Monday, 31 August 2009
Inevitably there were a few folks who wanted to sound off to me about the RSPCA, in particular one lady who was outraged that she no longer qualified to use the animal hospital because the qualifying rules changed in January and because she was a student she didn't qualify. I explained that the place runs at a loss of around £1 million a year and changes had to be made to address this but her response was, "Well, if I had a million I'd give it to you." Mmm, slightly missing the point! She accepted the explanation in the end though.
In terms of animal welfare - a lot of folks picked up our leaflets about the dangers of elasticated cat collars and others talked to me about improving their small animal welfare practices - with some folks going away pledging to revise and revamp rabbit accommodation! I was very pleased.
We also had a lot of interest in the animals, but probably only 1 or 2 really serious enquiries about the dogs. Whether anything comes from it time will tell, and of course I will let you know.
But, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the folks that came over and befriended me for the day - I met some really lovely people who were big animal lovers. In fact, most people who came over to look at the animal pictures had loads themselves and were more than doing their bit for rescue animals. In total we received £40 in donations and I had a great day out. So, thank you to everyone, but especially Mandy who invited us and my friends Helena and Mianna who didn't know I was there but spotted me and kept me company. Until next year!
Friday, 28 August 2009
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
This afternoon, Jo and I were upstairs in my office health checking 6 new bunny arrivals that had been let loose in Tatton Park (they are gorgeous) when someone sneaked passed the shop staff and somehow managed to get round the keycoded locked door and get into Jo's office on the 1st floor and steal her laptop.
Wouldn't mind but they must have a very small window of opportunity, approx 4-4.30 and they took their time to identify which cables to unplug and take with, and their was someone actually working in a nearby room.
Worst of all is that our excess on the insurance is £500 and the laptop cost £400 so we can't even claim it back. Grrr.
Police have responded really quickly and they will fingerprint tomorrow but it's all in vain. This the second time this happened, last time in December and we thought we had put adequate security measures in place; it's so annoying.
I reckon I won't see my animals until very much later tonight, but poor Jo and Catherine are also burning the midnight oil so I'm not alone.
Monday, 24 August 2009
Sunday, 23 August 2009
I told you a while a go about having a kitten on cage rest for a month due to a fractured elbow - well, as predicted it is hard work. She is the most excitable, giddy kipper kitten you could wish to meet and caging her is just the worst thing and just results in endless choruses of crying unless, of course, she is eating, sleeping or allowed to have a 5 minute looney launch around what was once the dining room but has since been taken over by foster rabbits, foster kittens, my hammie and my chinchilla, oh and my two bunnies Larry and Mrs H. She is a sweetie though and participated in a bit of a photo shoot on Wednesday for my local paper, the Salford Advertiser. We should be in it together next week. We spent half an hour getting the 'perfect' shot, which entailed my hand being smothered in tuna to get her to stay still. I then went straight out for my driving test with the lingering smell of fish. Needless to say kitty was happy but I failed the test. Oh well, another 6 weeks on the bus won't kill me. I hope.
So, to the week ahead, what's in stall? Firstly, actually, more interestingly is that yesterday, by the end of the day, we had reserves on 3 cats and 1 dog- all of which are new arrivals, which is great because hopefully they won't be in kennels/cattery for long, but also sad because we have lovely dogs and cats that have been around for months and keep being overlooked and really do deserve a new home too.
We also had babies yesterday!
You may remember the tale of Princess the rabbit who came in as a stray from Princess Parkway and appeared to be very heavily pregnant, except after a week there were no babies and her tittywaas had shrunken back up. So, I figured she must have had them prior to capture and so three weeks later she was booked in for neutering. But guess what? She presented heavily pregnant again and so we had an ultrasound done and two heart beats and bubs were found!
I reckon our Gilly got it sussed right in that she probably got 'caught' straight after having had the first lot cos there were 4 other rabbits roaming stray with her too. Anyway, last night at 7.15 I got a text from Jo to say we've had babies - 4 of them - how 'citing! Mind you, they are pretty gopping at this age - 2-3 weeks of age and then your talking.
So, back to the original purpose of the blog - planning for sleep and events!
