Thursday, 30 July 2009

Kirk the kitten

Look how adorable he is!! This is my latest foster animal. I had vowed no more kittens for a while, but hey, I managed two weeks, so that's not bad going really, is it?

His story is so sad, which is why I had to share it with you all. I met him on Saturday when I went to the animal hospital, and, as is usual, I came over all greedy and said we'd take him in. Jo says it's dangerous when I go down cos I always come away having pledged to take more in than we can actually squeeze in!

But, this poor little boy was left for dead in Longsight after a hit and run. A call was subsequently made to the national RSPCA helpline to say there was a kitten at the side of the road not moving, but no-one stayed with him or looked after him - they just left him there. How cruel. So, I want to believe it was the driver who made the call, cos at least that would show they had a conscience.

Anyway, the little chap was taken to our animal hospital and everyone feared the worst. He was barely conscious, unable to move and it looked like his fate was sealed. However, x-rays revealed no injuries and within two days he made the most miraculous recovery and came back to life fully without any obvious signs of bruising or pain.

The little lad is, however, quite traumatised and clearly in need of some tlc, but cos there was no other foster homes available to him he's at my house in my living room with my giant bunny Biggun, who no doubt hasn't even noticed he's that numpty. Kirk (i know, very crap name) is an absolute poppet but very scared, though he loves a fuss when you can get near him and will purr at the drop of a hat. I've listed him on the Cat Chat website today so hopefully he will find teh perfect home soon.

Today we have also taken in 5 rabbits: 4 at approx 10-12 weeks and one lionhead at approx 4-5mths. They are beautiful bunnies, really chilled and handle-able! I hope we get them homes pretty soon, as we do seem to be on a bit of a roll with rabbits at the moment. In fact, only one of our rabbits is available for adoption and even she, Bitsy, has someone going to see her this weekend.

We also have 3 dogs on reserve, which is nothing short of a miracle. Booboo the rotti is going on Friday and hopefully Tyke's home visit will pass today and he'll make his way to sunny Leicestershire at the weekend, and then there's just Spud's home visit to do. If all goes well we will be able to take in 2 more dogs from the Inspectors next week (we are over capacity by one).

So please keep everything crossed for successful outcomes and new admissions!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Eighth Day Fundraiser

I've decided to chalk up yesterday to experience and forget about it! Though I'll never forget our little girl, Itsy. Her mate Bitsy is settling in well and has interest in her already for a boyfriend...

I'm saddened to tell you that Charlie has not been reserved. Instead the family chosen another JRT who only arrived last Friday called Spud. He came via Inspector Ben following domestic altercations. It's great news for Spud but my lad remains in kennels for the time being, sadly.

So, I wanted to tell you about the event we have coming up at the Eighth Day wholefood co-operative on Oxford Road in Manchester. It's on Tuesday 4th August 7-9pm and it is a vegan/veggie buffet with complimentary glass of vegan wine, and then it is followed by a talk and Q&A by Chief Inspector Cathy Hyde and me. The talk is entitled 'Rescuing Manchester's Animals'. It won't be 'orrible, just interesting and insightful and you can learn all you ever wanted to know about how we operate.

You must get tickets in advance from the Eighth Day, and the cost? A snip at just £10! Please come along and support me/us.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Soggy but satisfied

Hey, well, we may have got a bit wet today doing the Mutt Strutt at Boggart Hole Clough but we have had a brilliant day. I have to say a huge thank you to the Park Warden and the council for helping us to do it and being so helpful too, but the biggest thanks of all must go to all the dogs and their owners for braving the whether and raising/donating so much money.

We are all so chuffed cos if all the money pledged comes back in, including gift aid claims, we will have raised £810 for us and the Nowzad Dogs charity. How fantastic is that.

We actually had a bit of a miscount at first and thought it was more like £1k, but it is definitely just over £800. People were so generous with their support and I am truly thankful to everyone. Even some of our home visitors, foster carers and one of our Inspectors (Mel) came along to support us, which is just so lovely. Renews my faith in humans, it really does.

Yesterday, I got to go up to the kennels to see our dogs, which is a rare occurrence, sadly, cos of having to do all the admin for the branch and event organising. Anyway, the reason why I share this snippet is because I got to meet, for the first time, a little lad called Charlie. (If you scroll right down to the bottom of this page you'll see a pic of him and his sad story.)

