Thursday, 31 December 2009

Lucky Lily Lady

I just had to share this story with you as I was blown off my feet last night.
A few weeks ago, as I was leaving work after a very difficult day, a vet friend rang me to say she had persuaded a client not to euthanize their 4 year old cat and could we take her in. Well, we couldn't, cos we were overflowing and had turned 5 others away that day from Inspectors and the animal hospital. I asked what was wrong with Lily and other than pooping in the neighbours garden, deafness, being vocal and a bit clumsy - nothing. The owner was apparently at her wits end and thought the cat would be better off dead. So, I said we would take in as soon as we could and we began the hunt for a foster carer.
The next day the owner called me and told me how no-one else would cope with Lily and her noisy, clumsy ways and that we were wrong to take her in and she should be put to sleep. I tried reasoning with the owner (as did the vet) and in the end I said she should be grateful we were helping Lily when we couldn't help any others.

We found Lily a foster home with Catherine's neighbour upstairs from her, and there-on in, every morning at 7.30pm religiously, Lily miaowed so loudly for her breakfast that she woke Catherine up! But there was nothing wrong with Lily other than being an active, gobby, confident cat.
We found Lily a home in no time, but with the Christmas period she didn't go until Monday. She has gone to a lovely young couple who got a glowing report from our home visitor Mark, and in fact I dropped her off cos they live near me and because we needed the space urgently.
When Lily came out of the carrier in her new home she just strutted around like she'd always lived there and was as cocky and confident as anything. The new owners had been fully appraised of Lily's history and vocal abilities and were completely unphased. Lily took to them instantly, especially her new 'mum' and I left feeling happy and aglow at such a lovely outcome.
But the story does not end there!
Last night my friend Hannah texted me. Hannah is one of our trustees and has been with us for nearly a year doing all sorts including home visits and shamelessly promoting us. Hannah said she had just found out on Facebook that Dave's brother and his girlfriend (Dave being her bloke) had adopted a white cat from us unbeknown to anyone in the family.
I rang her straight away and neither of us could believe it. Not only had I met Dave's brother without knowing it, Hannah had been in the office at the time I had taken the call from Lily's previous owner. Hannah said they had even sat round the Christmas dinner table together without a word being said!
Hannah said she was just so delighted that her 'lecturing' had paid off about and they had chosen to adopt from our branch and chosen such a suitable cat for their home as Lily as she needs to stay indoors because of her deafness.
The pair of us were just stunned and amazed and so utterly pleased. Hannah is going to visit Lily next week but here are piccies of her in her new home taken by her new mum and dad. She is very content and settled already and has already developed a fascination of climbing into kitchen cupboards!
Thank goodness my vet friend didn't put Lily to sleep.
Happy New Year everyone, let's hope it is a better one for the animals.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Boxing Clever

Having grown up in rural Cheshire I can remember each year the hunt riding out across the fields where I lived every Boxing Day. I'm not sure I really comprehended what was going on but it never intrigued me to join them or pay any interest in their cruel theatre of 'sport'.

The recent press coverage that the Tories will overturn the ban on hunting wild animals has horrified me and if it happened I would be ashamed to call myself British/English because the one thing I feel most proud of about this country is the fact that we have some of the best animal welfare laws in the world.

I wanted to share with you details of a recent press release from the RSPCA in the hope that I can inspire you to vote sensibly in the next election and not be complacent and leave to someone else to do!

The RSPCA has released figures to show that the 2004 Hunting Act is more successful at bringing crimes against wildlife than any other wildlife legislation. The Hunting Act has it's 5th Anniversary in Feb 2010 and here is how it has helped so far in securing convictions compared to other wildlife acts:
Badgers Act 1991 = 6
Deer Act 1991 = 1
Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996 = 3
Hunting Act 2004 = 48

In addition the success rate for prosecutions under the Hunting Act is 77%, which is way higher than for any other act.

An Ipsos-Mori Poll (Sept 2009) found that 75% of the public support the ban and 84% support the ban on stag hunting and 85% support the ban on hare hunting.

Probably the best news of all has come from the European Court of Human Rights, who, on 17 Dec 2009, ruled that challenges to the act so far were inadmissible as they did not contravene human rights, e.g. to make a living etc out of the so-called sport.

