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Sheepdog’s long journey home

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Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 09.37.27A HOMESICK sheepdog made an incredible 240-mile journey back home in just 12 days after running away from his new farmhouse.

Farmer Alan James was amazed when four-year-old Pero appeared on his doorstep after he was given to another farm more than 200 miles away.

Pero’s real-life ‘Lassie Come Home’ adventure began when he ran off from his new home in Cockermouth, Cumbria, to make the cross country trek to the country village of Penrhyncoch, near Aberystwyth.

Father-of-five Alan, 54, said: “It was amazing but we have no idea how he did it. He must have a Sat-Nav in his brain.”

Pero is one of 15 sheepdogs on the family farm – but was given as a trial to another farm in Cumbria to see how it worked out.

But the homesick pooch ran off from his new home in Cockermouth while out herding sheep.

It is a mystery how he used his apparent homing instinct to navigate his way back to Wales – a journey which took 12 days at an average of 20 miles a day.

Alan said: “A sheepdog can go all day and cover a lot of ground. But it is a mystery how he found his way here.

“We don’t know how he was fed or if he hitched a lift. But it was incredible when he turned up on a doorstep.

“We would love to solve the mystery of how he managed it.”

Wife Shan, 47, told how they were so taken aback by Pero’s loyalty they’ve decided to welcome him back home for good.

She said: “He was very excited to be back both with the family and the other dogs.

“We have a lot of dogs and a friend knew the farmer in Cockermouth was looking for a dog that could round sheep and follow a quad bike.

“We thought Pero would be ideal for the job. We let him go on a trial at the beginning of March.

“We were then told that Pero had disappeared on April 8, and was nowhere to be seen.

“But then last Wednesday evening my husband Alan went out to check on the animals after supper and there was Pero on our doorstep.

“It was a bit of a shock, and the dog was going crazy after seeing Alan.

“It’s a total mystery as to how Pero has managed to find his way back to us. We know that dogs can find their way home, but 240 miles is a long way to travel.”

Mrs James said she believes the black and white sheepdog must have somehow persuaded good Samaritans to feed him on his way home, as he didn’t appear to be malnourished.

She said: “When he came back, he wasn’t hungry or weak, so he must have managed to find food somewhere.

“He must have stopped in places along the way.

“We would love to know if anyone along the route had seen a mystery black and white sheepdog. It is an amazing adventure – and we are very happy to have him home with us on the farm.”

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Ceredigion dog breeder fined for failing to comply with dog breeding licence

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A CROWN COURT has upheld a conviction that the dogs under the care of Mr. Jones were kept in overcrowded conditions in contravention of the minimum space standards required by the license conditions.

Other convictions were overturned.

On 27 November 2020, and 22December 2020, the Crown Court heard an appeal by Mr. Dorian Wyn Jones, of Dorwan Kennels, Penrheol, Talsarn, relating to convictions for failing to comply with dog breeding licence conditions. 

Mr. Dorian Wyn Jones had previously been convicted at Aberystwyth Magistrates Court of running a licenced dog breeding establishment far in access of the number allowed on his licence and that the dogs in his care were kept in overcrowded conditions.

The Court heard evidence that Mr Dorian Wyn Jones had been granted a licence for 33 dogs. However, during a visit undertaken by Ceredigion County Council’s Public Protection Officers on the 07 August 2019, they found 91 dogs at the premises excluding puppies, in breach of his license. The dogs were kept in pens of a size that were inadequate for the number of dogs kept within them.

On 9 February 2021, Dorian Jones was fined £1000 for the overcrowding offence, and ordered to pay legal costs amounting to £2500. 

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Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, dies aged 99

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The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s ‘strength and stay’ for 73 years, has died aged 99.

Prince Philip’s health had been slowly deteriorating for some time. He announced he was stepping down from royal engagements in May 2017, joking that he could no longer stand up. He made a final official public appearance later that year during a Royal Marines parade on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

Since then, he was rarely seen in public, spending most of his time on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, though moving to be with her at Windsor Castle during the lockdown periods throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and where the couple quietly celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November 2020. He also celebrated his 99th birthday in lockdown at Windsor Castle.

The duke spent four nights at King Edward VII hospital in London before Christmas 2019 for observation and treatment in relation to a “pre-existing condition”.

Despite having hip surgery in April 2018, he attended the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a month later and was seen sitting beside the Queen at a polo match at Windsor Great Park in June. He and the Queen missed Prince Louis of Cambridge’s christening in July 2018, but he was seen attending Crathie Kirk near Balmoral in August, and driving his Land Rover in the surrounding Scottish countryside in September.

It is expected that flags on landmark buildings in Britain will be lowered to half-mast as a period of mourning is announced.

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford has expressed his sadness on the news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and offered condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal family on behalf of the Welsh Government.

He said: “It is with sadness that we mourn the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout his long and distinguished life, he served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit.

We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his children and their families on this sad occasion.

He will be missed by the many organisations that he supported as Patron or President over many decades of service”.Andrew RT Davies, the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, has led tributes to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose death was announced today.

In light of the sad news from Buckingham Palace, campaigning has been paused with immediate effect.

Mr Davies said: “This is a very sad day for the United Kingdom.
“The Duke of Edinburgh led a remarkable life, excelled himself with his career in the Royal Navy, was the strength and stay to Her Majesty The Queen, and has left a legacy to the nation through the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“Dutiful, devoted, and diligent, his like will never be seen again, and Welsh Conservatives offer their deepest condolences to The Queen, and the rest of the Royal Family.”

Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru said: “On behalf of Plaid Cymru, I send my condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and her family. Many young people in Wales will have benefited from the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, a reflection of many decades of his public service. Thoughts are with the Royal Family at this time.”

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Elin Jones calls for a plan to revive Aberystwyth town centre

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AS NON-ESSENTIAL retail re-opens on April 12, many of larger shops in Aberystwyth town centre will not be re-opening, with head offices scaling back on their presence on high streets across the UK.

In Aberystwyth, their absence will be particularly obvious with many of these retailers being located along Great Darkgate Street. Multiple retailers such as Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Clinton Cards, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, M&Co and Lloyds Pharmacy will not be reopening leaving a large proportion of empty properties.

These closures are in stark contrast to many independent retailers on Aberystwyth’s other streets looking to expand or start.

Commenting on this issue, Elin Jones said: “It’s time for a major rethink for Aberystwyth’s Great Darkgate Street.

“The multiple larger retailers are turning their back on our town centre and now we need to re-focus these large premises in order to make them more attractive and accessible to independent, local businesses. There have been smaller independent shops opening along other streets in Aberystwyth and throughout Ceredigion, so there is definitely businesses who could be persuaded to have a presence on the high street.

‘It would be great to see a partnership effort in the town to persuade the absentee landlords to give rent-free start up opportunities, to re-purpose the larger premises to suit smaller businesses and to ensure the buildings look attractive on the street.

‘Welsh Government has confirmed that no rates will need to be paid for this whole financial year and therefore now is a great opportunity to support small local businesses to reclaim their place on Great Darkgate Street.

‘It is the town’s largest street and needs to be a star attraction in Ceredigion.’

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