Rescue & Animal Care - October/November - Issue 179

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31st October - 30th November 2022 - Issue 179

ISSN 2050-0572

FREE TO READ Promoting Responsible Pet Ownership and Animal Welfare

Six-foot tall ‘gentle giant’ Basher finds forever home, at last! Gentle giant Storm awarded Blue Cross Medal 2022 New Prime Minister urged to “rescue” manifesto pledges for animals Can cats and dogs live in paw-fect harmony? Cover Image

The Purpose of The Purple Poppy

Meet our handsome resident Connor Redwings Horse Sanctuary

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RSPCA fear DIY firework displays could increase after large events cancelled Cost of living means more people will be holding displays at home


ith many public firework displays reportedly being cancelled due to spiralling costs, the RSPCA is concerned the increase in DIY home events will mean more animals than ever will be left terrified. Major displays in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff among others have been reportedly cancelled due to spiralling costs meaning locals are likely to resort to home displays to celebrate November 5. The charity is urging those planning DIY displays to consider animals in their local area this upcoming fireworks season. Fireworks result in huge fear, distress and can even cause fatal injuries for all kinds of animals. The RSPCA is calling on regulations to be changed to protect our pets, horses, wildlife and farm animals. Last year the RSPCA started its first online reporting form for members of the public about the impact of fireworks on their animals - receiving 11,785 responses in its first year showing this is a real problem for animals across the country. The RSPCA believe organised displays can help mitigate risks - with organisers taking precautions, and pet and animal owners in a locality having advanced notice of planned displays. Carrie Stones, RSPCA campaigns manager, said: “We fear that there will now be lots of little displays taking place over weeks and weeks, spreading out fireworks noise and causing prolonged distress for animals across a larger area. “We’d urge people to be considerate and keep neighbours with animals, including those with nearby horses and other livestock, informed of plans well in advance so they can make preparations to reduce the stress to their animals. “Equally lower-noise fireworks can make such a difference to make displays safer for everybody. “Put simply please keep animals in mind if you are planning your own display and check out our advice on our website.” 2

RSPCA has been running its #BangOutOfOrder campaign for many years which supports more controls over fireworks displays. New stats for this year have shown almost two-thirds (63%) of animal owners surveyed* reported that their pet appeared distressed during firework season. Sadly, every year the RSPCA receives an influx of calls reporting terrified animals during the fireworks season. The animal welfare charity is sent scores of heartbreaking videos and images of animals struggling to cope and the stress it causes them. It’s not just pets that are distressed by fireworks; horses and livestock can be affected by the loud bangs and bright flashes of light, putting them at risk of injuring themselves on fencing, farm equipment or fixtures and fittings within their housing. Wildlife can also be seriously impacted by bonfires and fireworks. Wild animals, like hedgehogs, are at risk of being burnt alive after making their homes inside bonfires and piles of leaves, while some birds will flee their nests or whole colonies can disappear due to noise disturbance. Carrie added: “There is a wealth of information on the RSPCA website on how to prepare your animals in advance such as bringing pets inside and providing extra bedding to make a safe haven. We would also advise you to consult your vet if you feel your animal is particularly anxious.” The RSPCA is calling for the UK Government to introduce tighter controls and regulations around the sale and use of fireworks in a bid to help both animals and people who suffer with fireworks phobias and noise aversion; while urging local authorities to introduce localised restrictions too. n To support the #BangOutOfOrder campaign, please visit the RSPCA website and send a letter to your local council to put forward changes.


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

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Dear Friends, A short time ago I was complaining a bit about the heat and how I wished I could take off my coat and hang it up on the peg with the human ones. However, Mistress is wearing hers in the evening actually inside the house and I am glad I have my thick fur on because the radiator usually warm and toasty is turned off! So here I am laying in my bed with a throw to keep the chill off, thinking of jumping under the covers with Mistress. I noticed that she had a delivery of an electric blanket the other day but she has not offered to share it with me. I’m not sure what is going on but very few lights are turned on in our house in the evenings and the central heating is on for only an hour or two a day. Mistress keeps moaning about the electric and gas bills and follows Little Mistress around pulling out plugs from anything on standby. Then to add insult to injury my toilet outing times have been put well out of sync. Suddenly it is darker an hour earlier and so we go out while there is still a bit of daylight left. But my toilet habits haven’t changed with the clocks and I am as regular as clockwork -around 6pm (which apparently clashes with wine o clock☺)so Mistress is out with the torch poo spotting, terrified she will miss a plop and a neighbour may step in one!! Last night was Halloween and Trick or Treat. Now Little Mistress is all grown up we no longer have a pumpkin lit outside our front door and we tend to hide. How mean!!

No warm radiator for me! I am pleased to report we didn’t hear any fireworks which was a huge relief. There are Low noise and quiet Fireworks apparently available to buy so I am hopeful along with all my furry friends that people will consider buying them. In the next issue I will be talking about Christmas and dropping hints about certain gifts I would like. I have already noticed some in this issue to put on my list and I bet you have too!

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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Dear Readers, I have just looked at my watch and it is only 5pm and it’s dark outside already! I am on this magazine’s deadline writing a hello to you all and proof reading the pages at the same time. However, I haven’t got used to the clocks changing and feel I should be in my Jim- jams with a hot chocolate in hand and going to bed! Thank you as always for opening your latest free issue. There are lots of articles inside which I hope you enjoy. Lucy and Sean live with Oscar, a rescued five and half-year-old French Bulldog. It was not so long ago that after work, Lucy would sit in her car and cry, too scared to go into her own home; such was Oscar's aggression towards people, even his owners. Find out how Reactive Dogs UK helped them. Read a new study from Dogs Trust reveals lack of dog-friendly accommodation is a barrier for people experiencing homelessness. Dog owners experiencing homelessness are forced to choose between their beloved pets and somewhere safe to sleep. A gentle giant dog - who measures in at 6ft (183cm) tall when standing on his back legs - has finally found his forever home after more than two years in RSPCA care. Just look at his photo! The purple poppy has long been a symbol of remembrance for animals but until recently was little known compared to the traditional red poppy. Many millions of animals have served us over the years, and many continue to serve us still, yet for far too long their efforts have been overlooked. That is why, seven years ago, Murphy’s Army took on the role of Ambassadors of Animal Remembrance in the UK and launched their Purple Poppy Campaign. Their aim was to bring to the public’s attention the contributions made by animals in service, and to ensure that they were remembered too. See more inside. Fancy winning a long weekend in Northumberland in a fabulous Dog Friendly 5 Star Holiday and help raise funds for one of our favourite animal charities? Take a look at the wonderful accommodation on offer!

Love Jennifer x

Promoting Responsible Pet Ownership and Animal Welfare


Dog Treat Advent Calendar 2022 WIN A GOLDEN TICKET WORTH £50


In this issue ...


asher entle giant’ B Six-foot tall ‘g at last forever home



Mini beast viewer

12 Meet Oscar, ch eeky, cuddly and adventurous


On this Month’s Cover Redwings Horse Sanctuary


The purpose of The Purple Poppy

Contact us PHONE: 07885 305188 EMAIL: TWITTER: Troublesome Treacle


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Redwings’ podcasts return for Second series Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s ‘Sounds of the Sanctuary’ podcast which has so far been downloaded more than 4000 times – has returned for a second series, along with its sister podcast ‘Field Notes’.


ounds of the Sanctuary offers a behind-the-scenes look at life at Redwings, the UK’s largest horse charity, whilst Field Notes delves further into the equine care issues raised and offers insight on issues from equine weight management to caring for the older horse from the charity’s experienced staff and veterinary teams. Series two of Sounds of the Sanctuary, launched on Friday 7th October, now has the first three episodes ready to download and listen to. Episode one follows foal Monarch, born at Redwings to rescue mare Majesty in April 2022. Listen along as the pair, who were named in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, settle into their new paddock at Redwings, and make human and horse friends along the way. The first episode of series two of Field Notes is an 6


interview with Redwings’ Head of Sanctuary and Care, Nicky Jarvis, focusing on the importance of weight management – off the back of an interview with SPILLERS about their weight-loss and fundraising initiative, Kilos to Pounds, which is being carried out in support of Redwings. Jude Palmer, PR and Digital Officer at Redwings, said, “We’re delighted to have brought both podcasts back for a second series. So much has happened since series one – which was named by the Eastern Daily Press amongst their top 7 podcasts to listen to – and we have been recording ever since! “We’ve got some new features in this series of Sounds of the Sanctuary including our ‘On the Hoof’ segment, which takes listeners along to training sessions with our nervous equines, to Appleby Horse Fair with our outreach team and

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to meet rehomed donkeys who now live with dinosaurs! “Field Notes is the perfect accompaniment for horse owners or those who care for equines and covers a whole host of new subjects this series including caring for veteran horses and the importance of taking horses’ temperature to prevent the spread of the infectious disease strangles.” Jude added: “We hope supporters new and old will enjoy discovering more about horse welfare and our work here at Redwings and the amazing stories of the horses and donkeys who call our Sanctuary home.” The podcasts are available to listen to on all major podcast

platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts. New episodes of Sounds of the Sanctuary are uploaded on Fridays and Field Notes is uploaded on the following Monday. Listeners can listen to series one, and subscribe to the new series, on their favourite podcast platform to ensure they never miss an episode. n For more information about the podcast please visit:

What is the fuss about fireworks? Redwings has prepared a special episode of the Field Notes podcast in time for Bonfire Night. Released on Monday 31st October, the episode features Helen Whitelegg, Redwings’ Policy Officer, as she talks about issues the charity has faced with fireworks and the risk they pose to equines. She also shares developments in Scottish legislation around fireworks, and an encouraging example of how social demand from consumers has led one retailer to halt the sale of fireworks in 2022. Carrie Stones, Campaigns Manager at the RSPCA, also provides an update on the work of their #BangOutOfOrder campaign to make fireworks less frightening for animals. Plus, the episode also features Redwings Veterinary Surgeon Dawn Trayhorn, and her powerful recollection of working on-call on the night of the 5th November 2016 when sadly two Redwings horses had to be put to sleep as a result of traumatic incidents thought to be caused by a nearby firework display.

Please listen and share the podcast on your social media channels to encourage people to think of our four-legged friends this Bonfire Night.



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The Feel-good Christmas Gift – Buy Dinner or a Toy for a Foster Dog Animal welfare charity, Miracle’s Mission is offering a wonderful opportunity to sprinkle some Christmas good cheer for the needy rescue dogs and cats that are waiting to be fostered; to buy them a Christmas dinner or toy. It’s the ultimate present for the dog or cat lover in your family, who will receive a certificate as their gift…


our gift could help sick, injured and difficult dogs like Anny. Anny was found as a stray in Egypt. She has lost sight in one eye. She is very happy girl who loves to snuggle up with her foster family and enjoys playing with (and destroying!) toys. Anny can be a bit wary at first, but once she is comfortable her tail is always wagging. Anny needs a family willing to give her time and patience whilst her confidence grows. Anny needs an active family who have lots of time to spend with her and someone willing to continue with her training. She is doing well on walks but is still nervous when in built up, busier areas. She is good with other dogs on

walks but would like to be the only dog in her home. Victoria Bryceson’s charity, Miracle's Mission, is a non-profit animal welfare organisation that works with sick, injured and difficult animals. Her mission is to provide a place of safety for animals in danger, to educate on the need for neutering both pets and strays and to neuter stray dogs and cats to prevent the birth of more dogs and cats onto the streets. Miracle was a dog who was rescued from the streets of Borneo at one week old, before her tiny eyes were even open. She had several injuries and was very weak, but she made a miraculous recovery and is now strong, happy and

healthy living with her adopted brother Ben, sister Star and sister Tess. Victoria is now working towards saving many more stray dogs and other stray animals all around the world, starting in Borneo where Miracle was rescued. You can buy a Christmas Dinner or a toy for a dog or cat, which comes with a certificate. And with so many hungry mouths to feed at Miracle’s Mission, your gift will make a massive difference to the quality of life of a dog or cat at this time of year. n Christmas Dinner for a dog or cat costs £5 and a toy for a dog or cat also costs £5. You can purchase your gift from

We are delighted to support the Animal Charities featured in this Magazine Tel: 01952 245330 8


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New Prime Minister Sunak urged to “rescue” manifesto pledges for animals There have been concerns the UK Government is abandoning its commitments New Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been urged not to “trample on” his Party's plans for animal welfare, by ensuring the stalled Kept Animals Bill is given Parliamentary time as soon as possible.


he RSPCA hopes the new Prime Minister is ready to revive the law, which has been in limbo and “missing in action” since November 2021 - as new bombshell polling shows the public support the law's key pledges in huge numbers. Calls have been backed by Henry Dimbleby, author of the independent National Food Strategy and the UK Government's food tsar, who has previously called for animal welfare not to be sacrificed in a “bonfire of red tape” - but believes Sunak can offer “renewed hope” for animal welfare’s place on the policy agenda. Amid claims PM Sunak is set to return to the contents of the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto for his policy agenda, the RSPCA hopes bringing the Bill back before Parliament after "one year in the wilderness" will help ensure the UK Government prioritises animal welfare, and meets its manifesto pledges.

