down, this is normally 10 o'clock at night. At midnight we then have to go out again and check on all the horses and give the ones that need to gain weight an extra feed. We finally get to go to bed and set the alarm for six o'clock so we can get up and do it all again the next day.
Next week we will continue with the update on Jett and Crystal our two latest rescue horses and also more stories.
Why not come and meet all of our residents, we are open to the public ever Sunday 1-5. Tasty hot food, cakes, teas and refreshments are available as well as merchandise and souvenirs, also take one of our very popular horse tours, free entry.
For more information contact Sue on 652021980 or email firstname.lastname@example.org