Rescue & Animal Care - March/April - Issue 193

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Should I have my cat spayed?

Huge rise in people wanting to take pets on holiday

Sensational Staffy Loki is searching for Love

Nearly half of UK pet owners suffer in silence following the loss of a pet

Pet owners are urged to stay vigilant as dog theft cases surge

ISSN 2050-0572 29th March - 29th April 2024 - Issue 193 FREE TO READ P r o m o t i n g R e s p o n s i b l e P e t O w n e r s h i p a n d A n i m a l W e l f a r e
Cover Image
G H S h e l p s u p p o r t d o g s l i ke G a b by S p e c i a l i s t d i s i n f e c t a n t s , s a n i t i s e r s , d e t e r g e n t s a n d s h a m p o o s

Hello Readers

Thank you for reading out latest free issue.

And Spring is here!

Curiously I looked at the meaning of the month ‘April’ and its origin which says … ‘Possibly derived from the Latin word aperire, meaning “open” in relation to buds opening and flowers appearing in spring.’

I’m thankful for the lighter evenings and since we have had our fair share of rain this year, hope the saying “April showers bring May flowers” brings the latter but no more rain!

But whatever the weather here are just a few of tasters of our features in this issue which I hope you’ll enjoy reading!

l How Do Cats Fit Through Such Narrow Spaces? Anyone who’s observed cats for any amount of time has probably seen them attempt to squeeze their bodies through impossibly small and tight spaces. It’s natural to wonder how they manage to do this and how their anatomy makes this possible.

l New research has revealed a huge rise in the number of people wanting to take their pets on holiday with them. According to search engine analysis by experts at Together Travel, over the past 4 years, there has been a 28% rise in people looking for pet friendly holidays across the UK

l Almost half of all cat owners are unaware how best to protect songbirds Cats Protection and Songbird Survival are issuing advice to cat owners as a survey shows many aren’t aware of how to reduce their pets’ hunting habits.

l With pet theft reported to be on the increase in the UK, Dogs Trust West London (Harefield), the UK’s leading dog welfare charity, has issued guidance to owners in a bid to prevent much loved dogs from being separated from their families.

Until next month… Love
Jennifer x
... Nearly half of UK pet owners suffer in silence following the loss of a pet New research has revealed a huge rise in the number of people wanting to take their pets on holiday with them 30 19 GHS direct RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE MAGAZINE: JENNIFER PROWSE MEDIA, 21 THE MALTINGS, BURES, SUFFOLK CO8 5EJ Follow us on facebook Rescue and Animal Care Contact us PHONE: 07885 305188 EMAIL: TWITTER: Troublesome Treacle 26 36 National Pet Month: Should I have my cat spayed? Sensational Staffy Loki is searching for Love Dogs Trust West London issues advice on Dog Theft Awareness 20
In this issue RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 3

The Spring Cleaning Begins

Dear Readers

When Mistress said Spring is here I thought of daffodils and William Wordsworth… But no!

I didn’t think following her announcement that my bed would be whisked away from beneath my paws and Spring cleaning would begin!

There’s no safe place !

My bed hasn’t dried yet and everywhere I try to lay down, either a mop duster or hoover comes in my direction.

I can’t even lay on Mistress’s bed as the mattress has been turned over (Why?!) and all the bedding is queuing up at the washing machine.

My fur is shedding everywhere and as soon as even one hair is found Mistress is there and removing it from the carpet.

Mistress said whilst beating the rug from our lounge (another of my ‘go to’ places for a snooze) outside on our patio.

"Out with the old, in with the new!’’ I later learned from ‘doggygoogle’means to leave behind old things or ideas and embrace new ones.

So yes! I’m all for that and I’ve found a safe place to rest behind the settee whilst Mistress’s cleaning frenzy goes on!

Sometimes it’s tough being a dog.

4 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE Follow us on facebook Rescue and Animal Care Follow us on twitter Troublesome Treacle Please contact us or visit our website for more information. Heathway, Colton, Rugeley, Staffs WS15 3LY Tel: 01889 577058 Reg Charity No1053585 Love Treacle x
A carrot a day keeps the vet away

THESE Are The Most Dog Breeds At Risk - As Almost Three Quarters of Stolen Pets Are Never Returned

The police have released the top 3 dog breeds that are most likely to be stolen. English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and XL Bullies were the most frequently stolen breeds, with there being a 6% rise in the amount of dogs stolen in 2023 in contrast to 2022.

Pet theft figures suggest at least 2,290 dogs were stolen in 2023 and the likelihood of reuniting owners with their stolen pets isn’t good. Beverly Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today Magazine said “Shockingly in 2023 almost three quarters of pet owners didn't get their stolen pets back.”

Dog experts at Kennel Store have provided an expert comment explaining how to prevent having your dog stolen, as these alarming statistics will be worrisome to dog owners. Please see below for more:

“The recent statistics that have been released are both saddening and alarming. Having your dog stolen is both emotionally devastating and incredibly difficult for the families affected. Here are our top tips to keeping your dog safe:

Microchip your dog:

• Make sure your dog is microchipped and that the information associated with the chip is up to date. This will make you contactable if your dog is found.

Don’t leave them outside

• Avoid leaving your dog alone outside, especially in an unsecured area. Keeping them indoors reduces the risk of them being taken from your garden or outdoor space.

Be mindful in public

• When out in public, keep a close eye on your dog and avoid leaving them unattended, even for short periods.

Use a collar for identification

• Always have your dog on a lead when outside, and make sure they wear a collar with an identification tag that is up to date. This means you are easily contactable if your dog is found.

Be cautious of strangers

• Be mindful of strangers, particularly those who are showing excessive interest in your dog. Examples of this would be asking probing questions, or seem incredibly eager to interact with your dog.

Avoid leaving your dog in a car unattended

• Leaving your dog in the car unattended, even for a short period of time, can make them vulnerable to being taken. If you do need to run errands, take your dog with you or leave them at home where they’re safe. ”

n Kennel Store are dog experts with a wealth of knowledge on dog care and pet behaviour.


GHS help support dogs like Gabby

Our local Dog Rescue and Rehoming Kennel is called Acres Way, situated in Thundersley in Essex. We proudly support and supply our animal friendly hygiene products to the kennels. They like using our products for all their cleaning and hygiene needs in and around the kennels and rescue centre.

Back in March 2019, the Crace family visited Acres Way with the intention of adopting another dog for their family, the time was right to open their hearts to another rescue dog. They immediately fell in love with ‘Gabby’, a cross chihuahua -Jack Russell dog. She had been found abandoned, in a field, with 3 other dogs, in a terrible state.

With lots of love, care and patience, Gabby slowly came round to trusting her new family. It took 6 months for her to come out of her basket and a year to get used to having a collar and lead. Toilet training and walking on lead was very challenging. Gabby is still a very nervous dog, especially on walks and when around big dogs. However, just last summer, Gabby took part in dog contest for the very first time and came 3rd! At home she is much more relaxed and rules the roost. Lucky for Gabby, she is in her forever-home!

n You can visit here for more of Acre’s Way success stories, reviews and mentions.

Acresway – Boarding and Rehoming Centre traydogs traydogs/mentions traydogs/reviews

GHS Keeping it clean

We are a small family run, independent business, established in 1985 and based in Essex. We make and supply a comprehensive range of concentrate, biodegradable, Cruelty Free and Vegan Friendly hygiene products. Our disinfectant-cleaners are specifically formulated for safe use around animals, their living, eating, play and sleeping areas. Our animal hygiene products do not contain any harsh or hazardous ingredients. Our products can be used by professionals in the Animal Care Sectors, Veterinary Industry, Grooming, Leisure, Domestic and Medical environments.

Our Animal-Care Hygiene range consists of concentrate pet-safe liquid disinfectants, sanitisers, odour eliminators, detergents, degreasers, disinfectant wipes and dog / animal shampoos. We have steadily grown, adapted and updated along the way, evolving and changing with the times in order to survive and remain on the market. We have faced many challenges over the years, plus a pandemic!

Our disinfectant-cleaners have been independently tested and meet all regulatory and accreditation standards. Vira-Care Broad Spectrum DisinfectantCleaner is DEFRA Approved for General Orders and can be found on DEFRA’s Approved Disinfectant List – see here:DEFRA’s Disinfectant Approved for use in England, Scotland and Wales List Not only are our disinfectants tested and approved, they are also biodegradable, vegan friendly and carry the Leaping Bunny Logo –proof that we are Cruelty Free and Approved

GHS Direct became officially ‘Leaping Bunny Approved’ in August 2015. We are proud to be a cruelty free company. All of our own household, cosmetic and animal grooming products are approved under the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny programme, the best assurance a consumer can get that a brand is doing everything it can to be cruelty free. We adhere to a fixed cut-off date policy and proactively monitor our suppliers to ensure that our products continue to obey the Leaping Bunny criteria. Our supplier monitoring system is also independently audited.

We are ISO 9001 Accredited, this was achieved in March 2020 and continues with annual checks.

Vira-Care and Bacta-Care are sold concentrate for the user to store and use safely as and when required at the chosen dilution for the specific job in hand. Our products have a 2 year shelf life. We supply them in 5ltr or 25ltr containers. Larger tanks can be arranged over the phone and quoted on. Our disinfectants can be supplied neutral / fragrance free OR with added fragrance from Apple, Bubblegum, Cherry, Freesia, Lavender, Lemon or Orange. When in use, there are no hazards and no corrosion or burns. Our unique formulation contains no harsh ingredients, no alcohol, no phenols, no skin sensitisers, no carcinogens, no ingredients that could cause allergic reactions, no bleach, no bulk fillers and no dyes.

Anyone in the UK can order, we have no minimum requirements and we offer direct delivery to your chosen address. Customers can order via our website shop OR via the phone. We are always available and we love to get to know our customers. We offer many deals,and discounts to reward loyalty. If you have pets / animals then we have something for you. We are B2B and B2C for anyone with and in the Animal Care Sector.

Disinfectant-Cleaners are a must for the hygiene and protection of all. When in use, our products effectively clean and disinfect all surfaces to remove any


harmful micro-organisms, prevent sickness and disease and protect us and animal(s), their living areas and equipment / tools.

Our products are compliant with the new Animal Welfare regulations. We have had lots of positive feedback from customers with the outcome of their inspections.

Our main objective is to care for all animals, care for your needs and care for our environment – we’re here to help and we have the right solutions for you.

We provide many Offers, Deals, Discounts and Savings - most are on repeat!

We provide Direct Delivery to anywhere in the UK without over charging. Majority of our deliveries are next day servicevery quick, easy, economical and convenient.

Our Customer Care is exceptional, we are always here. We love to chat and get to know our customers. We genuinely care.

We are committed to the protection of our environment in addition to animal welfare which is keenly promoted, not only in its sourcing of raw materials, but also firmly embedded within the company’s ethos, which is evident

throughout its management, staff and sales members approach to first class customer service.

We have successfully acquired many awards and achievements along the way. We showcase and share our customer reviews, testimonials, feed-back and pictures of all lovely animals in their care - these are always greatly appreciated and can be found on FB, Google and our website.

We are always available to offer advice on our products and your biosecurity regimes. RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 7 for all your cleaning needs specialist disinfectants, sanitisers, detergents, shampoos, soaps, sprays and wipes covers canine Parvo, sars-cov-2 (cOviD-19), Kennel cough, gardia, E.coli, salmonella, avian flu plus more Good hygiene for animals prevents infection and provides protection! Concentrate, multi-functional products available. High dilutions. Providing you with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral solutions New Customers Only. T&C’s Apply. Quote RAC042410 for 10% off EffEctivE against: VIRUS, BACTERIA, FUNGI, MOLD, ODOURS

Blue Cross’ Chief Vet responds to CMA’s concerns on rising costs

Following a sharp rise in owners presenting to Blue Cross hospitals, being unable to afford treatment in their own practice, the charity is calling for the sector to be more transparent with owners about costs upfront and to consider offering alternative and cheaper treatment options.

The charity's veterinary service has seen:

• A £1m increase in its own costs during the past year due to things such as rising staff rates and costs of medicine.

• A 4000% increase between May 2023 and March 2024 (from 25 practices to 1,000 practices) in Blue Cross’ Veterinary Care Fund requests from private practices needing support for their clients whose pets need urgent treatment

Dr Paul Manktelow, Chief Vet at Blue Cross said:

“The ongoing cost of living crisis is having an unprecedented impact on the veterinary sector, and we know practices are having to adapt to help meet the needs of pet owners. While the strain on the sector is outside of an individual practices or vet’s control, we’d encourage professionals across the sector to adopt a pragmatic and transparent approach with their patients, especially around the cost of treatments, and when sharing available treatment options available to them.

“Enquiries to our Veterinary Care Fund, which offers support for practices to help its clients pay for emergency treatments for their pet, have increased

rapidly – up from 25 practice applications to 1000 practices in 2024 alone. This illustrates how much the sector needs our help. At Blue Cross, our goal is to help as many pets and people as possible, so we will continue to do all

we can in difficult times for vets, and pet owners alike.”

n For more information on the veterinary care fund, please visit

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Britain’s most unwanted dog finally finds his forever home

A dog once referred to in the media as Britain’s most unwanted has finally found his forever home after spending more than 1,700 days in the care of Dogs Trust Leeds.

Lurcher Jake first arrived at Dogs Trust in 2015, aged just one.

However, even at that early age, he had been passed around several homes before arriving in the care of the Dogs Trust team. The charity found him a new home, but he was returned to kennels in 2019 after a change in his new owner’s circumstances, and following his return, Jake failed to attract any new owners, despite the charity receiving thousands of applications for other dogs in their care.

Jake was a firm favourite at the rehoming centre, described by the staff caring for him as one of the sweetest dogs you could ever wish to meet, with a playful and affectionate nature. However, due to his tricky start in life, Jake lacked confidence around dogs and people and had very specific rehoming requirements, meaning he was overlooked by potential adopters.

The team at Dogs Trust Leeds spent many hours working with Jake to help him overcome these issues, using their expertise in behaviour to create a bespoke training programme to build his trust with new people, and develop his social skills around other dogs.

One of the unique techniques the Dogs Trust team implemented was taking Jake for weekends away to take part in different activities including hiking on the moors, and to spend nights away from his kennel to help build his confidence in new environments, all designed to get ready for rehoming.

A video of Jake enjoying a weekend hiking in Wensleydale with one of his carers, Kevin Johnson, was spotted by Keighley couple, Veronica and Keith. They instantly felt a connection with this lovely lurcher and contacted Dogs Trust to offer him a home. The charity’s assessments confirmed that their home and lifestyle were exactly what Jake needed, and work began to introduce the nervous pooch to his new owners.

As Jake was such a worried boy, Veronica and Keith worked with the rehoming centre staff to slowly build up their relationship. Initially they visited the

rehoming centre weekly to spend time with Jake, gradually progressing to offsite walks. Following the success of these initial meetings, he then started spending time in Veronica and Keith’s home, including some overnight stays.

After three months of successful introductions, Jake moved into his new home in February 2024. He has settled into home life perfectly, and his training and confidence has come on in leaps and bounds.

Jake’s new owner Veronica says: “I knew the moment that I saw the video of Jake on his holidays that I wanted him to come and live with us. He’d had a tough start to life and lacked in confidence, but it was clear from our first meeting that he was an affectionate and friendly dog who just needed someone to give him a chance.

“The introduction process was quite long, but it was important we moved at a pace Jake was happy with, and the staff at Dogs Trust Leeds supported us through it all.

“We love having Jake in our home. It feels like he’s been with us forever, and we couldn’t imagine life without him!”

Kevin Johnson, one of the team at Dogs Trust Leeds who cared for Jake, says: “Jake is such a lovely boy, and we’ve loved spending time with him in the centre. But four years is too long for any dog to be with us, and we were desperate to find him his forever home.

“We were delighted when Veronica and Keith got in touch with us about Jake, and even more pleased that they understood his adoption wouldn’t be a quick process. After so much upheaval in his life, and then spending so long in a rehoming centre, he needed time to adjust to a new way of living.

“Before he left the rehoming centre for the last time, all his best friends gathered in his garden for a little goodbye party, and we were joined by current and former Dogs Trust staff who had cared for Jake over the years.

“Jake literally bounced out of the car, straight into his new home and on to the sofa. I’m not ashamed to say there was quite the lump in my throat. Seeing him happily and confidently standing at his new home front door with his family as we left was so emotional!”

During his time with Dogs Trust, Jake was classed as an “Underdog”, the name the charity gives to dogs that have been in its care for six months or more. The charity currently has over 400 Underdogs in its care patiently waiting for new homes. These dogs often are looking for a very specific home and usually have additional training needs or require ongoing veterinary treatment, meaning they are overlooked by many adopters. Dogs Trust supports every new owner throughout the adoption process, and for as long as they need us once the dog is in their home.

n For more information on some of the Underdogs currently in the care of Dogs Trust, visit

Jake on adoption day with new owners Veronica and Keith

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Keeping your furry friends safe during the big spring clean!

The official arrival of Spring on 20th March often prompts people to freshen up their surroundings with a good old clean. In fact, Google trends showed the spike in searches for ‘spring cleaning’ peaked on that exact date in 2022, so now feels like a great time to introduce some pet-friendly cleaning habits to keep your home feeling fresh as we head into the warmer months.

Catrin George, Animal Wellbeing Specialist at Animal Friends Pet Insurance, shares six top cleaning tips this spring, keeping safety in mind as a top priority with a beloved pet around.

1. Pre-cleaning exercise

Having a pet under your feet can make even the simplest of cleaning activities feel like a challenge. So, to help keep them from becoming a trip hazard, Catrin says:

“Before making a start on your spring clean, why not take your pooch outside to help burn off any of their excess energy. Simple things like a quick game of fetch, going for a walk, or just sniffing some grass, can tire your dog out potentially allowing you some peace to clean when you return home with a tired dog.

“Cat owners should try to establish a routine when it comes to cleaning. Our feline friends feel comfortable with a

sense of routine, so try to stick to a consistent cleaning schedule in the run up to your spring-cleaning efforts. To help with this, you can set specific times for the different tasks, or set aside the same day and time for blitzing through the house, helping minimise the disruption to your cat’s day and keeping their stress levels low.”

“There’s also the dreaded vacuum cleaner to contend with! Some pets can react to such cleaning essentials, but it is possible to help your pet get used to this equipment and minimise their stress during cleaning time. Use positive reinforcement techniques to help your pet associate the ‘scary’ object with something they enjoy. This way, you can regularly keep on top of pet hair and dander without interference.”

2. Understanding the risks

When choosing your cleaning products, it’s important to research how safe they are, not only for us and our pets, but also

for the environment, Catrin explains: “Some products can contain toxic chemicals which your pet can accidentally consume or come into contact with through inhalation, their paws, their fur, or via other surfaces. So, it’s important to always opt for petfriendly cleaners wherever possible and keep your dog or cat away from the cleaning area while you use them.

“But this doesn’t just apply to our pets. Many of the household names we’re so familiar with can have a harmful effect on the surrounding environment. A lot of common cleaning and pet related products, from cat litter to poo bags and air fresheners to disinfectant, can contain ingredients that are known to be detrimental to the environment.

“Eco-friendly cleaning products are made up of more compostable and organic materials, meaning they don’t leave a lasting impact on our planet.”

3. Fending off the fur


Owning a pet may result in a lot of fur accumulating in your home, Catrin says: “It can sometimes feel like our cats and dogs shed more hair around our houses than they keep on their bodies! However, there are some useful hacks to get rid of pet hair that don’t require any harmful products.”

These include:

l Use a lint roller – A great tool to pick up hair from almost any surface or fabric, from sofas to your clothing.

l Rubber gloves – Simply wearing a damp pair and sweeping your hands over any hairy areas can lift stray hairs. You can also use your fingers to get into any awkward spots.

l Baby wipes for emergencies – Good to get any hairs off fabrics when you’re short on time and energy.

l Window squeegee – This rubber blade is ideal for raking up the cat hair that tends to collect on flat surfaces (like your carpet, stairs or sofa cushions).

4. Post-cleaning precautions

Ensuring your cleaning supplies are kept out of ‘paws’ reach will help keep your pet safe and prevent accidental ingestion, Catrin adds: “If you’ve mopped your floors or wiped

your counters, keep your furry friend away until they’re dry. After you have used your products, including sponges, brushes, or gloves, store them in a place that your pet cannot access.

5. Hygienic habits all year round

Experts advise that your dog’s bedding should be cleaned once every two weeks and the cat’s litter tray cleaned every week, so there’s no better time to start a new washing routine than springtime.

Catrin says:

“Your pet’s bedding, blankets, food bowls and even their toys should be part of your spring-cleaning and regular cleaning plan to help keep everyone happy, healthy, and hygienic. For their bedding, regular washing with unscented, hypoallergenic laundry detergent can also help with managing skin sensitivities and allergies . It’s best to vacuum any excess hair and dirt away first and then remove the cover (if detachable) to pop it in the washing machine. If your dog’s bed is too big, you can place it in the bath or shower for a hand wash.

“For cat owners, the litter box should be your starting point. Empty it completely and wash with warm water and cat-safe soap (or washing up liquid),

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making sure to remove any residue and drying it thoroughly. To help with the ongoing clean, you can even line the litter tray before adding the litter material and use a mat underneath the tray to trap litter scatter and make the cleanup operation even easier.”

6. Natural solutions for stubborn odours

We know that pets are part of the family, but while pet parents may become noseblind to their odour, it doesn’t mean it’s not there (even if some guests are too polite to mention it!). Catrin adds:

“To revive your home this spring, you can try using natural odour eliminators to help your rooms remain fresh for visitors. Simply sprinkle baking soda on fabric surfaces, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum. For more stubborn smells, you could mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and mist where needed, then simply blot with a clean cloth. And voila, a nicer smelling experience for all, humans and animals alike!”

n To learn more about Animal Friends Insurance, visit:

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Happy Tails: From a LifeThreatening Cleft Playing Cards

Eight-month-old, Dogue de Bordeaux, Noah is thriving thanks to dedicated individuals, complex surgery and a nutritious diet, after coming into a breed-specific rescue centre at just eight hours old with a cleft palate.

Noah was brought into Bronson’s Angels Rescue, a non-profit organisation specifically helping Dogues de Bordeaux and Mastiffs in times of trouble, to ensure Noah had the best opportunity to survive after being born with a cleft palate.

In many cases, cleft palate puppies are euthanised at birth as the surgery to correct this issue can be costly, coupled with the anaesthetic risk being incredibly high. Not only that, but due to the nature of the abnormality, puppies with this issue often struggle to suckle correctly –with any milk ingested coming back out of their nose and so can require aroundthe-clock care. As a result of not being

able to feed properly, cleft palate puppies that are left untreated, sadly, often die of malnourishment.

Noah’s cleft palate caused the same issues; feeding was a significant problem as the dedicated volunteers at the rescue centre hand reared him, feeding Noah through a syringe, day and night.

At 10 weeks old, Bronson’s Angels Rescue introduced Noah to one of their close friends, Kerri, where an instant connection was formed. Noah had found his forever home. Bronsons Angels funded the surgery for Noah where the veterinary surgeons, Kerri and her rescue work were confident they could

undertake the surgery. Noah had a chance at life despite the unknowns of surgery.

Kerri worked closely with the skilled vets at the rescue centre to make sure she knew everything she needed to about Noah’s condition. Committed to turning Noah’s life around, Kerri patiently supported Noah as he underwent two successful, complex operations to repair both his hard and soft palate.

Choosing the right food for Noah was a vital part of his journey, so he could be as strong as possible and prepared for surgery and his recovery. To support her with this, Kerri called on the expert

Noah as a puppy

knowledge of Veterinary Nurse Melanie Sainsbury from Natures Menu for guidance on the correct nutrition and consistency of food that would work in tandem with his treatment.

Melanie said, “I worked closely with Kerri to ensure we supported Noah throughout his treatment and recovery, sharing over 40 years of dietary knowledge to help make the process as smooth as possible for everyone.

“After careful consideration about exactly what to feed Noah, we chose a nutritious, natural diet of Natures Menu Complete & Balanced 80/20 Frozen Raw Puppy Food until he was old enough, and strong enough, for his repair at 16 weeks, followed by Natures Menu Puppy Wet Dog Food which was

per fectly suited post his surgery. The results speak for themselves, what a transformation – he’s thriving!”

Kerri, Noah’s pet-parent, gushed about the journey, “When I met Noah, I knew he’d be the perfect addition to our family. Given our busy family setup, we rarely have the opportunity to adopt puppies, but we had our three-legged Dogue de Bordeaux and we just love this breed. In truth, I think Noah chose us. All my dogs are a little unique and he was no different – he just needed extra support to get on the right path.”

“Our rural lifestyle meant we were the right fit to adopt Noah – we’ve got a lot of experience with the medical and emotional conditions of dogs over the years. Now, Noah is part of a fur family

of 12 dogs, ranging from Chihuahuas, Cocker Spaniels, a French Bulldog and Shih Tzus. He is always cuddling up to the Chihuahuas – we think he truly believes he is one!”

“Noah has grown (and grown) into a clumsy, oversized goof- ball who loves to please. Despite his troubled start, he brightens everyone’s day. He has grown in confidence so much since we first took him in; we’ve been going to trick training and obedience classes and he’s now even learned to play cards!”

As well as Noah’s new love of card games, Noah’s enthusiasm at mealtimes is also restored as he now tucks into natural, nutritious Natures Menu meals and hasn’t looked back since.

Kerri added, “It hasn’t been easy, but I wouldn’t change it. I cannot thank the rescue centres, dedicated vets and particularly the support from Melanie at Natures Menu enough; all of whom have offered unwavering friendly advice and guidance throughout. Feeding Noah on a natural, complete diet has had a huge impact on his vigour and energy. We’re thrilled to see Noah’s restoration to health and happiness. He really is a true warrior, in the gentlest sense of the word!”

n To find out more about Natures Menu, visit:

Specialists in Commercial and Private Pet Waste disposal

We specialize in servicing our 140 L wheelie bins but can provide and service any other size bins up to 1100 -L. We work with businesses big and small. Want to trial DOG WASTE BINS or waste bag dispensers in your public spaces? We can help you with that. We now also cover Southern Scotland (Edinburgh/Glasgow and surrounding areas).

To find out how we could help you with dog or cat waste disposal, get in touch with us 01580 857012 or email or visit RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 15
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Natural Skincare for Itchy, Scratchy Dogs!

Bio-Life the makers of PetalCleanse® are pleased to introduce their revolutionary natural skincare range for dogs. MediCleanse® is the most advanced natural skincare range with potent antimicrobial ingredients. Strong enough to protect your four legged friend from infection but gentle enough for routine use.

The Ingredients

Medicleanse™ contains Leleshwa, an essential oil harvested in Kenya with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. The essential oil is combined with Willowbark extract, Phytic acid, Ylang ylang, Eucalyptus, Jojoba are coconut based cleansers and moisturisers.

Willow bark helps remove thick layers of overgrown skin, dead cells and scales. The Phytic acid is rich in anti-oxidants and inhibits cellular and bacterial activity. Ylang ylang and Eucalyptus regulate sebum production and are soothing and calming. Lichen extract reduces pain, itching and irritation. The products contain no SLS, SLES, added fragrances, alcohol and other known allergens.

Common Causes & Symptoms

Problem skin conditions in dogs are many and varied:

Pruritis: Perennial itching

Erythema: Reddening & darkening of the skin

Sebhorroea: Excessive production of sebum leading to a greasy matted coat

Dermatitis: Inflammation & intense itching and scratching.

Pyodermatitis: Inflammation with secondary bacterial infection

Moist Eczema: Hot spots

Pyrrhoea: Skin thickening

Hypokeratosis: Rapid cell reproduction similar to Psoriasis in humans

Pyoderma: Pus filled lesions and weeping sores

It is for this reason, the formulations contain many active ingredients to treat all facets of these condition.

