Rescue & Animal Care - May/June- Issue 175

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30th May - 30th June 2022 - Issue 175

Doggy duo Thelma & Louise are looking for their forever home

ISSN 2050-0572

FREE TO READ Promoting Responsible Pet Ownership and Animal Welfare

Bulldog brothers with health complications look for experienced home

Five puppies abandoned in box in park

Nervous oneeyed kitten finds new home

Companionship is number one reason for getting a dog Six Things to Consider Before Taking Your Dog Swimming This Summer

Cover Image

National Pug Protection Trust

Help support this Charity’s vital work

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Hello Readers,


It doesn’t seem a moment since our last issue but here we are again with our latest issue which I hope you will enjoy reading. We would appreciate you sharing a copy with your pet loving friends!

Promoting Responsible Pet Ownership and Animal Welfare

Here’s a flavour of what’s inside:l As temperatures soar, Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, is offering top tips to help owners make sure dogs can stay safe and happy in the sun and keep cool. l


Surprised NHS-worker enlists charity help after finding kittens in the attic!

l Leading cat charity reports 25% rise in unwanted kittens. With the cost of living spiralling, an increasing number of pet owners can no longer afford to keep their beloved animals. l Lop or Not? One of the most common requests animal charity Rabbit Residence get when people are looking for a rabbit, is for a “Mini Lop”. There’s no denying those cute button noses, floppy ears and big eyes are adorable, but do you know what exactly you are taking on?

Gone are the days of baking ‘four and twenty blackbirds’ in a pie! Nowadays, there are between 10 and 15 million blackbirds living in UK gardens, country sides and cities. What to feed them? See Kennedy Wild Bird Food Guide. l

Read these articles and many more interesting features inside.


Until next month

Love Jennifer x

In this issue ...

46 12 Five puppies

abandoned in

box in park

On this Month’s Cover

ing for a

lldogs look Two British bu special home


Oshi the Whale dog toy

Contact us

National Pug Protection Trust

Lop or Not?


53 Mini Pet Calming Spray

PHONE: 07885 305188 EMAIL: TWITTER: Troublesome Treacle


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9 TIMES WINNER OF ‘Product I can’t live without’

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Hello All My Wonderful Friends! It has been super hectic here as we have been moving house. I didn’t mention it to you all before but a year ago our house caught on fire so we have been living elsewhere for over a year. I haven’t helped much with the packing as it is not something I can do but I did collect all my toys and put them on a pile ready to be put in a cardboard box. In fact for the last week I have been staying with one of the lovely hosts who work for our local Barking Mad. I have had a great time while poor Mistress has been and still is packing up all our possessions. She is totally exhausted so I am trying to be good but it is unsettling for me as our furniture is slowly disappearing and as I write my column I am sitting in an empty lounge with just a foot stool to balance my lap top on. Later on today when our latest magazine has been proof read and goes live, Mistress will be taking me over to our old but new home for me to get used to all the different smells. There are loads more stairs to climb there so it will be a good workout for me to get to the top and hope my little legs will cope.

It has been quite cramped in our temporary house so we are pleased to get more space back, especially for Little Mistress who is already inviting friends to stay in our spare room once we have settled. And Mistress is planning a girls evening to celebrate our return and which involves lots of wine apparently! There has been no mention of me inviting anyone over so I will ask a few of my furry friends when I run into them in the park. It will be the first day of summer soon so I expect you are looking forward to new scents in the hedgerows and maybe a splash in the river and finding new walks. Make sure your owners take you out when it is not too hot though and that they check the pavements with their hands so you don’t burn your paws! See you next month

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



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The wrong colour Pug Most breed-specific dog rescues do their utmost for those entrusted to their care. But some have limited resources, reach and even sadder, strict rules about the ancestry and physical condition of dogs they’ll help.


he position poor little Hope found herself in amply illustrates how many in need can slip through the net. Precious Hope already hadn’t the best start in life. At the tender age of three, she and her brother had already been sold several times online as an intact pair She was at her last home for less than a week when the decision was made to surrender her and her brother to a larger rescue. But sweet Hope’s problems weren’t over. She was bred last August, and it was possible she was pregnant again. Plus physical disabilities such as missing toes and trauma to her ear and scalp from a previous dog attack were counting against her. Worst of all, while this other rescue agreed to take her brother, Hope herself was rejected because she wasn’t deemed a traditional pug colour. On her own. Nowhere to go, no one to love her because she could turn out to be expensive to care for and didn’t fit the mould. But luckily the National Pug Protection Trust was contacted and asked if it could help. Of course we said yes. Hope’s currently in foster care with us and blossoming. It turned out she wasn’t pregnant and enormous interest in people wanting to adopt her meant she quickly found a family. While Hope currently remains on a Foster to Adopt contract until she’s spayed in the summer, her forever home is permanent. With two other pugs for company and a family whose unconditional love for her transcends colour and disability.



Who we Are and What we Do

Not all rescues have rigid criteria hindering their ability to help and the National Pug Protection Trust prides itself on being one such organisation. The National Pug Protection Trust was formed during the pandemic in Nov 2020, by three women who have been involved for many years in pug rescue, behaviour, training, and the dog show world.

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During the pandemic they recognised a need for a Charity that could offer so much more than just rescue. People were losing their jobs and homes but were desperate to keep their beloved pugs. So, the NPPT was formed to help people who either wanted to surrender their pugs or simply to give them breathing space whilst they found a home that would accept them and their pets. Offering a non-judgemental and totally confidential service.




The charity gained its registered status in December 2021, Registered Charity No: 1197255. The NPPT also raises much needed money for vet bills by way of its fund-raising group where it holds fun auctions and raffles. Through doing this they have been able to donate to other pug rescues and help to fund an eye care leaflet produced by the National Pug Health Scheme. They also hold a stock of mobility wheels and strollers that they hire out for a small donation to pugs who are suffering from myelopathy and other disabilities.


At the end of June the NPPT will be partnering with a new venture in London. CuppaPug the first permanent pug themed café, is opening in London and the NPPT is the company’s official chosen charity. Another public forum where we can spread the word on pug health and rescue. To get ahead of the queues please sign up here: Like any charity, we rely on the people who support us and are always looking for volunteers. Whether this is fostering a pug, helping with transport, carrying out home-checks, fund raising or donating we’d love to hear from you. You can find out more by visiting our website Like and follow us on Instagram nppt_official or on Facebook Or simply donate at or contact treasurer.nppt@gmail for other ways to help.



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Dogs Trust offers hot tips to keep canine companions cool As temperatures soar, Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, is offering top tips to help owners make sure dogs can stay safe and happy in the sun and keep cool.


he charity is advising dog owners how they can keep their canine companions cool – indoors as well as outdoors - and prevent them from overheating as the days get hotter. • Avoid walking or doing activities either indoors or outdoors with your dog at the hottest times of the day, so early morning or later in the evening is often best. • Always take plenty of water with you when out with your dog and make sure they have access to fresh water at home at all times. • Tarmac can get very hot in the sun – check it with your hand before letting your dog walk on it so they don’t burn their paws. Try the ‘five-second test’ – if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws • If you cannot avoid taking your dog out in the car on a hot day, even if travelling a short distance, avoid travelling during the hottest times of the day. • Never leave your dog in a vehicle on a warm day. Not even with the window open. (Leaving your pet alone in a vehicle or tied up outside can also put them at greater risk of being stolen.) • Use a cooling mat or wrap an ice pack or frozen water bottle in a tea towel for your pet to lie on if they wish. • Use cold treats from the fridge for added moisture or make an ice lolly from pet-friendly ingredients. • Don’t let your pet get sunburnt - use pet-safe sun cream. • Know the early signs of heatstroke which include panting, difficulty breathing, tiredness, less keen to play, drooling and vomiting, and take immediate action. If you spot these signs • stop exercising your dog, bring them inside into a shaded and cool area or an air-conditioned car/ building and seek veterinary advice immediately.



• give your dog a drink of room temperature water, allowing them to drink small amounts. • if your dog is conscious, start pouring small amounts of cool water onto the dog's body and re-apply water regularly until their breathing starts to settle, but not so much that they start to shiver. • don’t use wet towels as this can restrict air flow and make the dog’s body temperature rise even further, as can happen with cooling jackets/coats. Dogs Trust says that having fun with your dog indoors can be just as stimulating as a walk, but owners still need to be aware that they need to make sure their dogs stay cool indoors too, so choosing the coolest room in the house, staying out of direct sunlight, always having fresh water available and making sure your dog has somewhere cool to relax and sleep. To help owners keep their dogs entertained indoors Dogs Trust has come up with eight ways to have fun with a cardboard box and tubes, such as those you’d find in a toilet or kitchen roll, including teaching your dog how to perform a perfect figure 8 and popping scrunched up newspaper or any paper items in an empty box and dropping in some treats or toys for your dog to find.

Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden, says: “There are so many things we can do to make sure our dogs stay happy and healthy in hot weather, but it is crucial we keep a close eye on them, even if playing indoors. “If you want to spend time in your garden with your dog, make sure they have plenty of shade and if they have shown they are comfortable around water, introduce them carefully to a shallow paddling pool in the shade. “If you do need to head out in the car with your dog, please be very careful. As little as twenty minutes can prove fatal if a dog is left alone in a car on a warm day. “Many people still believe it's OK if the windows are left open or they're parked in the shade, but the truth is, it's not and we strongly advise that dog owners never leave their dog in a car on a warm day, even if it feels cool outside. “Severe heatstroke can cause multiple seizures, complete loss of consciousness, loss of coordination, confusion and vomiting and diarrhoea with blood. If untreated it can prove fatal.” If you see a dog in a car in distress, Dogs Trust advises that members of the public call 999. n For more information and advice, see

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Companionship is number one reason for getting a dog, shows newly released Dogs Trust research A newly released study carried out by Dogs Trust has revealed that around eight in ten owners(i) said companionship for themselves was a reason they got a dog.


he research, which involved collecting data from a large number of respondents (8,050 current and 2,884 potential dog owners completed the survey), sought to explore owners’ motivations for acquiring dogs. Other popular reasons to get a dog were to help a dog in need, which had been the motivation for half of current owners(ii), and many current and potential owners wanted a dog to encourage them to exercise, with nearly three quarters(iii) of potential owners giving this as their reason. Katrina Holland and Rebecca Mead, researchers at Dogs Trust who led the study, said: “Despite the huge popularity of dogs in the UK, there is a lack of published evidence exploring exactly why people get dogs. As the UK’s leading canine charity, we wanted to address this gap and, while there are no big surprises from what we found, we’re really glad to have some solid evidence about why people choose to bring a dog into their life.” Commonly mentioned dog qualities included their ‘loving’ and ‘loyal’ nature and some participants distinguished dogs’ roles and qualities from those of other pets, including cats, highlighting the distinct kind of companionship they offer. People who had previously owned a dog referred to this experience as a motivating factor for getting a dog again, with prior ownership a reported influence for around three quarters(iv) of potential owners. For others, prior experiences of meeting dogs contributed to their decision, with around a quarter(v) of current owners saying this had influenced them. 10


Three broad themes emerged from the analysis: • Self-Related Motivation - Participants highlighted various ways in which they perceived dogs – or aspects of dog ownership – to benefit owners and enrich their lives. Many participants referred to valued aspects of human– dog relationships and interactions, including companionship or friendship. • Social-Based Motivation - Some reported reasons for getting a dog could be categorised as being influenced by others – either human or dog. In some cases, these socialbased motivations reflected a desire to benefit others. • Dog-Related Positive Affect-Based Motivation - Many participants expressed positive feelings towards dogs and this study’s quantitative data

confirms the potentially important role of previous experiences of owning or meeting dogs in motivating the decision to acquire one. n To read a summary on the report please click here and to read the analysis in full, please click here. Visit Appendix (i) Companionship for themselves was the most common reason for owners wanting to get a dog, reported by 79.4% and 87.8% of current and potential owners, respectively. (ii) 51.1% of current owners said their decision to get a dog had been motivated by a desire to help a dog in need. (iii) To encourage exercise was another common reason, reported by 48.2% and 69.7% of current and potential owners, respectively. (iv) Prior ownership was a reported influence for 70.3% and 77.0% of current and potential owners, respectively. (v) Prior experiences of meeting dogs was reportedly important in the decision-making of 27.5% and 45.8% of current and potential owners, respectively.

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The puppies - three males and two females nick-named Ben, Jerry, Rocket, Calippo and Solero

RSPCA appeal: Five puppies abandoned in box in park Five-week-old puppies rescued by RSPCA and receiving specialist care The RSPCA is appealing for information after five ‘vulnerable’ puppies were found abandoned in a box in a Surrey park.


member of the public was shocked to stumble upon a small box with five crying puppies inside when they were walking through Heathervale Recreation Ground in New Haw, Addlestone, on Monday evening (9 May). RSPCA Inspector Natalie Kitchin, who is now investigating their abandonment, said: “The member of the public kindly moved the puppies into a larger box and wrapped them in a towel before taking them to a local vets in Staines. “The clinic alerted us and we have now launched an investigation. We’re making enquiries in the local area and are keen to hear from anyone who may recognise the 12


puppies - thought to be Jack Russell terrier crosses - or who saw anything suspicious in the park on Monday. “If you have any information please contact our appeal line on 0300 123 8018 - all calls are dealt with in confidence.” The five-week-old puppies received vet checks and were then moved into the care of an RSPCA fosterer. One of the pups was particularly lethargic so underwent a number of tests and has been taken back into vet care. The puppies - three males and two females nick-named Ben, Jerry, Rocket, Calippo and Solero by Natalie - are not yet ready for rehoming applications so please don’t contact the branch to enquire about them. To see all of the dogs in

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Our centres are full to bursting at the moment and, sadly, we’ve seen an increase in the number of animals coming into our care.

RSPCA care who are available for rehoming, please visit Find A Pet The RSPCA fears an animal welfare crisis as its centres reach capacity - with waiting lists of pets waiting to come into care - and adoption rates appear to be slowing. Natalie added: “Our centres are full to bursting at the moment and, sadly, we’ve seen an increase in the number of animals coming into our care. We’re seeing lots of animals being abandoned and many of our branches are being approached by owners wishing to sign their pets over as they can no longer care for them. We fear this is as a result of the cost of living crisis and are concerned this will continue to get worse throughout the year, with struggling charities like the RSPCA left to pick up the pieces. “We believe one reason for this increase in animals being abandoned may be that owners did not realise the costs associated with their pets - which can include vet bills, feeding an animal, boarding facilities and grooming bills.”

The charity is urging owners who are struggling to care for their pets to ask for help. n To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181. RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 30 MAY – 30 JUNE 2022


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Trinity, Mike, Bambam and Buttons

Bambam and Buttons come nose to nose with the law Bristol based Equine Charity, HorseWorld had a visit from some very special guests last week. Avon and Somerset Police Horses, PH Mike ridden by PC Tracey Small and PH Trinity ridden by PC Naomi Gane.


hey came to meet HorseWorld donkeys Benjamin, Cowslip, Barnaby and Patty. Mike has previously shown a fear of our long eared friends and his rider, PC Tracey Small felt he would benefit from some gentle desensitization training. Two other HorseWorld residents who were very interested to say hello to the police horses were Bambam and Buttons. The youngsters were born at HorseWorld in the spring of 2021 after their pregnant mothers were rescued the autumn before. PC Tracey Small who rides PH Mike, took a shine to Bambam and Buttons after she saw them on the charity's website. She decided she would like to rehome them through HorseWorld’s Rehoming Scheme and the mischievous pair who have been inseparable since birth will shortly be leaving for their new home together with Tracey soon. Rehabilitation and rehoming of horses rescued is central to HorseWorld’s work and horse welfare is paramount. The visit from Avon & Somerset mounted unit came a week after a new law protecting animal welfare was passed after



receiving formal Royal Assent. The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill recognises that animals are complex living and feeling beings and as a result their welfare must be taken into consideration and protected. Avon and Somerset Police Horses have been very supportive of HorseWorld’s rescue and rehabilitation work in the past and in return, the horse charity have offered a safe and happy home to retiring police horses. This has also benefitted the training of rescued horses as most police horses that are ready to retire are still able to be ridden gently for a short time and can act as a calm and confident escort horse when introducing newly trained horses to the roads for the first time. Avon and Somerset Police Horses will hopefully be making an appearance HorseWorld’s 70th Anniversary Open Day on 30th July (conditions allowing). Visitors will be able to meet the rescued horses, find out more about the charity’s work and have a great day out. n Visit to find out more about this event and buy tickets.

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Polly and her sisters Peppy - looking for his forever home at Shoreham

Four sisters running 120 miles in aid of Charity Polly Cannon has chosen to raise funds for Dogs Trust


og lover Polly Cannon from Worthing is raising funds for Dogs Trust by completing a 30-mile run, alongside her three sisters, as they’ve all hit different age bracket milestones this year (20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s). Cherry Simmonds, 50, Kate Canford, 40, Polly Cannon, 33, and Sophie Cannon, 29, wanted to do something unique in their hometown to raise funds for local charities. The fundraiser will be located at Beach House Grounds on Worthing Seafront on 26th June 2022 from 9am and the sisters aim to complete their target in eleven hours. They plan to complete 10 x 5km runs throughout the day to reach 50km (approximately 30 miles each). They are also inviting the public to join their run and donate to their nominated charities. The event will take place just a short walk away from the Dogs Trust Shoreham rehoming centre, and the

Dogs Trust Goring charity shop. Funds raised will help dogs cared for by Dogs Trust, like Peppy, a six-year-old Patterdale Cross, who is awaiting his forever family. Adel Burnett, Shoreham Rehoming Centre Manager said: “Peppy would love a rural retreat to call his home as he likes the quite life. He is a fun, playful boy, who is hoping to the only pet, in an adult-only home, where he can be the centre of attention and love! “Peppy is super smart and has been making great progress with his training. He has been building on his dog social skills, and he has grown to like having a regular walking buddy that he knows well. He will thrive in a peaceful home, with a family who lead a quieter lifestyle, where he can relax and be himself. “He’ll make an excellent companion for active adopters who are interested in reward-based training, who will find great

pleasure in watching Peppy blossom further.” Tristan Lathey, Dogs Trust Community Fundraising Officer said: “We are so grateful to Polly and her sisters for taking on this challenge in support of Dogs Trust. Every penny raised will help us ensure we can continue to give dogs like Peppy, everything they need until they find their forever homes.” Polly’s run begins on 26th June, and she hopes to raise £500 for Dogs Trust, if you would like to support her fundraiser, please visit 22 and click “Give Now” n Anyone interested in fundraising for Dogs Trust can visit our website: or email us at: RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 30 MAY – 30 JUNE 2022