On Thursday we are holding a free pet health clinic in Partington with the Altrincham Branch. It went in the local paper this weekend but they didn't print the times, so Catherine and I went down to the area yesterday afternoon to put out leaflets etc and we were staggered at how many people knew about it already so I reckon we are going to be very busy. Crumbs. Hopefully not quite as busy as the one we did in Little Hulton in April when 264 animals turned up. Now that was hard work.
The pet health clinics we've been running since the start of 2008 involve giving out free veterinary health checks in areas where access to vet care is not readily available due to financial constraints or proximity to nearest veterinary practices.
This time we will have three vets, two of them specialists in exotics too, and we will also be offering free microchipping and free flea and worming treatment at the Community Centre on Central Road between 11am and 4pm.
It will be a bit of an end of an era for us because we can no longer afford to offer free chipping and free flea and wormer and in future it will be just free vet checks and chipping for a pound. The free clinics often cost in the region of £2-3k and we are running at a £40k deficit so far this year and have to make some cut backs. So, rather than scrap the free clinics altogether, we can kind of afford to do them still if we make a compromise here and there. We will, of course have flea and worming treatment available, but just won't be able to give it out so liberally. It will be interesting to see what a difference this makes to attendance figures as the clinics have always been really popular in the areas we go to.
So, the other big event of the week ahead is PRIDE. We have been invited to have an info stall on the Sunday in Sackville Gardens 'Womens' Space'. We were so chuffed to be asked and so we will be going along with our gazebo armed with displays of all our animals and info about what we do. So, if you are going along please come and say hello - we have free sweeties!!!!
Friday, 21 August 2009
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Top piccie is Jemima, then Tiggywinkle and the other is one of their babies - Cottontail. How fab is that.
Paddy the pup has also gone to his new home today, we have a reserve on Annabelle the cat, Tommy the dog and Beauty and Bonnie's home visit passed and so after 5 months of waiting for a home they are going on Thursday!
It is a brief blog today cos we have to shoot off to the vets to pick my little kitten up who was thought to have fractured her elbow but in fact has badly chipped it - ouch!
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Today, also, Mika is going into the care of Siberian Husky Welfare Rescue where she will be cared for with great knowledge and experience and found a home that is truly right for her. We were really impressed with the organisation because they do such stringent checks and follow ups that we know she is one very lucky girl.
Yesterday also proved great for rehoming. We had Teeny and Tiny the kittens reserved, Blue the kitten with poo problems pass his home visit (he has to have his bum squeezed sometimes to help him poo- nice!) and then Paddy the pup in the RTA last weekend got a reserve after we took him along to the Donkey Sanctuary Summer Fair where we were doing microchipping for a £1. They are a lovely family and said he was exactly what they were looking for and so the home visit is booked and so is his date for castration!
My mission for next week is to find homes for our guinea pigs. We have 5 that have waiting for homes for ages and based on the flurry of enquiries of we've had of late I'm homing some will be reserved - so porky paws crossed please!
Friday, 14 August 2009
Beauty & Bonnie the cats, Toby the cat, Princess the rabbit and best of all....my little Charlie dog (well, alright, Catherine's little Charlie dog - given how besotted he is with her).
Tomorrow we are at the Donkey Sanctuary summer fair doing microchipping for a £1, so I'm doing last minute catch up in the office before Monday. Catherine and I have been musing over how strange it is that Jo (animal care manager) has not been in touch to learn all the goings on. She can't usually take a day off without ringing so how she has managed 2 weeks I don't know. So, either she is being a very good girl and waiting to call me Sunday evening (cos she won't last til Monday), or, which I suspect is more likely - she has been following the blog.
Busted - Jo Yoli!!!!!