And you might want to check out this website too: which has been set up by lead animal welfare groups to help advise law enforcers on the distinction between legal and illegal hunting.

Please don't be complacent about voting in the 2010 elections, your vote really will make a difference to animal welfare. This is your chance to make a stand and save our wildlife from cruelty in the name of sport.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Snow Princess

Whilst us humans may not be embracing the snow quite like we did when we were kids, there are some friends amongst us who are loving it!

Catherine has sent me this fab picture of our rotti Sasha playing in the snow this morning. Apparently she loved it and wouldn't stop eating it! I know a few cats that have been fascinated by it all too. It is wonderful to be able to give such joy to our animals as they await their new homes.

What has been particularly great has been the flurry of animal rehomings we have had in the last few days. We should see 2 bunnies, 5 cats, 1 kitten and 2 dogs making their way to new forever homes over the next few days - and no, not pets as Xmas presents either! In fact one home visit I did yesterday expressly told me they do not even celebrate Christmas. But what excuse do you then use for eating vasts amount of chocolate, mince pies and roast potatoes?
And the other amazing news to share is that an appeal in Trafford Metro newspaper for toys, food and treats has yielded a fantastic response and I have spent the morning sorting through around £150 worth of goodies.

It really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. x

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

A ray of inspiration

It's proving to be a very difficult time for the charity at the moment. We are facing the New Year with intrepidation as we have to find ways to make thousands of pounds worth of savings to ensure the branch has a future. It has been a combination of things really that has led to this desperate state, but none more so than loosing £100k in cash and assets as a result of a legacy overpayment and devaluation of bequeathed stocks and shares this year. We also haven't had the money come in that we needed this year to run our services and so we've had to take a huge chunk out of our reserves to pay. And of course we've had more animals needing to come in than ever before, many of which have been very ill and we've seen the average cost of caring for one of our animals go from £240 in 2008 to £290 by Sept 2009.

Times are now officially hard at the branch and we are on 'emergency rations' and having to cut back on as much as possible. What is especially depressing is that I can count on one hand how many animals we have rehomed this month. It's particularly sad seeing kittens growing up in foster care when they should be in a forever home being loved and enjoyed by their new family. I have two who have been with me since 1st October. It's getting really hard because I am so very attached to them and them to me too. I want to see them find a home but I will be heart broken when they go.

I became increasingly despondent by last weekend, as you probably saw from my previous blog. I was feeling the strain somewhat and I had lost one of my beautiful animals unexpectedly and was struggling to find much reason to be cheerful. But today, someone I have the pleasure of calling a friend, has written the most amazing blog. I found it so breathe-takingly beautiful that I just had to share it with you all. It is simply inspirational and has come along at a much needed point in time. I hope you feel as enriched as I did once you have read it all through.

And if that wasn't enough, check out our top billing at:

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Pets as Presents? Yule be sorry.

This fabulous strap line is from a press release by the PDSA on 2nd December. I found it whilst searching to see if this phenomenon of buying pets for Christmas presents was a wide spread problem or just specific to Manchester, having spent the WHOLE week taking calls about little else other than people wanting to get a puppy or kitten as a Christmas present. I kid you not.

People really have been that blatant, or honest, about their intentions and I cannot believe that after all these years of campaigning by animal welfare charities that we are still seeing this ridiculous attitude towards pets at Christmas. Mad? You betcha! I have not felt so cross in a long while.

On a different, but similar note, I even had a woman ring me yesterday to say her children's pet rabbit had dropped down dead last night and wanted to get a replacement. I refused stating that rabbits rarely just drop down dead, we do not rehome rabbits as children's pets or to live alone outdoors. Well, this caused outrage and I had the husband ring back a few minutes later taking umbrage with what I had said to his wife stating that it says on the Internet that rabbits do drop down dead (his was vaccinated so it was unlikely to be VHD related so I put him straight about underlying causes such as gut stasis and related dental disease) and he then he proceeded to tell me that I was wrong about them not being good children's pets because he had always had rabbits as a child and so has his children. GROAN. I referred him to the Rabbit Welfare Association's website seeing as he wouldn't believe a word I was saying and had been getting typical misinformation about rabbits from the bloody world wide web!