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Davies solves mystery of Dexter’s sub-lumbar abscess A sharp-eyed Radiologist at Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies) in Hertfordshire identified two migrating grass seeds as the cause of a Spaniel’s sub-lumbar abscess using a combination of CT and ultrasound. The veterinary team performed minimally invasive ultrasound-guided retrieval of the perpetrators and the dog was discharged the following day.


nglish Springer Spaniel Dexter’s breathing had been laboured, his temperature higher than normal and he had a slight cough. His owner had also noticed a lump on the dog’s flank but a visit to the vet and a course of antibiotics temporarily resolved the problems. Unfortunately, the lump returned, increased in size, and began to discharge purulent fluid, at which point Dexter was referred to Davies for further investigations. Dexter was given a general anaesthetic and a CT scan of his chest and abdomen revealed a large abscess and draining tract affecting his sublumbar muscles. An ultrasound examination of the abscess was then performed by Andy Holdsworth, who is an RCVS and EBVS® Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging and Head of Diagnostic Imaging at Davies, which identified two small foreign bodies. “We removed two grass seeds via a small skin incision, using ultrasound guidance and a pair of crocodile forceps”, said Andy. “The scan suggested that the seeds had been inhaled and then migrated through Dexter’s lungs to the sub-lumbar muscles on the right side.” “Given that we were able to identify the grass seeds as the cause of the infection and they were in a suitable location to attempt percutaneous retrieval, we were able to consider this an as alternative option to an extensive exploratory surgery.” Dexter was prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection, together with antiinflammatories and painkillers. He was discharged the following day and went on to make a full recovery. “We were so relieved that Andy and the team at Davies were able to locate the grass seeds and remove them without extensive surgery,” said Dexter’s owner Christine Earthrowl. “We are




thrilled that Dexter is back to being his bouncy and playful self again. We cannot thank you enough.”

n To find out more about Davies visit their website

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Dynamic doggy duo have double the love to give to their forever family Staff at Dogs Trust West Calder have their fingers crossed that dynamic duo, Thelma & Louise, will soon find their forever family after being overlooked for so long. The gorgeous greyhound sisters also have their paws crossed that their wait will soon be over!


he centres Canine Carers are currently looking after the pair after they were found on the streets together at just 14 months old in October 2021. Although their past is unknown, the Canine Carers who have had their hearts stolen by Thelma & Louise, are very hopeful the girls have a bright future ahead. Rehoming Centre Manager Susan Tonner said: “Thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, whose support helps to fund our wonderful Canine Carers, Thelma and Louise get all of the love and care they need whilst they are with us.” “It has now been just over six months since the search for the duo's forever home began, so we are all hoping we can soon pack their bags and see them leave with their forever family.” “Thelma and Louise really are the best of friends, like the iconic movie characters, the girls have stuck together and just love being with each other. It has been fantastic watching them grow together during their time here at Dogs Trust West Calder, and I’m certain they’ll only continue to blossom in a home environment.” “The Canine Carers have watched both girls' confidence levels majorly improve, and we have been thrilled to see their transformation go from timid girls to happy hounds. They are a truly beautiful pair on the inside and out, and we are surprised that they are still awaiting a family.” “Whether exploring on their walks,

Thelma and Louise - People's Postcode Lottery playing with toys, or settling down for their afternoon nap, they are happiest when side by side. They both love playing and chasing each other, and ending the day snuggled up together. The girls enjoy meeting other dogs on their walks and would like to remain just as a duo in their forever home. Whilst they are inseparable, they have so much love to give, and adore human company.” “Their bond is so strong; they can’t bear to be apart. They are bursting with potential and are such happy, loving dogs, who would make a truly wonderful addition to a family. We are committed to

finding the girls a new home where they can be together forever. Adopting a doggy duo is full of benefits – and double the love!” n For anyone who would love to give Thelma and Louise their happy ending, please visit to view their profiles and start the virtual adoption process. Alternatively, you can call the centre on 01506 87345 or visit for general browsing on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 4pm.

We are delighted to support the Animal Charities featured in this Magazine Tel: 01952 245330 18


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Candy Cane

Candy Cane in her new home

Nervous one-eyed kitten finds new home A tiny nervous one-eyed kitten has found a new home after coming into Blue Cross care ‘petrified with a painful ruptured right eye’.


ets found Candy Cane in a lot of pain which led to them having to remove the eye to help her feel more comfortable. Foster carer Wendy Penfold provided round the clock foster care at her home to Candy Cane as she recovered from the operation and to help build her confidence. “When Candy came to me, she’d lost her trust in humans and was very nervous. She would run and hide when I’d come into the room but by the end of her time with me, she became more inquisitive to know what I’m doing and staying in the same area as me.” Wendy said. 20


“After the first week of hardly moving from her hiding hole she discovered the benefits of the tall cat climber in her run where was out of reach and could watch everything going on at a safe distance.” Wendy regularly fosters pets at her home in Kent to help them on their way before finding permanent homes and was also looking after Rita another cat whilst Candy Cane was staying with her. “I think Rita helped lure Candy forward in the pen as I would sit and stroke or play with Rita in the corridor so Candy could see I was a nice person with to be around cats. “A lovely young couple in Hampshire have adopted her that are happy to give

her the space and time to see how far she can settle in a family home. They understand she may never be a lap cat but want to love her and let her know this is a safe place for her.” Sarah Miller, Animal Welfare Assistant at Blue Cross Hertfordshire said: “Wendy has done an amazing job for Candy Cane and even though steps might seem small, they have been huge for her. We hope that overtime she will build up a relationship and trust with her new owners.” n For more information visit

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Kitty with her new owner Simon Cunningham

Missing cat rescued from cellar trap is reunited with family after undergoing a leg amputation The RSPCA found Kitty living off rainwater and debris in a dank basement


plucky cat who was impaled by a metal spike after falling into a mill cellar is making a miracle recovery despite losing a leg. Thanks to the work of the RSPCA, Kitty survived her ordeal trapped for several weeks in the dank basement of industrial premises at Grimshaw Street in Clayton Le Moors near Accrington, during which time she suffered a serious injury when the spike penetrated one of her hind legs. She has now been adopted by relatives of her late owner and is padding around on three paws in her new home in Cheshire none the worse for the surgery - which sadly resulted in her having to have her leg amputated. The cat had gone missing from her Lancashire home, close to where she was found, after her owner’s passing last month. Trapped in the cellar the eight-year old feline kept herself alive by drinking rain water and eating food debris. Her lonely miaows were finally heard by a workman and the RSPCA were contacted on May 13. RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer Kelly Nix 22


managed to reach Kitty using a ladder to climb 20 feet down into the cellar and found her running around in the gloom. Her bone was left broken and exposed by the entanglement with the spike and she was taken to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital, where she underwent surgery to have the object removed (see picture below), although the injury to her leg was so serious that an amputation had to be carried out. Yet despite her handicap she is reported to be making great strides in her new surroundings after being taken in by her late owner’s son, Simon Cunningham (who she is pictured with above). “My mother passed away five weeks ago and Kitty vanished some time after while we were moving things out of her property. We thought she was lost, but we are so grateful to the RSPCA for the crucial role they played in getting her back,” said Simon, who lives near Crewe. While Kitty was not microchipped, the inspector was able to track down Simon after the cat matched the description of a missing report made to a local vets practice.

“When I found her, she was running around with no way out. My guess is she’d been down there for quite a while,” said the animal rescue officer. “When she was x-rayed at the Greater Manchester Animal Hospital they could see foreign objects in her stomach, including chicken wing bones she’d eaten. “There was a lot of rain water down at the bottom of the cellar and she was drinking that and I think that has kept her alive. “But the spike had gone through her leg and sadly it had to be amputated.” New owner Simon added: “It’s been quite emotional as Kitty was my mother’s cat. She’s doing really well now considering what she has been through. “She’s putting on weight, we’ve taken her to the vets for a check-up and we’ve also had her microchipped.” n To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.

