RSPCA Stapeley Grange Summer 2017

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SUMMER NEWS 2017

Innocent victim of abuse Mabel – attacked, shot, poisoned with lead

‘Catflap’ Raccoon / Coati / Axolotl Unusual exotic admissions for the team

Not a rare admission but a rare condition Balloon hedgehog admitted to Stapeley

Other News Wildlife Hospital, Cattery, Education and Fundraising


Summer Newsletter 2017 Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre and Cattery

Contents  Welcome  Rob's BTO roundup  Regional Ops Manager visit

 Stapeley Grange blog  Mabel‟s story  Catflap raccoon  Axolotl...a what?!

Welcome....... At the peak of the season the Stapeley team are having to deal with 50+ admissions a day; providing initial triage and medication, housing and feeding. On top of dealing with these admissions the team, which includes permanent and casual staff, volunteers and longer term students are having to deal with the hundreds of animals already in care, many of them orphans requiring regular hourly feeds. Our orphan room in the hospital is the busiest room by far and if we are lucky we will have two staff stationed in this room for 13 hours of the day, feeding and cleaning cage after cage. Robins, dunnocks, starlings, blackbirds, pigeons, tits, sparrows, various corvids, hedgehogs, voles and mice to name some of the species that are usually cared for in this bustling room.

 An unusual exotic patient  Not a rare admission but a rare condition  Education update Build a bear workshop Photographer Awards 2017 Wildlife Club Experience Days  Regional Press Officer Experience's Stapeley  Cattery News  Fundraising News - our community Mabel's Story Sainsbury's New Manager commits support Marks and Spenser voted Stapeley as Charity of the year  Chester student placements – recent personal experiences Front Page Photo: Stu Raw

As soon as animals in the orphan room are feeding for themselves, they are then moved on to larger indoor aviaries / cages within the hospital, where they can feed, stretch their wings/legs and sometimes socialise with others. This is only possible though if others at the next stage of their rehabilitation are moved out to our outdoor aviaries. It‟s a stepping stone approach ,which relies ultimately on suitable weather conditions to allow us to release birds and mammals from our outdoor aviaries and enclosures; the final stages of rehabilitation, back to the wild. On top of all our wildlife admissions the team are also dealing with additional domestic and exotic admissions that the Inspectorate have nowhere else to take. These individuals have been more often than not abandoned by their owners. 2017 has been an extremely interesting year with regards to nexotic admissions and has included raccoons, racoon dogs, coatis and an axolotl to name a few; the stories of some are covered in this newsletter. 'If you would like to support the work of Stapeley Grange with a donation of just £3, simply text RSPCA2 to 70007‘ Texts cost £3 + standard network rate


Rob’s BTO Roundup Long haul woodcock Woodcocks are largely resident in the UK, but in the autumn some migrate to the UK from Finland and Russia to winter here. In November 2016 we had a woodcock sent to us from RSPCA Newbrook, which is south west of Birmingham. On admission, it was noted that the bird had a few minor scrape wounds but there were concerns over its vision. After a few days of cage rest and anti-inflammatories, the wildlife team reassessed its vision to find that it could actually A wild woodcock navigate around objects and fly very well. After 8 days of being fed and cared for, the woodcock was fitted with a BTO ring and released at a local site that we use for all woodcocks that are released from the centre. In April 2017, several months later, we received a report about the same individual. Unfortunately it had been killed by another animal, but interestingly not here in the UK; the bird and ring had actually been found near Zelenin, Bryansk, Russia; a journey of nearly 2,500km. Although it was sad that the bird had died, it is still a newsworthy story for us because it shows that our techniques for rehabilitation and release allowed the bird to function in a 'normal' and wild way. We additionally released a group of juvenile robins with BTO rings in 2015 at a site in Middlewich in Cheshire. The lady that lives there has been housing small passerines from ourselves and releasing them in her garden, where she has lots of bird feeders with a wide variety of food, for over six years. One of the robins is still coming back to her garden two years later and has been collecting lots of mealworms for its young, which is fantastic news as having BTO returns such as this provides us with more evidence that we are releasing our birds fit for purpose.

Robin Fledgling

Regional Ops Manager Visit Anne Corbishley, newly appointed Regional Operations Manager for the North West, was keen to spend some time with the team and to get her hands a little dirty with the animals. It was our pleasure to put Anne through her paces!!

Anne cleaning out one of our younger cubs

“My thanks to Lee Stewart and his team at Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre for arranging such an enjoyable and informative day for me last week. Particular thanks go to Rob Scrivens, Tina Roycroft-Scrivens and Wendy Burrows for their patience and guidance. It was wonderful to be able to get so close to fox cubs, seals and owls and to see at first hand the huge amount of work done at Stapeley Grange. And the fantastic weather was a bonus!!” Anne Corbishley


Stapeley Grange Blog www.stapeleygrange.blogspot.com Catherine Smith , Jenna Haslam and Becca Fletcher With almost 25,000 visitors to the site to date from 10 countries around the world, including China, Mauritius and Poland, our blog is definitely worth following!! 9th May - A purrfect day – On the first day of my marketing placement here at the RSPCA Stapeley Grange, I was asked to help out in the cattery. I was very happy to be asked and couldn't wait to get stuck in and meet all the cats. 26th May – Fox enrichment - We watched for a while (from outside) and they appeared quite hesitant to start with but after a while they were sniffing around their new environment. They eventually found their den and disappeared. 26th May – A visit to a release aviary - After 10-14 days a hatch is opened on the side of the cage and the birds are allowed to leave the aviary, as and when they please. All of our birds released from these aviaries are ringed with a BTO ring in case they are seen in the wild. 29th May - 'Rhos-on-Seal' - It was essential we released the seal at high tide, so that as the tide went out, it would encourage the seal out into the deeper water. The time finally came, after 5 months in care, to open the cage and release Colin back to the wild. As soon as the door was opened, Colin hurried out and into the water without hesitation.

Help Stapeley raise more money for the animals by recycling your old clothes and shoes via our recycling bins, found outside the cattery.


RSPCA Wildlife Rehabilitation Courses Course Programmes Led by Richard Seddon - RSPCA Superintendent for Training Dr. Bev Panto - Veterinary Officer – RSPCA Stapeley Grange

Course contributors: Lee Stewart (Centre Manager), Wendy Burrows (Supervisor), and Robert Scrivens (Supervisor), Robert Whitehouse (Wildlife Assistant), Wendy Hawley (Vet Nurse) and Nicola Ryan (Vet Nurse)

Wildlife Rehabilitation Courses (Vet / Vet Nurse)

Wildlife Rehabilitation Courses

16th - 17th October 2017 & th th 29 - 30 January 2018

18th – 20th October 2017 & 31st January – 2nd February 2018 “The course for me was a solid foundation to build on. A great overview of everything that goes with wildlife rehabilitation” Chris Mather “An enjoyable, informative and worth while 3 days well spent. Would highly recommend the course” Helen Thewsey, Cambria College “Really enjoyed the course, some sessions could have been longer. The course could have been 5 days” Fran Hill, Cuan Wildlife Hospital “A fantastic course, I learnt so much on the course which will help me during my year long placement at Stapeley” Catherine Smith, Student Placement

