Earth Animal vegetarian peanut butter No-Hide® chews launched in UK

Dogs are going ‘nuts’ for the new Peanut Butter chews in Earth Animal’s popular No-Hide® range, which have just launched in the UK.

Peanut Butter No-Hide® Chews are a low-fat, low-calorie, vegetarian option for our four-legged friends. The sweet flavour delivers a delicious, long-lasting chewable bliss to dogs of all shapes and sizes.

As with all chews in the popular No-Hide® range, the new chews contain just seven simple, natural ingredients: brown rice flour, organic eggs, olive oil, pineapple stem, banana, and agar-agar (vegetable gelatine) — plus the new delicious Peanut Butter protein.

The chews are also completely free of animal hide, bleaches, and chemicals — so pet parents can be happy knowing their much-loved pets are getting a nutritious and delicious experience every time.

The chews are already a huge hit in the US, with Kendall, owner of a Goldendoodle called Daisy, saying: “We love that the chews contain no hide and are easily digestible. Daisy likes all of the flavours, but her favourite is the Peanut Butter variety.”

With an RRP of just £3.99 for a small chew (average weight 34g), £7.99 for a medium chew (average weight 60g), and £11.99 for a large chew (average weight 99g), they are available to purchase now from all great pet retailers across the country, including Just for Pets, Kennelgate, and Pet Pavilion.

For more information about Earth Animal and their products, visit or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Cat left behind after owner died found loving new home by Blue Cross

A cat who was found straying after his owner passed away has been found a loving new home by national pet charity Blue Cross.

The two year old ginger cat was found curled up on a doorstep in Fulham and was unable to stand on one of his paws.

His finder, who brought him into the charity’s hospital in Hammersmith, London, said they had asked neighbours if they knew the cat and it was thought he had belonged to a neighbour who had recently died.

The cat, who was called Charlie by the team at the hospital, was not microchipped and found to be covered in fleas and needed urgent treatment for his paw.

Amanda Rumball, London Welfare Officer at Blue Cross, said: “Poor Charlie was very shy and unsure when he arrived in our care but after some food and TLC he started to settle in. We treated the fleas and his leg and he also needed a broken tooth removed. He seemed so very sad when he arrived in our care but once in a foster home his personality really started to shine through. He grew in confidence and after his treatment finished we were able to find him a loving new forever home.”

The charity also recently found a new home for 11 year old cat called Beans who was signed over to the charity by his owner who was terminally ill.

Amanda added: “Sadly many pets come into Blue Cross because their owners are moving into care or hospital and cannot take their companion with them, or they have become too sick to look after their pet or sadly have passed away and left the pet behind. For those with no family or friends who can take on their pet it can be extremely worrying to think about what will happen to their beloved pet in the future.

“To reassure owners that their pets will be cared for should anything happen in the future, they can apply to register their pets onto our Pet Peace of Mind service. This is a free service where owners can be reassured that their pets will be taken in by Blue Cross’s rehoming team and found a loving new home just like Charlie and Beans.”

Widow Ann Bickley, 90, has signed Mollie up to the service so she knows her cat will be well looked after if she outlives her.

Ann said: “Once you get to my age you think about these things. And I’d be devastated if anything happened to her. Mollie is always on the bottom step when I go out to welcome me home.”

To find out more about Blue Cross and the Pet Peace of Mind service visit:


How to keep your cat calm with new people in the house

Many people bought a dog or a cat for company during the past year of lockdowns, and pets everywhere have enjoyed their parents being at home more.

The share of households with either a cat or dog has leapt to 59% in 2020-21, up from 41% in 2019-20 (Statista). According to the RSPCA, Google searches for ‘kittens near me’ were up 667% compared with last year, with an 114% increase of people looking to adopt a cat on the RSPCA Find a Pet page during the lockdown.

While a lot of attention has been given to post-lockdown anxiety, spare a thought for the nation’s pets. Young pups and kittens will have had fewer opportunities to socialise outside of the household bubble.

As restrictions lift and we prepare to entertain at home from Monday 17th May, and indeed, leave home more frequently, good pet parents will need to consider how their furry friends might react to visitors.