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Surprised NHS-worker enlists charity help after finding kittens in the attic A pharmacy technician from Liskeard was shocked to discover three tiny kittens had been born in her attic after an opportunistic cat mistook the space for a nursery.


nn Mason, 61, noticed a visibly pregnant tortoiseshell cat roaming around the neighbourhood and thought nothing of it until her husband believed he heard yowling in the roof and a lady arrived at their door with the noticeably thinner cat, searching for missing kittens. Ann says: “My husband, Tyler, initially thought he must be hearing things as we have two dogs and were certain they’d have reacted to a cat in the house but when a lady knocked on the door and said she had followed her cat to our house, we realised we needed to do some exploration.” The couple’s bungalow had been damaged during Storm Eunice with the underside of the roofing ripped away in one section. As Ann and the cat’s owner walked around the property listening for kittens they spotted the hole in the roof and feared the worst. Upon advice from a vet, Tyler called Cats Protection’s Cornwall Adoption Centre. She adds: “Once we realised the kittens might be in the attic we had no idea what to do. I had quite a sleepless night before we contacted Cats Protection and was really worried to think that there might be such young creatures stuck up there.” Cat Care Assistant Jason Reading, 35, arrived from the charity and began investigating the part-boarded attic but found no sign of kittens. There was grass around the hole in the roof where their mother had been coming and going and he suspected the kittens must be close-by. Trusting his instinct that the mother cat would help him locate her little ones he asked the cat’s owner to lift her up to the stormdamaged space. Jason says: “I watched her skulk in, nose around and then tiptoe over the insulation foam. As she went further 24


Photo courtesy of Ann Mason into the attic one of her week-old kits gave out a tiny mew. She led me straight to the nest she’d built and very carefully I reached in and out came two girls and a boy. They were so young their umbilical cords were still attached and all jet black apart from occasional white markings.” Jason’s quick-thinking worked and the kittens were rescued. At a week old kittens cannot survive for long without their mother. Their eyes are not yet open and they rely on her for food, warmth and toileting. He adds: “We were really grateful to Ann for her perseverance and for letting us look around in the loft. Thanks to her, the kittens are safely back with their mother in their owner’s home.” Wary that the situation might be

repeated, Ann concludes: “The cat had travelled around half a mile from home to get to us, so she clearly liked the space. We’ve blocked it up now just in case she decides to have another look!” Cats Protection advises cats should be neutered from four months old to avoid unexpected litters. Details about the benefits of neutering as well as financial assistance for those with a low income can be found online or via its Neutering Line 03000 121212 (option 2). n Information about Cornwall Adoption Centre is available on their website or follow the centre’s updates on Facebook.

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Champion Penthouse

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.

With a fully lined and insulated raised sleeping area, our Penthouses have extra run space underneath. There is a large viewing window in the front door of the sleeping compartment, a white, removable uPVC internal shelf and a fully adjustable air vent. A cat flap leads to sunning shelf one which has a detachable ladder leading down to the exercise run and a second sunning shelf is at the safety porch end. Lift out shutters are fitted to the top half of all exterior walls which, when removed leave just the galvanised mesh allowing your cats to enjoy a truly outdoor experience. If you are having more than one pen, full height sneeze barriers will be fitted between each pen and you will have the choice of solid white or clear acrylic for these. Our Champion range of cat pens come in standard 3ft and 4ft widths

Premier Champion Penthouse Our Premier Champion range of cat pens come in a 3ft or 4ft width and, to the naked eye, look exactly like our standard Champion range. These though, are fitted with a seamless fibreglass module, exclusive to Lindee Lu, in the sleeping compartment offering ultimate hygiene and durability. These pens are perfect for breeders, private cat owners and charity fostering pens, being an absolute necessity if you have elderly or unwell cats or kittens who cannot manage a ladder. The Premier range is also available with an additional downstairs module, so each pen has two sleeping areas, both of which are able to accommodate a panel heater.

CLASSIC HOUSE CAT PENS FOR BREEDERS Our hand made Catteries are manufactured in the UK 4ft Classic House Our Classic House has a full-height walk in sleeping quarter – much the same as our standard 4ft Chalets but these are manufactured for those wanting a single pen which will be installed up against a fence, hedge or boundary wall. The Classic benefits from a full, solid insulated roof and a solid timber back wall providing ultimate protection and ‘classic’ good looks! The sleeping area of the Classic House has an additional opening window to the 4ft Chalet, for added ventilation, which is secured using galvanised mesh when open. Two sunning shelves in the exercise area and two, removable uPVC shelves in the sleeping area give your cat plenty of choice on where to hang out. Our Classic House also benefits from a raised floor throughout, fully covered with vinyl which not only looks very smart but it’s warm underfoot and very easy to clean.

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Leading cat charity reports 25% rise in unwanted kittens With the cost of living spiralling, an increasing number of pet owners can no longer afford to keep their beloved animals.


n the first quarter of 2022, Cats Protection, the UK’s leading feline charity, has seen a 25% increase in the number of kittens being handed over to their adoption centres*. As kitten season starts, the charity is offering neutering advice to prevent litters that can’t be cared for. Jane Clements, Head of Neutering at Cats Protection, said: “The top reasons we are seeing for kitten relinquishments are because they are stray, from an unwanted litter, or part of a multi-cat household. This year we are also seeing people having to relinquish cats due to home evictions. Life is expensive at the moment and the impact of the cost of living crisis is really going to start showing in the later stages of the year*. “Our objective is to minimise the number of unwanted litters, so we don’t see vast numbers of cats left on the street or without a home.” Some regions are seeing larger increases in kitten relinquishment than others. Areas such as North London have seen an increase of 37% from 2021 to 2022. There are thousands of unwanted cats in the UK already and Cats Protection fears that as the costs rise, they will see larger numbers of kittens being abandoned or given up for rehoming due to financial pressures. Sue Dobbs, Centre Manager at Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre, said: “Every year our vet costs run into tens of thousands of pounds, and this year already more cats than ever before have arrived at our door needing vet care. We are also seeing more cats admitted with chronic health conditions. Our vet bills for treatment only, not including neutering, have increased by 60% between last year and this year. “Pets can be very expensive to own and it’s easy to suddenly find yourself at the business end of an unexpected vet bill. For example, we have seen cats like Bunny, who was heavily pregnant when she was handed over to our adoption centre. She gave birth to four beautiful



kittens but developed a hole in her abdominal wall during labour causing her intestines to herniate through. She needed emergency surgical repair but thankfully has now recovered from her ordeal. She gave birth to three beautiful kittens Bonnet, Bloom, and Benjamin and all three are doing well.” Neutering is an operation to prevent female cats from getting pregnant and male cats from making females pregnant. Although cats can be neutered at any age, Cats Protection recommends that kittens are neutered at four months old or younger. Sue explains: “Some of the best advice we can give to owners who are worried about their financial situation is to neuter their cat, it’s a simple step to ensure you don’t end up with a cat going through a difficult and expensive pregnancy and then several kittens to pay for as well.” Cat owners may be eligible for support through Cats Protection’s means-tested neutering scheme. The average cost of neutering a cat ranges from £80 to

£150. To see if you are eligible, you can call Cats Protection’s neutering helpline (Mon-Fri 9.30am-1pm) on 03000 12 12 12 or visit the website Jane Clements, Head of Neutering at Cats Protection, added: “Keeping your cat happy and healthy is a top priority for pet owners, but the idea of huge vet bills can be stressful. We also advise those who are worried about money to seriously consider investing in pet insurance. It might feel like just another expense that you can risk skipping, but sadly just hoping for the best can land you in hot water. “Investing in good insurance means that if your pet does become ill and needs treatment, you can get a large portion of the fees covered. A monthly insurance fee is a much more costeffective solution in the long term.” For more about pet insurance. * Percentage increase is based on data from quarter one of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

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Lop or Not? One of the most common requests we get when people are looking for a rabbit, is for a “Mini Lop”. There’s no denying those cute button noses, floppy ears and big eyes are adorable, but do you know what exactly you are taking on?


here are in fact 9 lop rabbit breeds recognised by the British Rabbit Council, the organisation that dictates the breed standards for those who show rabbits. These range from the largest, the English Lop, to the smallest, the Mini Lop. The most common types we see in rescue are French Lops, Dwarf Lops, Lion Lops and Mini Lops. Be careful not mistake a “Dwarf Lop” for being a small breed though, they can range from 2kg right up to 4kg. We believe the “dwarf” term is more likely to be referring to the ear length, not the whole body size. English Lops have those long ears that drag on the floor, French Lops also have ears that often touch the ground, Dwarf Lops tend to have a shorter ear. To confuse matters further, if you are looking at care guides and they’re from an American website, they have different names for breeds. They call their smallest breed, our Mini Lop, a Holland Lop, and what we call a Dwarf Lop, they call a Mini Lop! So do check when you’re doing research.