The causes are many and varied including flea allergy, food allergy/ intolerance, Mange, Dustmite, and chemical sensitivity. Flea allergy is easily treated by the routine use of flea preventatives. Dustmite can be prevented by the regular use of Bio-Life HomeCare products. Chemical sensitivity is prevented by using this hypoallergenic range. Mange alone is a severe parasite that is often caught from foxes and other wild animals. Mange alone requires urgent medical treatment.

The Range

The product range contains a shampoo, coat conditioner, Paw and Patch Gel,

Paw & Patch Moisturiser and Pure Essence. The Paw & Patch Gel is easily absorbed and ideal for applying to sore paws as well other spots. The Pure Essence is ideal for spraying hotspots and for treating seasonal eczema. The moisturised restores the skin to health.

Dogs Pre-disposed to Itchy Scratchy skin

Certain breeds are prone to seasonal eczema including 4 of the 10 most popular breeds, namely the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Labrador, Golden Retriever and German Shepherd. Little is known about this condition but scientists believe that it may be related to seasonal hormone changes. In any event, it is a chronic condition that is as irritating to the owner as it is to the poor dog! Veterinary Surgeons frequently prescribe steroids but these have many undesirable side effects such as weight gain and water retention.

MediCleanse™ offers an economic and effective alternative for relief.

n For further information please do not hesitate to call Bio-Life Helpline on 01608 686626 or visit the Bio-Life website on

Bio-Life --- treating the cause, not the symptoms!


Give a Dog a chance to settle down

So you have taken the step to rehome a dog who has come into rescue through no fault of its own. Perhaps things have changed with its home environment, its owner has sadly passed away, or just simply from a home where they can neither afford the dog or give it the time it needs.

The golden rule with a new rescue is GIVE IT TIME TO SETTLE.

Imagine you lost your home and were relocated to a place you did not know. Could you instantly adapt to your surroundings? The answer is no none of us can we all need to time to adjust. A dog is no different and especially for the older dog there can be confusion, upset and behavioural change. An older dog that has been clean all its life might suddenly start weeing or pooing in the house, purely through stress.

We recently placed an older dog into a home which we thought was absolutely right for him with a family who had dogs all their lives and were the right age for the dog. Within 24 hours they wanted the dog packed off to the vet to have him castrated. Everything he knew was changed, his haven and comfort zone was taken away from him, his food was changed overnight and not a lot of his previous life was left. Poor dog was stressed beyond belief, and we certainly were not packing him off to the vet within 7 days of his move. Yes the deed would have been done once he had found his feet and was happy with surroundings and his new people. Needless to say he came back to us and a new more understanding home was found for him.

With a rescue dog it is a softly softly approach every time and you will get the very best out of it but it takes time. Yes, there must be ground rules from day one and start as you mean to go on. If you don’t want the dog on the furniture then it’s a NO, if you don’t want it upstairs then its a NO.

If the rescue have done their work properly then your dog will come with a resume of their life in their previous home and what the ground rules/ commands were. Follow this and you will win. Try changing everything from name to commands then you are on a

road that will be a long and winding one that may never end. You can retrain but

it all takes time and effort with a new dog. If you are not prepared to put the work in at the start then a rescue dog is not for you.

Please, have feelings for the dog as it has lost everything it knows and loves, especially the older ones. Youngsters often adapt more easily but still require the same amount of care. So above all remember the golden rule ALWAYS be kind and patient with your new dog and it will repay you with respect and love for all its life.

Labrador Lifeline Trust Reg Charity 1076061


Nearly half of UK pet owners suffer in silence following the loss of a pet

Nearly half of UK pet owners have felt they have had to suffer in silence after losing a pet, with just 52% saying they would feel comfortable reaching out for support, a survey by national pet charity Blue Cross has found.

The survey of 2,000 owners found just 50% were open to discussing the loss of a pet with family or friends, while less than 40% felt they could open up to their employer. Most (81%) felt they couldn’t request time off work to grieve; with 67% believing it is important for employers to offer support following the loss of a pet.

Michelle Weller said she found it difficult to talk to anyone who understood the pain she was going through following the loss of her beloved Springer Spaniel Bailey.

For nine years, they had shared an unbreakable bond, but Michelle’s world fell apart when he passed away suddenly in 2022 after collapsing while out on a walk.

The 48-year-old nurse from Wiltshire, who has two grown up children, said: “Nothing prepares you for losing your best friend.

“Bailey brought me such happiness and laughter and was the reason I got up every morning.

“Wherever I went, he was with me for nine years. I was distraught at his loss.

“People didn’t get it. They would say ‘he’s just a dog and you’ll get another one’ but (following his death) I’d go in a room and, when he wasn’t there, I’d almost have a panic attack. When I went to pick up Bailey’s ashes from the vets, I absolutely broke down.”

Fortunately, the vet gave Michelle the details of Pet Loss Support at national pet charity Blue Cross when she went to collect Bailey’s ashes, and it was the vital lifeline she needed.

“When I phoned the (Pet Loss Support helpline) for the first time, I didn’t speak for the first hour, I just sobbed,” Michele said.

“The lovely person on the end of the phone just listened. I felt so bad because I couldn’t talk but she told me to take my time. It was as if someone had given me a massive hug. She took me out of that dark place I was in, and just listened. It was a hug in a phone call.”

This year Blue Cross’s Pet Loss

Support (PLS) team is marking 30 years of helping pet owners through any type of pet loss. In 2023 PLS helped more than 20,000 people through the free and confidential helpline, email and webchat, which provides support 365 days a year, including Christmas Day.

Michelle is not alone in not knowing services like PLS exist. Despite the fact that 57% per cent of UK households own a pet, just 23% of owners know that support is out there for when you lose your beloved companion. PLS offers a lifeline of support to those coming to terms with any type of pet loss, either through death, enforced separation or theft.

Grieving for the loss of a pet can be a sad and difficult experience. Life once filled with the love and friendship of a pet, may suddenly seem very empty and result in feelings of deep sadness and loneliness. People can also struggle if a pet has gone missing or been stolen, or they have been forced to leave their pet behind after a break-up or had to make the heart wrenching decision to

rehome a pet due to a change in their circumstances.

Diane James, Head of Pet Loss Support at Blue Cross, said: “We’re a nation of pet lovers but we often struggle to talk about our emotions when it involves the loss of a beloved pet - even with family and friends. It can be a distressing, confusing and lonely time. “No-one should have to endure the pain of losing a pet alone and PLS is here to hold people’s hand when they need it most through all types of pet loss.”

The charity also supports employers which offer bereavement leave to employees following the loss of a pet.

Diane adds: “We’d urge employers to be considerate of the devastating impact the loss of a pet can have, and to consider have procedures in place to allow time for owners to come to terms with their loss.”

n If you need support, you can reach out to the team at Blue Cross Pet Loss Support at

Michelle and Bailey RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 19

Dogs Trust West London issues advice on Dog Theft Awareness Day

With pet theft reported to be on the increase in the UK, Dogs Trust West London (Harefield), the UK’s leading dog welfare charity, has issued guidance to owners in a bid to prevent much loved dogs from being separated from their families.

Thursday, 14th March, was Dogs Theft Awareness Day, and according to a recent report by Direct Line, 2,290 dogs were stolen across the UK in 2023, a six per cent increase on 2022.

However, despite the very distressing nature of having a dog stolen, pet theft is not a specific crime. Currently, the crime of stealing a dog is treated in the same way as the theft of household items such as phones and bikes,

without considering the huge emotional impact losing a pet has on families and individuals.

For many years, Dogs Trust has called for harsher penalties to deter those who profit from the theft of dogs. Earlier this year, a Private Members Bill, that has cross-party support received its second reading in the Houses of Parliament. If successful, this would see Pet Theft become a specific offence.

To help owners reduce the risk of their dog being stolen, Dogs Trust has issued the following advice:

• Ensure your house and property boundaries are secure – keep your dog in and intruders out.

• Keep an eye on your dog when they are in the garden and never leave them unsupervised.

• Do you post pictures of your dog on social media? If so, regularly review


your privacy settings and make sure your address can’t be identified from your posts.

• When exercising your dog, always keep them in sight and pay attention to what they are doing. If exercising your dog off lead, make sure they have good recall and come back to you when you call them, regardless of where they are.

• Never leave your dog unattended in a public place - even if it's just for a minute.

• Likewise, never leave your dog alone in a car. As well as the risk of being stolen, they can also easily overheat, even if the weather is cold or mild.

• Make sure your dog is searchable in case the worst should happen. Ensure your dog is wearing a tag with your name, phone number and address on it, and make sure your dog is microchipped. Let your database provider know if any of your contact details change, and keep up-to-date, clear photos of your dog, making sure to show any distinctive features.

If the worst does happen and your dog is stolen, you can feel helpless and have no idea where to start looking for them. Dogs Trust suggests the following:

• Report the theft to the police straight away. Make sure you get a crime reference number and insist that your dog is recorded as stolen and not missing.

• Report the theft of your dog to your local authority dog warden.

• Notify your microchip database provider.

• Ask local rescue centres, animal charities and vet practices to keep an eye out for your dog.

• Monitor places thieves may try to sell your dog, like pet websites, pet shops and notice boards. Notify the police immediately if you come across anything.

• Use missing and stolen animal websites such as DogLost which help to reunite missing pets with their owners by offering free advice and support.

“Having your beloved pet stolen is an extremely stressful, often heart-breaking experience. For many owners, pets are members of the family, and being separated from them, without knowing where they are, is devastating.

“It’s disappointing to hear that pet theft is on the rise, but by following a few simple tips, you can reduce the chances of this despicable crime happening to you. Never leave your dog unattended, especially in a public area, and if you are walking them off lead, always keep them in sight. You should also be careful with what details you share online about your canine companions.

“Not only is it a legal requirement for your dog to be microchipped and to wear an ID tag while out in public, but these two simple steps will also help to get your dog home to you as quickly as possible if the worst does happen.”

n For more information, visit

Working with businesses big and small Specialists in Commercial and Private Pet Waste disposal Contact us today To find out how we could help you with dog or cat waste disposal, get in touch with us 01580 857012 or email Tick your legal boxes Waste Carrier License: CBDU448794 Public liability insurance of £5 million RAMS Available on request 3 3 3 We’re SafeContractor Approved, so you know we’re taking the health and safety of our employees and your visitors or residents seriously. Certificate: KE1981 Enjoy Peace of Mind We’re SafeContractor Approved Our Speciality is a 140 L Wheelie Bin but can provide and service any other size bins up to 1100 -L.
more collections? No problem, we offer a flexible service. Want to trial DOG WASTE BINS or waste bag dispensers in your public spaces? We can help you with that. We now also cover Southern Scotland (Edinburgh/Glasgow and surrounding areas). RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 21

2.5 million cats remain unchipped as the compulsory microchipping countdown begins

A group of leading animaI charities and veterinary organisations have joined forces with DEFRA to issue an urgent reminder to owners to microchip their pet cats, as England starts its 100-day countdown to compulsory microchipping*

From 10 June, all pet cats over 20 weeks old must be microchipped and registered on a compliant database – or owners could risk a fine.

However, latest data from the CATS (Cats And Their Stats Report), produced in 2023 by the UK’s leading cat welfare charity Cats Protection, estimates 2.2 million pet cats in England were still unchipped, while another 300,000 cats have owners who are unsure whether or not their cat is chipped.

They along with DEFRA, Battersea, The British Veterinary Association, The British Small Animal Veterinary Association, International Cat Care, PDSA and the RSPCA are urging owners to have their cats microchipped.

The latest Cats Protection figures also show that more than one in four owners (27%) say they haven’t chipped their cat because their pet doesn’t venture outdoors, and around one in five (18%) say their cat doesn’t wander very far even when they do go out.

In addition, the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, produced in 2023, showcases seven in 10 cat owners (67%) were unaware that new requirements come into effect from 10 June requiring all pet cats over the age of 20 weeks to be microchipped.

Madison Rogers, Head of Advocacy, Campaigns & Government Relations for Cats Protection said: “After many years of campaigning, we are delighted that cats in England will finally be given the same protection in law as dogs. As we enter the 100-day countdown, we’d urge owners to use the time to make sure their cat is chipped and the details are up to date.

“It’s important to remember that all pet cats over 20 weeks need to be microchipped, even if they are indoor cats or ones which stay close to home. Cats are agile, curious and can be masters of escape, and it’s easy for

family members or visitors to accidentally leave a window or door open. If this does happen, indoor cats are equally at risk of getting lost as other cats – perhaps even more so if they’re unfamiliar with the surroundings – so it’s vital they are microchipped.

“No matter how far from home they are found, or how long they have been missing, if a cat has a microchip there is a good chance they can be swiftly returned home.”

Christine Middlemiss, the UK's Chief Veterinary Officer said: “Microchipping is by far the most effective and quickest way of identifying lost pets. As we’ve seen with dog microchipping, animals that are microchipped are more than twice as likely to be reunited with their owner."

A cat that was recently reunited with his owner by the RSPCA thanks to a microchip was Simba who was returned to his delighted owner Rabia Ali from Ilford, Essex after he had been missing for over a year.

Rabia said: “When Simba went missing in October 2022, we searched day and night for him, there were a lot of tears. We’ve had him since he was a kitten and he is very much a member of the family.

“Despite extensive searches we heard nothing until 23 November 2023 when

an RSPCA Inspector came to my door and asked if I had a cat called Simba and said he would be home in 5 minutes!” Luckily, Simba had been spotted over a mile away from his home and reported to the RSPCA, who scanned him for a microchip.

“When the Inspector brought Simba home, I knew it was him immediately from a distinctive mark on his leg! Even now when I watch him eat, I think it’s so surreal he is here. I’m in disbelief. The whole family is overjoyed, we thought he was gone.”

Here are some top microchipping tips for cat owners:

• If your cat still isn’t microchipped or to check if your cat is chipped, book an appointment with your veterinary practice.

