Friday, 24 September 2010

Kittens and cats

I received this photo in my inbox this morning and just had to share....

On the right is little Oscar, he was found last week on a rubbish dump in North Mcr, riddled in fleas and full of feistiness. He is now a sweetie pie and loving the company of his fellow foster kitten Ellie, who has been reserved today!

Sadly, the little kitten we saved from dying last week went desperately downhill yesterday and we were unable to do any more for her. Little Lily had been found on a scrapyard the same day Oscar was found and rescued, but little Lily just wasn't for this world and we had to amke the very sad decision to put her to sleep.

Her foster mum (who also has Ellie and Oscar) was heartbroken, but like she said to me - at least she had a week in her love and care rather than dying a cold and miserable death in a scrapyard.

We lost another cat yesterday too. Essy was abandoned on a small park in Salford with a brief note attached; there was evidently another cat left with her but she had escaped before they were found. We took Essy to the vets to find she was a desperately ill, old lady. So we can't help but think that maybe this was why she was dumped; the owners couldn't afford the vet bills. We really had no choice but to put her to sleep to end her suffering she was in such a state but I suppose at least least was found. I can't help but think about what state her mate Tabitha is in.

In total we've lost 3 cats this week and we really don't want to loose any more, please.

Thursday, 23 September 2010


I truly don't know if we are coming or going this week and it's only Thursday!

Last week was, all in all, a good one! Even though I worked 7 days in a row and I'm still exhausted, we saved a 4 week old kitten from dying and we raised over £1000 on our Mutt Strutt, which is simply phenomenal. Thank you so much for everyone's support and kindness as this money will really will go a long way to helping both us and the Nowzad Dogs charity.

This week has been a bit less forgiving and started on Monday with an answering machine that couldn't take any more messages it was that full. And why? Because everyone loves a pedigree dog. It's sad but true but Misty the Weimaraner has received an unprecedented response after being on the national RSPCA website over the weekend. The response has blown us away, so much so we stopped taking enquiries a few days ago and have taken her down.

I am pleased to say that we have found a potentially wonderful new home for her and several other of our dogs this week too. Jake the lab pup got snapped up in a matter of minutes of being listed, so did Sasha the Elkhound and Seb the staffie, and our beautiful poppet Missy went to her new home yesterday! Hooray! So as you can see, we have been very busy indeed.

We have also had a few poorly animals this week and a couple of life and death situations and sadly it was not a happy ending for one. We also have suspected ringworm - my worst nightmare - and so until the results of the tests come back we have closed the cattery and no visitors are allowed and the 'suspect' has been isolated in our downstairs office.

I was really hopeful that we didn't have it, until I found out that two friends have ringworm so it does seem to be going round. As long as none of the cats in the cattery have caught it and it's isolated to the little girl in my office, I'll be happy. I really just can't think about the worst case scenario as it could take weeks to clear if everyone else has it and of course that means no rehomings and not taking in any newbies, which would be a disaster because this last week has seen another massive influx of cat/kitten rescues and the inspectors are seriously struggling to find places for them all. I think we must have turned down over 10 this week, but hopefully other branches have been able to step in and take them in.

Doris at the Tamesdie branch is always a diamond for finding space when we've run out. