Abandoned rabbits looking for forever home

The RSPCA is looking for homes for two abandoned rabbits who have been in the charity’s care for seven months.

Derek and Gregory, two 12-month old siblings, came into the care of RSPCA Leybourne Animal Centre near Maidstone in June last year after being abandoned in a plastic box. They were found in a poor state and suffering from ringworm.

After some TLC and rehabilitation, they are both back on their feet and ready to be rehomed. They could live with children and they are both friendly rabbits who love treat time.

Gregory and Derek are looking for separate homes where they can be bonded with a different friendly female rabbit as sadly, they do not get along.

Claire Yorke, animal care assistant at RSPCA Leybourne, said: “These two buns have had a terrible start in life, but despite this they are really friendly and just love their treats. We are rehoming them separately as they had some issues with each other so will be looking for well-mannered female buns to pair up with.

“We’re hoping we can fund some fabulous owners for Derek and Gregory who understand rabbits’ complex needs and can provide them with enough space and enrichment they need in order to keep them happy and healthy. We recommend that rabbits are given a large accommodation measuring at least 3m x 2m which comprises of an exercise area with an integrated shelter, and rabbits should have access to all areas of their housing at all times.”

Rabbits are incredibly sociable animals and need to live in pairs, which is why they are looking to be rehomed with owners who have an existing rabbit.

RSPCA rabbit welfare Dr Jane Tyson said: “Sadly, rabbits are still one of the most misunderstood pets which means we rescue thousands of neglected rabbits each year. Unfortunately, rabbits are often bought as a child’s first pet with the assumption that they are easy to care for, but these pets have very complex needs.

“The images of a lone rabbit in a small hutch at the bottom of the garden should be consigned to the past and hopefully more and more owners are realising this. Rabbits are social animals and need to be kept in pairs, they also need to have a large sized hutch or shelter with an attached run so that they can exercise.”

If you think you can give Derek or Gregory a loving home, contact RSPCA Leybourne Animal Centre on 0300 123 0751.






Mayhew help people and animals ‘stay inseparable’ over the last 10 years

London-based animal welfare charity, Mayhew has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the bond between vulnerable people and their pets.

Over the past decade, Mayhew has offered support and shelter to over 10,000 people and animals experiencing an unexpected or ongoing crisis, through community based initiatives such as Pet Refuge.

In partnership with McCann Demand, Mayhew has created a series of powerful and impactful poems designed to illustrate the intimacy of animal companionship, and the harsh realities faced by people hit by a sudden or unforeseen change in circumstances, which threatens their relationship with their pet.

The poems are illustrated with a poignant single line drawing by renowned artist Dane Khy, and will appear across prominent London tube stations, where people will have the time to read and reflect on the animals or animal lovers in their own lives.

An accompanying animated video, developed in partnership with Coffee and TV and featuring an additional poem, will be shared across Mayhew’s website and social media channels from today (Monday 27 January).

The new campaign is being supported by TV presenter and journalist Louis Theroux and theatre actor Emily Raymond, who have each provided the voices of “The Owner” and “The Dog” in the animated video.

Louis Theroux said: “I was delighted to be asked to be the voice of the dog for the Mayhew’ campaign. It was a challenge for me as I’ve only ever done voiceover for myself. So this was a leap taking on the role of someone else, who also happened to be a non-human. But we can all relate to the emotions felt by the animals in this beautiful video: the need for comfort companionship, and quality of life. And the animation and writing in the film capture this perfectly.

“My fervent hope is that the campaign starts a much-needed conversation about the importance of protecting the bond between pets and pet owners from all walks of life. We all deserve to live a life, shared.”

Emily Raymond added: “I think that the ground-breaking work Mayhew do in the local community is truly inspiring. Helping homeless and vulnerable people to care for their dogs, and even look after them during periods of absence, its literally a lifeline for people in a crisis situation. They make sure that the human animal bond is nurtured and not broken – without judgement and with deep empathy. Mayhew fully understand the vital relationship between a vulnerable person and their pet and know that an animal is often the only trusted companion that a person has.