• If your cat is already chipped, check the contact details linked to their chip are up to date.

• If you are adopting a cat between now and June, check they have a microchip. You should ask to see the microchip certificate, vet records or pet passport.

n For further information visit

Rabia Ali and Simba Cat at vets

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“The Cat Show Live” Unleashes a Feline

Fiesta at NEC, Birmingham – Debut Event on Sat 14th Sept 2024

The Cat Show Live an exciting startup in the event business, is thrilled to announce the much-anticipated launch of “The Cat Show Live,” a spectacular event celebrating all things feline set to take place at the NEC in Birmingham on Saturday, September 14th, 2024.

Prepare to be enchanted as The Cat Show Live unfolds a purr-fect day featuring over 300 pedigree cats, providing visitors with the unique opportunity to meet and greet these majestic felines. With a bustling marketplace of over 100 trade stands, visitors can shop for an extensive array of cat-related products, from gourmet treats to bespoke accessories.

The event will boast a dedicated Theatre, hosting talks from esteemed global speakers on a variety of catrelated topics. From behaviour and health to the latest trends in feline care, attendees can immerse themselves in a world of knowledge and entertainment.

In a historic moment for feline enthusiasts, The Cat Show Live proudly announces the participation of members from the World Cat Congress (WCC) in a combined event, alongside representation from TICA, Fife, and GCCF. This collaboration marks a new era in celebrating the diversity and excellence within the global cat community.

Founded by the passionate husband and wife team, Peter Banbury, and Samantha Marsh, The Cat Show Live Ltd brings over 20 years of collective experience within the cat sector. Samantha, a former breeder of Maine Coons and award-winning entrepreneur recognized by #SBS Theo Paphitis, showcased her expertise on BBC 1’s The Apprentice with her niche small business.

“The Cat Show Live is not just an event; it's a culmination of our love for cats and our commitment to responsible, educated cat ownership, (RECO)” says Samantha Marsh, co-founder of The Cat Show Live Ltd. "Our long-term vision is to establish an annual event in the calendar that not only celebrates feline excellence but also gives back to support cat charities and rescues across the UK."

This event not only celebrates the cat world but also serves as a platform to spotlight the incredible work done in the UK to rescue and rehome cats.

At the heart of The Cat Show Live is a commitment to fostering a culture of RECO emphasizing the importance of informed and compassionate care for our feline companions. The event invites visitors to delve into the heartwarming world of cat rescues and adoptions through “Hope Alley,” an innovative initiative that leverages a digital rehome application to support and streamline the rehoming process.

The Cat Show Live Ltd stands proud in its mission to contribute positively to the community. A significant stride towards this goal includes the annual commitment to donate a percentage of profits to chosen charity(s), underscoring a dedication to making a lasting impact. However, the true essence of the event lies in its support for facilitating connections between visitors and rescue centres.

“Hope Alley” not only showcases the technological advancements in aiding cat rescues but also serves as a beacon for those seeking to make a difference. The Cat Show Live Ltd invites attendees to witness firsthand the incredible work happening in the realm of feline welfare and encourages active participation in the noble cause of rehoming cats. Join us at the Cat Show and its launch event as we celebrate the companionship of cats, champion responsible pet ownership and support the remarkable efforts of rescue centres across the UK. Together, we are embarking on a journey to make a positive impact on the lives of our beloved feline friends.

n Save the date for The Cat Show

Live on Saturday, September 14th, 2024, at NEC, Birmingham. For ticket information and the latest updates, visit


National Pet Month: Should I have my cat spayed?

Why do people spay their cats?

The simplest reason why people may choose to have their cats spayed is to stop unexpected pregnancies. One unneutered female cat can birth around 18 kittens a year, and in the UK alone there are thousands of kittens abandoned by owners who simply can’t take care of them. This puts an enormous strain on the resources of organisations and charities that exist to take care of neglected animals. Reducing the number of litters born in the first place can help ensure more abandoned cats can receive the care they need and give them a better chance of finding a forever home.

Another reason why people may opt for the procedure is that it can make your cat calmer. Without a heat cycle, you may notice your cat is quieter and even more friendly in a lot of cases. Cats in heat are notoriously loud, so fixing this behaviour is another bonus to having your cat spayed! There is also evidence that spaying may help to prevent certain feline cancers.

Neutering a male cat can also put an end to territorial fighting and spraying as well as preventing him from causing pregnancies in the neighbourhood.

Female cats are usually spayed quite young, at around 4–6 months old. This is because cats reach sexual maturity around this age, so a female cat can get pregnant much sooner than you may think! That said, if you’re thinking about having an older cat spayed, it’s safe to do at any age — but if you’re worried, you can always check with your vet first for peace of mind.

Will it hurt my cat?

Female cats go under general anaesthetic when being spayed in order to have their ovaries and uterus removed, and they may have stitches afterwards to close the surgical wound. This is a routine procedure and vets do it all the time, and your cat will be asleep the whole time.

The vet will want to keep your cat around for a few hours while the effects of the anaesthetic wear off, but she can normally go home the same day if the procedure takes place in the morning. If your cat is kept overnight, you can

usually collect her the next day. For male cats, this procedure is a lot more straightforward —they’ll be ready to go home a lot sooner.

After the procedure, you may be given pain medication to take away with you, and your cat might be a bit sleepier than usual, but they’ll soon be back to normal. You’ll be asked to bring your cat in at least one more time to check they’re healing properly. If your cat had stitches as part of their operation, you’ll have to bring them back to vet to have these removed.

Psychologically speaking, spaying your cat won’t make them unhappy. Cats don’t think about having babies or becoming a parent the same way humans do, so they won’t miss being able to have a litter of their own.

How can I make my cat more comfortable?

It can be hard to watch your precious pet go for surgery, but the good news is that there are a few ways you can make your cat more comfortable before and after they are spayed.

Make sure you don’t feed your cat for at least six hours before their appointment — even little treats. This will be useful later if they feel nauseous under anaesthetic, and it can even prevent them from choking if they’re sick during surgery. You can give them their favourite dinner as a special treat when they get home.

When you first bring them back from the vet, they might still be a bit groggy. Keep them indoors and let them rest, and if they do liven up, try not to let them get too boisterous in case they hurt themselves or reopen their surgical wound. You might find it helpful to restrict them to one room temporarily to discourage them from roaming around.

Finally, keep your cat warm and make sure you give them all the attention and cuddles they want. Keeping close to your cat can help them feel protected and safe, and it will give you the opportunity to keep an eye on their incision while it heals.

“If you’re thinking of having your cat spayed or neutered, bear in mind that the procedure is quite simple and your vet will have done this surgery plenty of times before. The benefits include no unwanted pregnancies, a betterbehaved cat, and a potentially healthier one too.

“One side effect of having you cat spayed is that you may notice they start to put on a bit of weight afterwards. To keep them fit and healthy, make sure you play with them for at least 20 minutes every day and provide a range of stimulating, sensory toys for them to interact with. You may also want to choose a lean, healthy food for them to eat with that’s free from fillers and additives.”- Paul Trott, UK Marketing Manager at Catit

Almost half of all cat owners are unaware how best to protect songbirds

Cats Protection and Songbird Survival are issuing advice to cat owners as a survey shows many aren’t aware of how to reduce their pets’ hunting habits.

The survey of 1,000 cat owners, conducted by Songbird Survival says that almost half of cat owners (46%) aren’t aware of ways to reduce cat predation.

When asked to suggest the best ways to reduce hunting, less than one in 10 owners picked out any of the three that are scientifically-proven to work best - keeping cats in at night, feeding cats protein-rich food and playing with cats.

“March is a particularly vulnerable time for songbirds as we are in the nesting and breeding season, which runs up to July,” says Susan Morgan, CEO of Songbird Survival.

“Birds gather materials to make their nests, fledgling birds leave their nests and birds may undertake riskier behaviours to gather food to feed their young.

“And though many cat owners know and care a great deal about bird conservation and their cats’ impact on it, the survey suggests more education is needed to protect songbird populations. Caring for your cat in a way that helps manage the impact of their hunting habits is a small and instant change that we, as cat owners, can make to help songbird populations thrive.”

Nicky Trevorrow, Behaviour Manager for Cats Protection said: “It’s important to protect songbird populations from decline and cat owners and bird lovers can make a big difference by putting up nest boxes as well as not using pesticides in their gardens.

“Hunting is a natural, innate behaviour for cats and they feel driven to do it. Not all cats hunt and it generally reduces as they age. However, just a few simple strategies can protect birds and benefit your cat’s welfare too.”

Top tips from Cats Protection and Songbird Survival are:

• Play with your cat for 5-10 minutes every day as it allows them to exhibit their natural hunting behaviour and reduces their motivation to seek out prey. Pick out a toy that mimics prey movement – such as a fishing-rod toy

• Feed cats with a premium, meat-rich food as it’s been scientifically shown to reduce hunting tendencies

• Keep cats in at night to help songbird populations and to reduce the chances of your cat being involved in a road traffic accident.

Cats Protection also urges people to get their pet cat neutered as it not only reduces cat over-population but also makes them less likely to fight, reducing

the spread of infectious disease such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). It also reduces the risk of certain cancers in female cats such as mammary cancer.

Research from Songbird Survival and the University of Exeter shows that regular play with a cat and feeding them a premium diet reduced the amount of prey brought home by a cat by as much as 25% and 36% respectively.

n For further advice, please visit Songbird Sur vival’s Get EduCated campaign at or the Cats Protection website at


Walk-in Chalet

The standard unit you will need for your licenced cattery, also used and approved by leading rescue groups throughout the UK.

The fully lined and insulated walk-in sleeping quarter measures 4ft wide x 4ft deep x 6ft high and has a vinyl floor for easy cleaning.

Two removable UPVC shelves, a fully adjustable air vent, lockable cat flap and a fully opening window leading to a sunning shelf and ladder, make this a firm favourite with customers and cats alike!

A 6ft long exercise area gives your cats plenty of space to explore and relax. A second sunning shelf provides another area to watch the world go by as it is near the front of the pen.



Handmade, bespoke cat runs are a lovely addition to a property, allowing a safe and secure outside space, for your indoor cats. They can be designed with lift out shutters, to have at the time of installation or added at a later date, which provide weather protection from the elements, making it an area that can be used year-round.

We are able to supply extras, to provide activity and viewing point for your cats, such as ladders, posts and sunning shelves. The addition of a Deluxe Cat Cabin can also provide a small hideaway, for cosying up and having a cat-nap. 01275

New research has revealed a huge rise in the number of people wanting to take their pets on holiday with them

According to search engine analysis by experts at Together Travel, over the past 4 years, there has been a 28% rise in people looking for pet friendly holidays across the UK.

In 2020, pet holidays (and 434 related key words) were searched a measly average of 281,950 a month, but now they’ve rocketed to 360,290 a month.

When we break things down further, it’s Wales (55%) which has seen the biggest increase in searches, followed by Scotland (54%), England (39%), and then Northern Ireland (17%).

Zak Ali, from Together Travel, said he’s not surprised by the findings:

“The worst part of a holiday is often leaving your pet behind, their eyes staring at you as you go off on an adventure without them.

“With Covid leading to a surge in pet adoptions, and the rise in home working, more and more people began to experience the pain of being without their favourite furry friends.

“Which is why it comes as no surprise that the number of people wanting to take their pets on holiday with them has seen a rise.

“When searching for a holiday home that accommodates pets, it’s essential to consider various factors to ensure a comfortable and safe stay for both you and your furry friend.”

Zak has these top tips for picking the perfect holiday destination for you and your pet.

l Pet-Friendly Policies:

Check the property's pet policy to understand any restrictions, such as size, breed, or number of pets allowed. Look for accommodations that openly welcome pets and provide specific details about their policies.

l Amenities for Pets:

Look for rentals that offer amenities specifically for pets, such as pet beds, bowls, toys, and possibly a secure outdoor space for them to play. Some accommodations go the extra mile by

providing treats or welcome packages for pets.

l Secure Outdoor Spaces:

If you have a dog, make sure that the property has a secure outdoor space where your pet can roam safely. Fenced yards or designated pet areas are ideal to prevent any unintended escapades.

l Proximity to Pet-Friendly Areas:

Explore some of the destinations offered across the UK that feature expansive outdoor spaces, including the picturesque Yorkshire Dales in England, the breathtaking Llyn Peninsula in Wales, and the serene Loch Lomond in Scotland. When choosing a holiday home, consider its proximity to petfriendly parks, beaches, or scenic walking trails. Opting for accommodation near such areas ensures your pet has easy access to places where they can exercise and play, enhancing the overall enjoyment of your holiday.

l Cleanliness and Hygiene:

Ensure that the property maintains high cleanliness standards, especially if it hosts pets regularly. Look for accommodations with pet-friendly

cleaning protocols to minimise allergens and ensure a fresh environment.

l Reviews from Pet Owners:

Read reviews from previous guests who travelled with pets. Their experiences can provide valuable insights into how pet-friendly the accommodation truly is and if other guests had positive experiences.

l Flexible Check-In/Check-Out

Look for accommodation with flexible check-in and check-out times. Travelling with pets might require additional time for feeding, walks, and settling in, so flexibility can be beneficial.

l Accessibility:

Consider the accessibility of the property for your pet. If your pet has mobility issues or is older, ground-floor accommodation with easy access to outdoor spaces may be more suitable.

“By carefully considering these factors, you can find a holiday home that not only accepts pets but also provides a comfortable and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry companion.” Visit


Cabins CatteriesPuppy/Holding Pens Walk-in Kennels

n 4 standard sizes

n Perfect for any size dog

n Secure locks and door hooks

n PVC insulated walls and ceilings

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n Boarding or domestic use

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n Optional integrated and removable whelping areas

n Easy to assemble

n Durable and easy to clean

n Quality and durability n Bespoke design service

n Fully thermally insulated n Easy cleaning and hygenic

n PVC insulated walls and ceilings

n Standard and bespoke sizes to meet breeding, boarding and GBGB specifications

n Multiple run sizes and designs

n Secure, robust and easy to clean

Plastic insulated walk in dog kennels and catteries for breeding, boarding and domestic use. Chicubes offers a wide range of products designed and built in the UK. Chicubes animal housing for dogs and cats and other small animals brings the full package, quality and durability, value for money and helpful customer service. Chicubes offer standard and bespoke design services, so finding the rights system for you when setting up or renewing your establishment couldn’t be easier. Built to last and meet current regulations for boarding, breeding and GBGB licensing. Delivery and fitting nation wide.