Charlie is a little sodkin. He is a typical Jack Russell - all the reports I have had say he either loves you or hates you and their is no grey area with him. We've actually had him since January and only one person has ever shown an interest in him but they change their mind just before they had the home visit. I was getting very worried about Charlie's future because of him being so, erm, like a Jack Russell!

Well, let me tell you, I am smitten. He is just magic. Such a character. He couldn't give a monkeys about me, all he wanted to do was walk and play. He loved it when I let out the zippy lead and ran along with him, he loved it even more ragging his lead (I had permission from Ctaherine to let him do that with the lead let out) but his favourite sport of all was jumping and splashing and sploshing in every puddle he found. Oh, what fun he had. Every puddle he made a beeline for and splish-splashed in it and got absolutely filthy. He was ace! And I enjoyed every minute of being with him.

So, you can imagine my excitement today when I learnt that someone has booked in to see him tomorrow. Please keep all your fingers and paws crossed that he likes them and they like him. He truly deserves a new home, he has been with 7 months and he was only 1 years old when he arrived.

Tomorrow is going to be a difficult day for me, I've been quite upset already today. I have to take one of my foster bunnies to be put to sleep. She and her mate have been with me for 4 months, which is why it's so hard. She has recurring dental problems and tooth root abscess, so me, Gilly and Jo have reached the decision to end her suffering. I'm heart broken and struggling with it all, especially because she is only the way she is because of the poor care and wrong diet she has been given by previous owners. I probably won't blog tomorrow cos it's going to be a tough day with the added stress of my own geriatric bunny going in to the vet for the very same problem. It feels like a very cruel irony and I'm not at peace with it all, at all.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Busy bees

I feel I need to apologise for not updating daily at the moment, it's just been really busy at the branch and now my laptop has died on me it is proving more difficult to get everything done.

So, what have we been up to? The most exciting news to share is that we now have homes for all 5 of Jo's ginger kitties. They are probably up to 13 weeks of age now and I am so surprised it has taken so long to find them homes but at least we finally have (albeit pending home visits). I was going to tell you about their tragic story but decided that you'll have to come along to our event at the 8th Day Cafe on Oxford Road on 4th August to hear it instead. I'll post more info about it next week.

Yesterday was great. We held our first rabbit welfare training for inspectors as part of the regional rabbit campaign. We had 12 people attend and it was a lively event. Great exchanges of ideas and more importantly each and everyone felt they had learnt really crucial information about rabbits.

It was run by myself, Anne from the RSPCA and the best rabbit vet in the world - Molly Varga. Actually, she really is, she's one of only two vets in the country with specialist degrees in exotics/mammalian species or something or other and so she really knows her stuff.

What really enthused me was that by the end of the training, most of the attendees openly expressed that they had learnt crucial stuff that will help them to do their job. One inspector even rang me later that day to say that she had really enjoyed it and had learnt loads and admitted she had gone along with the attitude that she knew everything she needed to know and thought it would be a waste of her time - but that this had proven to be far from the truth and she'd had a really ebneficial experience. So, how fab is that!

We have another two training sessions planned, so hopefully the positive experience will be shared amongst colleagues and more inspectors will book on to them. We were also really lucky to have a lovely aldy from head office called Rachel join us. She is the Scientific Officer for companion animals, specialising in rabbits - and I'm hopeful we are going to see some positive changes nationally in the RSPCA in terms of rabbit welafre policies and attitudes etc thanks to Rachel's passion for them furry buggars!

And, of course, I couldn't end today's blog without updating you on Alfie the puppy. Well, firstly, I must tell you I am in the serious bad books of my 10 year old niece Charlotte - oops! Charlotte and I are holding an under 11s discos on 1st August to raise money for the branch. I decided to issue a press release about 'Charlotte's fundraiser' and how she helps her mum with fostering our animals and that the latest one was a beaten puppy.

I sent it to the Salford Advertiser who liked the story and asked to photograph Charlotte and Alfie - only I never asked Charlie's permission and so mean auntie Susie is making her do it! And Charlotte has been absolutely mortified and furious with me - she's at that peculiar age. However, she did share her mars bar with me yesterday, so I can't be in that much trouble anymore!?!

