written by Ann in 2016
Back in 1998 penniless, and looking for work, I answered an advert in a local shop window for a kennel maid. When I went for the interview I was amazed at what I saw… a kennel full of Greyhounds. Having never been in close contact with these dogs, it did not take long for them to win my heart and see what absolute angels they are and hence I began fundraising for Greyhound Charities and Greyhound Rehoming kennels. I started making tassels and notelets to sell to raise money, this soon escalated into the Kama’s Cave you see now.
I then decided that I wanted to do more to help these dogs, so I set up a fostering scheme whereby I took the dogs from the kennels and placed them in a foster home where they could be taught all the things they had never seen as puppies or racing dogs, such as the television, washing machine etc and where they could be taught the basic social skills of housetraining, stairs.
I then set about finding forever homes for these dogs, where they could spend the rest of their lives in the comfort that they deserve. Since then things have progressed even further. We had so many dogs coming to us that needed homes, we decided that we needed to dedicate more time to this and build some kennels of our own. So Paul gave up training dogs and I gave up my job as a secretary and we moved to Bury St Edmunds where we built our own kennels.
We were so despondent in the kennels that we had seen and the poor condition that the dogs were kept in we vowed never to let the dogs live in those kennels again so we built lovely clean kennels with lights in each kennel and heaters in the corridor so that the dogs never had to shiver again. We had space at Bury St Edmunds for 14 dogs which was never enough but it was a start. Unfortunately the property at Bury was only rented and the house was very small so when my Dad died and Mum came to live with us it all proved too small so it soon became evident that we would have to move again .
Kama’s Cave arrived here in Lincolnshire in November 2005, we managed to buy a derelict old plant nursery, my Mum lived in the house and my daughter and I had a caravan each. There was a disused packing shed that would make an excellent kennel so off we went and got a local builder to make the inside into a kennel for 20 greyhounds, so 10 double kennels.
We have spent the next 10 years clearing up the 3 acre site so that we can make it the best possible environment for the dogs. It has been a long hard struggle and we are still not there yet.
As most of you know we have also now added a kennel extension to the side of the original building so that we will have a toilet and a kitchen for the public when they visit the dogs and the big room we are going to use as a storage area and also a vets room as at the moment if we need to have a vet out to the dogs in an emergency we really don’t have a place to utilise.
The outside of the kennel extension is fully completed we are still working on the inside at the moment and we are now having to revamp the original kennels as after 10 years they need a face lift. We have a big exercise paddock for the dogs to play in which they do two or three times a week. This also doubles as an ideal meeting place for any prospective parents with their families and other dogs. All the kennels are fully insulated and have heaters in the corridors so in the winter the temperature never drops below approximately 65 degrees which is brilliant for the dogs they never have to be cold again.
We also use duvets and blankets for their bedding and plastic beds on top of their raised wooden beds if they like them. I wanted to use duvets so that it gives the dogs a sense of what to expect when they go into a home as in most racing kennels where the dogs have lived before they sleep on shredded paper.
All the dogs at Kama’s Cave come indoors with our lot to be house trained before they go to their forever homes and we check them with small dogs as well to see if they are suitable to be homed with them, we also check for cats if we are required too. We try very hard here to match the right dog to the right family so that everyone is happy, we have a good chat with prospective parents to see what their life style is like so that we can match a dog of similar ways to them.
With your support we can help many more greyhounds in need of care, love and attention
Update: Thursday 27th February 2020
Where to Start !!!
As most of you know i have not been very well for a while now. I was diagnosed with Whooping cough which never seemed to get better and I was then diagnosed with Sinusitis. After a lot of pain and anguish I eventually went back to A&E, where we have reached the diagnosis we are at now.
I have stage 4 lung cancer which in inoperable as it has hold of the main blood vessel to my lung. I have had a stent fitted to alleviate the pain in my head etc and I starting Chemo tomorrow to try and shrink the tumour back to a manageable size.
As far as Kama's Cave is concerned, we are business as usual but on a smaller scale. The GT dogs will be going to new kennels over the next few weeks, under my watchful eye, but there are only four to go as most of them have fallen on their paws and found homes over the last couple of months.
The sponsor dogs will still be here with all of us and we will continue to support Tiggy and the ones in foster homes etc. We are still accepting donations as usual so that we can keep things going here for a long as we possibly can.
I will still be honouring all of the holiday dogs that we have booked in and if you need a space please do not be frightened to ask.
Hopefully in time, when my health improves, I will start to change what I do here at KC and we will take in either elderly, sick or really needy dogs and that will be our way forward.
Please don't be strangers I am still here for you all to talk too.
** Please note that following Ann's passing we are now unable to take holiday dogs. We apologise if this causes any issues.