Contact Lee via e-mail: lee.stewart@rspca.org.uk or phone: 0300 123 0722


Innocent victim of abuse Mabel – attacked, shot and poisoned with lead Attacks on wildlife living around public lakes and ponds sadly seems to be a common occurrence across the country. Species seemingly most affected by shootings and dog attacks are swans, geese and ducks although other species such as herons and pigeons are also shot at. This year, we received one such sad admission, from much closer to home than most. On the 2nd June, a female swan on the River Weaver was reported to our National Call Centre. The member of public was concerned about her behaviour as she appeared to have an inured leg. They also reported that the pair of swans had lost seven of their nine cygnets on the same day too. The swan, who had been nicknamed Mabel by the local community, was a well known character on the River Weaver, along with her mate Albert and their nine cygnets. She was collected by an RSPCA inspector and brought straight into the hospital. On examination she was found to have injuries consistent with having been attacked by another animal although we could not say for sure whether it was a dog or a fox. She had however been shot and had high lead levels in her blood caused by discarded fishing weights. She was also infested with parasites to top things off. She was put on a course of antibiotics, treated for the poisoning and given time to rest. Although a little subdued on day one she seemed a lot brighter and was feeding well after a couple of days. At the time of writing Mabel had been moved from isolation to an outdoor pool where she is now enjoying the latest bout of warm weather. The team are keen to return Mabel to the wild as quickly as possible, back to Albert and her remaining cygnets, however her return won‟t be rushed, as she needs to be fully fit so that she can look after herself and her feathered family.

Mabel in isolation after a couple of days at Stapeley

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is illegal to take, injure or kill wild birds or interfere with their nest or eggs, unless under licence. The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and a £5,000 fine


Mabel, Albert and their cygnets before Mabel was rescued by an Officer

Some important things to remember this Spring / Summer • Wildlife will always do better in the wild with their parents.

Follow us @ RSPCA-Wildlife

• Some parents e.g. deer and rabbits will leave their young for long periods during the day to feed. • Fox and badger cubs will often explore away from their dens when old enough, away from their parents. • Parents of new borns are usually close by and probably waiting for you to move on before returning to feed. • A fully feathered bird (fledgling) may just be test flying. If it is in any immediate danger (roads or cats) move to somewhere safe close by and leave.

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• If the animal is obviously injured or needs help call the RSPCA or your local wildlife rehabilitator. RSPCA National Call Centre 0300 123 4999


‘Cat flap’ raccoon; a first for the Stapeley Grange Team A raccoon that invaded a Northampton home through the cat flap was transferred to Stapeley back in May, for temporary care. The animal, a species native to North America, surprised a husband and wife living in Denton Road, Northampton, when it entered their house through the catflap and rummaged through their belongings. The couple reported the incident to the RSPCA, who rescued the raccoon. This was the first raccoon the team had ever received but he was very friendly and inquisitive; he was obviously someone‟s pet and craved attention. He thoroughly enjoyed exploring his temporary home which the team had set up rather quickly when we heard he was coming. As an omnivore, the raccoon has a varied diet and was offered eggs, fruit, vegetables and dog food, all of which were readily available.

Eggs were this raccoon‟s favourite!

„Raccoons really don't make good pets‟

Sadly, pets such as this are abandoned by their owners when they either become too challenging to look after or vet bills become too much. All domestics and exotics that arrive are firstly checked for a microchip. If nothing is found we will then put them onto the „Pets located‟ website www.petslocated.com which connects owners to lost animals. If after 7 days, no one has come forward we then start the process of finding a new home. Before rehoming, this racoon was chipped, neutered and vaccinated. Raccoons are wild animals and providing for their needs is difficult in a home environment; they additionally need lots of space and stimulation, subsequently, the RSPCA does not recommend them as a pet. They are also nocturnal and need a great deal of space so their needs cannot be met in a typical domestic environment. Raccoons are also now on the EU's list of invasive alien species and so vendors cannot sell any new stock, nor can raccoons be bred or released to the wild. If they escape, or are released into the wild, they pose a risk to our native wildlife.