But now, I'm not quite sure what I'm in trouble for! Because the paper now want her mum included in the photos and Charlie is livid cos "mum will ruin it". Go figure, hey.

Anyway, pup is making the most remarkable recovery. He is so much brighter and alert and he is finally playing! He gets giddy now, like puppies should, and he did his second bark yesterday. He has stopped convulsing when he breathes too and his head is almost straightened now, though I'm not sure it will ever be completely straight.

The future is looking so bright for him now and next week we will start looking for a home for him. Ahhhhhh.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Coming up

It turned out that we have plenty of home visits to do but not for any of our animals. They all for other branches but as long as animals are finding new homes that's got to be a good thing.

We look to have some interest in our new dog Tyke (pictured). We have a reserve on him from someone who lives in Leicestershire. I had a really long chat with her today and she seems a lovely, experienced and kind person who give him the tlc he needs.

He came via one of the Inspectors following a complaint about the condition of the animal. It was thought he had a tumour but is was matted fur, but he was seriously underweight and the owner was all too keen to sign the animal over. He is a lovely natured dos, approx 8 years old who just needs some love and attention - well, don't we all?

And I am pleased to report that puppy Alfie (renamed by his foster sister Charlotte, aged 10) is making good progress. It seems highly likely that he has suffered some kind of trauma, i.e. been knocked about. But, he is starting to perk up and play and barked for the first time today! The vet reckons that after 6 weeks he will have reached his optimum recovery - so let's hope it's a good one. We will keep you posted.

I'm also pleased to report that we have interest in the 3 remaining ginger kittens so paws crossed they get reserves soon.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Busy weekend, I hope

Well, I'm hoping tomorrow will bring more reserves on some of our wonderful animals, so please keep your paws crossed.....

On Saturday I went to the RSPCA Regional Meeting in Preston with trustee Stuart. It gives branches a chance to get together and catch up as well as talk about important matters effecting the region. The reason I was there was because we had won an award from the national RSPCA for all our microchipping promotional work in 2008. I collected it and posed for photos, so you may get to see me in the newspaper!

Do you remember I told you last time about the puppy whose owner thought her boyfriend has beaten him up, well he went to stay with my best mate Julie on Friday and so I've been camped out at her house as much as possible to check him out. I'm saddened to report that there is something quite wrong with the little fella. I'm taking him back to the vets tomorrow but I think he either some neurological damage, or maybe a middle ear infection. He cranes his head to one side, makes into objects, is clumsy, very clingy and doesn't play like a puppy - he is just really quite anxious and quivers as he breathes (unless he is a asleep). I'll update you when I know more, but needless to say we are worried about him.

The week ahead is looking busy. On Thursday I'm in Southport taking part in the delivery of a rabbit welfare training event that our branch is paying for to help the Inspectors. We've got the fabulous exotic vet Molly Varga delivering all the technical stuff whilst me and my friend Anne will gush about how ace bunnies are!

And I will be busy getting stuff ready for our sponsored Mutt Strutt on Sunday 26th round Boggart Hole Clough. Anyone can join in and all you need to do is email to register, get either £10 sponsorship or make a £15 donation and in return each dog gets a free goody bag, rosette (if they arrive in time!), free microchipping and free entry into a raffle. So far we have 35 dogs/walkers signed up and I'm hoping we will get even more on the day. We are doing it in conjunction with a fab charity called Nowzad Dogs - check their website out for more info:

Thursday, 16 July 2009


OMG I can't believe it, all but 5 of our 'ready for adoption' bunnies have a reserve on them!!!!! I really cannot believe it.

Today Jonty bunny went to his new home after I did his home visit out in the Huddersfield countryside yesterday- it was a beautiful location. He is being given the very apt name of Rolo - he is a little silver fox type lop with milk choc colouring with caramel patches around the ears and belly - so Rolo really is a great name.

We have Jemima, Dora and Pecan all waiting to be 'bonded' with a suitor each - so whilst there's no guarantees it will work, we can but keep our paws crossed. And then Jack and Jill are wanted too, to live as a pair. They were abandoned together in car park in the middle of nowhere. There were two babies, Salt and Peppa with them and before long Jill gave birth to 3 more. She has taken weeks to recover from the consecutive births but she is now back to full health and living next door to her mate, and bonding will begin soon. It is a real bunny love story!