“It was therefore a privilege to give a voice to the beautiful and moving animation for this latest campaign – highlighting the shared lives that are made possible by the vital help and support that Mayhew provides to those in need.”

The heart-breaking reality of needles separation

A recent PFMA report suggests that 8% of all dogs that are relinquished to London-based rehoming shelters are given up against the owners will.

Similar surveys have investigated the reasons given by such owners and have found that, 12% of owners had suffered from ill health and were no longer able to look after their pet.

They also revealed that 10% had moved into new accommodation where pets were prohibited and 6% had experienced a relationship breakdown with a shared pet, and neither could manage the pet on their own.

Mayhew know from the past few decades of working within the local community that the overwhelming majority of pet owners will put their animal first no matter what, and in times of hardship, we understand that a beloved pet can offer unconditional love, and be a person’s only source of comfort and companionship.

Caroline Yates, CEO of Mayhew said: “Mayhew is one of the oldest animal welfare charities in London, working in a truly holistic and preventative way to improve life for the people and animals in our community.

“Through ‘A Life Shared’ we are aiming to bring people together and help people from all backgrounds relate and empathise with our mission, through the bond we all share with animals. The poems beautifully and intricately illustrate this intimate and reciprocal bond, and demonstrate exactly why it is so important that Mayhew are there to prevent any unnecessary separation and avoid this bond being broken.”

‘A Life Shared’ is just one of the many campaigns that Mayhew run that support initiatives enabling people and their pets to stay together for as long as possible, whilst preventing animals needing to be rehomed through no fault of their own.To find out more about Mayhew’s work you can visit www.themayhew.org.



















Team Animal need cheerers to support RSPCA events

The RSPCA is looking for volunteer cheerers to show their support for Team Animal at a series of events this year.

The animal welfare charity is calling on animal lovers to help support the RSPCA by volunteering their time to cheer on the runners at the London Landmarks Half Marathon, the London Marathon and Brighton Marathon.

Nicky Ifould, Head of National Fundraising Events and Regional Support said: “It’s all about making some noise to help the runners get past the finish line. No experience is needed, just come along for a few hours and shout some words of encouragement.

“The atmosphere at these events is incredibly which makes them a really great day out for all the family. Cheering on the runners at the RSPCA means you are also doing your bit to help the animal welfare charity continue its vital work rescuing and caring for animals in need.”

The RSPCA receives more than a million calls a year to its cruelty line. The charity’s frontline officers rescued more than 6,000 dogs and over 22,000 cats as well as admitting 18,000 wild animals into its wildlife centre every year.

Nicky added: “Our marathon challenges are on track to raise over £25,000 this year which is the equivalent of training and equipping a new inspector or providing a year’s worth of food for five of our animal centres which take in over 1,000 animals. Our volunteer cheerers are key in making this all happen.”

In return for volunteering, the RSPCA can offer lots of support from the events team. Volunteers will become part of Team Animal, meet new people, learn new skills to add to their CV, receive cheering equipment, including t-shirts and cheering sticks, and be an important part in ensuring the success of the event.

Those who support the RSPCA will also have the knowledge that each and every volunteer is making huge difference to animal welfare.

Nicky added: “We know from speaking to our supporters that the cheers they get on the day inspire and encourage them to cross the finish line – they couldn’t do it without you.”

If you’d like to take part and become a Team Animal cheerer, you can contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 0598 or email events@rspca.org.uk.





The new must have item for dog owners

Stix Dog Coats have created an innovative new must have item for dog owners across the country.

The innovative new company have created a coat for dogs from recycled plastic bottles, which are hand made in England.

Dogs have fast become a treasured member for millions of families in the UK, and more and more dog owners have recognised the need for a functional coat that fits their dog properly keeping them clean and warm.

Made from Polartec Fleece, a technical fabric, they are waterproof, quick drying, durable and machine washable. They tick all the right boxes in addition to looking good too.

The staple colours of our own wardrobe are mirrored in their range of Grey, Navy and Earth Green, with the signature neon zips making them easy to spot, and simple to pop on and off even the wriggliest of hounds.