An Axolotl....a what?! It‟s not often the team have to think too long or hard about how to house and feed an unusual animal that arrives at Stapeley, but in March this strange creature had the admissions team radioing for help identifying a „strange thin skinned fishlizard! The axolotl, also known as a Mexican salamander or a Mexican walking fish, is a neotenic salamander, closely related to the tiger salamander. Although the axolotl is colloquially known as a "walking fish", it is not in fact a fish, but an amphibian. Although commonly kept in captivity they are considered endangered in the wild by CITES and critically endangered by IUCN. Urbanisation, pollution and the introduction of non-native fish species such as Tilapia and perch have led to their decline. Lake Xochimilco, outside Mexico City, is their last remaining stronghold and even there their numbers are declining. The Axolotl was strangely found in a children‟s play area in Market Drayton; its foot and tail heavily infected. On arrival it was housed in a small tank of dechlorinated water and provided earthworms and wax worms. Although Axolotls are known to have incredible regeneration ability it was agreed, after consultation with a number of exotic specialists and having given it some time to recover, that it was put to sleep. Not the outcome the team wanted but it was unfair to allow it to suffer any longer.

An Axolotl – probably the strangest looking arrival at the Centre in the past few years.

WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA Wildlife: www.rspca/stapeley-grange-wildlifecentre

Cattery: www.rspca/stapeley-grange-cattery Follow us @

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RSPCA-Wildlife

RSPCAStapeley

Stapeley Grange You Tube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/U C9I3pW2N0h07gHk75hz59-g

clips of some of Stapeley Grange’s animals Otter time - Santon and Storm at play and Orphaned otter cubs Fox cub feeding time: and Fox cub kiss chase Great crested grebe, Gulls galore and Some hungry jackdaws Some cheeky little polecats and Weasel orphan Common buzzards chicks and Cygnets in need of TLC Hoglet feeding time, Leveret release and not forgetting our Orphaned storm seals and Daffi, our latest orphaned otter cub


Razzle and Dazzle - an unusual exotic patient for the wildlife team This cute admission, which is a species native to South America, was picked up by an RSPCA inspector in North Yorkshire, after he was found wandering loose in a street . The coati – also known as a coatimundi – who was later nicknamed Razzle, was transferred across to the Centre in April. Razzle, is likely to have been a pet and had either escaped or been abandoned. Thankfully he was not injured and appeared in good health when he arrived. He soon became very popular with the staff, partly because it was so rare for us to have a coati staying with us. Razzle was provided with a diet of fruit and spent most of his days snoozing and climbing on the various boxes and branches that we had put in his enclosure for enrichment. Nicola White, exotics senior scientific officer with the RSPCA, said: “Ringtailed coatis are relatives of the raccoon. They are native to South America where they live in forests and eat mainly invertebrates and fruit.

„Coatis are wild animals and providing for their needs is difficult in a home environment‟ “Coatis are wild animals and providing for their needs is difficult in a home environment. They need lots of space and stimulation to meet their needs and we do not think they make good pets. We urge potential owners of exotic pets to thoroughly research what the animal needs and think carefully about whether they are able to provide this for the whole of the animal‟s life, before taking one on.”

Razzle was eventually rehomed to a specialist carer who offered a purpose built facility with the company of other Coatis.

Photo: Stu Raw


Not a rare admission but a rare condition for this poor hoggy! This unfortunate individual was spotted by a member of the public going round in circles, in Toll Bar, Doncaster, on 5 June. She told the RSPCA that the hedgehog was dragging its back leg, had blood on its nose and due to its size, might be pregnant. But when RSPCA inspector Sandra Dransfield arrived at the scene, she could see that the animal was suffering from the rare condition „Balloon Syndrome‟, where gas collects under the skin of the hedgehog, so it inflates like a balloon. The syndrome can be caused by a traumatic event, like an injury, or underlying infection, which releases gas into the cavity under the hedgehog‟s skin. Monty, as he was later named, was first treated at Peak Vets in Sheffield, where they x-rayed him and released air from under his skin, which at the time must have been a huge relief for him. The vets then started him on a course of antibiotics and pain relief. Monty was then transferred across to Stapeley where he was again examined and again more air removed.