The lopped ears in these rabbits is a genetic ‘”oops”’ that we have bred into them and unfortunately, it’s not without complications. The skull of a lop, especially in the smaller lops, is vastly shorter than a natural wild rabbit shape, and it’s here that issues are seen. If you look at a show standard Mini Lop in particular, they have a very boxy skull, some may even look so flattened in the face it looks like they’ve run into a wall! This has resulted in these rabbits suffering similar problems to brachycephalic dogs like Pugs and British Bulldogs. One significant problem we see that can be easily over looked is ear abscesses. In fact when we have a problem with an ear abscess developing, most of the time it’s a lop-eared rabbit. If you have a lop, you should look down inside the ears and feel around the base every day, any sign of swelling, dirt or pus needs IMMEDIATE vet attention. They can also easily scratch or tear their ears when cleaning or cont. on p30

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Maximus - I'm trying to reach! Snugs - recovering from ear abscess operation scratching, so you should check their ears for this too. The next problem is two problems really but they are inextricably linked: the teeth and the eyes. Due to that shortened skull, teeth problems can be a real issue. Rabbits have very long dental roots and as the skull is shorter and deformed, those long roots can go places they shouldn’t go in a rabbit with a normal shaped skull. The roots, and also malocclusion (misaligned teeth) and molar spurs, in turn can impact on the eyes and tear ducts. The eye socket is right above the top molar roots and in some extreme cases x-rays have shown the roots growing into the eye socket! If there are problems here the infection can even spread and cause ear problems as well. While these problems can happen in other small-skulled rabbits such as Netherland Dwarves, it’s definitely something you need to watch in lops too. You know you have a problem in this department if the rabbit has weepy eyes, both or just one, is drooling or is turning down food. Having an aversion to hay and preferring to eat softer food is also a sign of dental issues or tear duct problems, or both. Time for that vet trip again! Another problem we've seen with our lops is they seem more prone to caecatroph issues and difficulty keeping themselves clean. We suspect the shorter skull could well be a contributing factor - they just can't reach their bottom properly. It could also be related to body shape; show standard Lops are quite boxy in shape as well as their head, so a shorter body could also make it difficult to reach. Monitoring their bottom cleanliness is a must for all rabbits, but especially for lop-eared rabbits. It's also very important to keep them well groomed. We've found many Archimedes - give me lops have slightly longer fur and are treats or leave 30


prone to getting matted. They will need regular brushing several times a week, no matter how much they literally kick up a fuss! The next issue is personality. Lops are often chosen as they’re known to be more placid. In some cases that can be true but why? We have seen many lops with issues with hearing, eyesight, or both. The ears hanging down and boxy skull shape can actually be a hindrance with eyesight as it blocks their usual visual range and the placement of the ears means they often have poorer hearing. They may be more placid because they can’t hear you coming so just bumble around in their own little world. We have had several lops with aggression issues too, so don’t think all lops are gentle beasts. Snugs arrived with fear aggression - he has got a lot better since being with us, but can still lunge if spooked or if you’re too slow with food. Our gorgeous resident French Lop, Archimedes, also arrived with grumpy lunging issues. These are exacerbated if he’s kept in small housing. We suspect he’s learnt his grumpiness from being cooped up and only being let out occasionally. We’ve resolved this by letting him have run of a 20ft x 10ft shed at night, and the whole rescue when we’ve got enough people on site during the day. He can usually be found sleeping on a path somewhere but we also suspect he has poor hearing and eyesight as you must approach him carefully, if spooked he will lunge or if you’re too slow with food, expect to be grunted at. We also have dear little Angel, a red-eyed lop who is both deaf and partially sighted. she follows her guidehusbun Ruben around and can have problems keeping herself clean. Speak to people who have had lops over the years, and the prevalence of deafness and eyesight problems seems tragically common. n So if you haven’t kept rabbits before, don’t instantly fall for the lop-eared ones. Uppy-eared rabbits with their more natural skull shape, such as Dutch rabbits, may be a more healthy option and run up less vet bills in their lifetime! There’s now scientific proof that lops are more prone to certain health issues! lems-study-confirms-for-first-time The research for the study was carried out at RRR!

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Wooden Carrot Bowl This shapely Wooden Carrot Bowl from The Hay Experts is big enough to use for pellets or forage, and will make a fetching addition to any mealtime! It will be ideal as a rabbit bowl or guinea pig bowl. This bowl is the perfect way to serve some of The Hay Experts Forage produce - including the Feast of Forage - or even perhaps a sprinkling of Green at Forage Hay? Yum!

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Lop Eared Rabbit Bowl When it comes to feeding bowls, shape does matter - especially if bunny shaped with loppy ears!! This Lop-Eared Wooden Rabbit Bowl from The Hay Experts will compliment any feeding time. In addition to the bowl, there's even space on the 'ears' to put some extra tasty morsels! This bowl is the perfect way to serve some of The Hay Experts Forage produce - including the Feast of Forage for Rabbits. Just lovely!

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The Hay Experts Green Wheat Forage hay is a wonderfully tasty and chunky mix of thick stalk, broad leaves and lovely seed heads. In addition, the drying process ensures all the goodness, aroma and deep rich green colour is locked in to give your little ones the very best. This hay is great for all-round variety, for adding in with other hays for additional foraging fun, or added as a tasty topper to pellets or vegetables. Or just fed 'solo' as a yummy bowl of natural goodness!

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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

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

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

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

So what is your Border Collie NOt good at ... ?

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 h ysterical 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, nonstimulating 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. Visit

Photo credit: ©Adobe stock

The following article was sent to us by Sue Kinchin, a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and 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 new-comers 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.

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Six Things to Consider Before Taking Your Dog Swimming This Summer Swimming is a great form of exercise and entertainment for your dog. Whether you’re heading to a dog-friendly pool, a local river, lake or even the beach, the water can provide hours of fun for you and your furry friend. However, it can be a dangerous experience if you’re unprepared.


epending on the breed of your dog, they might be a natural in water, but if not, swimming could be more challenging for them. If you are considering taking your dog for a dip, the team at have provided their top tips to ensure you and fido stay safe in waters of all kinds. 1. Don’t assume that all dogs can swim You might think canines are naturalborn swimmers, but that isn’t always the case. Some dogs can’t swim because of the way they’re physically built - they don’t have the ability to swim effectively and this poses a threat of drowning and exhaustion. Much of a dog’s ability to swim will depend on its body shape. 34


Brachycephalic breeds, like boxers, bulldogs and Boston terriers have short airwaves, which increase the risk of inhaling water, making them more prone to drowning.{1} Other factors that can influence a dog's ability to swim include a large, heavy chest, short legs and a short muzzle. If your pooch isn’t one of the strongest swimmers, you’ll need to take extra precautions when heading down to the beach, your local river or lake. 2. Don’t let your pup drink the water When our furry friends are thirsty, they will drink almost anything - and this includes sea, river, pool and lake water. Saltwater from the sea, consumed in small quantities, is usually not harmful

and may only cause diarrhoea, but drinking larger amounts can disrupt the fluid balance in your dog’s body, and high levels of salt can be fatal for your dog. Lakes, ponds and rivers are often contaminated with organisms that can be extremely harmful to your pet. In mild cases, it can cause diarrhoea, but in severe cases, it can be fatal. It’s essential when swimming to bring a dog bowl and fresh water for your pup to drink. 3. Keep them safe in the sea Your dog may be a confident swimmer, but big waves and strong tides can be hazardous. Bring along an extended leash so your pup can take a dip in the

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Lakes, ponds and rivers are often contaminated with organisms that can be extremely harmful to your pet

sea without going too far, and purchase a dog-friendly life jacket to ensure their safety at all times. The sea is full of hidden dangers, from sharp shells and rocks to broken glass and washed-up rubbish. All of these items can be dangerous to your dog’s paw pads. Not only can some of the items be sharp and cut your pup, but they can also be dangerous if eaten. They can cause bacterial infections, cracked teeth or intestinal obstructions.

4. Watch out for blue-green algae Dangerous and sometimes deadly, bluegreen algae is often fatal for dogs and can cause long term health problems if consumed. It is most likely to thrive in bodies of fresh water such as lakes and ponds, during the warmer months of the year - because the weather conditions promote the growth of cyanobacteria.{2} If your dog takes a quick drink from the water, it could lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, or lethargy due to harmful toxins which can stop their liver from functioning properly. So, it's important to be vigilant and don’t allow your dog to take a dip in water where algae may be present. 5. Clean your dog after they take a dip Dogs should be bathed after going for a swim, to protect their skin and coat. Swimming pools often contain high levels of chlorine, which drys out the dog's fur and skin as it removes the natural oils. This can make its coat more prone to knotting and also make their skin itchy. When taking a dip in the ocean, lake or river, washing your dog after will help remove any bacteria that collects on

their fur and skin. If these toxins aren’t removed from your dog's skin, they can be ingested when they groom themselves. 6. Practise safety first Never leave your dog unattended near water. If your dog has access to a swimming pool at home or while you are on holiday, make sure there is a safety cover or fence. You will also need steps or a ramp that your dogs can easily use to climb in and out of the pool. When visiting your local beach or lake, it's important to teach your dog when it is safe to go into the water and return on cue. You can teach them the basic commands of “stay”, “wait” and “go” so they know when they are allowed to swim. n For more information Sources:

{1} {2} Images: Adobe Stock

A specialist team of animal lovers with almost 50 years’ experience in meeting the unique insurance needs of rescues and other animal-related trades



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Above images: The Mare and Foal Sanctuary was founded by Rosemary Kind and became a charity in 1992

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary celebrates 30 years as a charity It has been 30 years since the Mare and Foal Sanctuary became a charity. Since then, we have rescued well over 1,000 horses, ponies and foals.


t all began with a small group of rescued foals at Rosemary Kind’s farm in Chudleigh in Devon. Her vision was to ensure that weak, injured or unwanted horses and ponies had care and a home. She dedicated her life to rescuing and looking after equines until she retired in 2013. Today, we continue to hold fast to her ideas. We have five sites housing around 170 horses and ponies. We also have over 450 horses and ponies living with carers through our Sanctuary at Home scheme. All the staff who dedicate their working lives to the sanctuary honour Rosemary’s vision through their kindness, care and knowledge. Syra Bowden, Director of Equine and Rosemary’s daughter, explains what this anniversary means to her: “I’m so proud of my mother, Rosemary, for starting the sanctuary. It’s been a privilege to follow the journey of every horse and pony we have rescued. I work with some incredible people. Their commitment and dedication are truly humbling and inspiring. Together with our supporters we make a difference.” It’s thanks to these incredible supporters that we have come so far and helped so many over the last 30 years. Horses and ponies are costly animals to care for, especially our rescued horses who require specialist handling and retraining or ongoing veterinary treatment, medication and care. We rescued 21 equines in the last year – that’s nearly two admissions a month. A further 77 horses and ponies were rehomed in the last 12 months via our Sanctuary at Home scheme. Additionally, we gave 236 separate pieces of advice resulting in positive welfare outcomes and 161 horses and ponies had early welfare intervention meaning they did not have to come into sanctuary.