Walking is one of our most enjoyed pastimes, and the weather shouldn’t hinder our outings. Good for the body and more importantly the mind the Stix dog coat allows you to get outside whatever the weather.

Co-founders Jo Murray and Desi Heptinstall comment: “We love the great escape that outdoor life can offer us, and our mission is to keep our customers dogs warm, dry and happily on the move with minimal fuss. With our pack of dogs at STIX, these coats have been relentlessly tried and tested. Nothing makes us happier than satisfied customers and wagging tails.”

For more information on the Stix Dog Coats range you can visit https://stixandco.co.uk/.






Vets4Pets share the usual side to vet life

National veterinary group, Vets4Pets highlight the weird and wonderful cases that are rarely seen in a veterinary practice.

As in human health care, vets often treat a diverse range of weird and wonderful cases in their practices – but what are some of the more unusual ones?

From dogs swallowing foreign objects and parrots with bad breath problems, to an owner who said that her dog detected her breast cancer, 2019 has provided vets with a wide range of challenging and interesting clients.

Vets4Pets has compiled a list of strange and memorable cases that its teams have treated during the last twelve months.

Dr Huw Stacey, vet and director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, said: With hundreds of practices spread across the UK, our hardworking vets and nurses see thousands of pets every year, so there were bound to be some more unusual cases amongst them, that really tested the skills and expertise of our veterinary professionals.

“Although, we were definitely surprised by a few of the cases we heard about from our practices, one of the more common issues we found was vets having to remove foreign objects from inside pets, mainly after they had swallowed something they shouldn’t have.”

This was the case with mischievous young Beagle Benson, who, unbeknownst to his owners managed to ingest 14 drawing pins. Luckily, they were removed, and he escaped with no internal damage.

Black Labrador Monty (pictured above) also required emergency surgery after he ate a lump of jagged coal, that travelled through his system before it became stuck and perforated a hole in his intestines. If vets hadn’t removed the coal in time, it could have led to a fatal infection.

Milo with Tanya Crawley at Vets4Pets Swindon

Dr Stacey added: “Some pets, and dogs in particular will eat almost anything they come across, as they don’t have the understanding that we humans do of what the consequences of such an action can be.

“Pets can often consume items left lying around the house, garden or outdoors, so it’s important that owners are aware of what their pet is doing in case of an emergency. If a pet ingests a foreign object, it can sometimes lead to serious issues if it isn’t removed quickly. But as long as owners act fast once they realise what has happened, then their vet will be able to remove the item and ensure the pet is fit and well before returning them to their owner.”

However, Vets4Pets’ findings show that vets can also end up performing operations a bit more ‘out of the norm’ from their usual surgeries, with one case involving putting a goldfish under general anaesthetic to remove a lump from its back.

Vets in Wrexham also had to remove the majority of a dog’s jaw recently due to cancer, whilst vets in Swindon are currently treating Milo, a Weimaraner with acupuncture to help with its muscle problems.

“Just like us humans, pets can suffer from a variety of illnesses throughout their life, from cancer to diabetes, or are born with, or develop, rarer conditions which then need more long-term ongoing treatment and care,” explained Dr Stacey.

“During consultations vets can also hear stories if how pets have helped owners with their own medical conditions, with one of our clients claiming that her dog smelt breast cancer before it was diagnosed. The owner then underwent successful treatment and is now recovery.

“This was definitely one of the more unusual cases we heard about from one of our practices, and shows the remarkable abilities our pets have, particularly dogs, whose senses are hundreds of times better than our own.”

As a pet-loving nation, there are millions of dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs across the UK. But it’s not just the everyday pets that vets treat.

This was the case with vets in South Wales, who were puzzled by an African Grey parrot with garlic bad breath. Only after a long process of diet changes was it found that sesame sticks were the culprit of causing the issue.

Dr Stacey concluded: “Every animal has its own unique personality and quirks, which can lead to them being weird and wonderful cases for the UK’s vets and nurses to treat, and they all certainly make the job very interesting indeed.”