Initial x-ray of balloon hog

Over the past few weeks the team have been monitoring him very carefully to ensure excess air is quickly removed and that he has been feeding ok and putting on weight. The goods news is that he is doing really well and enjoying his daily portion of cat food, mealworms and dry hedgehog biscuits. It is rare that we get hedgehogs with Balloon Syndrome admitted, particularly this severe, so it has been interesting to watch his progress over the past few weeks. The team are now hopeful that we can return him back to Sandra in Doncaster who will release him back to the wild. A video of Monty can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/2ty8kLw

Day 1

Day 14


On Thursday 30th March, a group of 29 excited young people from Nantwich Primary Academy boarded a coach headed for the Build-a-Bear Workshop at the Trafford Centre, Manchester. The experience day was donated to the RSPCA by Build-a-Bear Workshop as part of an ongoing partnership with the charity. Build-A-Bear Workshop have made monetary donations and donations of Promise Pets to support the work of the Volunteer Speaker Scheme. The purpose of the day was to encourage children to consider animalsâ€&#x; needs and how they would prepare for bringing a pet home. Special thanks to Becky from Nantwich Primary Academy who helped to organise the day for the school and to the staff at Stapeley Grange for helping us deliver part of the day.

Nantwich Primary School after their visit to Stapeley Grange



Wildlife Club Stapeley Grange‟s Wildlife Club has been going for almost three years now and engages with local children between the ages of 5 and 12, who are interested and passionate about wildlife. The Club is run by volunteers; the very small team has grown in recent weeks with Alex and Charlotte (Club Ambassador) being joined by Emilie, Hayley and Forrest. Running the Club is not as easy as one might think as the team has to come up with exciting and interesting activities for the children each month. June‟s Club was led by Hayley and was all about birds. “We played a very competitive bird bingo, made bird feeders using apples and seeds, bird watched using binoculars and then collected feathers from the forest floor for bird IDing. The kids loved asking questions and seeing wildlife in the hospital through the window.” Emilie Janman – Wildlife Club Volunteer Next month‟s Club will be led by Emilie; activities will be themed around pond life. For information on joining the Club: rspcawildlifeclub@rspca.org.uk

Experience Days @ Stapeley With an 18+ policy on volunteering in the wildlife hospital the Stapeley team were keen to create a programme that would enable those not old enough and maybe those that just want to spend a single day with the team to do so. Samantha Hepworth joined us in April for her day. “I was amazed and inspired by the incredible and varied work at the wildlife hospital. Having seen a range of exotic animals such Raccoon dogs and Coatis and watching and helping with many native species such as ducklings and swans. My favourite moment was definitely feeding the seals out in the pool. One case in particular was of a Canada goose which was poisoned with lead; this case showed me how dedicated the Team are and also the complexity of many cases. I also learnt about bird x-ray positioning as one of the vets was talking to the Liverpool vet students and also how „Man‟ interferes with nature with disastrous consequences. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I wish to thank the staff for an amazing experience. I have pre-booked another day this summer. I look forward to seeing the team again soon.” Samantha Hepworth For more information on the programme contact: Lee.stewart@rspca.org.uk


ILDLIFE CLUB

For more information and to book please contact rspcawildlifeclub@gmail.com RSPCA Stapeley Grange, London Road, CW5