What was worst of all, and I mean worst of all for me, was that he told me had been to one of our rabbit roadshows earlier in the year and the rabbit was given a 'clean bill of health'. The point is that this was in April and rabbits, like any other pets, get ill and as they are prey creatures they hide their signs of illness. But more than that, they will have been given comprehensive advice about rabbit care, enrichment and companionship by one of us at the roadshow, yet I still found myself hearing all this wrong stuff from him. My heart just sank. I tell you, it was soul destroying. And clearly I am still mad about it 24 hours after the fact cos I'm blogging at silly o'clock on a Sunday morning when most sensible people are tucked up in bed.

Are we ever, really, going to make a difference to animals' lives?

If I receive one more call from people want to BUY a pet as a present this Christmas I might just roll over and die. How can we really be a nation of animals when we continue to treat pets as commodities?
p.s. the piccie is of my hubby's ratties climbing the Christmas tree circa 2007 - the 'husband' in the rabbit story asked my what did make a good children's pet and I said 'a rat or guinea pigs in pairs' - I didn't get a response

Monday, 7 December 2009

Nice things do happen

A few weeks ago we were contacted by a lovely lady in Canada who said she was running the London Marathon next year in aid of the national RSPCA and had come across our dogs at the website dogsblog and was completely struck by the similarity between our dog Bonnie and her dog Sprocket - who was also adopted from an animal charity.

As Bonnie is still waiting for a home, nearly 4 months after we took her in, this lovely lady called Lex has made it her mission to find Bonnie a home. Take a look at her website!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Hello Sailor!

I love it! I've been waiting to use that title all week, just hadn't had a moment to do the blog any sooner. Yes, you guessed it, it's my day off so it means catch up time on the things I love best, namely titnterweb.

So, I have to tell you all about our dog Sailor. It seemed only fitting that I told you about our abandoned dogs after I told you all about our abandoned cats the other day. But before I do, I have to tell you that my grown up Kitten Tilly Looney found a home as a result of my abandoned cats blog - so you never know, there might be someone out there for one of dogs too.

Well, let me tell you that things aren't much better for our dogs - here's some of guys and girls who've been cruelly dumped by their owners:

Sailor, now he is an odd one. Originally called Sniper - yes, as in gunman! How bloody awful is that. He was signed over to an RSPCA Inspector as he was underweight and under nourished and not getting the care that he deserved, and yes, he came from an area with high gun crime.

Sailor is a very lively dog and will benefit from training, any training in fact! I just have that sinking feeling that he will prove to be a long stayer, but let's hope someone takes a shine to his cheeky face. He is approx 3 years old and I'm sure you will agree he is a German Shepherd cross Collie!

Ah, next up is Sasha. Give me a staffie or a rotti and I go weak at the knees. When Sasha's owners moved out of their property they left her, a Japanese Akita, a staffie and Bichon Frisse behind. How sad. We got Sasha and Henry the Bichon and another Branch got the other. So, thankfully, they all got rescued before starving to death. A home visit is being done for Henry today so it is our beautiful girl that finds herself homeless.

Sasha is as bright as a button; she loves to play ball and lollop around in the paddock and is a typical fun loving girl and will make a brilliant addition to any one's family, although with her being a big girl she will need someone capable of handling her on the lead.

I love Rottis! Rottis are the best! Adopt a Rotti today!

Finally, for now, is Prince. His story is just tragic, and probably upsets me more than any others. He was tied up outside a supermarket (I think it was Asda in Wythenshawe but can't swear to it, actually it could have been Longsight but I know was definitely an Asda in Mcr), anyway, he was there for hours waiting for his owner to come back, and he never did. Can you imagine what was going through that poor guy's mind, hour after hour just anxiously waiting....oh it breaks my heart just thinking of his anguish.

One of the Inspectors was called out to collect him because it was a clear case of abandonment i.e. not a stray dog, and so Prince came into our care. He's been with us a few weeks now and much to our surprise is still waiting for a home. He is approx 4 years old and a very handsome German Shepherd. He had a terrible ear infection that, once cleaned up and treated, revealed a polyp, which has now been removed - the poor lad would really have been suffering so at least we've been able to alleviate his pain. We think Prince would really enjoy the chance to run around a nice being enclosed garden and go for lovely long walks - can you give him the life he deserves?

Well, let's hope that all our dogs' Christmas wishes come true and they find a home for life this Christmas.