RSCPA showcase some rats hoping to find new homes this Chinese New Year

The rats in RSPCA care are hoping the Chinese New Year may bring them some luck and a new home.

The Year of the Rat begins on January 25 and as the first sign in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, it is associated with new beginnings.

The rats at RSPCA are desperate for a new beginning of their own this ear, having come into the charity’s care after often being unwanted or victims of neglect or cruelty.

The RSPCA recorded 807 incidents involving rats across the country in 2019, with 54 being related to the neglect of rodents. In 2019, the RSCPA took 80 rats into its care and rehomed 51.

RSPCA pet welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson said: “Sadly, rats can be misunderstood animals and often aren’t as popular as other smaller pets like rabbits and hamsters. However, they can make really rewarding pets, they are very intelligent animals and have their own personality traits.

“Please be sure to do your research before adopting a small animal it is important to consider how much time and space a small animal needs as well as ensuring you have the right accommodation and location for that accommodation.

“If you think you can find the space in your heart and your home this year for a new pet please look at the RSPCA’s find a pet page to find a rescue animal in need of a forever home.”

Samuel Whiskas is currently at RSPCA Derby branch

Pip and Ratilda are two young rats available for rehoming at the RSPCA Godshill Animal Centre, we believe they may be sisters and are strongly bonded and will be rehomed as a pair.

They are hand tame and inquisitive yet remain a little shy of new people. Pip and Ratilda love feeding time and come out to play when they see people. Our volunteers love to hang out with them, and they are now our longest stay animals in the shelter. We would love to see these two adorable girls find their forever home.

Samuel Whiskas is available for rehoming at the RSPCA Derby branch. Samuel loves to snuggle under his blankets in his hammock and he would be best suited to an adult home or one with older children where he can build his confidence being handled. Like larger pets, small animals require plenty of love and attention too.

Saturday and Sunday (pictured above) are two boys that are believed to be between three and found months of age. They are from a home that was overrun with rats and the situation had got out of control. Saturday and Sunday are the best of buds and really friendly characters. They are super speedy when they come out to play but with regular handling it should see them settle with their caregiver in no time.

They are in tip top health and have great appetites for fresh veg and Science Selective rat food. They can be introduced to an existing group or adopted as a pair. If you can offer them a home, you can get in touch with RSPCA Manchester and Salford branch with photos of your set up and details of existing pets in the home.

Ben is currently at the RSPCA’s Derby branch looking for his forever home. One-year old Ben would be looking for a quiet home with older children as he is not very confident being handled. For more information about Ben, please contact the branch.

Over the last few years, the RSPCA has worked on a ‘Love Rats’ campaign to try and raise awareness of the traits of these remarkable animals. This has been done both through myth busting and working to effect real change in the world of science.











Some of the nation’s snooziest pets in pictures

Snoozy pets have stolen the hearts of the nation, as photos flood in for a competition to find the UK’s sleepiest animals.

Recent research revealed that over a third of Brits don’t let their pets sleep in or on their own bed, meaning they often need to find somewhere else to sleep, regularly dozing off in some bizarre positions.

That’s why online bed and mattress specialist, Bed SOS, encouraged Brits to submit photos of their furry companions, fast asleep in unexpected positions or locations, in a bid to find the UK’s sleepiest pet and has so far had over 400 entries.

Danny Richmond, managing director of Bed SOS, said: “We’ve been inundated with entries already and the competition isn’t over yet. It’s going to be tough choosing a winner; it seems household pets love a snooze everywhere from our beds to around the house, and owners love to take snaps. After all, who doesn’t love seeing cute photos of pets sleeping in hilarious positions?”

The nationwide competition closes at 12pm on Monday 27th January, so you haven’t got long to get your entries in to be with a chance of winning a brand-new bed worth £400.