Before entering Downing Street today, PM Sunak said he would “deliver” on the manifesto. Ahead of the 2019 General Election, the Conservative Party pledged to: l crack down on the illegal smuggling of dogs and puppies; l end excessively long journeys for slaughter and fattening; l ban the keeping of primates as pets Sunak has appointed Therese Coffey as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Kept Animals Bill commits to these pledges - by banning the live transport of animals, placing restrictions on the keeping of primates as pets and ending the importation of puppies with cropped ears; as well as other proanimal measures such as dealing with pet theft and tackling livestock worrying. However - despite being introduced under the premiership of Boris Johnson after the 2019 General Election - the Bill has seen no action since Committee 10

Henry Dimbleby stage in November 2021; and there's ongoing concern from the RSPCA that it could be on the verge of collapse without renewed impetus from the new Prime Minister Sunak. New polling from the RSPCA shows huge public support for policies contained within the Kept Animals Bill demonstrating the public appetite for the new Prime Minister to revive this stalled legislation. The polling found: l 80% of the public support prohibiting the keeping of primates as pets, including 65% who strongly support it l 54% of the public support a ban on live exports with only 10% against it l 86% of the public support a ban on the import of puppies under six months with only 8% opposing it l 76% of the public support a ban on the import of dogs with cropped ears with only 9% opposing it l 81% of the public support making dog theft a specific offence with only 4% opposing it Emma Slawinski, RSPCA director of policy, said: “As the new Prime Minister pledges to dust off the Conservative Party manifesto of 2019, we’d urge him to start by reviving the missing-in-action Kept Animals Bill, and avoid any risk of trampling on this country’s animal welfare legacy. “The law promised to do so much for animals - including meeting some key


manifesto commitments that brought the Conservative Party back into office in 2019. “From ending live transport, to restricting primates as pets, and ending the cruel importation of pups with cropped ears, this Bill has the potential to do so much for animals - and it is heartbreaking to speculate that all the progress made in bringing it forward could be lost if UK Government inaction continues. Rishi Sunak now has the perfect chance to address that head on and rescue it. “We know these policy pledges are not only the right thing to do for animals - but hugely popular with the public. New polling for the RSPCA found an overwhelming majority of respondents backing every single proposal contained within the Kept Animals Bill - so, why delay any more? After one year in the wilderness, we eagerly await the UK Government getting the Kept Animals Bill over the line and changing the lives of millions of animals for the better, in one go.” Henry Dimbleby renews calls for action The call comes after Henry Dimbleby, non-executive board member at Defra and co-founder of LEON restaurants, issued a rallying cry for the UK Government not to let animal welfare standards fall in a "bonfire of red tape", while delivering the inaugural RSPCA Wilberforce lecture last week (October 19). Henry now believes the new Prime Minister must ensure this long-promised Bill becomes a reality - and that anything else would be “madness”. He said: "This law has been in the making for literally decades. "The cruel and unnecessary practice of live animal transport was rightly a manifesto commitment for this government and it is one they must not renege on. “We have a global reputation on animal welfare that has been hard earned, it would be madness to trash it - but the arrival of Rishi Sunak to Downing Street offers renewed hope that the Kept Animals Bill can be saved and our worldwide standing for animal welfare standards secured.”

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Meet Oscar Cheeky, Cuddly, Adventurous, Quirky, Loving


Lucy and Sean live with Oscar, a rescued five and half-year-old French Bulldog. It was not so long ago that after work, Lucy would sit in her car and cry, too scared to go into her own home; such was Oscar's aggression towards people, even his owners. ‘I took Oscar’s reactivity personally and thought he hated me. Our friends blamed us, saying we needed to ‘take charge’,’ shares Lucy. So they sought professional help, but the outdated punitive methods were traumatic and didn’t work. ‘It was a lonely and terrifying existence,’ Lucy recalls. Then, three years ago, they found Reactive Dogs UK, an online support group for owners with dogs that display anxiety, fear, frustration or aggression. Lucy fully embraced the holistic ‘RDUK CARES’ system: Reset, Distance, Understanding, Kindness, Counterconditioning, Acceptance and Acknowledgement, Reinforcement and Rewards, Empathy, and Step by Step Success. ‘RDuk helped us understand that Oscar was, in fact, scared!’ This was a revelation to them. ‘RDuk gave us step-by-step professional guidance to start making changes. 12


I learned how to do counter-conditioning* with great success [*changing Oscars’ fear of people to acceptance and even love]. The relaxation and visitor training guides and resources, in particular, made a huge difference.’ Oscar learned to accept Lucy’s touch, treats from her hands and learned to wear a muzzle. In an unregulated industry, she was relieved to have trustworthy professionals guiding her. Oscar began to flourish, enjoying enrichment activities like snuffling and learning skills to help him feel safe and redirected bites onto Lucy stopped. ‘He LOVES training and games now,’ Lucy enthuses. Feeling empowered following group coaching, Lucy took time for herself, made genuine online friends and developed a positive mindset. cont on p14

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Oscar & Lucy cont from p12 ‘Learning to understand and truly connect with Oscar was the best!’ ‘RDuk saved us both. I would no longer have Oscar if it weren’t for the group. The incredible connection and emotional support, the resources and the genuine shared excitement when you achieve something, no matter how small, is not to be found anywhere else.’ ‘I never thought Oscar would be able to overcome his triggers, but he mostly has. Walks are enjoyable, and he has an expanded circle of human friends. I just love life with my dog.’ So why is Lucy still a member? ‘Because RDUK is my family. I love being part of the community, and it’s nice to be able to give hope to others who are at breaking point like I was and that things can and do get better.’

Get a FREE RDuk resource for yourself here! Lucy Oscar, Sean &


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New study from Dogs Trust reveals lack of dog-friendly accommodation is a barrier for people experiencing homelessness Dog owners experiencing homelessness forced to choose between their beloved pets and somewhere safe to sleep


he UK’s largest dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust, is calling on homelessness services to consider their clients’ canine friends too when offering support. In a survey of professionals supporting those experiencing homelessness, 70% told Dogs Trust that their clients had experienced barriers to accessing homelessness services because they have a dog. Further to this, 84% were aware of one or more cases where someone had refused an offer of temporary or emergency accommodation as it would have meant giving up their dog. Just 51% of the homelessness services that responded to the Dogs Trust survey said that their services were dog friendly. The barriers faced by dog owners experiencing homelessness extend beyond temporary accommodation; 75% of service providers who responded to the Dogs Trust survey said they had experienced difficulties in finding dog-friendly move-on accommodation for owners they had supported, and this is across independent or supported living, or accommodation in the private rented sector. Many dog owners experiencing homelessness must choose between a safe place to sleep and their dog. Through the Hope Project, Dogs Trust works to support dog owners so they can stay with their faithful friends. The Hope Project works directly with homelessness services to support them in becoming dog friendly by providing bespoke support and ongoing advice on everything from dog-friendly policies to behaviour resources. The project also provides support packs of dog items to help new dogs feel welcome at homelessness services. The Hope Project also provides free veterinary treatment to dogs whose owners are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, the provision of an online directory of dog-friendly homelessness services in the UK, and a

Christmas parcel service, where the charity sends out dog goodies to homelessness services across the country that support dog owners. Harriet Page, Pets and Housing Manager at Dogs Trust says: “For most dog owners, being separated from their dog is no different from being separated from a family member. Many dog owners experiencing homelessness are forced to make the heart-breaking decision to give up their beloved pets just so they can have somewhere safe and secure to sleep. It’s clear that many people are turning down offers of accommodation as they do not want to say goodbye to their beloved pet. “We don’t think anyone should have to choose between a bed or their faithful friend. Through our Hope Project, we work with many temporary housing providers who successfully offer dogfriendly accommodation. In fact, 89% of the homelessness services we surveyed that do permit dogs told us that having dogs in their accommodation has resulted in positive impacts on the people they are supporting. “It’s incredibly important that petfriendly housing is available at every step of someone’s housing pathway, and we’re keen to work with as many homelessness services as possible so that we can help keep people and their pets together.” Nicky’s Story Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s provides pet-friendly accommodation for people who have experienced homelessness. Nicky lives in one of its hostels in South London with her pet Chihuahua Foxy. “When I had days to vacate the property I was living in with Foxy, I was really worried. Even privately rented places won’t take dogs, I feared we would end up sleeping on the streets. St Mungo’s came along and offered us a space in a hostel, it was a great weight off my mind. “Foxy was my only companion during

Nicky and Foxy lockdown, he was my only friend. The only time I went out was to walk him. Having a dog gives you a responsibility, an aim or a goal. When I was depressed I couldn’t be bothered getting up, but having a dog jumping up and down and needing something gave me a reason to get up in the morning. “It was nerve-wracking going into the hostel but everyone was really nice, and Foxy got showered with attention. There’s no way I could have left him behind, he is like a child to me.” St Mungo’s Head of Westminster Services Sylvia Tijmstra said: “We know that pets can sometimes feel like the only companion for people who are sleeping rough. They provide warmth and comfort when people need it most. At St Mungo’s we recognise the powerful emotional support pets can provide, and that’s why we are one of the only charities to accept pets in our hostels. “Without pet friendly charities like St Mungo’s and Dogs Trust, many more people would be faced with having to choose between a safe place to sleep and keeping their pet. So we at St Mungo’s feel that it’s vital we provide support for people and their pets to help end homelessness.”



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Man caught by CCTV beating cat banned from keeping animals for five years The RSPCA prosecuted after footage showed the night-time attack


man who carried out a sustained attack on a cat in a Chester street has received a five-year ban on keeping animals. Artur Zakowicz was captured on CCTV taken on March 24 committing the cowardly act in Charles Street near to the defendant’s home. The footage showed him grabbing the black and white cat, which belonged to him, by his skin and slapping him violently six times with his hand while pushing the feline to the ground. He then picked up the cat, called Bashik, roughly by the skin on his back, before the feline managed to escape. Zakowicz was tracked down and the RSPCA and Cheshire Police attended his property on April 16. When Bashik was examined later that day at RSPCA Greater Manchester Animal Hospital 16

there were no apparent injuries from the attack, but a vet said any soft tissue damage may have healed in the time that had elapsed between the incident and the medical. Zakowicz, (D.o.B 11.1.1976), of Brook Street, Chester, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a cat under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and appeared for sentencing at Chester Magistrates’ Court on October 14. In a written statement presented to the court, RSPCA inspector Naomi Morris said she was shown CCTV footage of the attack at Blacon Police Station and went with a police officer to Zakowicz’s flat where he admitted the attack and gave the RSPCA permission to take the animal for a vet check. The vet’s expert report stated: “Persisting signs of bruising and soft


tissue swelling would not be expected when considering the examination was carried out 23 days after the CCTV incident. No skeletal injuries were detectable radiographically.” But after viewing the attack, the vet concluded that Bashik would have been “in pain for a period of several hours, possibly longer”. Bashik has been taken into the care of the RSPCA and the animal charity will rehome him. As well as the ban, Zakowicz was also handed a 12-month community sentence under which he must complete 15 rehabilitation activity days and 200 hours of unpaid work. He also has to pay a victim surcharge of £114 and costs of £500.