We've been at the rabbits today, cleaning out and fussing them and microchipping all the newbies. So, inevitably, bunnies are uppermost in my mind today. I am, to say the least, a little bamboozled. Firstly, someone failed to turn up to admit their rabbit - which really got my goat cos we were doing this as a favour for someone we know who knows this person. We only usually admit from the Inspectors or animal hospital so this was a big favour. But secondly, Catherine found a bloke walking topless down the street in Chorlton just over an hour ago with a baby rabbit in his arms. She said he was all over the shop and even walked out in front of her on the road! Catherine came and got me and it soon became evident that this man was an alcoholic and mentally ill. Unfortunately the best I managed was to get the rabbit in a pet carrier. But it so mashed potatoed my head up! Sometimes I think I've heard and seen it all but then things like this happen. I wish I'd got the rabbit off him, but I didn't and I regret it. He said he was taking it home having just got it - which I can believe because it was a baby albino lop girl.
Hmph and grrrr.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Yesterday morning Humphrey bunny was put to sleep whilst I held in my arms. He was just so ill he went instantly. I've never known an animal (except maybe Blue the chinchilla earlier in the year) go so fast. He was just so beautiful and it was just such a waste - and drove me to ignore the salad I had for lunch and gorge on a chip barm. The day before it was an apple and cream turnover to soothe my sadness - not good.
Anyway, then Catherine and I went up to where our rabbits are boarded to check on the new admissions. As I said last time, one of the baby boys was presenting with a wobbly head, well it became immediately evident that he had brain damage, not a middle ear infection or something neurological related to the e.cunicli parasite. He just was so not right. Later on in the day we took him to the vets. Anecdotal and physical evidence pointed towards him having been oxygen starved at some point during his development. He would have only got steadily worse and so the kindest thing to do was to let him go to bunny heaven.
I felt such an utter shit.
Catherine and I then had the pleasure of getting 4 of our dogs to the vets for vaccinations - oh, well, that was fun! I am such a weedy wimp, I couldn't control our 40kg rotti, not cos she was being norty, just cos she's such a big girl, so I stuck to the little ones, but Catherine was impressed with my dog handling skills and my 'guess what that breed of dog is' answers - a game we always play when together. You see, I'm teaching her all about small furries and she's teaching me all about dogs - it's a great arrangement and I'm pleased to report we are both doing well!!!!
And then, in the evening, was our 8th Day talk and Q&A. Imagine our delight to have a full house, a captive audience and the best vegan food in Manchester. It was a fabulous night - Cathy (aka Chief Inspector Hyde) and I were in our element, doing what we do best - talking about our work. We had a fab time, and more importantly, so did everyone else. We over-ran by about 20 mins but there wasn't a bum shuffle in the room.
Our sincerest of thanks goes to Brenda at the 8th Day for suggesting, organising, promoting and running the event - thanks to all her efforts £100 was raised for our charity, which is brilliant. But I have to tell you, the food was just outstanding - you absolutely must go and eat there, it is just superb. I especially recommend the chocolate and cherry flapjack thing on the deli counter.
I make no apologies - I love cake.
Anyway, today is my day off, hence the indulgence of blogging, but I am really chuffed to learn that one of the new baby boys has a reserve on him already! This is just fantastic news cos he's the one whose matey left us yesterday so it won't be long, hopefully, until he is a much loved house bunny in Hulme!
And I'm also going to be in double trouble with hubby....well, not only did i do my annual thing of forgetting our wedding anniversary (yesterday was 10 years and when I booked the 8th Day event it didn't even register that it was an important date!) but it looks like I have another kitten on the way. I am really gonna be in trouble.
Apparently he is a very nervous ginger lad found at the back of Sainsburys on Regent Road in Salford. He was taken to the animal hospital in Eccles, but had I not said yes then he may well have been put to sleep as there really is nowhere else for him because cat rehoming figures, everywhere, are just so down.
So, if you get another blog in the next day or so you'll know I survived!
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
Last Thursday we took a call from a woman who said she was a student who couldn't afford vet bills and her rabbit hadn't eaten for two days and was really under weight. The fact the rabbit was still alive was, frankly, a miracle. Bunnies can rarely live that long without eating and to say he was emaciated was an understatement. He was just skeletal; yet his condition had gone on unnoticed by the owner, despite Humphrey the bunny being kept as a house rabbit. The lad was seriously ill and was hospitalised and given all the care he needed, but after running x-rays, doing a dental for him so he could eat again and keeping him comfy over the weekend on fluids and pain relief etc, it transpired yesterday that he had advanced kidney failure.