Rachel Butler, RSPCA Regional Press Officer, experiences Stapeley – ‘up close and personal’ Last year, 6,635 animals were admitted to the RSPCA‟s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, in Cheshire. Behind the doors, a team of dedicated staff work with orphaned or injured foxes, seals, birds and otters, among many other wildlife, to help them get better and to be released back into the wild. I spent the day behind the scenes in the centre‟s isolation unit so I could experience what our staff have to cope with on a daily basis. Lying on his side, cushioned against a pile of towels and with an IV drip in his leg, the young fox looks weak. It comes as no surprise, as just 12 hours earlier he was rescued after getting severely tangled in goal netting in a school playground. He has been placed in a room - with the lights turned down to make him feel more at ease - within the centre‟s isolation unit. Sadly not all Stapeley‟s But, sadly, it‟s not looking patients make a full recovery good - as he has refused to eat any food which has been placed beside him by wildlife assistant Michelle Bite. Michelle checks on him again, before quietly closing the door on him. As much as you‟d want to sit with him and make sure he is OK, there is one important thing to remember when working with wildlife - they are not used to human contact, and it can stress the animals out if they have too much. Additionally, it is important that they remain „wild‟ if they are to be returned. “I‟ll ask the vet to come and have another look at him,” says Michelle. “It is concerning that he isn‟t taking any food, even though he is on a drip” On the day that I visit Stapeley Grange, there are 14 animals being cared for in the isolation unit. Wearing white overalls, wellies and latex gloves, I feel ready to get up close to wildlife and find out more about how they are cared for after being admitted to Stapeley. A juvenile grey seal who has been nicknamed Alan is another inpatient. He was taken to the centre after being found stranded on a beach in North Wales. He had a deep wound to his left flipper - possibly as a result of fighting with another seal. It‟s time for him to be fed, and as Michelle leads me towards his enclosure, she warns me to be prepared - as despite looking cute and cuddly, seals are defensive and their sharp teeth can cause nasty injuries.


It takes two wildlife assistants to feed Alan - Michelle holding him still and inserting a tube into his mouth whilst the second helps by holding the plunger to deliver the soup directly into his stomach. It‟s a task which they are highly trained to do and they make it look easy, but Michelle tells me that the first time she had to do it she was very wary. “But when we have seals in with us, we can feed them up to five times a day so it becomes second nature to feed them with a tube,” she says. We do another round of checking all the animals, including a baby otter who was found orphaned, and a swan and a goose which were rescued after getting tangled in discarded fishing lines, which is a major problem for wildlife. I then find out via one of the vets that the fox who was rescued after getting tangled in goal netting, had passed away, It‟s a sombre reminder about the serious damage that sports netting can do to wildlife. All the RSPCA staff involved in his rescue and care tried their very best to get him better, but he had become seriously weakened by the ordeal. It is something, though, which Stapeley staff see a lot of. “It doesn‟t get any easier,” Michelle says.

After another round of checks and feeds, you‟d think it would be time for a breather - but there is always much to do, including regular cleaning of the unit and all the enclosures. On top of that, there is always the possibility that another animal will be admitted at any moment. Once the unit is cleaned, Michelle takes the opportunity to show me around Stapeley, outside of the isolation unit. Outside of the building, I am shown the enclosure for geese and swans, where the birds go from the isolation unit. They stay in the outdoor enclosure until they are ready to be released back into the wild. There are also enclosures for badgers and foxes, however given their secretive and nocturnal nature, they have hidden themselves away. As we head back to the isolation unit, it‟s time to do more feeds. It‟s tiring work, but I am certain of one thing - the guys at Stapeley are animal heroes disguised in white and blue overalls, doing everything they can to help our wildlife in need. Rachel Butler


CATTERY NEWS Although there are quieter times at the Cattery these times are few and far between and more often that not we are full. The team are always working hard to find new homes for our cats, especially those that are maybe a little more challenging (maybe older or behaviourally challenged!). The team are not only driven to finding new forever homes for the cats in care, we are also aware that as soon as a cat is re-homed it will open up a space for another cat that may have been abused or abandoned and just waiting for the space to be available.

TIBBY Little Tibby is around 9 years of age and came into our care through no fault of his own. Unfortunately his owner had to go into care and as a result Tibby was taken away from everyone and everything he knew, which was obviously very stressful. He has however adapted well and has now had a full health check and even had his teeth scaled and polished. Are you at home a lot? Could you give Tibby the company he needs? Why not pop in and let him win you over!

PEARL Pearl has been with us for a while now and needs a home she can call her own. At around 3 years of age Pearl seems to have had a hard start in life. She was found abandoned outside a vets and has now been with us since February. She has come on in leaps and bounds, both physically and emotionally, but we would like her to go to an experienced cat owner with no children, who can continue to guide her and show her what love really means.