I am delighted to tell you that the home visits have also passed for Summer the cat & Lola the cat, Toffee the puppy (gone today). So all 3 puppies seemingly found a home in a week!

Today we admitted a gorgeous new fella called Sam - cor is he scrummy. He is an all black cat except for a little bib and a white belly. His owners abandoned him when they moved out. A kind neighbour has been feeding him until he could come into our care. He seems so utterly relieved and grateful to be finally indoors. He has spent the afternoon in our offices and he has just been the most loving chunky cuddle monster. i hope he gets snapped up quickly as he is so yummy scrummy.

The other animal we admitted today was a 13 week old male Jack Russell puppy. Needless to say we have nowhere for pup to go at the moment but we'll worry about that tomorrow because today we had to admit him to the vets for assessment due to his history. In brief his owner is terminally, was in hospital for the day and came home and found puppy unwell, boyfriend drunk and scarred and concluded that he had beaten up the pup. She turned to the RSPCA for help and at the emergency vets pup was found to have no obvious signs of harm but was convulsing, lethargic and with a distended tummy. So it looks possible that pup has eaten something he shouldn't have. The owner could not afford the vet bills so signed him into our care. Tomorrow we will no more but he will likely need an xray to see if there is something in his tummy.

So, you see, I couldn't turn him away. His name? Scooby! That means we have 3 animals with that name - a guinea pig, kitten and now pup.

Monday, 13 July 2009


We have had such a good weekend that I don't know where to start...

I suppose the fundraising really must come first -

  • Friday we collected in Asda for 4 hours and got £100, which is great

  • Saturday was the Summer Fair and we had a tremendous response, about 2000 people came along and we had the best weather and fabulous time. We took just over £2000, which is just brilliant. I enjoyed it so much I want to do it all over again, now!

  • Sunday we had a stall a tiny community fun day and in three hours raised £135, which is very pleaseing indeed!

I have to say I am now completely pooped but it's onwards and upwards for a Mutt Strutt in two weeks time, more about that in a later blog.

On the animal front things are also brilliant:

  • A minor miracle in the form of a reserve on our beautiful 10 year old cat Lola. We always take ages to find oldies a new home but we reckon her pretty face is what has swung it for her.

  • We have reserves on two of the three puppies - one going tomorrow

  • We have reserves on 2 of the three ginger boy kittens

  • Monty the bunny's home visit passed today and he is being collected as I type.

  • We also have a reserve on Monty's brother Jonty - I'm doing the home visit on Weds.

  • Sally the dog is going to her new home on Weds
  • Rita the dog, pictured, is going tomorrow

  • My gorgeous boys Joey and Elvis are going to their new homes today along with Jo's foster cat Frank. They are all on my office together at the moment, a little unsure about what is going on! I feel like I'm abandoning my babies :o(

What else do I have to report? Well, we had a featute article in the Trafford Metro this weekend on our animals available for adoption and we have received quite a few calls of this rate we may actually mange to get our numbers down to a respectable level. We have managed to cut from 84 to 70 but our long term goal iss 55 so we can afford to keep going for another few years!

I really feel like smiling lots today, so I am and I will for a few more hours.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Whether the weather is bright or not

We will be flogging ourselves this Saturday at the Chorlton Park Festival, and as I won't be in the office tomorrow, because I'm doing a collection in Asda Trafford Park all day Friday, I'll tell you all about the Summer Fair. Here's what we have install for you lucky people...

Over 50 stalls from charities, ethical companies and vintage/fairtrade/eco friendly crafts and jewellery etc. Also loads of home produce, veggie food and plant swap stall and tombolas, pet toys etc.

Free Doggy MOTs from Ashleigh Veterinary Centre vets + you can buy microchipping, flea and wormer for a £1 each

Fun Dog Show 1-2pm, heats include:

Best Trick
Longest Sit & Stay
Waggiest Tail
Best 6 Legs
Best Dog & Owner Look-a-Like
Best Rescue Dog
Best in Show

Free goody bag for each participant

Rescue Dog Parade

Live music from local bands including The Hayley Faye Band - all powered by solar power! Plus a Cuban dance workshop 2-3pm - learn to salsa.