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Cats in need of fur-ever homes as charity is bursting at the seams • Cats Protection appeals for homes for some if its longer stay cats so it can help more felines in need • Players of People’s Postcode Lottery help fund care of cats awaiting adoption as waiting lists for cats coming in to care soar


wo of Cats Protection’s adoption centres are issuing an appeal for adopters for overlooked moggies as the demand on their services rises. Puss Cat, Holly, Ellie, Pushkin and Pearl are all seeking their purr-fect forever homes while waiting lists for cats to come into care are shooting up. While they await adoption, the cats are being cared for by staff and volunteers at the centres, who do everything possible to make them happy and comfortable during their stay. This work is kindly supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have raised over £4.8m for Cats Protection since 2018. National Cat Adoption Centre Manager Danielle Draper said: “There is an unprecedented demand on our services at present, which is causing us real concern as any slowdown in homing could lead to other cats having to live in unsuitable conditions for longer. “Puss Cat, Holly and Ellie have all been overlooked for one reason or another, so we’d really love to get them adopted as soon as possible.” Puss Cat is a handsome gent of around nine years of age. He is a confident cat who enjoys a gentle fuss, some catnip and a cosy bed. He has recently taken to sitting on his carers’ laps, too, so might make a perfect lap cat in his new home. Puss Cat would need to be the only pet in an adult-only household so he can be the star of the show and would ideally go to a home with a garden for him to explore. Holly is a gorgeous 12-year-old whose previous owner sadly passed away. While in care, she underwent an operation to remove one eye, to improve her quality of life, and has recovered fully from this. She is a sweet girl who loves a fuss and some catnip but would appreciate a quiet home as she can also be a little shy. Ellie is a 14-year-old lady with lots of love to give. She is very fond of an ear scratch, cheek rub and a place to curl up and have a snooze. She also has a


Puss cat




Pearl playful side and, although she doesn’t tend to wander too far and would enjoy having access to a garden where she can spend the warmer days sunbathing. She would best suit a reasonably quiet home, as this is what she is used to. Pushkin and Pearl are both at the charity’s Tyneside Adoption Centre, where Senior Rehoming and Welfare Assistant Shannon Watkin said: “While we understand taking on a cat is a big commitment, we urge anyone thinking of getting a new feline friend to take a look at our website or get in touch – we may well have the perfect cat for your home.” Pushkin is an 11-year-old mature moggy who would make a fantastic companion. She came in as her owner was sadly unable to give her the care that was needed. Pushkin loves attention and a nice warm lap, voicing her appreciation with lots of purrs. She would also appreciate a home with a garden as, having previously lived at a farm, she is used to having lots of outdoor space to potter about in. Three-year-old Pearl came into care


when her owner sadly passed away. She has flea allergic dermatitis which is easily managed by regular, good quality flea treatments available from a vet. She is missing the top part of her ear, but this does not affect her in any way and just adds to her unique character. Pearl likes to have lots of attention and loves to brush against you while having a chat. She would need to be the only pet in the household so she can be the star of the show. n For more information on Puss Cat, Holly or Ellie, or to see any of the other cats available at the National Cat Adoption Centre, visit or call 01825 572 850. For more information on Pushkin or Pearl, or to see any of the other cats available at the Tyneside Adoption Centre, visit or call 0191 653 1052. If you live outside these areas and would like to adopt a cat, please visit to see cats available for homing near you.

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That’s a lot of bottle! Abandoned kittens are weaned at RSPCA inspector’s home The felines were just days old when they were found in a cardboard box


ive ravenous kittens that were dumped without their mother in Gateshead are being hand reared by an RSPCA inspector. The little mites, who were abandoned in a cardboard box when they were just four or five days old, are now in the expert hands of inspector Rachael Hurst. Rachael is sharing their care with her partner, Jamie, at their North East home. Jamie fits in the day shift around his work, while Rachael is up every four hours in the night to ensure the kittens get bottle-fed around the clock. The kittens, four females and one male, have been named Holly, Ivy, Snowball, Sally and Jack by the RSPCA and are thriving despite having been separated from their mother. The inspector is well suited to her role as she worked as a cattery supervisor at RSPCA Felledge Animal Centre at Chester-le-Street, where the kittens are set to be rehomed from when they are able to fend for themselves. “They need to be fed and stimulated around the clock, so it is hands-on for both of us at the moment. They are very young and a real handful,” explained Rachael. “My partner works from home, so that has helped during the day and I look after their night-time care. I make sure they get a feed quite late on, then do a 1am feed and get some sleep before getting up at 5am to do it all again.” The kittens were found in a soggy cardboard box left in a back alley at Shipcote Terrace in the Bensham district of Gateshead by a member of the public, who came across them at around 7am on September 29. There was no sign of their mother, so she took them home and contacted the RSPCA. “They were clean and dry and in good health, but very hungry when I collected them. It was sad to see they had been abandoned as they were only five days old and hadn’t even opened their eyes and were very lucky to survive,” added Rachael.


“I should imagine they will need another two to three weeks of hand rearing. Once they are weaned and eating kitten food they are likely to go to Felledge. “Quite often we rely on people’s kindness to help out in these situations as cats like this are too young to go to our animal centres. Sometimes in these situations when we take them to the vets there are vet nurses at the practices who like doing it. “But we’re both happy to help, although they are keeping us busy. They are lovely and I should imagine there will be plenty of colleagues ready to take their turn when I go into Felledge for our inspectors’ monthly meeting.” Anyone who might have any knowledge of a litter of kittens that was being kept in the locality in the last week of September is asked to contact the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018. There may be other kittens in the litter


and the charity would like to make a welfare check on the mother. The RSPCA always advises people who may be struggling financially to look after their pets to seek out support from one of the many reputable animal welfare charities who can offer help and advice. You can find information on the RSPCA’s website. The charity also recommends owners get their cats neutered to prevent any unwanted litters. The RSPCA is braced for an increase in abandonments of pets as the cost of living crisis bites and has also launched an online Cost of Living Hub with money saving tips and advice for anyone who is finding times hard. 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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May the paws be with you! Nervous cats at RSPCA cattery seek forever homes Luke and Leia are thriving after being placed in foster care


wo anxious moggies at RSPCA Stapeley Grange are hoping to be the chosen ones. Luke (pictured left) and Leia (right) have come on in leaps and bounds after spending time with foster carers after a stay at the Cheshire centre’s cattery. They were rescued after being found huddled together under floorboards after their former owner passed away at a property. It was a harrowing experience for the two felines, who are aged around two to three, and they were very nervous and anxious on their arrival at the RSPCA centre near Nantwich. The duo, named after the Star Wars characters Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, were wary of being approached and preferred to stay on the other side of their enclosure when staff were around. The cattery felt that placing the pair in foster care would get them used to living in a home and help build up trust in people. In their new surroundings, they’ve learnt to socialise with their carer and are enjoying playing with their toys and cardboard scratching boxes and scratch posts. Such has been their progress that they are now ready to make their next move to a permanent forever home. Their progress demonstrates the important role foster carers play in helping the RSPCA rehome animals. The charity urgently needs more carers to help free up spaces in its animal centres as shocking new statistics reveal 700 rescued animals are waiting for a space. The charity currently spends £26,000 a week on private boarding fees for the temporary care of hundreds of rescued animals as its 59 rehoming centres are “full to bursting”. In response, the RSPCA has launched an urgent new drive to recruit more fosterers - who care for animals temporarily in their own home, while supported by the RSPCA – to help ease the pressure. Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer can find more information on the RSPCA's online volunteering portal.


Luke (pictured left) and Leia (right) The drive for new fosterers is part of the charity’s Adoptober campaign, launched this month to raise awareness of some of the animals in its care who are desperately in need of a forever home and a chance for a new life. RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre and Cattery manager Lee Stewart said: “Fostering is a great way to give our cats the chance to settle into a more domestic environment. “As our staff and volunteers can only spend a limited amount of time with each cat in the confines of their quarters, we thought we could best help Luke and Leia by placing them in foster care. “They were clearly comfortable with each other’s company, but less so with us, especially when they needed examination or treatment. They would sometimes take treats from our hands, but they didn’t know how to interact with people - when they saw a big hand looming towards them they would back away. “Now they’re both becoming more interactive. Although they are still wary, they have learnt to greet people with nose-pokes and they enjoy having their noses rubbed. “They are still quite nervous of sudden movement, so we think they’re best suited to a calm household without young children or other animals. They


will take time to learn to trust people, but they have made tremendous progress since they arrived at Stapeley Grange.” Their current foster carer, who lives in the Northwich area, said: “When Luke and Leia arrived at their foster home, they were extremely nervous and quickly found hidey holes to disappear into. “Gradually they’ve spent more time out in the open, but they still like to know there is the safe space of a bed or a coffee table to retreat under. They’re not vocal cats, but sometimes the lovely sound of spontaneous purring is heard when they’re together. “They like to play together with a stick toy and sometimes an outstretched hand hidden under an envelope – they love trying to discover what’s hidden underneath, especially when it crinkles and moves.” Could you help write Luke and Leia’s next chapter by offering them a loving new home? n Please visit Find A Pet to see all of the animals currently in RSPCA care who are looking for their paw-fect match To support the ongoing work of RSPCA Stapeley Grange’s cattery, during this extremely difficult time, you can donate to the JustGiving site.

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01275 853800

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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Churu Premium cat snack ®

Made in state of the art FDA licensed premises the Churu® range of treats are made with high welfare chicken, naturally raised on closely supervised farms and deep sea tuna which is sustainably caught and certified dolphin safe. The packaging materials have special oxygen blocking properties to preserve the nutritional value & natural goodness meaning every treat tastes as moist & fresh as the day it was packed. Ciao Churu is committed to the future of pet health!



huru® Puree is undoubtably Japan’s favourite cat treat, a quick search on YouTube will return a plethora of videos of cats frantically consuming the luxuriously creamy paste straight from the tube. As well as the Churu® Puree, the treat range includes high quality, moist treats for dogs and cats which are incredibly palatable. Churu® treats are grain & potato free, with no fillers or derivatives and have added functional ingredients like Green Tea Extract and Collagen. Make your cat's day with Churu purées: Creamy, delicious, low calorie treat. The Churu® range of treats are made with high welfare chicken, naturally raised on closely supervised farms and deep sea tuna which is sustainably


caught and certified dolphin safe. Churu Puree Creamy & irresistible puree in fish, seafood & chicken varieties. Cats love to lick it straight from the tube or it is also perfect to use as a food topper. Churu make snack time fun for cats. These tasty, healthy and fun treats come in easy to open packaging that your cat will simply love to lick! Designed for feeding by hand. Churu Pops A slightly chewier version of our irresistible puree perfect for cats who get a little too excited to gobble up their Churu® Puree and need to eat a little slower. These healthy treats are designed for feeding by hand - jelly, soft, tasty, low calorie treats. Playful, innovative and an interactive way to spend time together. Can also be used as a tasty topper on wet or dry food.