Entrants are asked to send in a photo of their sleepy pet and a selection of entries can be found below:

1 Karen Parker finds it hard to get any work done with her dog Lucy around










2 Hayley Collier’s eight-year-old daughter Khloe, from Windsor, loves taking a nap time with their new puppy Isco











3 Charlie Brunton’s four-year old cat Chizzy loves sleeping in the wok












4 Pooches Dynamo and Nelly much prefer Lisa Fletcher’s bed to their own
















5 Karen Wilson, from Cumbria, found her cat Bradley (age 15) asleep in a cool bag











6 Jacquelyn Burton’s Beagle Maisy likes to give Poppy the Chihuahua a comfortable place to rest











7 Amy Carbarns shared this photo of her cats Leo, Honey and Mittens snuggled together















8 Clare Baskott found her horse Milie taking a nap in a field











9 Sonia Chandler, from Chichester, rescued her five-year old dog Marley from a shelter in Romania. As you can see, he likes to guard the TV remote in his sleep!











10 Terese Hulse from Pontefract’s 13-year-old dog Lily doesn’t choose the most comfortable positions to sleep in.

















To enter the competition yourself to be in with a chance to winning a brand-new bed worth up to £400 you can visit https://www.bedsos.co.uk/blog/2020/01/sleepy-pets-competition/.





First dogs of 2020 go to new homes from Dogs Trust

The new decade got off to a paw-some start for four lucky dogs, who were among the first to be rehomed by Dogs Trust in 2020.

Snow, a four-month old Maltese Terrier, was the first to leave the charity’s Evesham rehoming centre, going to his forever home with Marcello Cossali-Francis in Malvern, Worcestershire.

Others to find new happy homes in the first few days of the year include Happy, a one-year old Crossbreed, a two-year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Dory (pictured above) and a four-year old ex-racing Greyhound called Sally.

These dogs are the first of the many thousands that Dogs Trust will rehome from its 20 centres all over the UK this year, following an incredible year of success in 2019.

Dogs Trust staff and volunteers walked on averaged 5,824 miles, washed 4,794 loads of bedding and dished out 7.25 tonnes of dog food for our pooches at each rehoming centre last year.

In total, the charity rehomed 11,079 dogs last year and welcomed almost 220,000 visitors to its 20 rehoming centres in the UK.

The most popular names were Bella, Lola, Daisy and Poppy for female dogs and Max, Alfie, Teddy and Charlie for male dogs.

It’s clear that 2019 was the year of the Crossbreed – with 1,356 crossbreed dogs rehomed over the course of the year. Other popular breeds included Jack Russell Terrier (830), Lurchers (662) and Terrier Cross (576).

Adam Clowes, Dogs Trust’s Operations Director, said: “It’s fantastic to see dogs leaving our rehoming centres so early on in the year and going home with their new families and owners. We had a very busy 2019 but it’s always so rewarding when you see dogs of all breeds, ages, shapes and sizes finding their forever homes.

“It’s set to be another big year for the Dogs Trust, as we expand Dog School and get ready for the opening of our new Cardiff rehoming centre in 12 months’ time.”

Dogs Trust Dog School, which provides training classes and behaviour advice to dogs and their owners, also enjoyed another successful year, with around 18,000 attendees in 2019, and thousands more expected to take part in 2020.

For more information on rehoming or other ways to support Dogs Trust visit www.dogstrust.org.uk.





PDSA offers top tips for ‘socialising’ your pet

Taking on a puppy or kitten is an exciting time and a learning curve, and in order for them to become happy and confident adults, it’s important your pet has a variety of positive experiences when young.

Encouraging lots of socialisation with other pets, people and situations is incredibly important so they don’t become nervous or aggressive as they grow up.

PDSA Vet Nurse, Nina Downing, says: “Socialisation has a big impact on your pet as they grow into adults. When they’re young, they can easily take things they come across in their stride and learn that there’s nothing to fear from new situations. Early experience can help shape their character for the rest of their life.

“A well-socialised pet is more likely to grow up to be friendly and confident. A pet that doesn’t experience everyday sights and sounds or have positive interactions with strangers and other animals when they’re young, may be fearful and anxious as an adult. In some cases, this can lead to fear or even aggression if they feel unsafe, so positive socialisation can help to prevent the development of these problems.”