Flyball demos and chance to take part all day long

Bouncy castle, climbing wall, football tournament and traditional fairground

And if that weren't enough, there's me! How good is that?

Hope to see you all on Saturday and I will report back Monday.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


Well, I promised you puppy piccies and I have not failed to deliver!!! Aren't they just gorgeous, and they are lovely natured too. Holly is the one on the left, then Charlie is the little boy in the middle and Toffee is the little girl on the right. Mmm, and they smell like puppies too, which is arguably better than human babies.

Hopefully we will find homes for them soon as the foster carer is going on holiday in two weeks so the clock is really ticking!

We also have a serious interest in our beautiful beagle cross Rita, who I was worried might be with us for a very long time, so paws crossed she gets visited soon. There was a good omen however, the kennels we use are called Birch Hall, and guess what, that is the surname these people have too!

Plans for the Summer Fair are finally shaping up, all the stuff for the stalls is looking good and we have traditional fairground rides confirmed as well. On a negative, yesterday the forecast was looking good, but today it is predicting heavy rain. I guess we should wait until Friday before getting too worried but always seems such a shame that so much hard work goes into something like this and it is just luck of the draw as to whether the weather behaves..... ah well, what will be will be.

Monday, 6 July 2009

A Good Weekend?

I am delighted to tell you all that we've had some reserves this weekend!!!!!

2 cats, 2 rabbits and 1 dog. Blimey, gotta be a record for this year in one weekend.

Obviously they are all pending home visits but hopefully we will have some new homes for some of our furries soon.

Today the 3 puppies arrived and they are gorgeous! They are tan and tan & white mongrels and just scrummy. They are really lovely natured dogs and did really quite well with widdling on newspaper considering they have been taken away from their home and mum etc.

We reckon they are approx 10-12weeks old and will be small to medium sized and are staffie, terrier cross. I defy anyone not to fall in love with them so if you want a puppy best get in touch fast as they won't be around for long! 0161 882 0680.

Preparations are going well for the fair, except I can't get hold of the fairground man! But, two of our wonderful volunteers - Abi and Hannah - have enlisted all their mates to bake cakes for us. But, we will be the only people selling cakes so we are going to needs loads more, so please make and bake if you can.
And if you are really bored and have some spare time tomorrow I need help with ticket a few hundred teddy bears for the teddy tombola - please!!!!!!

Friday, 3 July 2009

The trouble with holidays... that you just don't want to come back to work!

But I have to say that since my absence we have found homes for the following furries:

Rupert the cat

Katy, Melissa and Max the cat family

Pair of guinea pigs and a single guinea pig - all in one day!

Molly kitten

Jessie, Luke & Bo kittens

Ollie the dog

Buffy & Duffy the rabbits

Some of them have gone already and others will be going soon.

But the exciting news is that on Monday we will be taking in 3 puppies! We don't know much about them at the moment but they are approx 9 weeks old. I place a bet that they are staffie crosses, but at this stage all we know is that they have been rescued by an Inspector. I will share piccies as soon as I get them!

On a very sad note we had to have Dizzy the puppy put to sleep last night. She came into our care a month ago. She had been bought by a girl off some lads in Wythenshawe for a fiver. Puppy started fitting and so they called the RSPCA and she was admitted to our care.

Dizzy underwent extensive investigations and was on medication to try and get her fits under control but last night Jo was called out by Annie the foster carer because Dizzy was fitting and not settling. Jo was an absolute trooper and worked until the early hours of the morning taking her to the emergency vets and staying with her, but in the end she could not be stabilised and the only option left was to put her to sleep.

As you can imagine this news has really upset everyone today, but all I can say is that everything possible was done to give Dizzy a chance and we were blessed to have had the pleasure of her company whilst she was with us.

I don't want to end my first blog back after holiday on a sad note, so I'll leave it on a begging note instead! It's our Summer Fair a week on Saturday and we need donations of home produce - if you do a mean rice crispy cake, flap jack, cup cake or jam - please make and bake for us!

All details about the fair on the poster above - so please come along.