TV Personality and Resident Veterinarian for sustainable cat litter brand, Natusan, Dr Scott Miller, shares his top tips on how to keep your cat happy with new people in the house:

Transer your smell to the cat sitter

Most cat lovers know that a feline will choose you, and not the other way round. “Cats are solitary animals, and can often be a bit unimpressed to find strangers in their territory” says Dr. Scott Miller.

That’s fine when company is fleeting, but if you need your cat to bond quickly with the cat sitter or a longer-term house guest, you can try the following:

“A lot of cats will just like certain people and their particular smell. If you’re trying to ingratiate your cat with a particular person, then it is worthwhile transferring some of your scent onto them.”

This can be done with an item of clothing, or an accessory, such as wearing a scarf for a short period of time during the handover.

Use treats and toys to tempt a wary kitty

Bribery is one of the oldest tricks in the book, so have some of your feline friends’ favourite snacks on hand to tempt your kitty to increase contact.

“Some cats are quite food motivated. So you can maybe use some treats to try and see if that has some impact on making your cat more agreeable to people.”

Brushing and grooming also helps create a bond, and similarly, actively playing with a house cat can help them feel calm.

“Use fishing rod toys, feathers, laser pens and things that can burn off that energy, get their heart rate up and make them feel like they’ve had some exercise. Then they will be far more chilled and relaxed.”

Create a safe space for your cat

Let your cat out if you know you have people coming over, shut the doors to the room you’re using, or help them find a high, comfortable place to stay out of reach of young children or a visiting pooch.

“Most of the time, your cat is trying to find their comfort zone and if that means it is away from people who are visiting your home, then do let them do that.”

Remember to make your guests comfortable too

Keep some antihistamine ready to hand in case anyone has allergies. And remember, while pet parents tend to overlook the less pleasant attributes of keeping a cat, sometimes we don’t realise how our homes smell to other people! Whereas with Natusan, you can be confident about odour control.

Rachel Andre, CEO of Natusan said: “After an incredibly challenging year, many people all across the country will be counting down until they can host loved ones in their home once again. However, it’s important we ensure both our pets, and our guests, are comfortable. And while felines are one of the cleanest creatures – their urine is a sensory gift that keeps on giving.  At Natusan, we believe our cats should be seen but not smelled. 40% better on odour control than the average natural litter, our 100% natural and biodegradable tight clumping litter traps the smelliest of odours for longer.  So you and your guests can be confident that when your cat relieves themselves, the house won’t harbour the smell.”

YuMOVE reveals the top ten English counties for dog walking

With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, the ever-increasing population of 9m dogs and their owners will be looking to make the most of the English countryside with their furry friends over the coming months.

From the Cornish coast to the breathtaking beauty of The Peak District and everywhere in between, YuMOVE has identified which English counties are the most popular for dog walking.

Barking for beaches

YuMOVE can reveal that the most popular county for dog walking is Devon. Boasting both sandy beaches and rugged coastline, five national parks and the fossil-rich Jurassic Coast, it’s no wonder it tops the list. Heading north, Lincolnshire was the second most popular county when it came to walkies with its mighty Walds, Fens and 50 miles of coastline proving to be incredibly popular. Heading back to the south west, Cornwall, which boasts hundreds of beautiful beaches, coves and towering cliffs, was third on the list. Criss-crossing back across the country, Northumberland in the far north was fifth, while heading back to the south coast saw Dorset, with its UNESCO World Heritage beaches ranked in sixth place.

Country life and rolling hills

Dog walkers found themselves rambling across the great English countryside, with Derbyshire ranking highly on the list in fourth place. With the prestigious Peak District and picturesque Pennines, the East Midlands is full of landmarks or landbarks that dogs love.Surrey is our magnificent seventh most popular county. If you’re looking for variety, Surrey’s countryside has it all – rolling chalk downs, rich grasslands and a mosaic of woodland, rivers and heath. Don’t forget to visit the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which is a specially protected landscape. In at number eight, Norfolk, which boasts beautiful coasts too, has incredible green landscapes. This picture postcard county has some of the finest woodlands in England and the majestic Broads National Park. Lancashire, which is also a AONB, is 80% rural. Lancashire’s rambling countryside, challenging moorland and extensive waterways make it a pooch paradise and its ranked at number nine. Staying in the north west and completing the round-up is Cheshire. This beautiful county is a doggie delight with wild moorlands, rocky ridges and magnificent meadows.