At the moment we are working hard to provide safe sanctuary, expand our welfare outreach and advice to the equine-owning community and deliver equine assisted learning to people in our communities. With ongoing support, we will provide lifelong, life-changing, loving care to horses, ponies and foals for the next 30 years and beyond. n To find out more about our work, visit

Celebrate with us We will be hosting a series of anniversary celebrations over the next few months from Tea in the Barn with our rescued horses and ponies to a range of open days across our different sites. To find out more and book a slot, visit

Meet some of our ponies Tulip

Tulip was born at the sanctuary in April 2020. Her mum, Taylor, was rescued alongside two other heavily pregnant mares. Her birth was difficult, and the vet attended to make sure that the foal was healthy. Initially, Tulip’s left foreleg looked sore, and it took her a while to stand up and get steady on her feet. Thankfully, over the next few days Tulip began to find her feet. It wasn’t long until she was chasing her friend Lio around the field. Tulip is now a lively twoyear-old and is looking for a home with a Sanctuary at Home carer.


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Tulip as a foal with the vet Geronimo

Geronimo arrived at the sanctuary in 2018. We could tell that he was partially sighted in his left eye, which had been left unchecked for a long time. Our vets advised that he needed to have it removed as soon as possible. He had an enucleation (eye removal surgery) in March 2019. Within a couple of weeks of the surgery, he had shown signs of improvement and we were delighted he could rejoin his herd. Geronimo copes very well with only one eye and lives a fulfilling and happy life. Geronimo is an adoption scheme pony and part of our Education team working with children, young people and adults.


Inula came into our care following a large multi-agency rescue in 2019. She had suffered extensive neglect. Survey x-rays revealed a small round air gun pellet which coincided with a lump on her pastern. It was clear that Inula had been shot in the hoof with an air gun at some point in her life. Attempting to remove the pellet could cause it to enter further into the hoof towards the joint instead of coming out, so the decision has been made to leave it where it is to reduce the risk. With continued support we will provide Inula with vet care for the rest of her life. We are proud of how far she has come and are delighted that she is now ready to be rehomed.

Geronimo Photo courtesy of the Mare and Foal Sanctuary, taken by

Above image: Inula was shot in the hoof with an air gun.

Geronimo after surgery

Fiona Crawford Photography



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Celebrations after Monarch the foal born at Redwings A pregnant mare who was involved in a road traffic accident in Essex has given birth in Redwings’ care.


ay mare Majesty – named in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee year – came into us two months ago on 25th February after suffering a broken nose and chest injuries in the crash. Happily, she has successfully given birth to a not-so-little boy who has been named Monarch. Nicola Berryman, Redwing’s Welfare Veterinary Surgeon, who is caring for the pair at one of our Norfolk sites, said: “Monarch was born in the early hours of Thursday 7th April. We don’t know who the father is but it’s clear he was a big horse as Monarch is huge! “Majesty and baby Monarch had a tricky start when he came into the world – they had some initial problems with him feeding but foal and mum are in good health and are now doing well. “Given all poor Majesty has been through, and the interest in Majesty’s story, we are absolutely thrilled to be able to share this news with our supporters.” Majesty was hit by a vehicle at Tilbury Docks on 10th November and was found stuck in some railings on the central reservation when the emergency services arrived. She was transported to a private boarding establishment who did a great job looking after her during her recovery. Jo Franklin, Redwings Senior Field

Majesty and Monarch

Officer, said: “The awful injuries Majesty sustained mean that, understandably, she’s quite head shy when having a headcollar put on and will need ongoing support from our specialist behaviour team. “We’re so glad we were able to offer her a home in Sanctuary here at Redwings, and of course her new foal Monarch.” Hackney-type Majesty is 14.1hh and her microchip shows that she is 11 years old. Unfortunately, her owner’s details

were not registered so they have not been able to be identified. As a charity 100% funded by donations, it is thanks to the generosity of our supporters that Redwings is able to take in and care for horses like Majesty and Monarch. n If you’d like to make a donation please call 01508 505246 or visit

New awareness campaign launched as donkey named most trafficked animal in the world ● Donkeys become most trafficked animal in the world, with more than 2 million of the 4.8 million animals slaughtered for their skins every year being illegally trafficked ● A new awareness film ‘Innocent Lives’ has been launched by The Donkey Sanctuary to highlight the impact of the trade on donkeys and the millions of communities and individuals that rely on them 38


● The Donkey Sanctuary is calling on people to join its mission Stop the Slaughter. End the Donkey Skin Trade The Donkey Sanctuary has today launched a new animated awareness film highlighting the plight of the world’s donkeys - and communities and individuals that rely on them - as they are declared the most trafficked animal in the world with up to 2 million

trafficked for slaughter every year. The demand for ejiao, a traditional Chinese remedy made using donkey skins, and the collapse of the domestic Chinese donkey population has led to a spike in trafficking as skin traders look for supply at any cost. Donkeys bound for the skin trade are kept in deeply cruel and inhumane conditions and suffer at every point of their journey, from source to slaughter.

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Pregnant, young or injured animals are not spared, and donkey populations across the world are being wiped out. The new animated film, developed by independent creative agency ArthurLondon and available to view now on YouTube, has been launched to bring greater awareness to the impacts of this trade on the communities and individuals that rely on them. It forms part of The Donkey Sanctuary’s Stop the Slaughter. End the Donkey Skin Trade campaign. The film follows the story of a young Ethiopian girl whose working donkey is stolen in the night by skin traders. She represents the thousands of women and girls who are also victims of the donkey skin trade, as they are often left to take on the work that would otherwise have been done by their donkey. It is estimated that up to 10 million communities in the developing world rely on donkeys to support their livelihoods. Ending the donkey skin trade has been made even more difficult in recent years as the practice has moved online, with a recent study by The Donkey Sanctuary, Oxford University, Said Business School

and WildCRU confirming that it has also become embedded with other illegal wildlife trading activities. Currently, thousands of live listings for donkey skins exist on eCommerce and social media sites around the world. The Donkey Sanctuary is asking the public to support the work they are doing to end the skin trade through donating, following the @DonkeySanctuary Twitter account and signing up for email updates on the progress of the campaign. Marianne Steele, Acting CEO of The Donkey Sanctuary, said: “The inhumane and unregulated donkey skin trade is among the biggest global threats to donkeys today. The suffering donkeys experience at the hands of this trade cannot be understated. “Beyond this, every donkey stolen and slaughtered by traffickers leaves behind a family that relies on it to support their livelihood. Often, it is the most vulnerable in these communities who suffer most, and the main character in our film represents the young girls who risk being removed from education in

Still from Innocent Lives animation ii Photo Credit The Donkey Sanctuary.

order to cover the work their donkeys can no longer do.” “We wanted this film to highlight how the donkey skin trade impacts both the donkeys themselves and the communities who raise and rely on them around the world. It is our hope that by encouraging greater awareness of this cruel practice we will be able to reach our goal of ending the donkey skin trade forever.” n For more information visit

The Pit Pony Sanctuary STAMP APPEAL- Please help us! We would like to appeal for “used postage stamps” Cut/torn off the envelope with ¼” or 1cm of paper showing all around. Also any old stamp albums/ collections. Also used jewellery! Please send to us at the Centre: Fforest Uchaf Horse & Pony Centre & The Pit Pony Sanctuary Penycoedcae, Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan, Wales CF37 1PS Thank you Visit



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The Labrador Lifeline Trust is a charity dedicated to rescuing, rehoming and helping Labradors They are now in their Twenty seventh year of helping Labradors in need of new homes and their main priority is placing the right dog in the right home. They cover the areas of Berkshire, Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex and Surrey

Registered charity number 1076061

Tel: 01256 884027 / 07860 691251 / Email: 40


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Davies celebrates VNAM with inspirational video It’s Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month (VNAM) in May and Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies), the small animal referral practice based near Hitchin in Hertfordshire, is celebrating the incredible job RVNs do, with an inspirational video capturing the work and the passion of their dedicated team. The practice is also providing free CPD on interventional cardiology.


