This is the place where most of our dogs live (others are fostered in our house); many of them have behavioural issues and slim chances to ever leave us. Some dogs are already promoted and wait for their chance to be adopted. This 1200 sq metre yard is mainly open space and most of the dogs can roam free all day. At night, groups of 2-3 dogs share private rooms. The rooms have gardens too (for new arrivals till we slowly introduce them to the big pack).
This is the place where they learn to trust people in their own way and time, and forget about the traumas of their past. Here they always have choices; never pushed to do anything against their will. This is the basic step for a dog to evolve, to have a reset and start acting like a pet, accepting humans. Our plan for this summer is to finish the construction of warm rooms, to paint the building and buy armchairs for each room - to be more like a home.
We do have a CCTV surveillance system so they can be monitored from our home, for their safety. We are realistic and know not all the dogs will have their own home in future, but at least they can have decent life here for as long as they live.
Moshu lived in a factory where all the people adored him, except one man who called the dog catchers one day to take him to the public shelter. The people who used to feed him called us and begged us to take him and find a place ... he is with us now for more than 3 years, a bit shy at first with strangers and has issues regarding handling, but we can stroke him etc.
Moshu is about 10 years now and he is such a balanced dog, we have huge hopes one day he will feel the love in a proper home: he is that kind of loyal friend who will follow you everywhere once he trusts you.
Gina was rescued some years ago with another 30 dogs who lived in a very bad private shelter, all adopted now except Nala and Gina. Some even who were more fearful than they are - but they had that chance to live in a home, so the change was faster. Gina is ok with dogs and with the people she knows, but will be suspicious with strangers,
Gina is about 5-6 years now and medium size (18 kilos)
Wilson and siblings were rescued at the beginning of 2016; wild pups, almost dead in the snowy open countryside with their parents. We spayed the adults - both fear-agressive - and took in the 5 small pups as they would have had no chance of survival out there. One sadly died but the other four gradually learned to trust us. The two girls were scared, but not showing any sign of agression were fully rehabilitated and now happilly adopted in UK. Stanley and Wilson started to be territorial and we stopped promoting them, following a biting incident. They are loving and friendly with the people they know, but still suspicious with strangers, so being a large breed, it's best that only experienced people handle them. Of course, it is all about management, but at the same time we need to be fair and tell exactly how they are.
Ursu had a foster abroad and made huge steps for rehabilitation, but unfortunately due to his strength and showing territorial behaviour issues we had to take him back for his own safety. He lives inside, still has guarding issues, but manageble; he needs a specific management in order to be ok. Otherwise, he is an amazing dog, very loving and friendly, he loves kids and the people he knows and trusts. Who can blame Ursu for this behaviour regarding strangers when he was beaten almost to death, with broken ribs at 7 months old ... it was a miracle he survived....
Rescued from the same terrible shelter as Gina, Nala misssed out on the chance to be quickly adopted and rehabilitated. Nala is fine with the people she knows, but will bark and be suspicious with strangers; also she has preferences regarding females so we want to rehome her with a balanced, confident male whose good example she can follow.
Nala is about 5-6 years now and medium size (18 kilos)
Oldie Elsie came to us in 2018; a family got rid of her claiming she is old and dirty.
Poor Elsie was very scared and soon we found out she has epilepsy too, so pretty hard to be rehomed; she will probably stay with us for the rest of her life. We still work at being able to touch her, but having epilepsy too we need to be very, very careful and offer her a stress free environment for as long as she has to live.
Buster was the most fearful pup of a litter of 8 scared pups; fortunately we were able to rehome all of them except Buster so far who has been in rehabilitation for about a year and is almost ready. He walks brilliantly on- lead, off lead too in the forest, he is ok with us but still reticent with people he doesn't know and will bark. But we definitely have hopes for him, he is not a biter or not so fearful anymore, just shy and he can be handled & stroked, so he just needs a home with understanding people and a routine of going out everyday to explore the world. The change will come fast once someone can work with him 1-2-1. Buster is about 7 years old now and a medium size, around 18 kilos
Elf and Elmo were recued by a friend of ours.
Elf is just shy and will be a brilliant companion once in a home, he can be handled, he acts pretty normal, so after a few weeks spent in a home, with 1-2-1 work, we are positve he can be a different dog. The only concern we have about changing his environment is to cause him stress, as he had a couple of epilepsy episodes, so any extra stress is pretty worrying. But after vet checks, the vet decided not to give him any treatment, especially as there were only two short seizures, so we just need to keep an eye on him and, in case someone decides to adopt/foster him, we need special preparations, like calming herbal meds for the transition to go smoothly and for him to feel safe.
Elf is about 4 years old and weights 17 kilos.
Elmo joined us with Elf, and is the more scared of the two - he is fear agressive and despite being with us for almost two years, he doesn't let us touch him. However, he did manage to learn to walk on a lead , so he can go for walks and have a pretty normal life. We are not sure if he will ever trust us enough that we can prepare him for a home, but he loves his life here, so we are not worried about having him for good.
Elmo is 4 years old, medium size, 20 kilos.
Oldie Buffy, 18 years old, was found last year running around like she didn't understand where she was or what she was doing - and later we found out she had had a stroke, but slowly, slowly she got better and now we have good and bad days. For sure Buffy will live with us for as long as she has to live, but at this moment she enjoys her food, the comfy beds and all the love we can give her.
Edie was rescued in autumn 2018 from Odai public shelter, where we found her lying down, ready to die - as if she knew another winter in there would be too much. She is about 17 years old and now lives indoors, in the old doggies area. It's possible she could be adopted in the future but for now we are trying our very best to make her feet stronger, to get some weight on her and to get her used to being handled
This dog spent most of her life behind bars, so now we want to give her the best care possible, so at least she can feel what a home is.
Aki is another oldie who had serious behaviour issues, so we decided not to rehome him, being a biter, even with no teeth :). He adores the man who takes care of him though, and he can brushed now which is spectacular in comparison with what it was in the past.
Aki remains with us for as long as he has to live.
Thor is a Rottweiler who was suposed to stay with us for a month and here we are now, 3 years on and he's still with us :) as the original rescuers were unable to find anywhere else for him.
He is fear agressive and will accept only some people he knows, so for sure he is a dog who will stay with us forever unless he can go into a Rottie rescue.
Thor is about 6 years now and weights 40 kilos.
Joul was rescued from the public shelter and was one of the most traumatised dogs we ever met, hiding, jumping and screaming even if you looked at him.
Now Joul lives inside and has a pretty normal life, still very scared of people he doesn't know and will try to hide when visitors come, but we can handle him, he walks in a lead too, but it is still a long way for him to be rehomed, so atm he is not up for adoption.
Joul is around 4 years old.
Angie was rescued from a public shelter, she was hiding and shaking, so huge was the trauma of being dumped there, surrounded by hundreds of dogs. We know she will always be a nervous dog, but our calm environment of the Sanctuary helped her to have a normal life, she now plays with the other dogs, still avoids any human contact, but she doesn't hide anymore, comes for treats and enjoys life here.
Angie is about 6-7 years old now.