YuMOVE ambassador and national treasure, Peter Purves, 82, is as intrepid as they come. The veteran broadcaster who has graced our screens for over 50 years has travelled around the world – from the Fjords of Norway through to the Pyramids of Ancient Egypt – and just about everywhere in between during a glittering broadcast career. The legendary voice of Crufts states that when it comes to dog walking, England is the best place in the world.

Peter said: “England is full of stunning landscapes and countryside; whether it’s the rugged coast of Northumberland to the north east or the picture perfect Cornish peninsula in the south west, our diverse country is a dog walkers paradise.”

1. Thurlestone Beach, Devon

A National Trust beach that allows dogs access all year round. With shallow waters and lovely coves, this is a doggy delight.  Distance: 1 miles Time: 40 minutes


2. Sandilands to Chapel St Leonards, Lincolnshire

The six-mile stretch of beach has been designated a Coastal Country Park. Take your pooch for a stroll through the nature reserve, but remember to keep your dog on a lead at all times.

Distance: 1 miles Time: 2 hours

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3. Tintagel King Arthur Walk, Cornwall

A wonderful dog walk that takes in the atmospheric ruins of ‘King Arthur’s castle’ on Tintagel Island. Perfect at any time of the year but especially the summer.

Distance: 3.4 miles Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


4. Win Hill, The Peak District, Derbyshire

 Take the straight route from the bottom of the valley to the top of the hill. The hillside is quite steep and it is not a casual walk, but the view from the top makes it well worth the effort.

Distance: 2.7 miles Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

5. Beadnell to Craster, Northumberland

This walk takes in the magnificent Dunstable Castle, dramatic cliffs and wonderful sandy beaches. You’ll have to keep your dog on a lead as cattle graze along the route.

Distance: 7 miles Time: 3 hours

6. Studland Beach, Dorset

A stunning beach that stretches for three miles. Enjoy the Dorset Wildlife and views as you meander by Old Harry Rocks. The beach can be accessed by the chain ferry from Sandbanks, Poole, or by car from Swanage.

Distance: 3 miles Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes



7. Farnham Park, Surrey

Perfect for a picnic and a longer, leisurely stroll, Farnham Park is inhabited by wild deer. There are 320 acres to explore here with plenty of streams, mighty oaks and vast green open spaces.

Distance: TBC Time: Make a day of it

8. Whitlingham Country Park, Norfolk

Situated on the outskirts of Norwich, this is a park that is popular with dog walkers due to its hilly landscape and lovely 3 mile lake, The Great Broad.

Distance: 3 miles to circle the lake, Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

9. Pendle Hill, Lancashire

Famous for witch trials, but don’t let that spook you or your pooch. Make your way to the top of the hill with your dog and take in some of the best views over the county.

Distance: 5.8 miles Time: 3 hours

10. Delamere Forest, Cheshire

There are plenty of trails within the forest that dogs love. For the more adventurous, take one of the off-road walks and find yourself deep in the forest.

Distance: TBC Time: TBC


Britain’s loneliest dog spends 15 months in RSPCA care

The RSPCA has launched a special appeal to find a rural home for Bella the Beagle and lurcher cross who has waited more than 450 days for her forever home.

Bella went into care at RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre in Chobham, Surrey in February 2020 after she had been to four different homes by the time she was seven months old. Being passed from one owner to another in such a short space of time and at such a critical point in her development as a puppy, has let her with some emotional scars.

However, the behaviourist team at RSPCA Millbrook have been working to improve Bella’s socialisation and confidence and now hope she will find the loving forever home she deserves.

Liz Wood, deputy manager at RSPCA Millbrook said: “Poor Bella has been in our care for over a year now. This February marked Bella’s one year anniversary with us. A stay of that length isn’t something to celebrate – it’s our aim to find all animals a loving home as soon as we can. But with Bella, we can celebrate how far she’s come. This past year of lockdown has made it incredibly difficult to rehome dogs, especially those with complex needs but it’s also enabled our teams to work more closely with these animals, in quiet environments, to give them their best-ever chance of a happy ever after.

“When Bella came to us, she was very scared and very under socialised with dogs and people. Also, being a typical young dog who has had little or no suitable training, her attention and recall with people was limited which is all something we worked hard on with her.”