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Give your Pup ‘safe space’ to feel calm and happy and keep them out of mischief when you’re busy.

Take a look at our range of Puppy Pens and whelping boxes

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a n d re qui re v eterinary c are. We h e lp i n their re hab ili tatio n a n d f inding t he m lo v ing , forever h o m es Registered charity in England and Wales no. 1174351 Greyhounds in Need CIO © g r e y h o u n d s i n n e e d . c o . u k /d o n a t e This wo rk i s s uccessful b u t e xpensive. Please v isi t o u r we bsit e The Labrador Lifeline
is a charity dedicated to rescuing, rehoming and helping Labradors Tel: 01256 884027 / 07860 691251 / Email:
Registered charity number 1076061 32 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE
Each ye ar a pproximatel y 60,000 S panis h g algos ( hunting d ogs ) a re abandone d o r t ortured t o de at h i n S pain. We wo rk w ith m any s helte rs
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They are now in their Twenty ninth year of helping Labradors in need of new homes and their main priority is placing the right dog in the right home. They
the areas of Berkshire, Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex and Surrey

We are looking for homes for our longest residents. They deserve kind, patient new owners and a lot of love! Can you help?

Billy is 7 years old and has been neutered. Billy was in a home for 6 years but then his dad became ill with Dementia and would shout and scream which scared Billy as he didn't understand why he had changed. Then one day, when he was being put in the car a male stranger walked down the neighbouring path and Billy jumped out and nipped him on the leg.

His owners had no choice but to return Billy to the The Border Collie Trust. He has been with us for 9 months He is cautious around men but with time and patients he could learn to trust again. He is well behaved within the home and good in the car. All Billy needs is a little space and understanding to help him overcome his fears and a home without children or other dogs.

Meet Skyler. We are told he is 2 years old but he is possible slightly older. He is an entire, black and white long coated collie. He came into our care from another rescue so we don't have any history on him as he was found as a stray.


He is a friendly boy but can get a little worried meeting new people and being over handled especially by men there for will probably need a couple of visits to the centre. He may be better suited to a quiet home without young children. He has been ok meeting other dogs but is a little over the top so may be too much for some. He has come from a rural location so isn't used to built up areas so will only require short walks in quiet areas until he gets used to new environments.

Echo is a 3 year old neutered white and black medium coated Border Collie cross. He came into our care from another rescue after being found as a stray. When rescued he did have a break to his tail which has now been amputated. He is a gentle boy but is shy on first meeting people and often tries to avoid interaction but given a little time he soon overcomes his fear and is very affectionate. He would be better suited to a calm home without young children.

Although overall ok meeting other dogs out on a walk he can sometimes be a little worried and then can become defensive so would be best as an only dog. He does chase cats.


Still ready to adopt?

Then please complete the Online Application To Adopt Form. This is the first step in the process

The Application Forms are reviewed regularly by our Adoptions Team who will contact anyone they wish to discuss further with but please understand that we can't contact everyone who completes the form. That doesn't mean we don't want you to adopt but there can only be one new owner for each dog.

Do keep an eye on the website, and if you see another dog, at any time, that you would be interested in adopting then simply email with your name, post code and the dogs name you are interested in. We will then consider you for that dog. Unfortunately we cannot make an appointment until The Adoptions Team contact you.

n If you still have some questions do take a look at the FAQ section or feel free to contact us on 01889 577058 (Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm) or of course email us. Tel: 01889 577058

Skyler is 2 year old Billy is 7 years old is a 3 year old

So what is your Border Collie NOT good at...............?

The following article sent to us by Sue Kinchin, one of our Ambassadors, gives an interesting alternative insight into what makes Collies so special.

If you have a Border Collie you have a very special dog; a dog that is intelligent, sensitive, eager to please and very quick to learn. Sounds like the perfect pet? Yes, with our help they can make wonderful pets, but we need to remember that when we take one of these very special and complex dogs into our homes we have a responsibility to try to understand all the factors that make a Border Collie what it is. The more we can understand our Border Collies the less likely it is that we, and our collie, will encounter serious problems. Border Collies have been bred for generations in a very specific and restricted environment for a very specific task and, as a breed, are relative newcomers to life as pets. Some cope very well and others struggle. It is our duty to try to understand these beautiful, clever creatures and to help them to cope.

We can easily find books that tell us what Border Collies have been bred for. We will be warned about their sensitivity to movement and tendency to chase things and about the fact that they need to have their brains occupied, but what we are not generally asked to think about are those characteristics that are not necessary in a working sheepdog, but which make life easier for a pet dog.

Anyone who has owned Border Collies will be aware that they are generally cautious dogs. Without intensive and sensitive socialisation as puppies they are often wary of people, intolerant of unfamiliar dogs and anxious about anything new or changing. Even with intensive socialisation some retain these characteristics. Border Collies are prone to being affected by a single bad experience and have poor "bounce back" when something goes wrong for them.

They are very sensitive to reprimands, but equally crave guidance and instruction. Because they are very sensitive to movement, any fast movement that they cannot control can be very disturbing to them. No wonder so many Border Collies hate traffic. Remember though, it is this sensitivity and intelligence that we find so appealing.

So why are they like this? Why can life upset them so easily? To understand our collies fully we need not only to consider what they have been bred for,. but also what they have not been bred for.

When a shepherd is selecting dogs to breed from he is selecting for a specific task and characteristics that do not

interfere with this task are likely to be ignored.

Over the generations your Collie has NOT been bred to:

• Cope with noise..... Collies need to have very acute hearing to hear and interpret a shepherd's signals at a great distance, but sheep farms are generally quiet places and their sensitive hearing does not cause them problems. Urban and domestic life bombards our dogs with noise and this can cause them extreme stress. Be aware of this and if necessary protect your dog from excessive noise. Speak quietly to your Collie, he doesn't need you to shout at him.

• Cope with change..... sheep farms tend to be relatively unchanging places, there are sheep, the shepherd and his family, the barn where the dog sleeps and an odd tractor or car. Sheep dogs don’t generally need to cope with change. Every time our urban collie leaves home the street outside will probably have changed (new vehicles, new people, rubbish skips etc.). Just going out for a walk, even if the dog looks forward to his walk, can generate stress and we need to be aware of this and help him cope.

• Cope with the presence of strangers/ visitors or groups of people…. Sheep farms tend to be isolated places. It is not necessary to be at ease with people to be a good working sheep dog. In a pet home our dogs are surrounded by many strange people in the street and visitors to the home. If you get your Collie as a puppy make sure he is sensitively socialised to people at an early age. If he is older respect the fact that he may find meeting strange people stressful.

• Cope with the presence of strange dogs......... apart from the familiar dogs with similar characteristics that live on the farm with them, working sheepdogs are unlikely to need to mix with other dogs. As pet owners we expect them to meet a lot of strange dogs, many with appalling “dog manners”, and often with our dog on a lead so that it does not have the option of running away. Even if your collie does not react aggressively in these situations he could well be very stressed.

Many sheepdogs will never leave their farms so traditionally they haven't really needed to get on with other dogs or unfamiliar people. Sociability and resilience are not characteristics that have historically been important in the development of the Border Collie. Although your dog may not be directly from working stock he will still have many of the characteristics inherited from generations of working sheep dogs and equally he may not have inherited those characteristics

that would make life in a pet home easier for him.

Shepherds are the experts with Border Collies and we can learn a lot from them. Yes, we've all heard of harsh and callous shepherds, but many value their dogs very highly, not just as working dogs, but also as members of their family. Watch a sheepdog working, it is referring back to the shepherd for guidance all the time. His impulses to chase and control movement are under very tight control. The shepherd is guiding the dog and the dog is exhibiting self-control. Ideally this is how we want our collie to be with us. If he is checking in with us to find out what do next not only is he under control and less likely to get himself into trouble, but he is also getting reassurance from us. He doesn't have to worry; we will tell him what to do in any situation. Encourage your dog to look to you for guidance; it shouldn't be too hard, it's in his genesl

Watch the shepherd to, he has to keep very calm and guide his dog at all times. You just don't see excitable shepherds, an excitable shepherd would mean an excited dog and scattered sheep! Be a calm owner. Think about this if you are considering Agility or Flyball with your Collie, a good working sheep dog is fast and has lightning reflexes, but is not in a state of over-excitement. Teach your dog calmly what you want him to do. If he understands and is enjoying what he is doing he will do his best; after all he has been bred from generations of dogs selected for their willingness to work as a team with their handler. There is no need for your dog to be roused to a hysterical state for it to perform well, and it is bad for its mental and physical health to be in such a state. If your dog shows signs of stress or gets over-excited ask yourself is this is really the best activity for him.

A final thought... when a working sheepdog is not working alongside the shepherd he is shut away in a quiet, non-stimulating place to rest and recover and to keep him out of mischief!

Importantly, adrenalin levels that have probably been quite high while he is working now have a chance to return to normal. Your sensitive, alert pet Collie is being bombarded with information from his environment all the time; make sure he has plenty of opportunity to rest in a secure, non-stimulating place where he can relax.

Think Border Collies, think working sheepdogs.....maximise their strengths, understand and respect their weaknesses.


Sensational Staffy is searching for Love

The search is on for a new abode for a sensational Staffy who was recently handed into the care of Dogs Trust Cumbria.

12-year-old Loki is currently in a foster home which he has taken to like a duck to water. Loki’s foster carers say he is a “very happy and loveable boy who loves his walks and lounging on the sofa in equal measure.”

Loki is a name of Norse origin that means ‘airy’. Sharing its namesake with the Norse God of mischief, Loki lives up to his name as he is a sweet and playful boy.

Julie O’Neill, Media Co-ordinator at Dogs Trust Cumbria said: “Loki was a muchloved pet who came into our care in sad circumstances after his owner could no longer care for him. Thanks to our fantastic foster carers, the transitional from his home to living in a foster home has been a smooth one. Loki has settled in amazingly well which has been wonderful to witness. It also gives us great hope that his move from foster home to permanent home will also go well.

“Loki is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier through and through, friendly and fun, and he can at times like the sound of his own voice. He has a super friendly nature when on his walks when meeting people and dogs. He has mad spurts of energy at home with his party trick being rolling around on his back with legs in the air. It will be a lucky person who adopts Loki as he has lots of love to give and we hope it won’t be long before he finds the one.”

Loki could live with children aged 14 and over however would also be well suited

to a quieter adult only home. He would enjoy a garden where he can wander off lead, but this is not essential. Loki is fully house trained, sleeps throughout the night and travels well in the car.

n If you think Loki could be the canine

companion for you, you can read more about him by visiting If you are interested in fostering a dog like Loki click here:

Loveable Loki
Call to join the ever growing number of people changing to Dogmatic 01952 245330 or visit us at REVOLUTIONARY HEADCOLLAR 11 TIMES WINNER OF ‘Product I can’t live without’ NO MORE PULLING l NO MORE RIDING UP l NO MORE RUBBING l NO MORE COMING OFF l NO MORE DISCOMFORT

We provide High Quality, well priced food supplies for RAW and BARF diet A High Quality Range of Natural Supplements, Health Aids, Remedies and Natural Healthy Treats which Enhance Your Pets’ Diet. l Raw Meats/Fish/ Bones/Offal/Whole Prey Suitable for Cats, Dogs, Ferrets, Reptiles and Raptors l Natural Treats l Natural Healthcare Products Support and Help in changing animals over to a Natural Raw Diet SOME OF OUR PRODUCTS Braided Ostrich skin Air-dried Complete Food Chicken Drumsticks Dried Sprats Eggshell powder Gourmet Training slices Pet Odour gel Pumpkin powder Rope toys Cold Compressed complete Unisex Raw T shirt Tel: 01763 247929 SHOP ONLINE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR Tug toy

MP Selaine Saxby supports leading dog welfare charity Dogs Trust’s plea to end cruel puppy smuggling trade

Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon, has vowed to tackle the issue of puppy smuggling.

The Conservative MP is due to have the 2nd reading of her Private Members Bill – Animal Welfare (Import of Dogs, Cats & Ferrets) Bill in Parliament on 15 March, which would help tackle the puppy smuggling trade.

Today, the UK’s leading dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust hosted a parliamentary event in the House of Commons, to mark more than ten years of the charity’s efforts to end puppy smuggling.

The Dogs Trust team spoke to over 100 MPs about their pioneering Puppy Pilot scheme, which was introduced in 2015 to aid the interception of illegally imported puppies and provide care and rehabilitation for them until they find loving new homes.

The charity also discussed their recent ‘Tragic Tales & The Decade of Delay’ campaign, which featured four real life case studies of dogs who have been helped via the Puppy Pilot.

Attending MPs pledged to help Dogs Trust end puppy smuggling and agreed to support Selaine Saxby’s Private Member’s Bill.

Claire Calder, Head of Public Affairs at Dogs Trust, said:

“We are delighted that Selaine has committed to taking forward a Bill to finally tackle the cruel Puppy Smuggling trade.

“We have been campaigning for over 10 years to end the suffering of

countless numbers of dogs caught up in this abhorrent trade, and we hope this marks a real step forward for dog welfare in the UK.

“Today’s event was a fantastic success; we spoke to over 100 MPs about this important issue.”

Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon, said:

“For over ten years Dogs Trust has been working hard to end the cruel puppy smuggling trade, and today’s event was a great opportunity for MPs to talk to Dogs Trust staff and learn about their work.

