Together for Animals - Autumn 2019 Update

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Update Autumn 2019

A wobbly kitten’s search for a steady home

Also inside this issue: • • • •

Tinto and Fiona’s special bond Starving and alone Celebrating 10 years improving dogs’ lives Improving the life of working horses in Mali

Tinto and Fiona’s special bond

Every year Together for Animals member World Horse Welfare celebrates the joy that rehoming a horse brings with their Rehomed Horse of the Year competition. The competition is a great way for rehomers to share just how special their rehomed horses and ponies are to them, as well as highlighting just what rescue horses can go on to do. The winner of the Rehomed Horse of the Year competition 2018 was Tinto, who was rescued in 2005, with a group of horses who were not receiving the care they needed from their owner. Tinto underwent rehabilitation at the World Horse Welfare’s Belwade Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Aberdeenshire before he was ready to be rehomed. Tinto was crowned the Rehomed Horse of the Year champion thanks to his incredible bond with rehomer Fiona after 13 years together. Fiona explained how she came to rehome Tinto: “I was considering buying a horse, but my friend had

rehomed from World Horse Welfare so persuaded me to consider doing the same. We went to Belwade Farm to look at two other horses and whilst I was there, I looked up to see Tinto standing at the top of a hill, almost as if he was saying ‘Look at me!’.” Tinto developed into a lovely all-rounder in Fiona’s care and the pair have had endless fun together. Tinto seemed to know when Fiona was diagnosed with a very serious illness in 2014 and looked after her especially carefully when she was in the saddle during that time. Fiona said: “I thought entering him into the ‘Best Friend’ category was the perfect way of highlighting what Tinto means to me and how much I valued the support he had given me during my illness. I was delighted and amazed that DJ Sara Cox chose him and then to find out he was the overall winner was incredible. We were so thrilled!” Judge of the Best Friend category DJ Sara Cox said: “Tinto’s experience really sums up how special and rewarding it can be to re-home a World Horse Welfare horse. Tinto has

found a loving home and in return has given so much back to his rehomer over the years, from competing at shows to being there for her as she battled illness. I love how it’s now time, after giving so much love, for Tinto to relax and enjoy his retirement. A beautiful bond and an everlasting friendship that deserves to be celebrated!” Tinto has a home for life with Fiona and their heart-warming story illustrates just how special and rewarding it can be to rehome a horse from a charity like World Horse Welfare. Keep an eye on our social media during October for more stories showing just how rehoming a rescue horse can change your life!

Your generous donations helped our members find loving homes for 10,000 unwanted or neglected animals in 2018. Thank you for your support.

Starving and alone Jake was found helplessly wandering around a woodland.

introduced to avoid causing other health complications.

Nobody knows how such a sweet dog ended up like this, but by the time he arrived at our member Blue Cross’ Burford rehoming centre he was one of the most emaciated strays the team had ever seen.

Due to his leg problems, walks also needed to be approached with caution; short and on-lead to ensure he didn’t run around and do more damage while we built up his fragile muscles.

With his ribs and hips protruding, he weighed just 25.4kg when he was first picked up by the local dog warden – just two thirds the body weight of a healthy black Labrador his size. The eight-year-old was so thin that he was unable to regulate his body temperature, so needed to wear a jumper at all times. And he had suffered muscle wastage on his back legs, which left him even weaker. Amber Cooney, Animal Welfare Assistant, said: “We’ve seen worst cases in females that have had puppies, but Jake is definitely one of the worst cases we’ve seen in a stray male dog.” Rebuilding Jake’s strength from so little was a challenge, and one that needed to be done slowly; food needed to be gradually

Understandably, Jake hated to be left alone after his ordeal– and wanted to be around people at all times.

hind legs are getting stronger by the day, helped along by regular hydrotherapy sessions and the many walks he now has. “I have had the most amazing walks with him,” said Jacqui. “He’s brought me great companionship. I get a lot out of our walks together and he does as well. You just don’t have the motivation to do it unless you have a dog.”

Amber said: “He really didn’t like being on his own. He loves people and loved having cuddles, so we gave him as much time out of kennels with us in the offices as possible.” Jake was making great progress at Blue Cross, but what he really needed to fully recover was a loving home and, after 25 days in the rehoming centre he found just that with Jacqui MacMaster in the rolling Somerset countryside. And now, Jake is thriving – unrecognisable from the sad, skeletal dog that first arrived at Blue Cross. Despite a bout of pneumonia, he has hit his target weight and his

Stories like Jake’s are sadly common. Your support helps our members rescue, rehabilitate and rehome thousands of animals each year. Thank you.