Animal care assistants Phil Morrison and Sophie Foord took on the role of befriending Bella and working closely with her day to day. And animal behaviourist June Williams, who is funded by local charity the Friends of Millbrook, began visiting three times a week to help Bella. A vet also advised that Bella needed anti-anxiety medication which has worked well.

The Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions has been positive for Bella in that she hasn’t had to deal with visitors coming to the kennels as the centres have been closed to the public, however, it has also delayed her rehoming. While the charity can rehome some less challenging animals via Zoom, this was never going to work for Bella who needs to meet her potential adopter multiple times in the flesh. Now with restrictions beginning to relax, Millbrook is hoping to make a match.

Liz added: “Bella was living in a small flat before coming into our care and she is very wary of noises and unfamiliar people so she will need to be rehomed to a rural location with an enclosed garden away from the public so that she can feel calm and happy in her own space.”

The one-year-old dog is cheeky and full of energy and is looking for an experienced adult-only home. Ideally she would need to be rehomed to a rural, detached property as she would find living in a built-up area very stressful.

“At times, Bella can be high on life and her lovely, cheeky personality really shines through but if something scares her or is unfamiliar, she can struggle to cope so will need a patient and understanding owner who is going to help build up her confidence.” Liz explained. “She enjoys being with people she knows and trusts and would benefit from having an owner who has trained and had young, complex dogs before. We’d also like her to be rehomed close to the centre so that we can offer support and guidance for her new owners as she starts the next chapter in her life.”

She will need an active home as she has lots of energy and someone who will be around a lot to give her the attention she needs and continue her training. Bella has shown her clever side and knows ‘sit, down and paw’. She also loves football and is great at agility.

Liz added: “We have worked hard to improve Bella’s socialisation and confidence and are now at the point where that socialisation, training and confidence building needs to continue in a home environment so we are really keen to find the perfect home for Bella. As she has already been in four homes, we want to make sure that this time she ends up in the right, permanent and happy forever home that she so desperately deserves.”

For more information or to rehome Bella contact RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre.












Preparing dogs for more socialising at home

From 17th May people in England can expect lockdown measures to be eased further, allowing us to have a limited number of guests in the home.

Whilst this will be. welcome milestone in the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, Dogs Trust is urging dog owners to prepare their pets ahead of indoor mixing, as welcoming more people at home will likely be a big transition for them.

Since lockdown first began in March 2020, dog owners across the UK have spent an increased and concentrated amount of time with their dogs at home on their own. Their pets will have become accustomed to interacting with a much smaller number of people during that time, meaning they could become anxious or excited if more people start showing up inside their home.

Dr Rachel Casey, Director of Canine Behaviour & Research at Dogs Trust said: “Over the last year many of us will have adapted to living in lockdown. Life for our dogs will also have been different, with few visitors coming into the house but perhaps more delivery drivers coming to the door and leaving again. It is important for us to make sure they are prepared for more social interactions at home, staying calm when people come to the door and seeing new people come inside. This will be especially true for dogs who have been acquired as puppies during lockdown and may have had limited contact with visitors during that time.”

Dog Trust has put together some training tips for dog owners to make the transition of welcoming guests easier. By training our dogs for more visitors, they can learn not to react to the sound of a doorbell or go to a ‘safe space’ when they hear it, and quietly wait there until visitors are settled.

Whilst you are doing this training, it would be a good idea to put up a sign on your door, asking people not to knock or ring the doorbell but to phone you from outside instead, so that ‘real’ guests don’t disrupt your training.