“Since being elected in 2019, I have

supported Dogs Trust on this issue, and with my Private Members Bill, I am committed to delivering part of the original Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, to help end the cruel puppy smuggling trade.”

n To find out more about Dogs Trust’s work to end puppy smuggling, visit

Selaine Saxby, MP
Call to join the ever growing number of people changing to Dogmatic 01952 245330 or visit us at REVOLUTIONARY HEADCOLLAR 11 TIMES WINNER OF ‘Product I can’t live without’ NO MORE PULLING l NO MORE RIDING UP l NO MORE RUBBING l NO MORE COMING OFF l NO MORE DISCOMFORT
It is not something that a family who have never owned a dog can do on their own, nor should it ever be attempted

The time has come where I can no longer condone the misrepresentation that a Labrador will improve the life of an autistic child

Would you say to a blind person that a Labrador puppy would work well as a guide dog without any formal training? The answer has to be no. Guide dogs and assistance dogs have to have months of training to do the job they do efficiently.

I had a long conversation with a lady the other day and I had every sympathy with her plight with her autistic daughter. She rang me for advice as she was unhappy about the information she had been given by a so called expert on dogs for autism. She was told to get a Labrador puppy and either train it herself or she could send it to a trainer who she could recommend at the cost of £1000 per week for a minimum of 4 weeks. This lady had never owned a dog nor her family as a child. She had little or no knowledge of a dogs needs and not only had one autistic child but also a 3 year old daughter.

How I wish these well meaning ‘advisors’ would stop suggesting a puppy is the answer to everything. It most certainly is not. The last 5 dogs we have had into rescue in this area have come from families who have bought

puppies as future assistance dogs. They are trying to do what is best for their family but have been ill-advised and in some cases have lost a lot of money to so called trainers.

There was a tv programme a while back about a company that were taking in owned dogs and supposedly training them as assistance dogs. It turned out to be a complete scam and some of the dogs did not even know the basic commands and had been badly treated by the trainers. They

came back as nervous, head shy dogs. Just what you need for an autistic child and a recipe for a bite.

Please let commonsense prevail and seek advice from the breed rescues before you embark on purchasing a Labrador puppy. Rescues see it all and are ideally placed to assist where they can and to avoid yet another dog being unsuitable and either ending up as a nervous wreck in the kennels and needing months of rehabilitation or even worse paying with its life.

40 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE Call to join the ever growing number of people changing to Dogmatic 01952 245330 or visit us at REVOLUTIONARY HEADCOLLAR 11 TIMES WINNER OF ‘Product I can’t live without’ NO MORE PULLING l NO MORE RIDING UP l NO MORE RUBBING l NO MORE COMING OFF l NO MORE DISCOMFORT

Bellway offers a helping hand to animal sanctuary in Swanley

Bellway has donated £500 to Second Chance Animal Rescue, an animal sanctuary based in Swanley.

The homebuilder, which is building new homes at Highlands Grange, off Highlands Hill in the town, made the donation to pay for a raft of items needed, including hay, straw, food for cats and various small animals, wild bird seed and animal toys. The donation also purchased dog food to feed the sanctuary’s exotic animals.

Second Chance Animal Rescue is based off Stones Cross Road in Crockenhill, Swanley, and was founded in 2011. The charity aims to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome ill-treated or abandoned animals, including cats, pigs, goats, ponies and poultry.

The sanctuary is made up by a team of dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to find their animals a forever home, rehabilitate them back into the wild, or care for them at the sanctuary.

Linda Burns, Trustee and Volunteer for Second Chance Animal Rescue, said: “The donation from Bellway means a great deal to us at the rescue. It enables us to feed all our various animals with specific food for a month.

“We rely on donations like this to be able to rescue more animals to keep them safe and, in many cases, ready to go off to new homes. We’d like to thank everyone at Bellway for their very kind donation.”

James Pitt, Sales Manager for Bellway Thames Gateway, said: “Engaging with the local community is at the heart of what we do at Bellway, so we were only too happy to provide a donation to Second Chance Animal Rescue.

“The team invest so much time into finding the right home for every animal in their care and, if they don’t find one suitable, the animals have a permanent home at the sanctuary.

“It is great to know that the money we’ve donated has funded a month’s worth of food for the animals at the charity, and will help the volunteers continue the great work they do.”

n For more information, visit, or call 01322 950091.

Bellway Thames Gateway is building two, three and four-bedroom homes at Highlands Grange. From left, Second Chance Animal Rescue Trustee and Volunteer Linda Burns, Bellway Sales Advisor Mohammed Bouamra and Second Chance Animal Rescue Volunteer Sue Brady, at the centre near Swanley, with the items purchased from Bellway’s donation. Bellway Sales Advisor Mohammed Bouamra with one of the sanctuary’s rescue ponies RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 41
Bellway Sales Advisor Mohammed Bouamra with one of the sanctuary’s rescue racoons

Love Island star visits Devon dog charity

Love Island star Faye Winter visited Dogs Trust Ilfracombe last week, to see firsthand the work the charity does.

The 28-year-old visited the centre in Ilfracombe, North Devon.

The TV personality toured the centre, visited the dogs, and spoke to staff about several issues affecting dogs and dog owners.

An animal lover, Faye is keen to continue her work and advocacy on dog welfare issues.

Faye Winter said:

“As the biggest dog lover, it was a privilege and honour to go and meet all the amazing dogs at Dogs Trust.

“It was an incredible opportunity to see what goes into caring for these beautiful animals and see how much they are loved by the amazing people that care for them.

“Seeing a rise in abuse and abandonment breaks my heart and I wish more people understood that these animals never ask anything of us, other than love and care.”

Faye is set to present a petition later this year, which looks to tackle this issue of unscrupulous breeding practices.

Faye added:

“It was amazing to see firsthand how Dogs Trust support dogs around the UK, but I also learnt about all they do to support dogs around the world and it is incredible.

“Thank you for everything you do and I hope my petition and platform will be a voice for each and every dog and animal charity."

n For more information about Dogs Trust Ilfracombe please visit -

Faye Winter visiting Dogs Trust Ilfracombe
Call to join the ever growing number of people changing to Dogmatic 01952 245330 or visit us at REVOLUTIONARY HEADCOLLAR 11 TIMES WINNER OF ‘Product I can’t live without’ NO MORE PULLING l NO MORE RIDING UP l NO MORE RUBBING l NO MORE COMING OFF l NO MORE DISCOMFORT

Sponsor a resident at Ferne Animal Sanctuary today to give animals in need

a better tomorrow

Ferne Animal Sanctuary near Chard have relaunched their sponsorship packs to raise lifesaving funds towards the care of unwanted or abandoned animals.

Sponsorship starts at just £3 a month and makes a big impact at the sanctuary, who work to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome farm and domestic animals. With over 300 resident animals alongside many others who are patiently waiting for their forever homes, the small donation provides a lifeline to animals in need. In each pack, sponsors receive a day pass to Ferne Animal Sanctuary, to experience the stunning 72-acre site.

Sponsors also receive a personalised certificate, their animal’s story and photograph, information about the animal’s life at Ferne and its resident friends, as well as seasonal postcards and a bookmark. With the ability to sign up to receive updates on the sponsored animals, sponsors can hear about their chosen animal throughout the year, and even come and meet them one-on-one as an optional extra.

Every purchase ensures that animals in need can find safety, love and kindness at Ferne Animal Sanctuary. From those who have had a traumatic past, to those who have simply lost their home, each sponsorship is a gift to help provide animals with a second chance at a better life.

There are five sponsorship options –Billie the pig, Arnie the pony, Ken the rabbit, Oscar the cat, or one of the kennels at Ferne, to give a rescue dog

somewhere warm and cosy to stay while they wait for their new home.

n To find out more, please visit or scan the QR code.

Ferne Animal Sanctuary is a nongovernment funded charity that has provided refuge and rehabilitation to its animals for almost 85 years. Located in a National Landscape (formerly AONB), nestled in the Blackdown Hills near Chard, Somerset, Ferne Animal Sanctuary houses and cares for more than 300 animals on its 72-acre site. For more information about Ferne Animal Sanctuary, please visit RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 43

What Is The Best Bird Food In Summer?

It’s difficult keeping up with the seasons

when it comes to bird feeding. As explored in our previous blog, you can expect during the summer months to see some unfamiliar faces returning to British gardens – so, what

is the best bird food in summer?

It’s a common misconception that during summer, we should hold off on bird feeding. This isn’t the case! Feeding birds is important year-round to deliver them the appropriate nutrients they need to survive each season.

Sure, appropriate food sources differ slightly from season to season, so this blog aims to explore what bird food is best to put in your feeders these next few coming months in summer.

Feeding Birds In Summer

Let’s jump back to that ‘common misconception’ that many have during Summer. With new bird populations being in abundance and the warm (often still wet in Britain) weather, many believe that birds have access to natural food sources and so feeding birds from your garden will make them lazy and complacent.

Wild birds in fact receive around 25% of their daily intake from bird feeders, some even lower. That’s why, during summer and the time when birds are returning to British gardens and protecting their young, giving them an extra boost of energy in bird seed is important.

Don’t be alarmed to see fewer birds at your feeders, however. This is sometimes the case when birds are nesting and naturally becoming more protective of their young.

What Is The Best Bird Food In Summer?

So now we know that it’s important to feed birds during summer, we need to know what the best bird food is for them during this time.

Birds, during the summer months, require plenty of protein to look after their fledglings.

So, what food gives them the right nutrients?

• Seeds

Specifically, sunflowers seeds and Nyjer seeds, which provide high levels of protein and healthy fats, to see birds through the summer.

Sunflower hearts particularly are easy and quick for birds to eat without the tough coat to crack open, perfect for the warm weather when birds don’t want to spend too long on the bird tables in the heat.

• Mealworms

The closest replica to the natural food source birds will find in the wild. This is a firm favourite in summer as birds love live food sources for their young. It’s a good option to rehydrate mealworms with a bit of water during summer to provide birds with added hydration.

Bird Food To Avoid In Summer

When deciding the best bird food in summer, it’s important to acknowledge the foods that we recommend you stay away from during summer and the allimportant nesting season for birds.

• Peanuts

Although a valuable energy-boosting option, peanuts can cause more damage than good to fledglings and baby birds. There are ways in which you can use bird peanuts to feed safely but just be aware that not all nuts are particularly good all year round.

• Suet

Suet and fat balls must be kept away from sunlight to prevent melting or going bad, causing potential harm to birds. They can be used as a good energy source year-round but the summer heat can cause suet and fat balls to easily spoil.

Tips For Feeding Birds In Summer

Now you know what bird food is best in summer, we want to offer you some top tips to make sure your garden is a popular site in these coming months.

• Keep feeders in the shade if possible

• Provide fresh water for birds to rehydrate and bathe in

• Be sure your bird feeders don’t attract other furry friends if possible

• Avoid foods that will be a choking risk for baby birds.

Kennedy Wild Bird Foods

At Kennedy Wild Bird Foods we supply quality bird food all year round, those foods that are perfect for the summer months. Shop our range of bird feed today!

Alternatively, if you’d like some more advice on the best bird food in summer, contact us! You can call us on 01778 342665 Or email us at or visit

Kennedy Wild Bird Food Ltd 44 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE

Supplying the UK with high-quality wild bird food and bird seed

are a family run wild bird food and wild bird seed supplier based in rural Lincolnshire. We supply only the finest quality products.

Poultry Mix

Mixed Wheat & Corn Our mixed wheat is an old fashion feed. It is a mixture of local grown wheat and cut maize. Whilst liked by many of the larger birds, it should be used as a feed alongside other mixes to obtain the required results. From£7.75

Small fatballs

The best, fattiest fat balls on the internet. Small Fat balls (no nets) offer a wide range of wild birds a nutritious and important source of energy specifically during winter and nesting season. Each fatball at approx 95g available in a box of 100. From£10.00

Economy wild bird mix

With our specialised blending of a number of nutritional seeds, this mix is suitable for a large variety of birds. High in black sunflower thus providing oil and protein and meeting all essential feeding requirements. Suitable for all year round feeding. From£7.25

Premium Suet Pellets Mix

This blended suet mixture is packed full of highIy calorific ingredients, it is ideal for all year round feeding and will attract a great variety of both small and medium sized birds to your garden. No re-growth under feeding station. Contains no wheat. From£11.00

Superior High energy ground feed

Our orginal ground feed mixture that's so adored by Robins, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and all other ground feeding birds. Suitable for all year round feeding. Either scattetered on the floor or placed on a table or ground feeder. Contains no wheat. From£10.00

Superior high energy mix

An extremely high energy mixture blended with the highest quality seeds. Suitable for all small birds and ideal for all year round feeding. Best fed from a seedfeeder or scattered on a bird table. Contains no wheat. From£9.00

Won’t grow mix

Blended with 60% bakery grade sunflowerhearts, this energy rich mixture has been blended to ensure no re-growth under your feeding station. Suitable for all year round feeding.

Dried mealworms

Dried mealworms are a tasty treat for garden birds with all the nutrition of live mealworms without the 'worm factor'. Attractive to robins, blackbirds, thrushes and all other insect eating birds. Available in sizes ranging from 250g to 10kg. From£10.00

Sunflower hearts

Bakery grade premium sunflower hearts. No unsightly husk. A food that is loved by most species of birds being high in both protein and oils. Makes a most desirable all year round food. From£9.00

Superior finch mix
Best fed from seed feeder, scattered on bird table or from ground feeder. Contains no wheat. From£8.95 This classic mixture was blended specifically with finches in mind. Contains a wonderful selection of the finest seeds and is suitable for all year round feeding. Best fed from seedfeeder or scattered on a bird table. Contains no wheat. From£9.00

Bio-Life MediCleanse

Natural Antimicrobial Skincare Range for Dogs. With Leleshwa, Lichen & Willowbark extracts for prevention & relief from eczema, dermatitis & hotspots. For further information, visit or call the Bio-Life Helpline on 01608 686626 (Open 8am to 8 pm, 7 days per week) g-wt_wcas=1

Harlequin Melamine Feeding Dog Bowl

The George Barclay, Harlequin Feeding Bowl is produced using a combination of melamine and stainless steel. Available in Antique White and Pebble Grey. £9.99. Visit

Great Pet Products

From Dog bowls to collars and accessories, spoil your pets with these sought after products


Eliminating stubborn pet smells such as dog urine odour and cat smells that cling to furniture, Odor-Kill can get rid of almost any smell around your home. From £7.48. Visit

Colloidal Silver Petcare products


Nature's Greatest Secret has the widest range of Colloidal Silver Petcare products and is one of the UK's longest established Colloidal Silver Brands. All new products are developed in partnership with a leading holistic veterinarian. Colloidal Silver Eyedrops for Pets, Colloidal Silver Tick and Flea Repellent, Colloidal Silver Petcare Ear Drops For Dogs With Essential Oils, Colloidal Silver Petcare 20ppm Trigger Spray, Visit

A healthy gut probiotic for horses. This pro-biotic powder works in the digestive system and overpopulates bad bacteria with beneficial bacteria. From £10.00. Visit

Are delighted to sponsor the Rescue Centres Re-Homing pictures on this Page

Tel: 01952 245330

Bella F2

She is a friendly girl who enjoys gentle massages, rolling around on the grass and food!