Churu Bites Creamy two Flavours in one bite-sized fun treats with a unique texture. Soft outside and creamy inside. & irresistible Churu® puree encased in bite sized parcels of moist chicken which are perfect as high value training rewards or for hiding pills. Churu Rolls Stick shaped treat of succulent chicken filled with our creamy & irresistible Churu® puree, also ideal for hiding pills but great for hand feeding cats. n Visit

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Can cats and dogs live in paw-fect harmony? With the rise of dog ownership in recent years, Dogs Trust has explored how pet owners introduce their new puppies to their cat companions, and how they behave. To mark National Cat Day on 29 October, the charity has shared its recent findings.


sing data from its groundbreaking Generation Pup research, a cohort study of canine health, behaviour and welfare, the charity found over a quarter of puppies (26.7%) joined a home with at least one cat. From the study Dogs Trust found that owners introduced their puppies to their existing household feline friends at different speeds – only 40.2% did so gradually, and the remaining introduced them during the puppy’s first day in their new home. Mostly the pups behaved by playing, being over-excited and chasing their fellow furry housemate. Although to the puppy these behaviours may be friendly, they might not be perceived as such to the resident cat. Puppies were more likely to show only desirable behaviour towards the cats - from the feline perspective - such as remaining calm and uninterested, if they were introduced under 12-weeksold, gradually and/or if they lived in a household with another dog. Understanding the relationship between our four-legged friends is an important aspect of the charity’s work in trying to reduce the number of people who give up their dogs because of behaviour issues, as well as to help ensure that both animals are content in each other’s company. Dogs Trust’s top tips in introducing dogs and cats: l Scent swap – sniffs are an extremely important way dogs and cats communicate. Use their different smells to introduce your pets to each other before you bring your new pet home. l Create separate areas – give each pet their own core area where they will feel secure and have all they need, including access to the outdoors without having to pass each other. l Use barriers – use physical barriers such as baby gates to keep them separated, in the short term at least. 26

l Be present – make sure you are there to watch them and reward good behaviour. Keep your dog on a lead until you are confident that they are calm and relaxed around one another. l Go at your cat’s pace – introductions should always be at your cat’s pace and be able to move away if they want to. Reward your dog for being calm in the presence of your cat and be at the ready to move your dog away if they show signs of being worried around your cat approaching. l Separate when needed – if your dog tries to chase or is over-excited simply move them away or out of sight and build contact more gradually.

Dr Sara Owczarczak-Garstecka and Rachel Kinsman of Dogs Trust Canine Behaviour Research Studies, who lead the study said: “Cats and dogs are extremely popular pets, and although they can live amicably together, understanding their relationships is highly important because the quality of the relationships


can impact both animals’ welfare and potentially the owners’ wellbeing too. “Owners for both pets need to understand cat and dog interactions to bust the myth that they don’t get along with each other. They also need to be aware of their dog’s and cat’s body language and recognise signs of stress.” Participants in the study have shared some charming insight on the growing relationship between their furry housemates with comments including “[At] times they play very gently or play jointly with a toy, sometimes they sleep together” and “There’s a little bit of grooming each other. And they often fall asleep next to each other”. The full research paper can be viewed here. For advice on cats and dogs living together visit The Best Way To Introduce A Dog To A Cat | Advice | Dogs Trust n To read more about Generation Pup and sign up visit

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n 4 standard sizes n Perfect for any size dog n Secure locks and door hooks

n PVC insulated walls and ceilings n Solid or mesh run panels n Multi level internal raised platforms n Boarding or domestic use

Puppy/Holding Pens n Standard and bespoke sizes and designs n Optional integrated and removable whelping areas n Easy to assemble n Durable and easy to clean

Walk-in Kennels n PVC insulated walls and ceilings n Standard and bespoke sizes to meet breeding, boarding and GBGB specifications n Multiple run sizes and designs n Secure, robust and easy to clean

Quality and durability n Bespoke design service n Fully thermally insulated n Easy cleaning and hygenic n

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

01782 499915

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Six-foot tall ‘gentle giant’ Basher finds forever home; at last! It took over two years for Basher to find his paw-fect match A gentle giant dog - who measures in at 6ft (183cm) tall when standing on his back legs - has finally found his forever home after more than two years in RSPCA care.


hree-year-old mastiff Basher made headlines after struggling to find a home due to his huge size and his fears about the big wide world. He arrived in the care of The William & Patricia Venton Animal Centre - run by RSPCA Cornwall Branch - in St Columb in July 2021 after spending 18 months in other rescue centres looking for a home. Now, the lovable pooch has really landed on his paws after finding the ideal rural home. His story is being released as part of the RSPCA’s Adoptober campaign; which aims to promote adoption and encourage more people to take on a rescue pet instead of buying a pet. Sammy Howard, from RSPCA Cornwall, said: “Basher was rescued in January 2020 and moved around rescue centres



as we struggled to find adoptobers who were willing to take him on due to his size and his challenges. “When he stands on his hind legs he’s almost 6ft tall meaning he’s taller than most of the staff looking after him. While he’s a big lad, he’s an absolutely soppy gentle giant, and we all truly fell in love with him during our time with us but we were so desperate to find him the perfect home.” After a total of 32 months in RSPCA care - and at least three failed adoptions - Basher finally met his perfect match and, in September, he went off to his new home, just a few miles down the road from the centre. Anna*, Basher’s new mum, spotted his story on Facebook after a friend - who works at the rescue centre - shared it. She said: “I’d just moved into a new home and had been thinking about getting another dog; I could see it working

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Anna and Basher

here for Basher as we’re very isolated and rural, and we have more than five acres.” She added: “I didn’t realise at that point how desperate they were to find him the right home. I spoke to the behaviourist and asked if he had a good soul because I could work through any other problems. She said, at that moment, that she knew we were meant to be together and that he’d be okay. “I could tell that he just needed someone to give him a chance and to give him time to settle into a new home and a new way of life.” After a few short visits to her home with RSPCA staff, Basher then moved in permanently in September to start his new life with Anna, her 14-year-old son, their two other dogs and a foster dog. Anna said: “Basher is so gorgeous and is doing so well; it’s lovely to see. He is so adorable; he gives the best hugs. He’s incredibly sweet and he’s such an asset to have as part of our family; he’s really just loving life now! “The other day I looked out of the window to see him sleeping in the grass in the sunshine; he looked so relaxed and I wondered to myself when the last time was that he felt so content.” Basher - who weighs 60kg (9st 6lb) - had been rehomed before but struggled to settle into a house setting, destroying furniture. Now, he enjoys living outside. Anna said: “The dogs live out in the stables and barn where they have carpet and their own sofas, although Basher has already destroyed three! He really suits living outside and he’s now finally learning how to be a dog. He’s picked up a lot from my other dogs and I’m just giving him the space he needs. “I come from a farming background and worked with cattle in the past so his size didn’t phase me; he’s certainly smaller than a cow! And I’ve been used to having dogs who live outside on the farm so he really suited our lifestyle. “He still has challenges; the other day he heard glass being thrown into the recycling lorry and he was terrified.

I took him into the barn, his safe space, and we had some fun to distract him. Anna added: “He’s got a lovely life here; he has lots of space and land to explore, the other dogs to mix with, he never wears a lead, and free-roams around the fields as he pleases. He loves to sit in the grass, watch the world go by, and spend time with us - preferably getting his back rubbed! “I don’t know if he’ll ever make it into the house. He comes into the kitchen but that’s as far as he gets. He’s getting used to normal things like the dishwasher being unloaded. It’s a gradual process but he’s already come on so much. “I have to watch him, read his behaviour and interpret what he needs. But we’re learning together and I think we’ll get there. I can see why he’s been difficult for people in the past, I think he’s missed out on so much in his early life and he gets over-excited and frustrated. “But so far he’s proved himself at every hurdle we’ve faced and I feel like he’s really trying. I’m so proud of him and I’m so pleased he’s here with us.” Basher is one of the lucky ones. The RSPCA is hoping to shine a light on the hundreds of animals currently in its care who are looking to find their forever homes. The charity’s Adoptober campaign revealed that its rescue centres and branches across England & Wales are facing more animals coming into care, more animals being abandoned, but less people looking to adopt, due to the cost of living crisis. Could you offer a rescue pet a loving new home? Please visit Find A Pet to see all of the animals currently in our care who are looking for their paw-fect match. To help RSPCA Cornwall continue its vital work, please visit its JustGiving page to make a donation.

If you can’t offer a rescue pet a new home perhaps you could help in a different way? l Become a fosterer for a sick pet recovering from surgery or a youngster who needs to learn how to behave in a home; l Help us continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming by donating online or calling our donation line on 0300 123 8181; l Sponsor a cat pod or a dog kennel and help take care of the animals during their stay with us; l Support the work of your local centre or branch by becoming a volunteer or donating to them directly. RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 31 OCTOBER – 30 NOVEMBER 2022


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Winter Wonderland of Gift Ideas

Puffin Jr Children’s Binoculars If your child is a twitcher in the making, a pair of child-friendly binoculars can provide them with hours of fun over the holidays. They are also lightweight, making them perfect for smaller hands. £27.00 Visit

PADi Pillows

Beat the cold this winter with a cosy coat. Perfect for crisp winter morning walks and cold kitchens! Visit

A stable, lightweight, hands-free stand for supporting iPads, phones, books etc. Filled with polystyrene beads. Can double up as a travel pillow. Fully washable. Dog or cat design. £15.99 each.

Sprat'll Do Nicely!

Dog Treat Advent Calendar 2022

Dogs find them so irresistible they frequently start acting very unusually, so be prepared for some silly behaviour. £4.49 Visit

24 days of a selection of Fabulously Festive natural tasty treats. A tasty treat behind every door! £9.99 Visit

Cosy fleece coat

BRAND NEW PRODUCTS Colloidal Silver Eyedrops for Pets. Natural hydrating, antibacterial eyedrop for your pet. Colloidal Silver Tick and Flea Repellent. A powerful natural repellent to fleas and ticks. Colloidal Silver toothpaste appropriate for dogs of all sizes. Visit

Birdies Wooden Pull-Along Toy Bio-Plus capsules for horses Adoption Star Mug

Have your favourite adoption star on your mug. £7.00 Visit

These improve general health, reduced stress, stronger immune systems and resistance to disease. Visit

For very little explorers, this pastel bird wooden-pull along is the perfect addition to their toy box. Made with sustainable FSC®certified wood and in fully recyclable packaging, this is a fun and eco-friendly option for this Christmas season. £20.00 Visit

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Christmas breaks available

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


Natural Dog Treats Handmade in Scotland Supporting Small Charities through the Arran Dog Bakery Charity pledge. Shop online at We donate 5p per bag sold on our website to The Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice



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Border Collie Trust GB

Atomic Ball

Border Colle 2023 Square Calendar

Varied bounce for interest. Huge squeak. It also floats. £7.39

Get ready for 2023 with this calendar to plan all your adventures! £10.99

Shopping Bag Border Collies Are Great Jute Shopping Bag. 31cm X 31cm X 23cm. £6.49

Oshi the Whale 27cm with squeak 100% recycled outer fabrics and stuffing made from plastic bottles. £6.99

Border Colle 2023 Slimline Diary

Border Collie Wooden Plaque

This slimline diary is ideal for keeping in your bag. £5.49

5" square Border Collie wooden plaque. Can be hung or free standing. £8.95

Fun In The Snow

Waiting for Santa

Sold in Aid of Border Collie Trust on inside and back of card contains all our details Message - With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year. £3.99

Sold in Aid of Border Collie Trust on inside and back of card contains all our details Message - With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year. £3.99

Border Collie Mug Enjoy your cuppa in this fun Border Collie mug. £6.49

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We provide High Quality, well priced food supplies for RAW and BARF diet

Support and Help in changing animals over to a Natural Raw Diet l Raw Meats/Fish/ Bones/Offal/Whole Prey

Suitable for Cats, Dogs, Ferrets, Reptiles and Raptors

A High Quality Range of Natural Supplements, Health Aids, Remedies and Natural Healthy Treats which Enhance Your Pets’ Diet.