A wobbly kitten’s search for a steady home When a member of the public found a tiny abandoned kitten in a park in north-west London they called Together for Animals member Mayhew and their Animal Welfare Officer Tania Mazzoni immediately went to help. She soon noticed that this little puss - later named Brollita - would require some additional, and very special, support. On the journey back to Mayhew, it seemed that Brollita was very shaky and unstable and, during her intake examination and health check, she fell over several times. These frequent tremors did not seem to be caused by nerves, fear or being too cold, so Mayhew’s vets took blood samples to investigate further, and then made sure she was comfortable in their hospital ward while they monitored her condition and waited for the results. An underlying condition The blood test results ruled out several possible causes for the tremors, so the vets concluded that Brollita’s symptoms were the result of cerebellar hypoplasia. This is a genetic neurological condition in which the part of the brain responsible for motor movements, balance, spatial awareness and coordination is small and underdeveloped. It was now clear why this little kitten’s head was shaking, and why she was extremely unsteady on her feet. Had Brollita been left to fend for herself, her chances of surviving as a stray would have been be slim. Such a small, unsteady kitty would be easy prey for London’s wildlife, and she could have been seriously injured or killed by a car if she had wandered out into the street. Special care and attention Once Brollita’s condition was diagnosed, Mayhew’s vet and cattery staff worked out what her needs were and how they could help. Luckily, many animals with cerebellar hypoplasia can enjoy a relatively normal life and Brollita has a moderate version of the condition, which means she will need some help to eat and drink, and a close eye kept on her as she roams and plays to ensure she does not inadvertently hurt herself. When she first arrived at Mayhew, Brollita had difficulty drinking, as her head tremors would cause water to splash on her face and scare her. The Cattery team patiently helped her until she got used to the movement, and she was given IV fluids to keep her hydrated until she could drink a sufficient

amount of water by herself. Her food was mashed, making it easier to eat, and she was encouraged to play and interact with staff to get her used to being on her feet. Mayhew’s Cattery team took time every day to socialise with her as well as supporting her specific needs and her mobility came on leaps and bounds. A happy ever after… We’re delighted to report that this little girl is now doing brilliantly. She is incredibly affectionate and very fond of games and toys – she loves to play with her feather mouse, and is slowly coming out of her shell, growing in confidence daily. When she was ready to be adopted, it didn’t take long for a loving new owner to come along and fall in love with her! Brollita quickly settled in to her new home, and soon started making herself comfortable in her favourite spots around the home. Growing more inquisitive by the day, this little wobbly kitten has made the world (and her new home) her playground, and spends the day playing and exploring and acting every part the curious kitten that she has become. Your support helps our members give animals the care, love and veterinary treatments they need while waiting for their forever homes. Thank you for your support.

What will your legacy be? We are always humbled and grateful to those people who generously leave a gift in their Will to Together for Animals, helping our unique combination of members and the vital and lifesaving work they do continue for many years to come. Leaving us a gift is a great way to ensure Together for Animals help more pets and working animals live a life free from disease, neglect and abuse. Even a relatively small gift will help us to improve the lives of cats, dogs, donkeys and horses in desperate need, in the UK and overseas. Making a donation to charity in your Will can also have some tax benefits, so there is no reason not to remember your favourite charity in your Will, and make a difference to thousands of animals for years to come. If you have already chosen to remember us in your Will, thank you. If you would be interested in finding out more information please contact our Development Manager, Caroline Gaskin on 0870 609 2810, email, or write to us using the enclosed pre-paid envelope.

Celebrating ten years improving dogs’ lives 17 June 2019 marked ten years since the Kennel Club and Together for Animals member Animal Health Trust (AHT) formally agreed to work together to improve the lives of dogs. Over these 10 years the partnership has gone on to benefit thousands of dogs. By working together, they have hugely accelerated research into canine disease. Over the last ten years, through the partnership, 20 DNA tests have been developed for more than 50 breeds of dog. Using these, 60,000 dogs have been tested at the Animal Health Trust, which has resulted in more than 164,000 hereditarily clear puppies being born free from debilitating or blinding inherited conditions. The partnership has also revealed the impact DNA testing is having on disease. Scientists looked at data collected 10 years after DNA tests were developed for eight diseases in eight breeds: Labrador Retrievers, Parson Russell Terriers, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Miniature