Domonique F2

Happy to walk alongside other quiet, friendly dogs but isn’t overly playful and can be nervous around larger dogs.

Jerry Green Dog Rescue

Hugo M3

I would like my home to have a a secure garden with 6ft fencing to keep me safe whilst I'm playing.

River F10

I absolutely love my toys, tennis balls are my favourite and if I had my own secure garden with 6ft fences imagine all the fun I could have!

Delilah F3

I enjoy my walks but can find new places a bit overwhelming it would be great if we had some nice regular walks nearer to home.

Scottish SPCA

Gus M8-12 mths

Gus is still very much a puppy and will require ongoing training to ensure he becomes a top model canine!

Cleo F1

She loves to say hi to other dogs when she is out, and then curl up in her bed for some quiet time.

Milo M1

Milo would enjoy a secure garden where he can have some play time safely off lead and relax in the sunshine as summer comes around!

Many Tears Rescue

Gracie F2

Looking to home

Gracie as an only dog, in a female only household. She likes to play with other dogs, but she doesn’t like to share.

Indie F6

Indie is such a sweet little girl who is trying to be brave and needs a helping hand to show her all the good things life has to offer.

Sophie F6

She is a confident girl who will approach you and enjoy a gentle fuss. She can already walk on a lead.

Nelson M1

I might be able to live with another dog, as long as they are a similar size and not too overbearing.

Big Moose M5

Despite his size he thinks he is a lap dog and likes to try and sit on you and loves nothing more than a cuddle with you!

Mr Ted M1-2

I am working really hard with my ongoing training and doing much better so my new family would need to continue this in the home.

Charlie M5-8

His loves in life are: the sound of his own voice, his grub and toys galore! He shows lots of basic training, appears to be toilet-trained.

Jazzy M2

He’s a boy that definitely needs a confident dogin the home for him to feel more comfortable as he relaxes.

Greenacres Rescue

Holly F

Holly is puppy perfection—fun, playful, and overflowing with love for everyone and everything she meets. With her adorable face!

Dior F2

Dior's sweet and gentle demeanour shines through. If you're searching for a faithful canine companion who will brighten your days.

Charm F4 & Fox M4

Both are true couch potatoes who are content with two twenty-minute walks a day. They enjoy lounging around.

Marcel M1

While he may initially be a little timid, he quickly warms up to new people and forms strong bonds with them.

Stella F1

Can be quite nervous around new people and takes time to make friends. She loves training and learns very quickly.

Twix M1-2

I am a laid-back chap that loves nothing more than playing with my toys!

Minion F8

When she thinks noone is watching she can get the zoomies and bat her toys around. Minion is still a little unsure of loud noises.

Bill M1

He will need lots of enrichment, exercise and training. He is so friendly and greets everyone with a waggy tail.


Harper F2-3

Acorn F3

A super softie and loves to be near you and have a fuss. She has an energetic side and loves to have a good run around.

Polly F5

I will need my leaving hours built up slowly at my own pace so at the moment I would prefer to have my humans around all day.

Ruby F9

Ruby is an older lady who is looking for a nice, quiet home where she can find a cosy spot on a sunny windowsill to curl up and and relax.

Teeny F3

Teeny is a lovely girl now in search of anew family to give her the time and patience she deserves.

Louise F6

A lovely girl who will approach you with a waggy tail and is easy to handle. She enjoys the company of other dogs.

Bobby M7 mths

An active household with plenty of opportunities for play and exercise would be the perfect fit for this lively pup.

Roxy F11

Roxy Loves her walks and makes us all laugh when she throws herself on the floor for a good roll around.

Asterix M3

I would love an active family, ones who love going out on many adventures and would love a 4 legged companion to see all the sites.

Kyle M3-5

Due to his nervous nature he will require a quiet home with a new owner willing to give him plenty of time to adjust and settle in.

Millie F7

With time, love and kindness she is going to enjoy to love having a nice little fuss.

Yolo F8 wks

They have very sweet inquisitive personalities and will grow into large dogs so this will need to be kept in mind.

Gelert M1

This young lad thrives on exercise and would love a home where he can stretch his legs, play fetch, and explore the great outdoors.

Eddie M2-3

Eddie bonds easily and happy to learn and we believe in the right home Eddie with thrive!

RSPCA The Stubbington Ark - Solent Branch
sweet, inoffensive girl that loves to be around people. She joined us when her owner was moving and could not take her with them. RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 47

Mighty Meaty Fish Medley (Active Dog)

This fish medley recipe is a higher fat option for very active dogs or breeds such as huskies & other 'snow dogs' which often do better with a higher fat, higher calorie, lower carb food. From £16.50. Visit

Green House Collar

1” wide Jaquard ribbon house collar in a lovely Gambit design in green. Adjusts to fit 13� to 19� neck size with a curved side release Acetal Buckle for easy fitting. £8.00. Visit

I Am The Horse Whisperer Mug

These mugs make perfect presents for the horse lover in your life. Let them enjoy their morning cuppa in one of these before they set off for the stables...

This "I Am The Horse Whisperer" mug comes gift boxed and present ready.

All Sweet William mugs are dishwasher and microwave safe. W:8.5cm H:9cm. £15.00. Visit

Beautiful Bangle

Pewter Sheep & Collie Torc Bangle. £40.00. Visit

Sarah Cee Canvas Bag

12 oz Canvas bags available in natural or black. 43x38x10cm long handled tote bag. Can be embroidered with a Labrador of your choice and any text.

NB Please ensure you mark your order with choice of Labrador i.e. Labrador with golf club. and colour of dog i.e. black, yellow or chocolate Please let us know your preference for colour of bag and any lettering you would like thereon.

Delivered direct from Sarah as each order is treated individually. £15.00. Visit

How Do Cats Fit Through Such Narrow Spaces?

Anyone who’s observed cats for any amount of time has probably seen them attempt to squeeze their bodies through impossibly small and tight spaces. It’s natural to wonder how they manage to do this and how their anatomy makes this possible.

Cats are so adept at moving through tight spaces that they seem to flow like liquids, but the real answer behind this unique ability is in their shoulder girdle.

Cat Anatomy 101: The shoulder blades of cats are attached to the rest of their body by muscles, and the same is true of their collarbones—which are also far smaller than in comparison with the rest of their body. A cat’s spine is also key in its flexibility. Cats have highly flexible spines that allow them to bend, move, and stretch in ways that many other animals simply cannot. They have discs between each bone in the spine that are highly elastic and can bend up to 180 degrees side-to-side compared with a human’s 90 degrees. in-house veterinarian Dr. Karyn Kanowski, BVSc MRCVS, explains further: “A cat’s head is the widest part of their body (although for some, it is, unfortunately, their tummy), and when turned on its side, this isn’t very wide at all. If they can squeeze their head through, their highly flexible body can follow.”

“Unlike the human clavicles (collar bones), which are attached to the scapula (shoulder blades) and sternum, creating a rigid girdle that supports the upper body and arms, the feline clavicle is a free-floating, vestigial bone that poses no hindrance to the movement of the forelimbs.”

This adaptation allows them incredible maneuverability, an evolutionary advantage that likely evolved to allow

efficient hunting of small prey like mice and aid in escape from larger predators. Cats’ whiskers are also key in their ability to navigate tight spaces. They are thick and sit deep within their skin, and the base of each whisker is equipped with highly sensitive nerve endings that convey a ton of vital information, including the size of spaces they’re attempting to get through.

Why Do Cats Love Such Narrow Spaces? Cats often choose to squeeze into tight spots like under beds, behind closets, or other spaces when they feel stressed or afraid. This could be from a new pet in the home, loud noises, or too many visitors. The confined space helps make them feel more safe and secure. Of course, cats love their alone time, too, and will often retreat to hidden spaces when they feel like they need a time out. There may be nothing necessarily

wrong, and the cats simply need some alone time.

Dr. Kanowski adds the following: “The same freedom of movement that allows cats to run, jump, and climb also allows them to compact themselves into tiny spaces. This can be a highly beneficial survival strategy when hiding from predators, hunting prey, and getting away from harsh weather conditions.”

“It is also likely that compressing the body into tight spaces stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, creating a feeling of calm and relaxation, which is why we often find our cats, purring away, wedged into the most unlikely places.”

n For more information on everything in the world of cats, be sure to check out Catster

Call to join the ever growing number of people changing to Dogmatic 01952 245330 or visit us at REVOLUTIONARY HEADCOLLAR 11 TIMES WINNER OF ‘Product I can’t live without’ NO MORE PULLING l NO MORE RIDING UP l NO MORE RUBBING l NO MORE COMING OFF l NO MORE DISCOMFORT RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 49

Leeds donkeys help Clara find her smile

A teenager who was struggling with pressures surrounding her GCSE exams has found support among the four-legged residents of The Donkey Sanctuary in Leeds.

Clara Bowers, 15, from Halifax was diagnosed with autism when she was nine years old. As she approached her exams last year, her anxiety level increased, which led to her feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty concentrating at school.

Clara’s increased anxiety prompted her mum Ana to investigate ways to help her manage the stress levels she was experiencing at school. As Clara always had a close rapport with animals, she searched for organisations with animals who may be able to help.

It was then they discovered the Donkey Assisted Activities programmes offered by The Donkey Sanctuary Leeds, and after being referred Clara attended a taster session at the centre in Eccup. During this visit, her mum couldn’t believe her daughter’s reaction to being among the resident donkeys for the first time, and said she’d not seen her daughter smile like this in a long time.

Clara said: “I find it difficult to read human facial emotions and feel that I connect better with animals, as they listen unconditionally.”

Samantha Butcher. Equine Coach at the Leeds sanctuary, facilitates and delivers donkey-assisted activities at the centre. She said: “Clara came to us looking for ways to stay calm and present in the moment, to practice some mindfulness techniques, create positive memories and deal with the day-to-day pressures of school life she was feeling.

“To begin with she was very quiet, and didn’t make eye contact, but she soon began to develop a real bond with the donkeys, and we could see her light up whenever she was around them.”

Staff at the sanctuary work with lots of clients, but it was rare to see the donkeys behave in the way they did around Clara. They noticed a special connection between her and the donkeys. When she arrived at the centre for her session, the donkeys were naturally drawn to her and would each gently nudge her with their soft muzzles.

Samantha recalled a particular moment during a session with a 15-yearold donkey called Harry, who originally came into the sanctuary along with six other donkeys, after being abandoned at the roadside in Ireland. She said: “Harry chose to lay down next to Clara in the sand arena while she was taking part in a mindfulness session – time seemed to stand still.

“The smile on Clara’s face when Harry came to support her was so powerful. Clara’s mum was stood watching the session and I remember she had tears of happiness in her eyes. That moment will be something I will always remember, and I believe they will too.”

Every week Samantha and her colleagues have seen Clara develop in confidence both with them, and with the donkeys. From the first session they have seen her smile grow and through her mum Ana have heard positive feedback from her school.

Clara has been able to use some of the

techniques she has learnt to help calm herself in difficult situations. She has also been able to regulate herself during stressful situations at school, whereas previously she found it difficult to communicate how she was feeling. Her teacher also noticed a significant change in her ability to self-regulate and handle challenging situations that may arise, making a positive impact on her education.

Following her exams, Clara plans to go to college where she hopes to study animal care. She has wanted to work with animals for years, but thanks to her experience with the donkeys she has now been inspired to help rehome animals and give them a better life after seeing how the sanctuary helps the donkeys.

Clara has also used the knowledge gained by watching the donkeys’ body language and reactions at the sanctuary to help with her own animals at home. Their home is a menagerie for a whole


host of pets including chickens, two dogs, a rabbit and a snake, and she has built a much stronger connection to her dog Rex, noticing how his body language and subtle ear movements indicates how he’s feeling.

Clara’s mum Ana said: “Clara’s bond with the donkeys has been a happy emotional journey, and the programme has been a huge benefit to her mental wellbeing.

“Clara instantly felt comfortable in the presence of the donkeys, and they soon gravitated towards her. It was a very emotional experience as a parent of a child with autism, but it was obvious from her very first session how comfortable she was.”

Cathryn Hampshire, Centre Manager at the Leeds sanctuary, said: “Hearing how Clara was able to take the learning and techniques and apply them to

her emotions in a stressful situation is brilliant.

“Emotional regulation – or exploring how we think and feel about something – is a form of mindfulness practice. By learning this tool in her weekly sessions, it helped Clara to use her five senses and focus on her breathing to remain calm and in control.”

Clara and Ana are determined to continue to raise awareness of autism and have had incredible support from The National Autistic Society based in Calderdale. Mark Johnson, Branch Chair, commented: "It is wonderful to hear about Clara's experience at The Donkey Sanctuary and highlights the profound impact that animals can have on autistic individuals, providing them with invaluable support and a sense of connection.

“We are all immensely proud of Clara

and the progress she has made and we are committed to supporting initiatives that promote the wellbeing of autistic individuals in our community."