l l

Natural Treats Natural Healthcare Products



Christmas bandanas

Meat cubes

Studded rope ball

Beef spleen chunks

Puppy completes

Circus Collar

Reindeer toy

Long sausage rolls

Rope Penguin Toy

Santa Elf jumper

Slice ‘n’ Dice Pate

Moppy Reindeer

Tel: 07590 621636/01763 247929

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Winter Wonderland of Gift Ideas

4pets Caree A really smart looking and easy to use travel home for cats and small dogs. Perhaps most importantly, it's been crash-tested and approved by the German TÜV. It fits to any car seat, using the seat belt (pets to 15kg), but, if your car has ISOFIX latching points, it makes sense to add the ISOFIX accessory (pets to 8kg) because this makes it really fast and easy to fit and remove the Caree. Caree will be a snug refuge for a pet, in the car or when staying away from home, e.g. in a hotel room. c-sp

RSPB Minibeast Viewer Warm Winter coat Put on your big coat and continue with your adventures! From £25.00 Visit

The combined container and microscope make this a perfect gift for beginners and younger children under supervision. It is very simple to handle and clean, meaning that older children can easily take charge. £3.99 Visit


Multi-functional bag Black Cat Ears Umbrella A fun umbrella, the purrfect accessory for a rainy day. Looped handle. Width: 930mm. £14.99 Visit

You can carry everything you need without compromising on style - mesh pockets for water and soggy toys, poo bag dispenser, a safe place for keys and mobile and much more. You’ll wonder how you’ve ever walked without one. Visit

Carrot Cake cookies Wrendale Festive Fox Socks

A festive treat for your feet, comes with a beautiful gift bag. £7.50 Visit

This healthy dog treat contains nothing but carrots, oats, flour, cinnamon and coconut oil. Natural goodness. Visit

WIN A GOLDEN TICKET WORTH £50 Inside one of our fabulous Festive dog treats advent calendar. Click below

Orthopaedic walled Dog bed Inspired by classic country fashion elements. A tweed corduroy pillow and inner sidewalls. Removable outer cover. Olive Green. Visit

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Winter Wonderland of Gift Ideas ollar

matic Headc

Leather Dog

4pets PRO dog cage, size 1 Suitable for small breeds, this cage looks great and is TUV crash tested. Visit

Catit PIXI Spinner A paw-activated cat toy and treat dispenser in one! Provides your feline friend with some whimsical fun even when you aren’t at home. Available in a choice of two colours; silver and blue. £20.00 Visit

Redwings A4 Calendar 2023 The calendar has boxes for each day, perfect for adding notes. Visit

Leather Dogmatic Headcollar

Pass the Parcel Sprout

It will not ride up, under or into the eyes fits comfortablly and securely. £39.99 Visit

A fun version of pass the parcel, ideal for the Christmas dinner table. £6.99 Visit

Build Your Own Ladybird Model Kit For the craft or building lover, a build-yourown ladybird model kit is the perfect easy-to-use kit to bring your very own piece of wildlife to life. £10.00 Visit

Peanut Butter and Apple

This original dog bakery biscuits are still very popular with our four legged friends. £3.95 Visit

TO SUIT ALL YOUR DOGS’ NEEDS Customisable Whelping boxes. Any colour, Lightweight, Robust, Come pre-assembled, Easy to clean and maintain. Visit

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Greyhounds in Need

Christmas Design House Collar

Greyhound Christmas Stocking

Adjusts to fit size 13″ to 19″ with a curved side acetal buckle for quick release. Available in Red with a reindeer design or in Green with a Merry Christmas and snowman design. £8.00 plus p&p.

Cute design, perfect for all those pressies. Each one is unique, made from felt with a button eye, hanging loop, ribbon trim and a Christmas charm. Designs vary. Length approx. 60cms. Colours available – White, Grey and Fawn. £12.00 plus p&p.

Grey Sweat jacket Sweat jacket embroidered with a lovely galgo head. Raglan style sleeves with a turtle neck collar, full length covered zip and two front pockets. Colour – Heather grey. Sizes available: S, M, L, XL. £25.00 plus p&p.

Suprafleece Scarf Suprafleece scarf to keep the chill out with our lovely scarf embroidered with a lovely galgo head design. Size approx. 150 x 25 cms. Available in Red or Grey. £14.00 plus p&p.

Individual Christmas Cards Greyhounds in Need Calendar 2023 Greyhounds in Need Calendar 2023 – each month features one of our rescue dogs. £8.00 plus p&p.

Beautiful individual Christmas cards designed by Sarah. Choose from 8 different designs A, B,C, D,E, F, G or H. Message inside each card reads: “With warmest Christmas greetings“. Size approx. 7″ x 5″ Sold separately £2.50 each plus p&p.

Red Christmas collar Lovely traditional Christmas design Red Martingale collar with snowflakes,trees and reindeer made from canvas fabric. 2″ wide collar, fully adjustable to fit greyhounds with neck sizes 13″ to 18″. £12.00 plus p&p.

Christmas Design Fleece Coat Keep your greyhound or galgo warm with this lovely handmade fleece coat in a festive Christmas design. Complete with a snood collar and Velcro fastenings, ideal for those dry chilly mornings. Available in sizes 26″, 28″ and 30″. £17.00 plus p&p.

Ginny Christmas Card Lovely cartoon Christmas Card featuring Galga Ginny. Greeting inside card reads ” Merry Christmas”. Size approx. 8″ x 6″. £1.00 plus p&p.

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The Labrador Lifeline Trust

LLT Xmas card 2022 Taken from an original picture by Sarah Gee and produced exclusively for LLT. All profits from this card go to help Labradors in our care. Sold in packs of 10. £6.50

The ultimate dog toy for shakers and movers! Squeaks and rattles to satisfy natural instincts. Durable centre panel for vigorous thrashing. Ideal plush toy for indoor play. £10.00

Mixed dog Christmas stickers

Kong cozie

Pack of assorted Christmas Stickers. Just the thing to finish that gift off and make it special. £2.00

Another fabulous toy from the Kong Range. Strong toy with rope inside and a squeaker. Your dog will love this. £10.00.

Gift tags

These are all handmade by a local crafter Verity Nash. They are made with hypoallergenic 925 silver plated copper hooks with silicon backs. £15.00

Leather Earings These gift cards make the perfect finish to your beautiful wrapped presents. Pack of ten gift cards. £3.00

These are handmade by local crafter Verity Nash. Something a little different as a gift for the Labrador lover. Easy to post as lightweight. £12.00

2023 LLT Friends Desk Calendar Xmas Card – ‘Tradition’ 10 cards and envelopes with our logo and details on the inside cover. Very popular card and sells quickly. £6.50

Leather Dog Magnet Memo Pegs

Our ever popular desk calendar makes another appearance for 2023. All dogs are LLT rescue dogs and pictures have been taken from the Group photographs. This makes an ideal present as posts as a large letter. £7.50

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PH Lancaster – Currently serving with Lancashire Mounted Police

PD Akira – Currently serving with Derbyshire Constabulary Dog Section

The Purpose of The Purple Poppy The purple poppy has long been a symbol of remembrance for animals but until recently was little known compared to the traditional red poppy. Many millions of animals have served us over the years, and many continue to serve us still, yet for far too long their efforts have been overlooked. That is why, seven years ago, Murphy’s Army took on the role of Ambassadors of Animal Remembrance in the UK and launched their Purple Poppy Campaign. Their aim was to bring to the public’s attention the contributions made by animals in service, and to ensure that they were remembered too.


nimals have played a vital role in conflicts over the years, working alongside their human counterparts, often in harrowing conditions, yet each showing incredible loyalty and bravery. During the First World War Britain conscripted over one million horses, mules, and donkeys. These animals played a crucial part in the war effort and it’s unlikely the Army would have functioned without them. They pulled heavy artillery, transported supplies, weapons, and ammunition to the frontline where roads had been replaced with mud. They carried wounded and dying soldiers to hospital, and were 38


vital in the cavalry, and as officer’s mounts. But the price they paid was high. Many succumbed to fatigue and exhaustion, many were killed by artillery fire, mines, or poisoned by gas, and many caught in barbed wire and too severely injured to be saved. Of the million deployed only some sixty thousand returned. Around 50,000 dogs were also brought into Service during that time. Many were given formal training in specialised roles, resulting in thousands of lives being saved. One of these roles was as a Red Cross, or ‘mercy’ dog. Carrying medical supplies and water, the dogs headed out to the

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yet thousands of animals remain in service. Working alongside our Armed Forces, Emergency Services, Prison Officers, Border – d Prison Dog Hoo Control, Search & g Currently servin Rescue, and other specialised teams they with Isle of Man n tio continue to protect and Prison Dog Sec defend us. Canine roles include firearms, cash, battlefield to find wounded or dying soldiers. They drugs, explosives, and were taught only to recognise their own troops, forensic evidence dogs. and to ignore those who had already passed away. Mounted sections are They enabled lightly injured soldiers to treat their used for patrols, own wounds and led them safely back to base. In ceremonial events, and more serious cases they guided stretcher parties crowd control. to the wounded men. And with the greatest It is to all the animals, Baloo – Essex Police Wellbeing compassion, medical dogs remained with dying past and present, that Dog and volunteer Police Cadet soldiers, bringing them comfort in their last Murphy’s Army Purple mascot moments. Poppy Campaign pays tribute. Since its launch in 2016 over £100,000 has been raised for related animal “To the forlorn and despairing wounded soldier, the causes and beneficiaries this year include the National coming of the Red Cross dog is that of a messenger of Foundation for Retired Service Animals and Hero Paws – hope. As part of the great Red Cross army of mercy, he is Life After Service. beyond price” * Andy Smith, Founder said ‘We are very proud not only to *Oliver Hyde, The Work of the Red Cross Dog have spread the word about the significance of the purple on the Battlefield, 1915 poppy but also to have helped many former service animals along the way. Animals have played and continue to play Cats played their part too, enlisted primarily to keep the rat such a vital part in protecting us, and it is only right that they population at bay, both aboard ships and in the trenches. receive the recognition they deserve. We hope members of Rats not only carried and spread diseases but ate into the public will continue their support this year and make essential food supplies. Control therefore was a key priority. our 2022 campaign an even greater success. Together we Felines also provided an element of comfort to the troops. In can ensure that the contributions made and continuing to such austere conditions they were a symbol of home, and be made by the animals are not forgotten but remembered soldiers willingly adopted them as pets and shared rations always.’ with them. And of course, the pigeons who undertook heroic missions n If you would like to lend your support to the campaign a carrying vital messages when other forms of communication selection of the official Murphy’s Army Purple Poppy were not possible. merchandise can be found on their website Thankfully, due to mechanisation far fewer animals were or from one of over 200 enlisted in the Second World War but that is not to outlets now stocking them across the UK underestimate the achievements of those who were. Horses,, dogs, cats, pigeons, and many more all played a nqUFyVsaGh0plnVRmf1Vj_iBkj8&usp=sharing crucial part in the war effort, both overseas and on the Home Front. May we never forget that They Also Served. In more recent times numbers have declined significantly,



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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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WIN Draw will take place on 6th January 2023



WIN a long weekend stay (Friday check in, Monday check out) at Lost Lobster Cottage near Embleton Bay, Northumberland The cottage has a Visit England 5 Star Award plus Gold for Outstanding Excellence. It sleeps up to four people and up to 4 dogs (Note: it is not suitable for children under 11). It has a large enclosed garden, woodburning stove, 2 mins walk from local pubs and 10 mins walk from dog friendly beaches. Winners can choose their weekend from any 2023 un-booked dates (excluding Bank Holidays & Xmas). For more information on the cottage please visit

Greyhounds in Need Raffle tickets available here WIN a long weekend in a luxurious holiday cottage in Northumberland Tickets £5 each or 5 for £20

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Debunking Bird Food Myths There are many myths surrounding bird food out there – ever heard that ducks will explode if you feed them bread? This blog aims to debunk all bird food myths, no matter how crazy (like the duck one) they are!


eeding birds can be a difficult find to navigate anyway, without silly myths getting in the way of things. At Kennedy Wild Bird Food we pride ourselves on not only offering quality bird seed but also quality knowledge and advice. Here we will share some of the most common misconceptions surrounding bird food and the truths beneath them.