This poor bunny will have suffered for some weeks in this condition, and guess what, he was only a year old! So, today, is another sad day because we've had to put another animal to sleep due to a frustrating lack of human care. The only comfort I take today is that we made Humphrey's last 5 days comfy and made sure he was well cared for. I am truly indebted to all the staff at our specialist rabbit vets, and sorry that I have to ask them to euthanize another gorgeous fluff.
And if that bunny wasn't enough, the babies we admitted last week aren't too good either. Catherine and I going to assess them this morning and take the ones in need to the vets but it looks like at least one has neurological problems, most likely as a result of e.cuniculi. We will give the lad a chance with panacur and anti-biotics, just on the off chance of a recovery, but otherwise we will be having to look at the kindest option for him too, cos let's face it, we can't rehome our healthy rabbits, how on earth are we going to rehome this one - but even if we could, to be honest, I don't believe it's fair to allow an animal to live in a compromised state like this...but I guess that is a matter of debate, and, certainly a very different matter when the animal is owned, god only knows I've had enough e.cuniculi affected rabbits in my life time, which makes it all the more harder, again, to make this decision.
So, the last thing I haven't told you about is Princess, the mountain goat, living in my bathroom. Naturally she isn't really a goat, she's a rabbit - yes, another bloody rabbit. She came in last Friday as a stray from one of the Animal Collection Officers. She is the prettiest thing you have ever seen but talk about a live wire. She is into everything, all the time, wakes me up with attempts to break free, and she just doesn't sit still, ever.
Princess was so named because she and four others were found stray in the gardens of houses along the very busy Princess Parkway. Apparently two others were caught but the other two have since disappeared. When we examined Princess (get the name, now?) she had big mammaries! So, we whipped her to the vets for examination and both the rabbit specialist said she was heavily pregnant and due to drop anytime - so, she came home to me to have her babies in peace and quite.
Well, someone needs to tell her that she's pregnant cos she sure hasn't noticed! She is climbing and jumping, and up on every surface she can find including the window sill! I'm now beginning to wonder whether in fact she had not long had the babies when she was caught. If she hasn't dropped by the end of the week then I'm going to get an ultrasound done, cos she is such a love that if she isn't up the duff she could be at the rabbit boarding place looking for a new home, or trying to escape!
Sunday, 2 August 2009
We kept outgoings to a minimum - we only paid for the hire of the hall. My fabulous brother-in-law did the DJing - and a grand fine job he did too. Julie and my sister-in-law did the food and the rest of my family and friends did the door, face painting, sweets selling etc. What did I do? Yeah, I got to play with the kids all night doing party games and acting the fool!
We all had a great time though, and all the adults and children that attended loved it too and have asked us to do it again. So, if team 'Hughes' agrees we will have another one in October half term.
This weekend we have also successfully moved our dogs closer to home. We were boarding in kennels out in Poynton in Cheshire and what with the distance, travelling, staff time etc we felt it would be more economic to look for somewhere closer to base. So, we are now in the most luxurious kennels in Sale, with the added bonus of Jo (animal care manager) living just a matter of minutes away from it. I am also hoping that we may get to rehome more dogs too, as many people are put off from travelling very far away, but it's a 'watch this space' moment.
I am also delighted that two of our dogs have gone to new homes this weekend too - BooBoo the rotti and Spud, who I told you about recently. It also means that we have space for a new dog, so I contacted our Chief Inspector on Friday and she is putting the word out tomorrow. She tells me they have a few case dogs that have been signed over now, so I am sure we will soon be in receipt of another dog that has had a terrible time. I'm so glad we are here to help the ones most in need.
And, if you did ever want to learn more about how the RSPCA operates then now is the best time possible - Tuesday night at the 8th Day Cafe on Manchester's Oxford Road we are giving a talk all about our work. 8th Day are kindly proving a fabulous buffet and glass of wine, all at the bargain price of £10. But hurry! Cos tickets are selling fast - you must buy in advance - just give the 8th Day a call and you can pay over the phone.
And tomorrow, if I get time, I must tell you about my latest foster bunny Princess - yes, you've guessed it, I'm bursting at the seems again with fluff!