Clara is also learning British Sign Language as she believes it can benefit people with autism to communicate in a different way, if they are having difficulties expressing themselves.

Samantha has also learned from her experience working with Clara, saying: “She has been such a pleasure to work with and I could see from early on the differences the donkeys were making to her life.

“Clara also showed me the world through her eyes and has inspired me to learn more about autism and neurodiversity as a whole.”

n For more information visit

5 ways to create a hedgehogfriendly garden

With hedgehogs coming out of hibernation in March and April now is the perfect time for action and so the wildlife experts from Pet Range have shared five simple yet effective ways to transform your garden into a hedgehog-friendly haven

Let them in with a hedgehog highway

When hedgehogs face barriers to their movement, they may find it harder to access food and shelter. A good way to mitigate this is to create what’s known as a “hedgehog highway”, which allows these creatures to easily navigate urban and suburban landscapes. A hedgehog highway comprises of a series of small openings or tunnels in fences that allow hedgehogs to roam freely between gardens. By creating these passageways, you're essentially opening up your garden to the wider ecosystem, enabling hedgehogs to explore and forage without hindrance.

To allow the animals to travel through your garden, simply cut a hole in the bottom of your fence. The hole doesn’t have to be big at all — a 13cm by 13cm size gap is ideal as this gives hedgehogs ample space to pass through while keeping your pets in (or your neighbour’s pets out!). If you want to go a step

further, you can even install a purposebuilt hedgehog tunnel for easy access. And to make sure the hedgehogs have as much space as possible, try to get the neighbours involved to extend the

hedgehog highway even further. Of course, always make sure to ask your neighbours for permission before cutting a hole if you share a fence, even if it is legally yours. RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 51

Leave food out

In the wild, hedgehogs are omnivores, feasting on a diet of insects, slugs, worms, and even small vertebrates. However, urbanisation and changes in garden wildlife have led to a decline in natural food sources for hedgehogs, making it challenging for them to find sustenance. The good news is that as a responsible garden owner, you can easily lend a helping hand by leaving out suitable food and water for these prickly visitors.

Specialised hedgehog food, available from some pet food retailers, is an excellent choice for providing hedgehogs with a nutritious meal. Alternatively, if you’re a pet owner you can also offer them some of your pet’s wet meat-based cat or dog food, as well as dry cat food. Remember to place food and water in shallow dishes and avoid leaving out milk, which contrary to popular belief can be harmful to hedgehogs as they lactose intolerant (Hedgehog Street). The best time to leave food out is around dusk, as this is the time they usually start searching for food.

Create a wild space

While many of us enjoy having a perfectly manicured garden, hedgehogs are quite the opposite. These animals prefer things more natural, thriving in wild, untamed areas where they can forage for food and find shelter. By incorporating wild spaces into your garden design, you can create a haven for hedgehogs. Plus, an untamed garden area can have benefits for even more animals, such as frogs who thrive in the long grass and bees who get essential nutrients from wildflowers.

You don’t need to let your garden become overrun if you prefer a tidier look, and simply dedicating one small wild corner will be enough to let wildlife thrive. Let the grass grow longer, allow plants to grow naturally, and avoid using pesticides and herbicides that can harm

hedgehogs and their prey. By letting nature take its course, you'll create a vibrant ecosystem where hedgehogs can thrive alongside other wildlife.

Create a hedgehog home

When they aren’t out foraging for food, hedgehogs need a cosy place to call home. Building or buying a hedgehog house is a simple yet effective way to provide these creatures with the shelter they need to survive. And the good news is that making your own home for these animals is relatively straightforward. You can easily make a hedgehog house using a wooden box filled with dry leaves, straw, or shredded newspaper. Position it in a quiet, sheltered spot, preferably hidden beneath foliage or bushes, and ensure that the entrance is wide enough for a hedgehog to squeeze through but not large enough for predators to enter. By providing hedgehogs with a safe and snug home, you're giving them the best chance of thriving in your garden.

Keep them safe

You may think that your garden is a safer space for hedgehogs than the wild, but there are actually a number of potential hazards to be aware of. A few risky areas that can easily be made safer include:

l Drains: It’s easy for hedgehogs to get stuck in drains as they aren’t the best climbers. You can easily fix this issue by covering any uncovered drains with a mesh guard.

l Ponds: While hedgehogs can swim, they may struggle to get out of a particularly steep pond. Simply invest in a small ramp to mitigate this risk.

l Leaf piles: Hedgehogs often hide in leaf piles for shelter and warmth. If you plan on making a bonfire with a leaf pile, it’s best to gather the leaves just before you start the bonfire so animals don’t

have time to sneak in. You should always check for wildlife just before you start your bonfire to ensure no creatures have made their way into the pile.

l Long grass and hedges: When doing the gardening work, make sure there aren’t any hedgehogs hiding in long grass or hedges before using equipment like strimmers and lawnmowers.

If you have dogs, you should also ensure that they stay away from hedgehogs to keep both animals safe. The good news is that as hedgehogs are nocturnal, your pet likely won’t see them during the day. If you take your dog out in the garden at night, consider keeping them on a lead if they are particularly inquisitive, or take them out in your front garden, instead.

If you do put food out for your hedgehogs, leave it in an area of your garden where your dog doesn’t usually go, such as a small corner of the garden they might find difficult to get into. Fortunately for cat owners, felines rarely show any interest in hedgehogs so your pet will likely stay away and not cause any trouble.

“When it comes to helping hedgehogs thrive in our gardens, even the smallest actions can make a big difference. Something as simple as leaving a corner of your garden untouched and letting it run a bit wild can be beneficial, giving the animals not just somewhere to shelter, but a good environment for their prey, allowing them to stick to their natural diet.

“That being said, there are plenty of ways for us humans to supplement hedgehog’s diets. Food made specifically for hedgehogs gives them all the nutrients they need to thrive, but leftover meat-based cat or dog food can provide them with the sustenance they need too.”- Lisa Melvin, Head of Marketing at Pet Range

52 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE Call to join the ever growing number of people changing to Dogmatic 01952 245330 or visit us at REVOLUTIONARY HEADCOLLAR 11 TIMES WINNER OF ‘Product I can’t live without’ NO MORE PULLING l NO MORE RIDING UP l NO MORE RUBBING l NO MORE COMING OFF l NO MORE DISCOMFORT

Mini Donkeys arrive at Redwings

Ada Cole in time for Spring opening

Three rescue miniature donkeys have arrived at Redwings Ada Cole, Essex, and are ready to welcome families this Easter weekend.

Spring opening hours begin at the Visitor Centre, in Nazeing, on Good Friday (29th March) after which it’ll be open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The tiny trio - named Wedgewood, Dudley and Jack - arrived at Redwings in late December.

Jo Franklin, Senior Field Officer and Ada Cole Centre Manager, said: “The Donkey Sanctuary and the RSPCA contacted Redwings to ask if we could offer them a secure future after their owners had been struggling with their care.

“They say good things come in small packages, and that is definitely the case with these three!

“They’re all miniature donkeys, at

less than 9hh, but that doesn’t mean they require any less specialist care or facilities to ensure they stay happy and healthy.”

They join the existing residents of Redwings Ada Cole, which also includes Adoption Stars Tinkerbell, Zippy, Elvis and Dotty, who are all available to sponsor as the perfect Easter gift for as little as £2 a month through the Redwings Adoption Scheme.

Visitors will be able to meet the horses and donkeys, enjoy food and drink from Dolly’s Café and browse the gift shop at Redwings Ada Cole Visitor Centre, Broadlands, Epping Road, Roydon, Nazeing, Essex, EN9 2DH on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 10-4pm (paddock walks close at 3.30pm).

Entry is free but donations are very welcome. All Redwings’ centres are dog friendly.

Tinkerbell's birthday party will take place on Sunday 14th April, right at the end of the Easter holidays. Activities start from 11.15am, all are invited and entry is free. Visitors will be able to speak to her carers, watch Tinkerbell enjoy a groom and share a pony-friendly birthday cake with her friends.

n To find out more about how Redwings helps donkeys like Wedgewood, Dudley and Jack, and the hundreds of others in the charity’s care, please visit RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 29 MARCH – 29 APRIL 2024 53
Dudley (left) Wedgewood (middle) Jack (right)

Are delighted to sponsor the Rescue Centres Re-Homing pictures on this Page

Tel: 01952 245330

Bettie F1

She can be nervous of strangers and new dogs. She is an active little girl, looking for a home with no other animals and older children.

Elsa F8

She is still an excitable active little girl. Would like someone active to give her a loving new home.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Stormy F4-5

The most sweetest girl who loves her humans. She would be an absolute delight in any household and will be a loving companion.

Geelo M6-7

He loves to zoom around at high speed sometimes, so he would love a spacious and secure private garden to do laps in.

Louie M6

Meet Louie our resident snuggle puggle, he loves a good bum scratch and clambering on your lap for a cuddle. An anxious boy.

Kevin M5-6

A lovely boy who enjoys the company of humans. He has been relaxed for all of his handling and loves leaning into your legs for a fuss.

Danaher Animal Home

Cali F1

A tender-hearted girl, looking for a special someone. It could be you sharing those cosy cuddles, exploring her world together.

Kash M1

Kash is like getting the best of both worlds. As you can see, he is dashingly handsome with that playful spark in his eyes.

East Midlands Dog Rescue

Bella F2

She will need a confident loyal friend whose got her back and who has time and commitment to invest in this worthwhile little lady.

Bop M3

He needs a kind gentle hand, and someone with time and patience to help him blossom. He will thrive as an ‘only’ dog.

Blue M10 mths

He's a big-hearted boy that can't help but show his enthusiasm. A family with dog-savvy older children would be perfect for him.

Jack M6-7

Gentle giant Jack is hoping to find a place in your heart… and a place on your sofa to curl up in! A laidback lad, likes human attention.

Bruce M1

Lovely lad in need of a home with plenty of time and commitment. Needs a lover of his breed who can devote time to shape him.

Harry M2

A sweet, strong ‘bulldozer’ with bags of personality and potential in the right hands. Needs an owner with time and commitment.

Sadie F18mths

Sadie is a very lively spaniel terrier cross. She has a high prey-drive and ball fixation! Will need an active home.

Spud M3-4

He has shown some worry around aspects of handling and needs a go-slow approach with new owners so it’s a positive experience.

Peppo M16

Peppo is a cat that'll slot right into your life like he's always been a part of it. He's a friendly boy who wears his heart on his furry sleeve.

Sadie F1

A very sweet needy girl looking for someone with time, commitment and breed experience She will make a devoted pet.

Linc M12

Looking for an experienced home. He would need a home as a single tortoise. He will need a secure garden and no young children.

Opal F

A young energetic cat. Would prefer a home with no young children as she can play a little rough, then can be loving the next moment.

Blake M3-4

His favourite thing is food and he is always on the look out for a tasty treat, and will sniff around to try to find some food. He is a counter surfer!

Peter M6

Once he comes out of his shelf Peter loves attention giving head bumps purring and will roll around showing you his belly.

Maggie & O'Malley F1 & M1

They prefer to explore their surroundings at night when the world is quiet.

Bubbles M6

Bubbles is all about love, and you’ll never catch him saying no to a gentle stroke or playful tickle.

Ed M16 mths & Warwick M18 mths

They are gorgeous boys with typical sensitive Whippet traits. They would love to stay together if possible.

Faith F2

A true project for a die hard dog lover looking to give something back and show this young girl how good life can be.

Tiny Tyson M6

We are looking for an experienced home for Tiny Tyson. He will need a secure garden and no young children.

Ella F1

She has a lovely history as a friendly family cat but has found cattery life quite stressful. She's playful and loves her toys.

Espur F5

If you've got a lot of love to give and the time to let a blossoming friendship grow, Espur could be your perfect match

Holly F4

A very sweet girl, keen to please and so deserving of her Happy Ever After. Time, patience and kindness is the way forward for her.

Margaret Green Animal Rescue

Tom M3

His love of his life is his toys, but you will have to be sneaky to catch him in the act of throwing his toys about and puppy bowing, as he doesn't like an audience.

Bella F5

She loves a belly rub on the sofa, and we have spent many rainy days enjoying this activity with her during her time in our care.

Daisy F3

She is best described as a playful and happy 'bull in a china shop' when she is running around and having fun with her carers.

Leo M1

Has some impressively long legs, and an equally impressive cheeky personality! He also has oodles of energy and buckets of enthusiasm for fun.

Percy M2

Percy could live with older teenagers and adults and he is looking to have someone around for most of the day.

Pickle M1

Pickle would benefit from attending training classes to help him form bonds with his new family as Pickle takes time to trust.

Clifford M1

Could potentially live with children over 10 if he was happy during his meeting and we feel he could happily share his home with another steady dog too.

Darcy F6

A Coton de Tulear is described as a small, fluffy, and affectionate dog with a playful personality and that sums up Miss Darcy perfectly.

Second Chance Animal Rescue

If you would like to place an advertisement call our animal friendly team on 07885305188


To place an advert please call our animal friendly team on 07885305188

Are delighted to sponsor the Rescue Centres Re-Homing pictures on this Page

Tel: 01952 245330


Mayhew Animal Welfare

Spring M3

Simba F9

She is an intelligent girl and would also thrive from being provided with mental stimulation and enrichment such as activity feeders and licki mats, to keep her entertained.

Toby M6

An active dog who likely has not spent much time in a home so will need a patient and understanding owner that is willing to continue with his training and socialisation.

Ace M1

Amazing Ace is an active, playful boy who is ready to bounce into his new home! He absolutely loves going to the park and meeting new doggy pals but is still learning.

Fern F13

A sweet, affectionate lady who has been there, done that and got the t-shirt and is now looking for a loving, chilled out home where she can be the centre of attention.

Bellatrix F1-2

A busy little girl who is keen to get involved and play. She will definitely cast a spell on you and before long you’ll be swept away in all her tortie tomfoolery!

A special boy with a lovely energy about him. He would love a calm, quiet home to allow him to flourish into the confident, happy and well adjusted dog he has the potential to be.
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