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To provide a rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing service for abandoned, ill-treated, un-wanted and otherwise homeless animals. To care for them in social accommodation, wherever possible with communal exercise areas. To strive to reduce the number of unwanted and abandoned cats and dogs by ensuring those in our care are neutered, and encouraging other owners to do the same. We aim;-.
To socialise the un-socialised
To train the un-trained
To care for the un-cared
To love the un-loved
To nurse back to health the un-healthy
To re-home our animals into a safe and loving environment
It was Christmas 1993 when five dogs were abandoned on Hickling marshes. By January 1994 they had found their way here to Brambly Hedge and F.A.I.T.H. had it’s beginnings. Why F.A.I.T.H.? Well it seemed somewhat appropriate having almost always worked with animals myself and being involved in animal welfare for many years before moving from Kent to Norfolk. Although I had often thought of starting my own Animal Rescue, I had said that I would not do so after I had reached my 40th birthday (as I knew how much it took out of you) I had no thoughts of an Animal Rescue when we moved to Hickling in 1987. Instead I got in touch with a local rescue to offer my occasional help. However, I was unhappy with the location of our house and wanted to move from Hickling, so we put the house on the market and spent many hours looking for a new home. We were unable to find anything suitable and had received no acceptable offers. Then almost three years later and whilst I was away in Kent helping run an Animal Rescue for a friend of mine, we were asked if we would consider a house swap. The exchange offered was still in Hickling, but situated away from the village itself. I was not overjoyed with the prospect but after three years of searching it was a question of take this offer to exchange or remain where we were.
Brambly Hedge had more land than our village home but the house itself was far less impressive. It stood on a three acre plot and had a stable block and some piggeries. We had pet goats and the piggeries were useful for them and I hoped that one day I would have a horse again. Also as a Gardeners World fan I imagined how I could have my garden with it’s many different areas.
Fate had different ideas and the dogs arrived. It came to light some two years later that a couple from a local kennel had viewed this property and had a good look around the area. When their kennels went down they had already surveyed Hickling marshes and knew where they would abandon their dogs.
The dogs arrived over the Christmas and New Year holidays and we were suddenly faced with large vet bills. We sought help via the local newspaper and from that article came calls for us to help other dogs and cats. So a rescue centre was born, Fate or Faith had thrown it’s hand - F.A.I.T.H. (For Animals In Trouble there’s Hope) started in 1994, my 40th year.
F.A.I.T.H. help many different dogs, for many different reasons and with many different needs.
There are dogs that lose their home through no fault of their own, a strange term really since no dog is homeless through it’s own fault. Simply put ‘No fault of it’s own’ means it has no serious issues or behaviour problems, the reason it is homeless is often due to owners change of circumstance.
Then there are the stray dogs that come to F.A.I.T.H. via the council or sometimes from other rescues needing our help. There are many reasons that dogs become stray. One example, though it is hard to believe, is when a dog is thrown out by relatives when the dog’s owners die. (cats are the usual victim of such callousness) but it happens to dogs too. A much loved pet may become stray and fail to be reunited with it’s owner, a microchip would prevent this.
We take dogs from Death Row, these are dogs from around the country that have been handed into Dog Pounds, either as strays or they have been given up by their families. If they are not homed after seven days they will be destroyed, as their kennel is needed for another unwanted or stray dog. Hence they are ‘Death Row dogs’.
We help and work with dogs with behaviour problems that other rescues refuse to take, so either F.A.I.T.H. helps them or they are destroyed.
Some of these dogs will be what has become known, through the Cesar Millan Dog Whisperer programme, as ‘Red Zone’ dogs. These are dogs with severe behavioural problems which cannot be responsibly re-homed without extensive retraining, if at all. However, they deserve a chance. Their breeding and upbringing is not, after all, their fault. (see poem ‘Having Faith’)
Occasionally veterinary practices ring us, these can be from as far away as Kings Lynn, asking us to give a dog a chance. A dog who’s owner has taken it there to be ‘put down’ because of it’s behaviour, not usually server behaviour problem. Sometimes the owner has allowed the dog to get out of control, sometimes it is the owner that is out of control.
What ever the reason the dog has issues, it is the dog that takes the bullet. We will help as many as we possibly can, but we are obviously limited to how many we can help at any given time.
Dogs are dying for our help,
Help us - Help them!
Something needs to be done to stop irresponsible breeding and the growing problems of status dogs. Over breeding means overkill and over-killing is the result - Let’s stop it now!!!
Please write to your MP and DEFRA. Ask them to consider the changes we would like to see. The smaller animal charities should have a voice as we often have more sensible, practical suggestions because we are ‘grass roots’, seeing and knowing what needs to be done and have the animals interests at heart.