Common Myths About Bird Food

Sure, not all of the bird food myths are as far-fetched as ducks exploding, however, there are a number of misconceptions surrounding birds and what they eat and it could actually cause a number of disadvantages if they are widely believed!

Feeding Wild Birds Causes Dependency

One of the most commonly believed myths surrounding birds and their feeding patterning is that feeding wild birds in your garden will cause them to become dependent. Although we understand where this comes from, it isn’t true. Birds don’t develop an ‘addiction’ to food in your garden over natural food sources. At the root of it, they just need feeding! Wild birds could become dependent on humans for their feeding routines, however, using bird feeders in your garden will not cause a dependency. Birds usually source only 25% of their food intake from the wild and so need their nutrients to be topped up by bird seeds they can find in local gardens. This doesn’t however mean that they don’t forage in the wild. In warmer months when natural food sources are in abundance, birds can still find their food in the wild and visit your garden for an extra tasty treat.

Bird Seed Doesn’t Go Bad

This is yet another misconception that people believe and one that can in fact cause harmful consequences for birds. Despite bird seeds being dry, when 42

outside it is exposed to a number of factors that can cause mould, mildew, and pests. Leaving water out for long periods of time causes stagnation and increases the likelihood of contamination passing from one bird to another. A similar thing applies to bird seed, when left to fester in bacteria, bird seed can, in fact, go bad and carry infections which can harm and in some instances kill birds. It is essential that bird seed is frequently changed and feeders are cleaned regularly to ensure the health of your garden visitors. Mixed Bird Seeds Are A Bad Choice Many people believe that bird feeders should consist of a singular ingredient. At Kennedy, we believe quite the opposite. There’s no better choice for your garden than quality mixed bird seed! This way a variety of bird seeds can attract a variety of birds! Limiting your feeders to only one ingredient will only limit the number of flying visitors you get in your garden. Shop our range of mixed bird seeds here!

Bird Food Facts

Let us counteract these myths with some important facts that are important to mention when discussing bird feed. These are the main conclusions


from this blog. Debunk the myths and listen to the truths! 1. Birds need a lot of calories to survive and so offering them different seeds in your garden will only add to what they find in the wild and benefit their health. 2. Continuously replacing bird seeds and cleaning feeders is key to avoiding contamination. 3. The more seeds, the more birds – it’s really that simple!

Kennedy Wild Bird Food Can Help You Debunk Bird Food Myths!

At Kennedy Wild Bird Food, we pride ourselves on offering not only highquality bird seed but also high-quality knowledge and advice. Our team of experts are on hand to answer any queries you may have surrounding bird feeding. Let us debunk those bird food myths and clear up what is required for successful bird feeding! Give us a call today on 01778 342665 Or email us at or visit

Remember: If you are lucky enough to spot some flying visitors in your garden, be sure to log it in the Birdspotter App!

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Supplying the UK with high-quality wild bird food and bird seed We are a family run wild bird food and wild bird seed supplier based in rural Lincolnshire. We supply only the finest quality products. SUITABLE FOR ALL YEAR ROUN D FEEDING FROM BIRD TABLES

Ground feed mix Our orginal ground feed mixture that's so adored by Robins, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and all other ground feeding birds. Suitable for all year round feeding. Either scattetered on the floor or placed on a table or ground feeder. Contains no wheat. £39.90/25kg


Split Peanuts

Economy wild bird mix

Small blanched, split peanuts (skins removed). Extra rich in both protein and oils, thus making an excellent and essential food for all year feeding. Peanuts are suitable and liked by most species of birds, and have long been the most popular of wild bird feeds. All our peanuts are certified as nil detectable signs of aflatoxin. £46.50/25kg


With our specialised blending of a number of nutritional seeds, this mix is suitable for a large variety of birds. High in black sunflower thus providing oil and protein and meeting all essential feeding requirements. Suitable for all year round feeding. £29.50/25kg

Superior high energy mix An extremely high energy mixture blended with the highest quality seeds. Suitable for all small birds and ideal for all year round feeding. Best fed from a seedfeeder or scattered on a bird table. Contains nowheat. £41.25/25kg


Dried mealworms Dried mealworms are a tasty treat for garden birds with all the nutrition of live mealworms without the 'worm factor'. Attractive to robins, blackbirds, thrushes and all other insect eating birds. Available in sizes ranging from 250g to 10kg. £33.50/3kg


Sunflower hearts Bakery grade premium sunflower hearts. No unsightly husk. A food that is loved by most species of birds being high in both protein and oils. Makes a most desirable all year round food. £49.75/25kg


Suet special blend mix

Small fatballs The best, fattiest fat balls on the internet. Small Fat balls (no nets) offer a wide range of wild birds a nutritious and important source of energy specifically during winter and nesting season. Each fatball at approx 95g available in a box of 150. £27.90

This blended suet mixture is packed full of highIy calorific ingredients, it is ideal for all year round feeding and will attract a great variety of both small and medium sized birds to your garden. No re-growth under feeding station. Contains no wheat. £52.70/25kg

5% DISCOUNT on all orders OVER £50 Tel: 01778 342665


Won’t grow mix Blended with 60% bakery grade sunflowerhearts, this energy rich mixture has been blended to ensure no re-growth under your feeding station. Suitable for all year round feeding. Best fed from seed feeder, scattered on bird table or from ground feeder. Contains no wheat. £46.75/25kg

Superior finch mix This classic mixture was blended specifically with finches in mind. Contains a wonderful selection of the finest seeds and is suitable for all year round feeding. Best fed from seedfeeder or scattered on a bird table. Contains no wheat. £44.75/25kg

10% off first order for new customers use promo code NEW10 at checkout

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Cheshire cat dumped in tapedup box is rescued by RSPCA volunteers Pumpkin has made a recovery after being abandoned before Halloween


he RSPCA is appealing for help after a black cat was left for dead in a sealed box in Crewe. Volunteers from RSPCA Crewe and Nantwich and District Branch are caring for the poor feline who was found next to a bin near to Ruskin Community High School in Ruskin Road around midday on October 17. The cat, who is between six to eight years old, was covered in her own faeces by the time she was rescued. She has been named Pumpkin and has recovered from her ordeal after veterinary treatment. The abandonment illustrates the


issues the animal charity is facing as the cost of living crisis takes hold and more people are sadly giving up their pets or dumping them in vulnerable situations. Also it highlights some people’s perception of black cats, with figures released on National Black Cat Day (October 27) showing that more black and black and white cats are abandoned than other felines - while they also struggle to be rehomed. This could partly be down to myths around black cats, especially at this time of year. Black cats actually traditionally symbolise good luck, but around


Halloween many associate black cats with superstitions or witches. RSPCA Crewe and Nantwich and District Branch cat rehoming coordinator, Mandy Hill, said: “Black cats are more likely to be abandoned - we do find that black or black and white cats make up the majority of those we deal with. It could be down to superstition or there is a theory that they are not as “instagrammable” as cats of a different colour - it’s a real shame. “This poor cat was found by a woman taking her rubbish out to the bin. She saw the box was moving and heard miaowing. Pumpkin was in a dreadful

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state and at first it was thought she might have broken her leg, but thankfully that isn’t the case. The women took her in and cleaned her up before taking her to the vets. But as she has a dog who is not cat-friendly she didn’t know what to do with her - fortunately she contacted the branch for help. “While all our cat pens are full we just had to help this poor cat. So with the kind help of a private cattery, who the branch has a relationship with, we managed to find some space for her where she will be well looked after before we find her new owners.” The RSPCA is now appealing for anyone who knows who is responsible for this callous act to contact the charity’s appeal line on 0300 1234 8018. More than 2,000 black cats came into the RSPCA’s 14 national animal centres between 2019 and 2021 - and that does not include the charity’s large network of branches, like Crewe and Nantwich and District, so actual figures will be higher. During the same period the charity rehomed 2,260 black cats and on average it took 30 days for a black cat to find their forever home compared to 16 days for a grey tabby cat. Sam Watson, RSPCA cat welfare expert, said: “Researchers have found that some superstitious people find black cats less appealing. But we think they are just beautiful and would urge

Could you offer a rescue pet a loving new home? Please visit Find A Pet to see all of the animals currently in our care who are looking for their paw-fect match.

If you can’t offer a rescue pet a new home perhaps you could help in a different way? • Become a fosterer for a sick pet recovering from surgery or a youngster who needs to learn how to behave in a home; • Help us continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming by donating online or calling our donation line on 0300 123 8181; • Sponsor a cat pod or a dog kennel and help take care of the animals during their stay with us; • Support the work of your local centre or branch by becoming a volunteer or donating to them directly. people to look beyond their perceptions of what an animal looks like. Their fur colour makes no difference to how much affection they have to give.” If you would like to offer any of the cats at RSPCA Crewe and Nantwich and District Branch a forever home then phone 01270 811013 (or leave a message) or complete an online adoption form.

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.

BHWT Hensus 2022 Every few years we conduct a Hensus to find out a bit more about you and your hens It’s hard to believe our last survey was in 2019 – there’s lots to catch up on, so this Hensus is packed full of questions about your hens, fundraising, our shop and more. We’d be so grateful if you could spare 10 minutes to put your feet up with a cuppa and fill out the survey. It’ll help us communicate with you better, and ensure we’re offering the best products on our shop for your hens. It’s also a chance to let us know what we’re doing right (hopefully lots!) and what could be improved, so please be honest. As a thank you for taking part, we’ve got a fab cookbook and £20 voucher courtesy of Higgidy to give away to one participant – just make sure you leave your email at the end of the survey so we can contact you if you win! n



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Beware the seasonal risk of grazing horses around oaks and sycamores says BEVA BEVA is urging owners to keep their horses safe from the seasonal risks of grazing around oak and sycamore trees, following a spate of veterinary cases needing urgent treatment after the ingestion of toxic seeds.