To donate £3 to RSPCA Stapeley Grange and our work, simply text RSPCA2 to 70007„ Texts cost £3 + standard network rate



Fundraising News – our community Although Stapeley has a catchment area that runs from South of the Scottish to South of Birmingham, and across mid Wales and across to Lincolnshire many of the animals admitted are from the North West with many arriving locally from Nantwich and Crewe. The team at Stapeley are obviously very proud of what we do and it would appear the local community also feels the same way when it comes to the support they give. Whether it is a company or an individual fundraising or donating it is often the story of an individual animal rescue that empowers people to do something. Whilst companies may donate money, items or equipment or offer their services free of charge, individuals may become a fundraising ambassador overnight, turning to friends and family to raise money or items for the animals in our care.

Mabel’s story Charlotte Wardle and her family live in Northwich and have been feeding swans like Mabel, Albert and their offspring for the last three years (see story on page 6/7). Mabel‟s sad story has inspired Charlotte to now fundraise for her care and has been encouraging others; friends, families and local companies to buy food for the animals and to donate items for our fundraising efforts. Charlotte and others are now keeping an eye on Albert and the remaining two cygnets at least until Mabel has been returned. Charlotte is also campaigning within the local community to ensure that everyone takes care of and looks out for the wildlife along the River Weaver (and other areas of Northwich). She has been urging everyone to report any issues to the local council, Police and the RSPCA so that everyone in the community can learn to live in harmony with nature.

WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA Wildlife: www.rspca/stapeley-grange-wildlifecentre

Cattery: www.rspca/stapeley-grange-cattery Follow us @

Follow us @

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RSPCAStapeley

Stapeley Grange You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9I3 pW2N0h07gHk75hz59-g

"Stapeley Grange recently looked after Mabel the swan from The River Weaver. A collection was organised in order to thank the hospital for all their hard work. Special thanks to the ladies at Bratts, Samantha Helsby and Emma at Waitrose and Kelly Hatton at Pets at Home in Northwich". Everyone did a fantastic job! We are all hoping that Mabel will be returned soon, to help Albert in looking after the two remaining cygnets. Charlotte Wardle


Over the last two years Sainsbury‟s and their Nantwich customers have been supporting Stapeley‟s wild and domestic animals with food donations; donations that have saved the Centre 1000s of £s. Our food bill for the year totals over £50,000 so this support really helps. Any food we can not use is then passed on to our Inspectors who will use it on the frontline when rescuing cats and dogs in most need. I recently met up with the new Nantwich store Manager Debrorah Mellet to pass on my thanks for their support. Sainbsury‟s is pleased to be in a position to facilitate donations to Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre and Cattery from our customers. I have first hand experience of Stapeley Grange and they do an amazing job. It's incredible to think how many animals they actually look after each year. Our customers should be very proud of their donations as I know the team at Stapeley really appreciate it and over the years it has really made a difference. Deborah Mellet, Manager

Earlier this year we received a call from Corrine Murrie, who informed us that M&S Nantwich Simply Food had voted Stapeley as their store charity for the year. As well allowing us to put our collection tins at their tills they also said we could arrange a bag packing session in their store. Some of their staff are also keen to personally raise money for Stapeley and have chosen to take on „Tough Mudder‟, an endurance event series in which participants attempt 10–12 mile-long obstacle courses that tests mental as well as physical strength..good luck guys!! And THANK YOU "Everyone at Marks and Spencers Nantwich are looking forward to the year ahead supporting RSPCA Stapeley“ Corrine Murrie, Plan A Lead


Chester and Reaseheath Student Placements As with most RSPCA Animal Centres around the country, Stapeley Grange is understaffed and therefore relies heavily on volunteers and students to strengthen its team. We have a very close working relationship with Reaseheath College and Chester University where we receive a number of students in the April – May period. Our latest batch of students have just left, here is what they had to say.