egistered Veterinary Nurses are a lynchpin of every practice. Whether a student, mentor or pioneer, they are devoted to caring for animals and are invariably very good at caring for the practice team too. “Our video is aimed at showing how much we love our jobs, to inspire the next generation,” said Head of Nursing Services, Lillian Twigg. “We hope it will motivate RVNs of the future to continue with our mission to save lives, provide treatment and give hope, around the clock. We had fun making the video - it really captures the essence of our work and what we feel about being a part of this amazing profession.” Throughout VNAM the VN team at Davies will be sharing favourite case studies and personal insights about what it’s like to work at one of the country’s leading small animal referral practices. n You can watch the video on facebook here For more information about nursing at Davies visit –

Head of Nursing, Lillian Twigg (4th from right) with some of the RVNs at Davies



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Dog abandoned at Penrith Vets with a broken leg now looking for his forever home Staff at Dogs Trust Cumbria are searching for a home for a young dog who was abandoned with a broken leg at a Penrith Vets.


he Saluki, who has been named Kevin, is thought to have been hit by a car, resulting in a broken leg as well as some head trauma. He was abandoned at Frame and Swift Vets in Penrith and was not claimed by his owners. Dogs Trust covered the costs of the emergency surgery required to repair his leg, and he is now recovering in Dogs Trust foster care. Amy Redpath, Penrith Transfer Centre Assistant Manager said: “We’re not sure of Kevin’s story as he was abandoned at our local vets with some pretty severe injuries. Thankfully these have been treated and he is on the mend. “Kevin is a really sweet boy and is doing incredibly well recovering from his operation with his foster carers. Any potential owners will need to support him with the rest of his recovery, but it won’t be long until he is ready to go on some big adventures with a new family” The team looking after Kevin says he steals the hearts of everyone he meets and is now looking for committed owners who are happy to carry on his rest period to allow his leg to heal. He is getting better with his housetraining and time spent alone, but new owners would need to continue this. He can live with children aged eight years and over and would like a secure garden. To enable his post operation vet appointments to continue, his new home would need to be within one hour of Penrith. If you think you could offer Kevin, who is thought to be between one and two years old, the home he deserves, please visit Kevin is currently being cared for by a Dogs Trust foster carer. The charity is looking for more foster carers to open their houses and their hearts to dogs who find themselves without a permanent home. Foster carers will be



supported throughout the process with food, bedding and any other practical things required, including the costs of any veterinary treatment, being paid for by the charity. Annabel Robinson, Home from Home Coordinator for Dogs Trust Cumbria says: “Home from Home fostering is an essential part of our rehoming process. While many dogs are happy to settle in our kennels and enjoy being taken care of by our amazing canine carers, some just can’t adjust and miss their home comforts too much which can be distressing for them. “Dogs that particularly benefit from being fostered are older dogs who are used to home life, poorly dogs and dogs recovering from surgery, like Kevin, or dogs who may never have lived in a home before who need to get used to the sounds and smells of life in a home. “We already have a team of amazing

foster families, and really appreciate everything they do; they play an integral part in finding their temporary fourlegged lodger a new forever home – but we always need more so we can help more dogs. “Fostering a dog is extremely rewarding and I strongly urge anyone who has a dog-sized hole in their life, but who isn’t able to commit to having a permanent canine companion, to contact us to find out more about the scheme and if it’s right for them.” Dogs Trust foster carers need to be over the age of 18, preferably have an adult only home and be around for most of the day. As the dogs will need to visit the Penrith Transfer Centre to meet potential new owners, fosters therefore need to have their own car and live within an hour’s journey of the centre.

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Kennedy Wild Bird Food Guide to the Blackbird Gone are the days of baking ‘four and twenty blackbirds’ in a pie! Nowadays, there are between 10 and 15 million blackbirds living in UK gardens, countrysides and cities.


ur complete blackbird guide will tell you everything you need to know about these feathered friends, as well providing you with top tips to help you care for one of the country’s most common bird breeds.

What do blackbirds look like?

What bird food is best for blackbirds? Blackbirds often eat insects and worms that they find whilst rummaging through the ground. However, they also eat a range of seeds, fruits and kitchen scraps. Keep your garden feeder topped up with our mixed wild bird food to provide a tasty treat for any blackbirds that come to visit. Alternatively try our specially blended Blackbird and Thrush mixture. BUY BLACKBIRD FOOD! If you’re unsure of what to feed any wild birds that visit your garden, be sure to read our guide on choosing the right bird food. Visit our full A-Z list of birds to find out about other bird breeds.

What do baby blackbirds eat?

Baby blackbirds need the right nutrients and bird food to ensure they grow up to be healthy and strong adults. 44


If you find an injured or sole young blackbird, feeding it insects, earthworms and maggots can help to sustain it until you can get to a nearby animal rescue shelter.

the most well-known bird songs for us here in the UK. It’s high pitched drill has an underlying sing-song quality to it that cements itself as one of the classic UK bird songs.

Did you know? Even the most experienced birders sometimes confuse young blackbirds for thrushes and robins! This is because juvenile blackbird feathers are often a deep reddish brown.

Click here to listen B1lgjg9e4Y

Blackbird facts

The common blackbird (Turdus Merula) is typically around 10 inches long, has a wingspan of 14-15 inches and usually weighs between 80 and 125 grams. There are over 4 million breeding pairs in the UK, however, these numbers have depleted in the last 25 years. If you spot a blackbird, be sure to log your sighting in our great BirdSpotter app and help towards the conservation of these beautiful birds!

What does a blackbird sound like?

Where do blackbirds live?

Fortunately for us bird lovers, blackbirds are present all year round and live in all areas of the UK. So, you certainly won’t miss the opportunity to spot these striking creatures! They also live in a number of other locations around the world such as the Mediterranean, Europe and even as far as China. Did you know? Not all blackbirds are actually black! The males are typically jet-black with an orange beak, whereas the females have dark brown feathers with a yellowy-brown beak. k/british-birds-a-z/the-blackbird/

The blackbird’s song is probably one of

p43 Kennedy advert.qxp_Layout 1 24/03/2021 17:14 Page 43

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Bobby and Reggie

Bulldogs who struggle to walk in hot weather need experienced home Two British bulldogs are looking for a special home Two bulldogs who struggle to walk in the hot weather are looking for an experienced and understanding home to take them on - and keep them safe.


our-year-old brothers Bobby and Reggie arrived in RSPCA care in January after their owner’s circumstances changed and they could no longer take care of them. Kate MacNeill, from Millbrook Animal Centre, in Surrey, where the brothers are being looked after, said: “The boys were quite overweight when they arrived



but they’ve managed to shed 10kg between them since then and we’ve been working slowly to improve their fitness. “However, as brachycephalic breeds with flat faces, they will likely always have breathing and health problems caused due to the extreme way they’ve been bred.

“We’re looking for a special home with experienced and knowledgeable owners who understand the problems this breed can have and is happy to manage this and ensure the boys are monitored closely. They may also need treatment in the future which is likely to be uninsurable so adopters would need to factor this possible cost in too.”

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Both dogs have been assessed by a vet who doesn’t recommend surgery at this time. However, the dogs can struggle with airflow during hot weather so new owners will need to be extremely cautious with their exercise during the warmer months. Staff would like the pair to have access to a private, secure garden to enjoy during warm days when it’s not safe for them to go out for walks. Reggie has hip dysplasia which will also need to be carefully monitored in his new home and Bobby struggles with allergies which can affect his skin and ears. Kate added: “They’ve been having frequent baths here at Millbrook and we have to regularly clean their skin folds so they’re certainly high-maintenance but they’re certainly worth it! “Bobby and Reggie are very close and love each other to bits. They’re often found sleeping in the same bed using each other as pillows. “They’re very friendly, sociable dogs who love other dogs and people. They’re cheeky, fun and sweet lads who will make wonderful pets for the right person.” The brothers would ideally like to be the only pets in their new home but could live with older children. They’re both house-trained and can be left alone for short periods of time. The RSPCA has launched a new campaign Save Our Breath urging the public not to buy breeds who cannot live normal lives due to the irresponsible way they’ve been selectively bred. It comes as the number of British bulldog puppies being registered with the Kennel Club increased 149%, between 2011 and 2020. With the surge in demand for pets during lockdown there are fears that more brachycephalic dogs, cats and rabbits will have been bred by breeders resulting in even more sickly animals who require expensive veterinary treatment to help them carry out the simplest of everyday tasks such as

Brachycephalic breed with flat face walking and playing. And the RSPCA fears that more of these animals could be abandoned or relinquished to charity as their owners struggle to cope with costly veterinary bills as the cost of living soars. The Save Our Breath campaign seeks to educate the public about the impact of this type of breeding on dog welfare. The RSPCA would like people to consider getting an alternative breed or consider a crossbreed that has a lower risk of problems.

surveys available to members of the public. One survey will collect crucial information on brachycephalic animals in advertising, while the other will allow the public to share their own experiences with these animals. This vital research will help inform the RSPCA's experts as it works to protect future generations of these animals. Supporters can also sign up to the Give Animals a Voice campaign network for the latest information and access to campaign materials.

Find out more about Bobby and Reggie online or contact the team at Millbrook on or 0300 123 0740.

n To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.