Bull Terriers, Cocker Spaniels and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Results show that, thanks to responsible breeders using DNA testing, frequency of disease mutation has reduced by a staggering 90%. The last ten years have been incredibly important to dog health. Thanks to the partnership with the Kennel Club so many dogs are benefiting from DNA tests, and that’s improving the lives of generations of animals. Dr Cathryn Mellersh, Head of Canine Genetics at the Animal Health Trust, said: “Great things can and are being achieved through genetic research. With humans suffering many of the same diseases as dogs, there is always the possibility that our research is going to help human medicine as well.” The Animal Health Trust and the Kennel Club are also taking important steps forward researching cancer in dogs. Cancer is one of the biggest threats to the wellbeing of dogs. One in four dogs will develop cancer and the disease is the

biggest killer of dogs over the age of 10. Using equipment funded by the Kennel Club, the Animal Health Trust’s scientists have looked at mast cell tumours, a cancer estimated to affect 12,000 dogs in the UK last year. Researchers discovered genetic changes in the tumours that enable them to spread, and showed that by looking at some of these changes, it is possible to recognise a tumour that will spread with an accuracy of 90%. In time this will hopefully lead to a test that will help vets better determine how to best treat a dog with a mast cell tumour, and that some drugs currently being developed to prevent human cancers from spreading, may also be effective at preventing the spread of mast cell tumours in dogs, saving lives. Your donations support AHT’s work and are so very important because research is the only way to beat cancer.

Improving the life of working horses in Mali

Together for Animals member SPANA have been providing treatment and care for working animals in Mali for decades. Last year, thanks to our kind supporters, the vets in SPANA’s centre and their two mobile clinics were able to improve and save the lives of over 30,000 working animals. Here is one of the many inspiring success stories that you have helped to make possible. In the Djicoroni district in Bamako, Mali, many communities rely heavily on their animals for transport of people, goods and water. One such animal was a white horse named Lolo, meaning star in Bambara. She assists her owner Lasima with his daily 8am to 5pm job, transporting construction materials from town to town. Lolo is vital to him and his family. When Lasima brought her into SPANA’s centre, she was distressed and in pain. Her owner grew worried when he noticed her strange behaviour

and realised how exhausted she looked. When she arrived, vets examined her and quickly diagnosed ticks on her mane as well as rhinitis, a nose inflammation. Life in Bamako is incredibly tough for hardworking animals like Lolo. In the cooler seasons, Mali is windy at night and because the majority of working horses are not usually housed, this can lead to respiratory problems like rhinitis. The ticks were causing localised skin irritation, which made Lolo constantly rub against trees or fences to try to ease her discomfort, which made her coat patchy and matted. The rhinitis caused nasal secretions and affected both her airways, which made it increasingly difficult to breathe. Pulling heavy construction materials became an even more arduous task for Lolo, who was struggling to get through the day. Needing immediate veterinary attention, SPANA’s vets set straight to work, treating Lolo with an insecticide spray,

instantly lessening her irritation and soreness. Then, they gave her antihistamine and a corticosteroid injection to soothe her rhinitis. To prevent Lolo getting sick again, our vets advised Lasima to continue to administer antihistamine and come back to our centre every few months to treat Lolo against external parasites. After seeing Lolo’s improvement and speedy recovery, Lasima said: “SPANA are really doing a great job.” Lolo is a valuable member of Lasima’s family, and would struggle to survive without the free veterinary care SPANA provide.

With your support, SPANA is able to provide Lolo and many other working animals like her with the essential treatment and care they need. Thank you.

Other News

New website! During the summer Together for Animals launched our brand new website. The new website aims to improve user experience – the new structure and visual navigation allows people to easily find out about the range of projects and animals we support, the work of our members, and by creating a streamlined donations process, allows users to make a donation in as few steps as possible. Visit the new site at to keep up to date with our latest news, animal stories and how your donations are supporting the vital work of five charities.

Celebrate your birthday and save a life Did you know your Facebook friends and family can celebrate your birthday by giving back? • Follow us on Facebook @togetheranimals • Let us know when your birthday is so we can send you a reminder • When your birthday nears, follow Facebook’s simple guide and create a fundraiser, and watch your friends and family support Together for Animals as they celebrate you – a caring animal lover. The money you raise will help find loving homes and provide the very best veterinary care and treatment for thousands of animals.



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