  • Start by knocking on hard surfaces at home and ignoring your dog’s response (you can use a mobile phone to recreate the sound of a doorbell for the same purpose). If your dog shows a strong reaction, for example barking or rushing to the door, then make the sound quieter. Gradually increase the volume until your dog is ignoring reasonably loud knocks and doorbells.
  • Gradually increase the number and volume of the knocks/rings until your dog is ignoring them completely. They have now become meaningless as they no longer result in anyone coming in at all.
  • Ask a helper to go out and approach the front door to knock or ring the bell while you remain inside with your dog. Start by having the helper knock or ring just once and throw your dog a treat reward if they remain quiet and calm.
  • Have your helper approach and knock/ring the door again. When this happens, encourage your dog to run to their bed – ideally placed in a room behind a door or child gate, where visitors wouldn’t enter – and reward them there by dropping a handful of treats onto their bed. Repeat this process several times during one session but spend no longer than 10 minutes per session.
  • Over a number of sessions your dog will start to respond to the knock/bell by running to their bed with you. Encourage them to lead the way, you could turn it into a race to see who will get there first – it needs to be as fun as possible! When they get to their bed spend some time giving them a fuss and treats. The more you practice the better they will become at this game, eventually they will run to bed all by themselves and wait for you to bring them a treat.
  • When you get to this stage, start to give a longer lasting treat, such as a stuffed interactive feeder, that will take them a good while to enjoy. You can now introduce short periods of closing the door to this room so that they are left alone to enjoy their treat.
  • You are now ready to try with a real visitor. Once your dog has run to their bed when the visitor has knocked/rung the bell, close the door to this room so your dog can enjoy their long-lasting treat whilst you invite your visitor in and settle them down. Once your dog is calm, and if your visitors want to meet them, you can then let your dog in to meet your visitor if you feel it is safe to do so. You can now use this as your routine every time you have visitors, and you can also take down the sign from your front door.
  • It’s a good idea to have a long-lasting tasty treat ready prepared in your fridge in case you are surprised by unplanned visitors. Preparation and practice make perfect.

One of the most common reasons for dogs coming into Dogs Trust’s care is behaviour related issues, which is why the charity wants to help ‘change the tale’ for as many dogs as possible, so they remain in happy homes. As well as providing training videos and advice, Dogs Trust’s Dog School has been able to continue running training classes online while face-to-face classes have been paused during lockdown, meaning dogs and their owners can still learn through virtual classes to equip themselves with skills they can put into practice as normality returns.




Duo banned from keeping animals after treatment of Staffs horses

A Crewe man and Newcastle-under-Lyme woman have been banned from keeping animals for a combined nine years following their mistreatment of horses in Staffordshire.

William Braddock of McNeil Avenue in Crewe and Tina Price of Cemetery Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme both pleaded guilty to Animal Welfare Act offences in relation to horses in their care.

Braddock admitted failing to meet the needs of eight horses kept in a field in the vicinity of Trentmill Road/ Kettering Drive, Stoke-on-Trent.

Price pleaded guilty to three Animal Welfare Act offences, concerning her causing three horses to suffer unnecessary – one based at the same field in Stoke; and two other at a site at Agger Hill in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

In January 2020 RSPCA inspector Laura Baker found multiple equines in wholly inappropriate conditions after responding to a separate welfare concern.

Many of the horses found were underweight and in poor bodily condition. Eight were found not to have their needs met; with treatment not provided for problems such as lice infestation, rain scald and hoof care. Their owner – Braddock had also failed to provide required dental care and parasitic control.

World Horse Welfare provided support to the RSPCA in moving and taking on horses involved in this case, in what the charity says is a ‘great example’ of positive partnership working.

The following month Inspector Baker responded to welfare concerns regarding further horses kept at Agger Hill in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Price would later admit to causing unnecessary suffering to two of the horses found in the field – as a result of her failure to ensure much-needed veterinary care for lameness.

Braddock was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months and he must understand 20 rehabilitation days, and faces a 56-day curfew where he must not leave his home between 6pm and 6am.

He was banned from keeping animals for five years – and was handed a £500 fine and must also pay a £95 victim surcharge. Price was given a 12-month community order and must undertake 40 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation days. She has been banned from keeping any animal for four years and must also pay £500 and a £95 victim surcharge.

Fortunately, the majority of horses involved in this case recovered and many have gone on to be made available for rehoming.

RSPCA inspector Laura Baker said: “This was a complex operation, involving a large number of horses – and we’re really grateful to World Horse Welfare for their support, including taking on a number of the animals. It’s another great example of what we can do together for animal welfare.

“Sadly, this case reminds us what can go wrong for horses if they are neglected and not cared for properly. Unchecked breeding, a lack of worming and insufficient food supplies during such cold conditions were all at play here. We’re just relieved we were able to intervene, secure justice for these animals and help many of these horses to go onto a second chance of happiness.”








Animals to be formally recognised as sentient beings in domestic law

Vertebrate animals will be recognised as sentient beings for the first time in UK law thanks to the introduction of the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, introduced in Parliament this week.