PDSA advise that if you are thinking of getting a puppy or kitten, always look for a reputable breeder that will have started the socialisation process for you.

Nina adds: “Buying a puppy from a reputable breeder means they will already be familiar with a family home environment. Your vet will be able to give you further advice and can recommend classes, such as puppy parties in your local area.”

A checklist for socialisation:

To make sure all the new experiences your pet has are positive and they stay relaxed through the encounter. Below, the PDSA offer a list of experiences which are good to introduce from a young age.

  • A wide variety of friendly pets – such as healthy, well-socialised, vaccinated pets belonging to family or friends.
  • Children and young people (always under supervision).
  • People of different ages and appearances, wearing different seasonal clothes, and specialist or sports equipment (think hiking hear or motorcycle helmets).
  • Loud or sudden noises, such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines, thunder and fireworks. A sound desensitisation CD can be useful for this to make sure you don’t accidentally scare your pet by starting off too heavy.
  • Experience different environments (e.g. countryside trails, city streets, parks, busy and quiet roads). Start this process with your pup in your arms or in a pet carrier until they’ve had their jabs.
  • Travelling in the car – let them spend a short time in a stationary car in a safely secured cat carrier/dog harness a few times, then go on a short journey. You can gradually increase the length of journeys.
  • Being alone – gradually get them used to being left alone at home for increasing lengths of time starting with just a few minutes and building up to a couple of hours. Although, remember that dogs should never be left alone for more than four hours at a time.

It’s best to build up new experiences gradually. For example, get them used to quieter sounds before louder ones and be sure to praise good, calm behaviour so they develop positive association that they can take with them for the rest of their lives.








What does Brexit mean for your dog?

When millions of people voted for Brexit in 2016, the impact it would have on taking your pet on holiday was probably the last thing on anyone’s mind.

Several years down the line and with Britain finally due to leave the EU on the 31st January, the experts at Gudog have highlighted all you need to know about travelling with your beloved pooch. Post-Brexit.

Travelling could be tricky

If the UK leaves with a deal, it will fall into the listed country category which means owners will either have to apply for a new pet passport or official for their dog.

But if the UK leaves without a deal it will become an unlisted third country in terms of pet travel, placing it alongside countries with higher rabies incidence, those lacking robust veterinary systems and countries that have never applied for listed status.

This would mean that current pet passports for UK pets to travel around the EU will no longer be valid and dog owners will face additional rules on taking pets to Europe.

Make early preparations for a no-deal Brexit

If you want to travel with your canine companion in the event of a no-deal Brexit, you’ll need to visit the vet at least four months before you plan to travel so you can start the process to get the right documentation in place.

If you’re going on holiday within the EU shortly after the Brexit deadline, your dog must be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies before they can travel. Your four-legged friend must also have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after its rabies vaccinations and if the sample gets the all clear, you must wait a further three months from the date the sample was taken before you can travel with your dog.

If you have your dog’s vaccination, microchipping date and proof of a successful rabies antibody blood test, you must take your pet to an official vet no more than ten days before travel to obtain an animal health certificate.

Leaving with a deal requires preparation too

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal and becomes a Part 1 listed country, the UK will operate under the same rules. This means that your pooch’s passport is still valid as long as you keep their rabies vaccination up to date.

If the UK becomes a Part 2 listed country, your furry friend will need to be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before you travel. You must also obtain a health certificate confirming this by visiting your vet no more than 10 days before you travel.

Put money aside

According to the British Veterinary Association (BVA), dog owners could be forced to pay up to £150 more than they currently do to travel with their furry friends if we leave the EU without a deal. If your heart is set on holidaying abroad with your pooch, consider setting some money aside in case of the even you’re hit with an additional bill.

Consider a staycation

While the political uncertainty rolls on, you might decide to keep things simple and book a dog-friendly holiday in the UK. A staycation gives you the best of both worlds – a relaxing getaway and the chance to hang out with your dog – what more could you want?

For more information you can visit www.gudog.co.uk