ngestion of sycamore seeds or acorns can cause rapidly fatal illness in horses. BEVA members have seen higher numbers of atypical myopathy and acorn toxicity cases this autumn. “The extreme weather over the summer may have contributed to the production of greater quantities of sycamore masts and acorns than normal,” warned BEVA President David Rendle. “High winds over the next few weeks will likely serve to increase the risk further. Ideally horses should be kept away from grazing around oaks and sycamores but if no other pasture is available supplementary feed should be provided. If horses that have access to sycamore seeds or acorns show signs of illness, veterinary attention should be sought immediately.” Seeds (“masts” or “helicopters”) from the common sycamore tree (Acer pseudoplatanus) produce a toxin called Hypoglycin A, which can remain present in high concentrations in seedlings. When horses eat these, either by accident or because they are lacking other forage options, some individuals will develop severe and often fatal muscle damage, called atypical myopathy. Horses with atypical myopathy may present with variable signs of muscle soreness, stiffness, weakness, difficulty breathing, dullness, lethargy, muscle trembling, colic-symptoms, and characteristically, brown or dark red urine. Suspected cases should receive veterinary attention immediately. Around three quarters of affected horses will die, often despite extensive veterinary treatment but those surviving the initial period will usually go on to make a full recovery. Acorn “toxicity” is less common and less well understood than hypoglycin toxicity. The apparent increase in cases seen recently may be an unfortunate


combination of the extreme dry summer weather and normal variation in acorn production. Just like all fruit and nut trees, oak trees can produce variable amounts of acorns from year to year, with ‘mast years’ of unusually high production. When a group of horses are exposed to acorns from the same oak tree, only one or two horses will fall ill. This may be because individual horses are particularly susceptible, or that some trees, or even certain acorns, are particularly toxic. Protection from acorn toxicity in other species, such as pigs, comes from the production of tanninbinding salivary proteins. These proteins are not normally produced by horses, but it is possible that some individuals have them and are protected in this way. The toxic effects of acorn ingestion can be severe and prompt veterinary attention is essential. Clinical signs include moderate to severe colic or colitis, lethargy, dehydration and dark urine which can be a result of kidney failure. Signs may develop extremely rapidly and death can occur within a further 12-24 hours. Horse owners are advised to take practical steps to prevent the diseases by limiting access to sycamore seeds and acorns: · Identify trees both around grazed fields as well as those in close proximity. The characteristic maple leaf shape is easy to spot, and most people will be familiar with the oak, but if in doubt a test is available from the Royal Veterinary College as a result of work funded by The Horse Trust. · Collect seeds or exclude horses from affected areas using electric fencing or stabling. · Feed supplementary hay to try and prevent horses from excessive foraging for short blades of grass and inadvertent


ingestion of seeds. But ensure that hay does not become contaminated by seeds. · Don’t rashly fell trees when laden with seeds as this can cause a sudden and massive contamination of the pasture. Consider local regulations, tree protection orders and tree ownership if felling is the only option. · Monitor horses carefully even after they have been moved from affected pasture as disease can occur up to four days after exposure. For further information you can download the the Royal Veterinary College’s fact sheet on Atypical myopathy: l%20Myopathy%20fact%20file%20updated%202022.pdf And the British Horse Society a fact sheet on Acorn Poisoning: ases/acorn-poisoning/ n For further information visit

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The Mare and Foal Sanctuary brings the power of horses to more people Interacting with equines has long been recognised as beneficial to people. By partnering with horses, ponies, donkeys and mules through Equine Assisted Services, participants can help meet their physical, psychological and social needs. Now the Mare and Foal Sanctuary is expanding to bring the power of horses to more people.


he Mare and Foal Sanctuary has been offering Equine Assisted Services in the South West for several years, providing equine assisted learning and equine assisted activities with their rescued horses and ponies to children, young people and adults. One recent project with frontline workers affected by the pandemic showed over 50% of those involved reported significant improvement in their anxiety levels. Other successes have included children and young people who were struggling at school being able to return to mainstream education and the provision of safe, enriching activities for looked after children and their carers. The charity’s vision for its Equine Assisted Services is to create a sense of sanctuary for people within their sanctuary for rescued horses and ponies. The Mare and Foal Sanctuary is now set to help even more people as it expands its Equine Assisted Services provision. Recently, 12 members of its team qualified as equine assisted learning facilitators after achieving a Level 6 qualification in Equine Facilitated Learning to complement their existing professional qualifications as educators and equine specialists. Increased demand for the charity’s services triggered the expansion. The Mare and Foal Sanctuary covers some areas of significant deprivation where around a third of children live in poverty. It is hoped that by expanding its Equine Assisted Services provision more people from these areas will be able to benefit from potentially life-changing experiences. Dawn Neil, Head of Education and Equine Assisted Services at the Mare and Foal Sanctuary, explains how the

Equine assisted learning with Yori

Photo copyright Mare and Foal Sanctuary

charity hopes to help people: “Horses and ponies are prey animals that have a natural flight instinct, which means they are always in the present moment. They are also pro-social and seek connection with other equines within the herd. In equine assisted learning sessions, they provide us with constant feedback on how we are communicating and behaving, which we can reflect upon for our self-discovery and own learning moving forward. Equine Assisted Services means the smallest, previously injured or unwanted horses and ponies have a value and a purpose. “We want to ensure that all our participants receive quality sessions in a safe, supportive environment and leave with personal learning that they can

apply in their lives moving forward. Through participants’ experience of working with our rescued equines, we hope to educate them and share the value that equines as sentient beings, like people, need kindness and care.” The Mare and Foal Sanctuary is a fully inclusive organisation offering both a person-centred and equine-centred approach. As an equine welfare charity, their horses’ and ponies’ needs are paramount. Humans and equines are equal partners in the team. The charity is listed on the UK Human Equine Interaction Register (HEIR) set up by the Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International (HETI) as a way of raising awareness of the equine assisted service sector to members of the public and service commissioners. Chief Executive of the Mare and Foal Sanctuary, Sarah Jane Williamson, explains why the register of providers is so important: “We are exceptionally proud of how we have expanded our Equine Assisted Services provision to help meet the needs of children, young people and adults in the South West and of our acceptance onto the UK Human Equine Interaction Register. Through HEIR people looking for Equine Assisted Services have peace of mind that all registered providers are professional with proper safeguarding and health and safety policies in place and good equine welfare standards.” n To find out more about the charity’s Equine Assisted Services, visit or email



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Storm and Karen inside

Gentle giant awarded Blue Cross Medal 2022 • Chased off burglars and retrieved stolen items • Saved cats from house fire • Alerts owner to health attacks and provides day to day physical



lue Cross pet charity has awarded its 2022 medal to Storm, a 12 year old Alaskan Malamute, for performing dramatic acts to keep his owners and their cats safe and for going the extra mile to support them in their daily lives. In 2019 Storm stepped in to protect his owner, Karen Crosby of Wavertree in Liverpool, when burglars entered her property in the early hours. Although it


is suspected he had been drugged, Storm prevented the thieves from getting upstairs where Karen was sleeping and escorted them out. He even made them drop their stash which allowed police to later take fingerprints. Storm sought help from a passer-by who notified the police, who later told Karen that Storm may have saved her from serious injury. This year, which is the 125


anniversary of Blue Cross, there were over 650 nominations for pets considered ‘heroes’ by their owners. 70% were for dogs, 23% for cats and other pets nominated included horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and chinchillas. Over half (51.9%) of the nominations were for pets who help their owners day to day with mental health issues, some even prevent self-harm and attempts at suicide. Over 10% of the

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were found to be well. Storm was waiting patiently by the kitchen door to be rescued himself when help arrived. Karen said: “The fire brigade could not believe how Storm saved two of my cats and trusted that help would soon arrive. The police were so impressed they personally took him down the road to his vet to check hadn’t inhaled the smoke or been harmed. The officer would not leave his side and said he was as good as a trained police dog.” In his less dramatic day to day life, Storm is still a hero to his family. He was an assistance dog to Karen’s husband Phil, who had two brain injuries and developed epilepsy and vascular dementia. Before he moved into a care home, Storm would help with his walking and gently nudge him if he wasn’t walking in a straight Storm and his medal line. He continues to do this for Karen who has degenerative disc disease and little nominations were for pets helping sensation in her left leg. She also has children’s mental health, either within visual field problems and Storm helps the family or in their local community by her to check the traffic before Karen visiting schools and youth groups. crosses a road. He also alerts her to the In May this year, Storm stepped in telephone and doorbell as she has again in with another act of incredible tinnitus in both ears. bravery. Karen was out shopping when a Chris Burghes, Blue Cross Chief neighbour called to tell her that her Executive said: “Being on the judging house was on fire. She had left Storm panel for the winner of this year’s award inside with her three cats, Pushkin, was an almost impossible task. We were Moonlight and Pippin. When Karen particularly moved by the number of pets returned she saw that Storm had pushed who really do help their owners’ mental two of the cats through a window. Sadly, health, some even preventing their Pushkin had collapsed due to smoke owners from taking their own lives. It inhalation but was resuscitated by firewas a very close call but Storm came out men and placed in an oxygen tent, but on top, he is an amazing pet that has the two cats Storm managed to save

been such a valued member of the family when they have gone through so much. Congratulations to him and each and every pet who supports their owners in both day to day life and by doing incredible acts like Storm.” With further daily support for Karen, Storm senses and alerts her before she has an attack due to her fibromyalgia and asthma. If an attack is imminent, he won’t leave her side and comforts her with the pain. Karen continued: “Storm is a hero to me for everything he has done and continues to do. He was the runt of the litter but has proved himself to be anything but. I'm over the moon that he has won the Blue Cross medal, it was amazing news. I never expected he would win and I'm so proud of him.” The Blue Cross medal began in 1917 during World War One for people who helped animals and today celebrates heroic pets who are changing or saving lives across the UK – with one extra special pet being awarded the winning medal each year. The first animal to be given the award was in 1940 to a dog called ‘La Cloche’ for saving his owner, a French sailor, from drowning after a German torpedo hit their ship. Not being able to swim, La Cloche jumped in and dragged him to safety on a raft. n 2022 is the 125th anniversary of Blue Cross, originally ‘Our Dumb Friends League’. The charity formed to help vulnerable pets and their owners and we continue this work today across our rehoming, clinical, animal behaviour, pet bereavement support and educational work. We are striving to be able to help even more pets in the future live healthy lives in happy homes. Blue Cross relies on the support and donations of pet lovers to continue our vital work, to find out more and make a donation visit

We are delighted to support the Animal Charities featured in this Magazine Tel: 01952 245330 RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 31 OCTOBER – 30 NOVEMBER 2022


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Image: ©Adobe stock

Don’t fall victim to pet adoption myths warns pet care experts • Pet adoption named one of Brits’ most rewarding achievements • TV presenter, Andrea McClean, comments on her own pet adoption journey • Animal behaviourist debunks myths and shares top tips for managing the pet adoption process


s the cost-of-living crisis hits the UK, pet adoption is on the brink of an epidemic. Shelters are experiencing huge pressures, with pet abandonment at its highest, pet adoption at its lowest and reduced funding. The huge misconceptions about shelter pets and the adoption process are also adding increased pressure to an already turbulent situation, with 43 per cent of all adults believing that getting a pet from a shelter would be more work than buying one from a breeder. And 71 per cent think too many people dismiss the idea of pet adoption all without considering the process properly. However, a study of 2,000 respondents, including 500 adults who have adopted a pet, showed that in reality, 74 per cent consider it to be one of their most rewarding achievements, and 83 per cent consider their pet to be part of the family. The research, commissioned by the PEDIGREE® and WHISKAS® ‘Adoption Mission’ programme, whose mission is to end pet homelessness, revealed the best things about adopting a shelter pet. These include: changing the 50

animal’s life forever, making a new best friend, as well as learning to love and care for something other than yourself. Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) claim the benefits that come from pet adoption far outweigh the challenges and misconceptions involved. While shelter pet owners also believe that their pets are more appreciative of your love, care and treats than non-shelter pets. Despite the undeniable, heart-warming perks of adoption, the study found that 53 per cent of adults who have adopted a pet believe that there are a lot of myths and misconceptions around it.