The legislation will also ensure that animal sentience is taken into account when developing policy across Government through the creation of a Animal Sentience Committee which will be made up of animal experts from within the field.

By enshrining sentience in domestic law in this way, any new legislation will have to take into account the fact that animals can experience feelings such as pain or joy. The Bill will underpin the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare, which launched yesterday (12 May) and sets out the government’s plans to improve standards and eradicate cruel practices for animals both domestically and internationally.

The Bill’s introduction, fulfilling a key Manifesto commitment, will further the UK’s position as a world-leader on animal welfare. Now that we have left the EU we have the opportunity to remake laws and go further to promote animal welfare by making sure that all Government departments properly consider animal sentience when designing policy, covering all vertebrate animals from farm to forest.

The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill will: 

  • formally recognise animals as sentient beings in domestic law
  • establish an Animal Sentience Committee made up of experts to ensure cross departmental government policy considers animal sentience
  • ensure Government Ministers update parliament on recommendations made by the Animal Sentience Committee

Launching the Bill, Animal Welfare minister Lord Goldsmith said: “The UK has always led the way on animal welfare and now that we’ve left the EU we are free to drive for the highest standards of animal welfare anywhere in the world. Formally recognising in law that animals are sentient and experience feelings in the same way humans do is just the first step in our flagship Action Plan for Animal Welfare which will further transform the lives of animals in this country and strengthen our position as a global leader.

Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International/UK said: “45 of the UK’s most respected animal protection organisations have been united in calling for this Bill, which recognises that animals have the ability to experience feelings, including pain, joy and fear, and that their emotions and welfare deserve consideration and protection when laws are made. The formation of an Animal Sentience Committee is a very welcome step; it must though be designed with the right expertise, independence, resourcing and access to information to enable it to provide robust and constructive scrutiny. We hope that it will support government’s delivery of a progressive welfare strategy built on respect for the needs of sentient animals, who enrich and improve our lives in so many ways.”

James West, Senior Policy Manager, Compassion in World Farming, said: “Compassion in World Farming warmly welcome today’s publication of legislation that recognises animals as sentient beings – capable of experiencing joy, pain and suffering. We applaud this initiative that will apply to policies being developed across all UK Government departments. We look forward to the newly established Committee being effective in ensuring that Ministers pay all due regard to animal sentience when formulating and implementing policy. As a nation of animal lovers, we should not expect anything less than granting sentient beings the legal recognition they unequivocally deserve.”

The UK has a long history of improving the lives of animals, being the first country in the world to pass legislation to protect animals in 1822 with the Cruel Treatment of Cattle Act and later the landmark Protection of Animals Act in 1911.

Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA, welcomed the announcement: “Science shows us that many animals are sentient beings, able to experience feelings like pain or pleasure, and they should be protected in law. We warmly welcome the Sentience Bill and the formation of the Animal Sentience Committee so that all government departments would have to consider the impact on the welfare of sentient animals when developing any policies in any area of life.

“The issue of animal sentience has implications for all areas of human-animal interaction; if animals can have feelings, as we know they can, both their physical and mental welfare needs must be taken into account. This is very important with respect to laws, policies and people’s behaviour relating to animals and their welfare.

The Government has continued to uphold this tradition of high welfare standards over the years through many reforms, ranging from banning the use of battery cages for laying hens and introducing compulsory CCTV in slaughter houses and most recently raising the maximum sentence for animal cruelty from six months to five years.




RSPCA branch in Rhyl sees surge in animals in need during pandemic

A North-Wales based RSPCA branch saw a 27% increase of animals it helped last year during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The RSPCA’s Clwyd and Colwyn Branch, which runs a Rhyl-based clinic on Vaughan Street, received more than 28,000 calls for assistance during 2020. They delivered frontline support to 3,464 animals, an increase of 27.5% compared with the 2,716 animals they assisted the previous year.

In total, the branch saw 2,171 dogs, 1,255 cats and 38 other animals at their clinic in 2020, which provides affordable veterinary treatment to animals whose owners are in receipt of state benefits or have lower annual outcomes.

Following the announcement of the first coronavirus lockdown, the Rhyl clinic expanded their services to RSPCA clients from across the whole North Wales region – with other branch premises, and a mobile clinic, having to close amid the health crisis.