For those wishing to get involved in the Save Our Breath, there will be two



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Bill Bailey original image

SWS Blue Cross Bill Bailey

Celebrities recreate Historic images to celebrate 125 Years of Blue Cross helping pets and people Bill Bailey, David Harewood MBE, and Lauren Steadman MBE team up with Blue Cross to recreate images dating back to WW1 to celebrate the pet charity’s 125th year 00:01 Sunday 22nd May 2022: Three animal-loving celebrities – comedian Bill Bailey, actor and TV presenter David Harewood MBE, and Paralympian Lauren Steadman MBE (with her rescue dog Kira) - have teamed up with national pet charity Blue Cross to recreate images from their historic archives. The stars stepped back in time to recreate three images from Blue Cross’ heritage*, dating all the way back to WWI and WWII, to commemorate 125 years of the charity helping pets and people. Five of the charity’s modern-day rehoming team also lent their support, recreating an additional archive image which features five ‘kennel maids’ wearing protective army helmets whilst caring for the dogs of WWII soldiers while they were fighting overseas. Originally known as ‘Our Dumb Friends League’, Blue Cross was formed in 1897 to help the working horses of London, who were often underfed, struggled to carry heavy loads and became injured on slippery asphalt roads created for new motor vehicles. Fast forward to today, and the charity continues to support pets and people through its 48


veterinary, rehoming, pet behaviour, education, and pet bereavement services. Since its formation, the charity estimates that it has positively impacted a staggering 38 million lives and it plans to help more than 120,000 pets over the next three years through its services. Bill Bailey, says: “It was great fun being a Pearly King for a day, and a fitting way to acknowledge the heritage of the Blue Cross, and to highlight their wonderful support for horses and other animals that has continued to this day. Congratulations Blue Cross on reaching your 125 milestone, and a heartfelt thank you for all that you do for both pets and people.” David Harewood, added: “It was fun to be a part of such a wonderful celebration recreating a special moment between a British soldier and his dog. This campaign not only highlights how long Blue Cross has been around to support pets and people, but also how the love for animals can also span across generations. I’m proud to be involved!”

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David Harewood Original image

Lauren Steadman Original Blue Cross image

SWS Blue Cross Lauren Steadman

Southampton Original image

SWS Blue Cross Southampton

Lauren Steadman, says: “It was wonderful to have my beautiful dog Kira on set with me to create this image of a WWI nurse treating a wounded dog. Kira is a rescue dog, so I have a huge appreciation for the work that Blue Cross and pet charities do. Happy birthday Blue Cross, and congratulations on your 125th year.” Iain Heaton, Deputy CEO and CFO at Blue Cross, says: “We are delighted to share these recreated historic images with our supporters, beneficiaries, and the British public. Bill, David, Lauren, and our hard-working rehoming team have done a phenomenal job at demonstrating how we have supported both pets and people over the last 125 years, and we can’t wait to see people’s response. “Since Blue Cross’ formation in 1897, we have been present for both people and pets during key moments in history, and we continue to support them through our veterinary, rehoming and behavioural services to this very day. But our job is not done, and we are needed today more

SWS Blue Cross David Harewood

Fast forward to today, and the charity continues to support pets and people through its veterinary, rehoming, pet behaviour, education, and pet bereavement services.

than ever. So, as well as celebrating our illustrious heritage, we hope that this campaign helps to drive further awareness and understanding of our cause.” n To learn more about the Blue Cross and heritage, visit: RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 30 MAY – 30 JUNE 2022


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Picture Perfect Pets Winner - Megan Brown - 15 - Delightful donkeys

Young photographers invited to enter their animal images in RSPCA competition All animals welcome! From cats and dogs to hedgehogs, guinea pigs and sheep, under-19s can enter their eye-catching pictures into the popular RSPCA Young Photographer Awards from today.


udding young photographers have been encouraged to enter the RSPCA’s high-profile photography competition which is now celebrating its 32nd year. The 2022 RSPCA Young Photographer Awards opens for entries today (Wednesday, 4 May) and runs until 16 August. The judges are looking forward to another year of impressive entries – last year they had more than 6,500 to sift through. With ten different categories to choose from this year, there’s something for everyone, whatever your interest or age group – and some fabulous prizes to be won. And 2022 sees the introduction of two new categories: Pet Personalities and Pet Portraits.



“‘Pet Personalities’ is a chance to capture an animal companion in action, revealing their natural behaviour and character,” says judge and RSPCA photographer Andrew Forsyth. “From a dog playing ball or a cat playing hide and seek, to a rat enjoying a banana – show us judges just how brilliant you think your pet is. “Then there’s the new ‘Pet Portraits’ category, which gives you a chance to show off your photography skills by capturing a more formal portrait of a pet,” he adds. “But of course we want to see that your pet is still comfortable and happy being photographed.” The popular ‘Small World’ category will once again feature,

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12-15 Commended - Dan Hancock-Smith - 14 - Waving seal

Under 12 Mobile Phone and Devices Winner - Isabella Martin - 9 - Bedtime play having delivered the competition’s overall winner for 2021 with this striking image of a wasp spider by Ben HancockSmith, aged 17. The category was introduced during the 2020 lockdown to encourage young people to create photos close to home while still keeping safe. Judges include: wildlife photographer, TV presenter and RSPCA Vice President Chris Packham; former competition winner-turned-professional photographer Catriona Parfitt; professional wildlife photographer and photographic guide Ellie Rothnie; and RSPCA photographers Andrew Forsyth and Emma Jacobs. Sponsors of the competition are Natures Images (wildlife photography holidays), Camtraptions (camera traps for wildlife photography) and (resources for nature photographers). Chris Packham said: “This is an equal-opportunities competition! Kids don’t need fancy, expensive equipment to enter. We introduced our mobile phones and devices categories as a response to the world that we live in – most of us are now carrying phones equipped with increasingly good cameras. I've probably taken my best photographs of my two poodles on my phone. Photography isn't always about technical quality. It's about communicating.” There are ten categories; under 12 (taken with a camera), 12–15 years (taken with a camera), 16–18 years (taken with a camera), under 12 (taken on a mobile/device), 12–15 years (taken on a mobile/device), 16–18 years (taken on a mobile/device), Pet Personalities, Pet Portraits, Small World and Portfolio. “I think the best thing about the RSPCA Young

Photographer Awards is, as judges, we're always seeing something new,” adds Andrew Forsyth. “The young photographers are not trying to copy other photographers. They're always bringing fresh ideas, trying different things, a new approach. It's always a real joy and a surprise to be looking through the entries every year.” And Chris couldn’t agree more: “As judges we’re never quite sure what we’ll get, but our young photographers always deliver. Being involved with this competition is one of the highlights of my year. And if you look at the highlights of the past 30-odd years, they include some exceptional photographs.” The judges will award trophies to winners in each category, as well as crowning an Overall Winner. They’ll receive a weekend photography break with award-winning wildlife photographer Danny Green's team at Natures Images. Worth £625, this fabulous prize includes two nights' accommodation for the winner and a parent/guardian. The winners will be announced in December 2022, at an awards ceremony hosted by Chris Packham at the Tower of London. It couldn’t be easier to enter! Under-19s can upload their images, view past galleries and find out everything they need to know at: The closing date for entries is 16 August. n To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181. RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 30 MAY – 30 JUNE 2022


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Redwings fundraiser Oliver Phillips

Redwings fundraiser Oliver Phillips and friends

Young Supporter runs 60 miles for Redwings A young supporter has raised over £700 for Redwings after running a sponsored 60 miles!


leven-year-old Oliver Phillips from Braintree, Essex decided he wanted to fundraise for the charity after his mum and dad sponsored Redwings’ Dotty the donkey, who lives at Ada Cole Visitor Centre near Nazeing, for Oliver as a Christmas present. Mum Kerrie Phillips said: “We’re so proud of Ollie and want to say a big thank you to everyone who supported him to complete this challenge. “Friends from his football team all ran two miles with Ollie after a game. He also completed 3 miles at a parkrun. “We had an amazing neighbour who went out with him on quite a few occasions, and the rest either I or his dad did with him. “There were times he found it hard, some days his legs really ached, and we had a bit of scare when he got injured at a football match and we

thought he might have broken his ankle! Luckily it wasn’t too serious, and he was only out for a couple of days. He was so determined and there was no way he was going to give up until he reached his goal.” Ollie’s challenge raised an amazing £720 in total which will go towards helping the horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in Redwings’ care. “We weren’t expecting him to raise anything like that amount, but I posted about what he was doing in some local social media groups and the donations just kept coming! We had some T shirts made for him with ‘Redwings’ on the front and ‘Running 60 miles’ on the back, and people said they’d seen him and wanted to support him. It was really brilliant,” said Kerrie. Kerrie and his dad, James, set up a ‘finish line’ for Oliver to cross, with red and black balloons, when he

completed his 60 miles. “He did get to the end and say he was really glad it was over but it wasn’t long before he had started to talk about what he wants to do next!” said Kerrie. Debbie Scott, Head of Fundraising at Redwings, said: “This is such an amazing achievement and we’re very grateful to Oliver and everyone who helped him with his fundraising efforts. “We hope his story will inspire others to take on their own challenges in aid of Redwings.” As a charity 100% funded by donations, it is thanks to the generosity of our supporters that Redwings is able to work to promote the welfare of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. n If you’d like to make a donation please call 01508 505246 or visit

We are delighted to support the Animal Charities featured in this Magazine Tel: 01952 245330 54


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