Five top myths debunked from Pet Behaviourist at Mars Petcare’s Waltham Petcare Science Institute, Dr Tammie King: Myth 1: Pets that need to be rehomed are ‘broken’ (35 per cent) Tammie’s tip - Be patient: “No pet comes as a ready-made perfect companion, regardless of whether you buy or adopt. Adopted animals have often experienced more changes in their lives so can be quite sensitive to


disruption. But it’s important that you take time to build a relationship of trust.” Myth 2: Pets are only in a shelter as they weren’t good pets for someone else (32 per cent) Tammie’s tip - Behaviour can be modified. “Pets are given up for many reasons, from their owners losing jobs, cost of living, unwanted behaviour, families splitting up, moving abroad, downsizing. As with any new relationship, your adoptive pet may not show their true personality until 2 or 3 weeks after you’ve brought them home as it takes them time to settle. Be mindful of this and work with your new adopted pet to bring out their best side.” Myth 3: You don’t know the medical history of pets that need rehoming (31 per cent) Tammie’s tip - Introduce a new diet slowly: “Often adopted animals from shelters come with part or full behavioural and medical history. Also, it’s worth carefully considering their diet. It may seem like a little thing, but it can make a big difference to the settling in

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process. Ask the shelter what they have been fed previously and if they have any specific dietary requirements.” Myth 4: Pets in shelters are always badly behaved (31 per cent) Tammie’s tip - Be mindful of individuality: “Cats and dogs have species-specific needs and their own individual personalities. Be sure that you give your new pet the opportunity to express their natural behaviour. Ways to do this might include giving them mental stimulation through food-dispensing toys, scratching posts and training, and also physical exercise. Shelters are terrific sources of advice on pets’ individual traits.” Myth 5: You don’t know what you are getting with an adopted pet (31 per cent).

they complete your family. Adopting my Teddy was one of my greatest achievements; he puts a smile on my face as soon as I get up in the morning until I go to bed. “Adoption isn’t necessarily the easiest route, but it’s certainly the most rewarding. My family and I have loved every single second, and are honoured that we’ve been able to give Teddy the life he deserves. Adoption can seem like quite a daunting prospect to prospective pet owners, but I’d urge anyone to take a leap of faith and find their own best friend and companion.” Supporting Andrea’s comments; 51 per cent of respondents would highly encourage others to adopt an animal, with 43 per cent believing it was much easier than anticipated, according to the OnePoll data.

Tammie’s tip - Establish a routine and ensure they have lots of positive experiences. “Where do they eat, sleep, go to the toilet? Be clear and consistent as this helps to set the pet up for success. It’s important to encourage desirable behaviours, for example, toileting in the right place, chewing/scratching appropriate items, how to interact with people.” Owen Johns from the PEDIGREE® and WHISKAS®’ ‘Adoption Mission’ Programme, which commissioned the research, said: “The Adoption Mission is an online platform which has been supporting shelters for over a year with training, food and expertise in order to help them rehome more animals. Adopting a pet not only gives deserving pets a new home to thrive in, they can also provide us with that much needed support to help put a smile on our faces. ‘’It’s no secret that those who adopt a pet from a shelter reap the rewards both physically and emotionally. However, it can be a daunting process - but there are lots of resources to help guide you through the process. Adopting from a shelter is a win-win choice – you can add to your family and help a pet get a new start in life.” Andrea McClean, Rescue dog owner, TV presenter and Ambassador of Pedigree and Whiskas’ ‘The Adoption Mission Programme’, which supports shelters across the UK, comments: “This research comes as no surprise, as I know from experience that adopted pets not only become your best friend, but

Andrea McClean Halita Obineche, Executive Director of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes, comments: “It’s heart-breaking to think of the thousands of dogs and cats in shelters just waiting for their forever-home, simply because of the misconceptions around shelter animals. It’s important to remember that, with the right care and training, behavioural issues can be managed, modified and prevented. Thanks to The Adoption Mission, shelters have experts and behaviourists on standby to provide this support both within and beyond life in a shelter. “Taking on a pet is a major life choice and requires time and research to ensure you are fully prepared for the responsibility. Many people have an overall rewarding experience from pet adoption, whether they’re an experienced pet owner or simply making the step for the first time.”

TOP 20 BEST THINGS ABOUT ADOPTING A PET FROM A SHELTER: n You’ve changed an animal’s life


n Saving an animal from a shelter is


n Can save a pet from being put


n You make a new best friend n You’re not encouraging breeding on

puppy farms

n They’re more appreciative of your

love, care and treats

n They already have their

vaccinations and are chipped and spayed already before coming home n You learn to love and care for something other than yourself n The shelter will match you with a pet that has similar needs to you n You can help an animal learn new things n It’s cheaper – you only have to pay an adoption fee n They are already trained e.g., toilet trained, used to walking on a lead n They’ve been through a behaviour assessment so they can be matched to you n Adopting from a shelter helps your mental health n You can help a pet step out of their comfort zone n You end up learning things about yourself you didn’t know n They have been child-tested so you understand their behaviour around children before adopting n You become part of a community of adopters n You can skip the juvenile troubles and have an adult pet n The ongoing support you receive from a shelter n For more information on pet adoption, and to find your nearest shelter, visit: For more general information on how to improve pet wellbeing see: which has some great resources for new pet parents who have adopted a dog or cat.



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Police Dog Boots & Police Dog Chip

Former rescue dogs turned police heroes recognised by national awards Four extra special police dogs are celebrating after being recognised for their crime fighting achievements by the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust


he Animal Welfare Scheme Awards, organised by Dogs Trust, celebrates the work and success of some special service dogs working within the UK’s emergency services. What makes the success of these dogs even more incredible is that they all started their careers as stray or rescue dogs, spending time at rehoming centres across the UK, including Dogs Trust Basildon and Dogs Trust Harefield, where their potential as police dogs was spotted. Dogs Trust has rehomed approximately 70 dogs in the last few years with police forces across the UK where they have gone on to work as successful service dogs. This year marks 20 years since the Animal Welfare Visitors Scheme was launched, designed to ensure that the training, housing and transport of police dogs meets high animal welfare standards. There are currently 32 police forces



across the UK signed up to the scheme, and the charity is encouraging all police dog sections, the military and other emergency services in the UK to adopt the scheme. Police Dog Boots, a six-year-old Labrador Collie cross from Essex Police, received the All-Round Achiever Award. Boots was a stray before being taken into care by the team at Dogs Trust Basildon. Whilst with Dog Trust he was identified as a potential Police Dog and was partnered with PC Mark Rickwood. Boots and PC Rickwood were recognised for being a very active and successful team. They have recovered drugs with a street value of more than £168,000, and Boots also puts his amazing nose to the test to find cash being laundered in and out of the country while working at Stansted Airport. He has recovered hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash, including a seizure of over £200,000.

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Police Dog Jeff

Police Dog Luther

Police Dog Chip received the Economic Crime Buster Award thanks to his success whilst being deployed as a cash, drugs, firearms detection dog. Chip’s background details are unknown, but he ended up at Dogs Trust Basildon after being found as a stray. Since his potential for crime fighting was identified by staff at Dogs Trust, he and handler PC Luke Pitchford from Essex Police have worked together on many operations, resulting in the discovery of large quantities of drugs, cash and firearms, including £750,000 worth of cocaine and over a million pounds worth of drugs and cash. Speaking about Chip and Boots awards, PC Luke Pitchford from the Dog Section of Essex Police says: “"We are extremely grateful that the hard work of these two very special police dogs has been recognised. The fact that they have come from rescues makes their achievement all that more amazing.” The Community Superstar Award was given to Police Dog Jeff for his work keeping the public safe across the UK. Jeff arrived at Margaret Green Animal Rescue after he become too much for his owners to handle. Staff identified his potential and he was selected for an explosive detection course which he passed with flying colours. Since joining the team at Dorset Police, he and handler PC Sue Hillier have been deployed across the UK for large events. This included all of the pre-search and seal operation for G7 in Cornwall and G7 itself whereby he was responsible for searching The Eden Project prior to the arrival of the Royal family. He also searched President Biden’s hotel, the hanger where they kept Marine One and also the private toilets before President Biden went to use the facilities. More recently, he completed a deployment to Birmingham where he was searching for explosives ahead of the start of the Commonwealth Games. Speaking of PD Jeff’s achievement, his handler PC Sue Hillier says: “Thank you to Dogs Trust for recognising the work that our

dogs do. In Dorset, we prefer to rehome rather than buy our police dogs, and Jeff is a great example of a dog that has gone on to do great things since being rehomed as a police dog. “In the two short years since he qualified, he has been to Cornwall, Scotland, Birmingham, and just a week after receiving this award he was supporting us with our work in London ahead of the funeral of Her Majesty The Queen.” The Award for Rescue Hero was given to Police Dog Luther due to his amazing tracking skills which he put into practice locating a dangerous criminal who was at large with a knife following a robbery, assault and theft. Luther is part of the team at Hertfordshire Constabulary which he joined after his potential was spotted by staff at Dogs Trust Harefield while he was waiting for his forever home. PD Luther’s handler, PC Philip Rosier says “I’m really pleased that Luther has won this award. It’s hard to imagine that he was not wanted by someone at any stage of his life. I love working alongside PD Luther, he is a fantastic companion, and we learn from each other every day. He continues to work hard to locate and catch suspects. He also appeared on the national police recruitment campaign which aired early this year.” Louise Crawford, Animal Welfare Scheme Coordinator at Dogs Trust, says: “It’s fantastic to be able to celebrate and recognise the success of service dogs working across the UK. It’s even more amazing that they all came from humble beginnings, spending time in rehoming centres before being identified as potential police dogs. “We’ve been working with police forces across the UK for 20 years to ensure the welfare of police dogs is of the very highest standards, and to identify possible service dogs amongst the thousands of dogs we rehome every year. “We never fail to be blown away by the stories of heroism and bravery shown by these crime fighters. Congratulations to Boots, Chip, Jeff and Luther and their handlers for their amazing achievements and thank you to all the police dogs and their handlers working across the UK.” n Visit our website at RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE 31 OCTOBER – 30 NOVEMBER 2022


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Vets remind dog owners of the risks of long grass Nala, a Tibetan terrier puppy who needed specialist surgery to remove a grass awn from her eye, has prompted Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies) to remind dog owners of the potential risks to their dogs of exercising in long grass.


rass awns and seeds can be dangerous to dogs in a number of ways. With their sharp, pointed ends they can easily penetrate eyes and ears, potentially causing pain and damage. They can also get trapped in the fur or lodged under the skin so it is recommended to check dogs from top to toe for lodged seeds or awns, after every walk. Nala, who is just five months old, had enjoyed a good run through a grassy field but the following day her owner noticed that she had a sore right eye and took her to their local veterinary practice. They suspected a focal corneal injury and associated infection so advised referral for ophthalmological investigations at Davies, which is a part of veterinary group Linnaeus. “On examination Nala’s right eye was clearly uncomfortable, being held tightly shut," said Davies Ophthalmologist Rachel Lockhart. “Once the eye was relaxed with topical anaesthetic it was possible to identify a thin, linear foreign body, a suspected grass awn or thorn, running obliquely through the cornea of the right eye with its external tip sitting just proud of the corneal surface. The surrounding cornea was cloudy and the inside of the eye inflamed but after careful examination using a hand-held microscope it was suspected that the foreign body had penetrated all the way through the cornea." Nala was given a general anaesthetic and taken to the ophthalmic operating theatre for surgery. With the aid of an operating microscope and microsurgical instruments the foreign body was gently extruded from the site of penetration. This revealed a 1.5 cm long piece of grass awn which lay obliquely through the cornea. The majority of the grass awn had been lying within the front chamber of the eye but was obscured from view by the surrounding reaction. Thankfully no deeper injury was 54


identified. Once the grass awn was removed the resultant corneal defect was repaired with a conjunctival pedicle graft to supply tectonic support and a direct blood supply to aid corneal healing. Nala made an uneventful recovery from anaesthesia and, after a comfortable night in the hospital ward, was discharged back to her owner the following morning. So far, she has made good progress post-operatively with no lasting after-effects apart from a small corneal scar which is causing her no concern at all. “Nala was seen within hours and operated on the same day and her speedy recovery is testament to the expertise the team at Davies have,” said Nala’s owner Ella Sims. “They went above and beyond, to not only care for Nala but to also keep me in the loop, understanding how horrible it can be as


a pet owner when your pet is in pain and hurt.”

Davies has put together some tips for the protection and care of dogs’ eyes:

l Try to avoid walking your dog through

long, dry seeded grasses or crops.

l Don’t pull anything out of the eye- you

will almost certainly do more damage.

l Don’t give your pet any treats or a

meal as may require an urgent anaesthetic. l Do fit a buster collar if you have one or can borrow one, to prevent selftrauma. l Do get to your vets asap. l Do save any fragments of whatever went into the eye as it could be helpful to the vet to direct the pet’s treatment. n To find out more about Davies visit

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