The clinic prioritised emergency services – delivering urgent treatment for animals, advice for animal owners and repeat prescriptions. It is staffed by a three-member team; branch manager Kieren Barlow, veterinarian Olatz Iglesias and veterinary care assistant Clare Darbey.

During strict coronavirus-related restrictions, the clinic even utilised the support of three kind-hearted motorcyclists who volunteered to deliver prescriptions and medicines to animals during the lockdown restrictions – with Jimmy Aspinall, Daniel Hilton and Neil Pearson riding their Suzuki 1250 Bandit, Aprilia Tuono 125 and Yamaha Tracer 900 bikes to make Covid-compliant deliveries to pets in need.

Branch manager Kieren said: “We’ve crunched the numbers, and are delighted to see a huge increase in the number of animals we were able to help in 2020 – with 3,464 animals seen by our clinic.

“It’s been an incredibly difficult and unprecedented period – and we quickly had to introduce new safety protocols to ensure we could help clients and treat thousands of animals in a safe way. Not all animal-related services were able to remain open last year, and our Rhyl clinic had to vastly increase our reach to help animals all across North Wales. Our volunteers have been amazing too – from Jimmy, Daniel and Neil on their motorbikes, to Shell and Shakira answering calls and supporting clients.

“The clinic has a huge client base and provides affordable vet treatments for animals whose owners are on lower incomes or in receipt of state benefits. We’re proud to have been there for them all throughout this pandemic.”
Animals helped by the clinic include client Lianne Sweetman’s three dogs – border collie marley, French bulldog/pug cross Emmy, and Jack Russell Toby.

She has praised the “absolutely fantastic” Rhyl clinic, who supported her with financial assistance for treatment for the dogs, including when Emmy had a stroke.

Lianne added: “The staff at the Clwyd & Colwyn Branch’s Rhyl clinic have always been so kind and it’s an absolutely fantastic service for the community. A decade or so ago, I became very poorly and had to give up work. I’ve got three rescue dogs – and the clinic has been fantastic in supporting me with veterinary bills. I sadly lost one of my dogs some while back, and when I said goodbye to my beloved pet the Clinic staff were all there with me and shared the emotions.

“They’ve always been there for my three dogs Marley, Emmy and Toby – including when Emmy had a nasty stroke. Nothing is ever too much trouble for the Branch, who always go above and beyond; so I’m not surprised to hear that they helped so many animals in 2020.”

More information on the work of the Clwyd and Colwyn Branch can be found online.



RSPCA looking for homes for 136 mice rescued from the same house

The RSPCA was called to a house in Atherstone, Warwickshire on Sunday 18 April after concerns were raised about the mice being kept in poor conditions.

The rodents are Natal Multimammate mice, which are known for being prolific breeders and can have large litters. Unfortunately, none of the mice were neutered or separated by sex so the situation had spiralled out of control.

RSPCA inspector Richard Durant attended the property. He said: “This was a situation which had got out of control, some people may not realise that animals will inbreed and steps need to be taken to prevent this. It can be difficult to properly care for this number of animals, so we were happy to step in and provide advice to the owner and to help fund the mice new loving homes.”

Richard and his colleagues worked hard alongside the RSPCA’s network of volunteer drivers to find the mice spaces at centres across the country. The mice are now waiting for new owners at centres at RSPCA centres and branches in Derby, Norwich, Martlesham, South Cotswolds, Birmingham, West Hatch (Taunton), and the Isle of Wight.

RSPCA Newbrook Animal Centre in Birmingham has ten males looking for new homes from this house and they also have a further eight mice in their care looking for homes.

The RSPCA’s Cotswolds Centre in Cambridge has 15 mince looking for homes – ten girls and five boys. West Hatch Animal Centre in Taunton has 36 mice – 33 adult females and 3 babies.

Millbrook Animal Centre in Chobham has 16 mice looking for homes. RSPCA Martlesham in Suffolk has 11 mice looking for homes.

All the mice will need a spacious glass home with good ventilation where they are able to explore, but not escape. They will need cleaning out regularly and be provided with fun things to play with and chew.

Multimammate mice aren’t always the easiest to handle, so the mice are ideally looking for an experienced home who understands their needs.

If you’re interested in adopting a group of multimammate mice, please complete a perfect match form on the small furries page of the relevant centre’s website.