‘My experience at Stapeley Grange wildlife centre was very rewarding. I was able to see a variety of different animals, some I hadn’t seen before. It was very hands on and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount we got to do as work experience students. From washing swans, general husbandry, feeding and even getting involved in the release of the animals, which was all great. It was also beneficial to see the running’s of a much larger centre and I hope to go back one day. The passion the staff have for the animals in their care and for animal welfare was very obvious from day one! Thanks for having me. ‘ Harley Smith

Lucy and fellow student Tom cleaning out an isolation run My name is Lucy Brierley and I am a second year BSc wildlife conservation and ecology student under the University of Chester, studying at Reaseheath college. I have just completed five extremely busy and tiring weeks at Stapeley Grange as part of the work based learning module of my honours degree. I have done and experienced things I thought I never imagined I ever would. Witnessing wildlife I have only dreamed of seeing, let alone caring for and handling them. Having the opportunity to care for and hand feed tiny orphaned tawny owl and kestrel chicks really has been something I will never forget. Caring and tending to the needs of adult tawny owls, a kestrel, a Bengal eagle owl, a long eared owl and an absolutely stunning goshawk has been incredible. When I started my placement I knew that things weren't always going to be easy and I was definitely not going to be cuddling any of the animals. However seeing the treatments and devoted care of the hundreds of individual mammals and birds from the tiny voles and wood mice, right though to badgers and a whooper swan really has taught me that the care of wildlife is a time consuming and physically demanding occupation. Long term I am also keen to combine this with the education of children and adults alike in the conservation of our native species and they're habitats, which is so important.

Lucy and Harley in waterfowl pool 3

I would like to thank all the staff and volunteers for their warmness and their welcoming actions. The work Stapeley does is truly inspiring and I hope that it carries on long into the future. I also hope to return one day soon.


Staff at RSPCA Stapeley Grange re-homing cattery are incredibly helpful when matching a cat with a potential adoptee and their family, whether it be a kitten or older cat. The staff are also really determined to rehabilitate and re-home cats that may have various medical needs too. I have really enjoyed being able to help make a difference over my four week work experience placement. Socialising the cats so that they are less nervous around people making them more easily rehomed has been a highlight. It has been so rewarding to see cats being reserved and be given a loving home and a second chance. I would highly recommend volunteering at the Cattery. It is not easy having to deal with so many cats through feeding, cleaning out, socialising and providing them with all the medical attention needed so additional volunteers who are passionate, reliable and hard working are all welcome . Romey Davies I am currently doing my work experience for the cattery and I admire the staff’s demanding work and determination to find every cat a loving home. I have enjoyed being a part of the team and helping to make a difference to these cats lives. I have learnt so much in the 3 weeks I have been here.

“I have enjoyed being a part of the team and helping to make a difference to these cats‟ lives” Working at a cattery is not as easy as people may think as it is a 24/7 job, ensuring that every cat is fed, cleaned out, socialised and cared for medically. I would highly recommend anyone to be a volunteer for the cattery. It is a very rewarding job seeing the cats through various stages of their time here. From being admitted, treated, socialised (so that they are used to human interaction) and then finally seeing them rehomed to their loving forever homes after they have made a full recovery. Emiley Sutton


SAY NO

Since 2013, almost 15,000 badgers have been slaughtered in the parts of south and west England There has been NO routine testing of badgers killed during culling to establish whether they actually carried BovineTB 10,866 badgers were culled in 2016 If the culling policy is rolled out to its full extent, up to 130,000 badgers could be killed.

TO THE BADGER CULL IN CHESHIRE PLEASE TAKE ACTION TODAY

Write to your MP to express your opposition to the badger cull and the rolling out of the cull to Cheshire

Recent culls have been labelled ‘cruel’ and ‘ineffective’

http://bit.ly/2msWHSI

@WCBadgerGrp

www.wcbg.org.uk


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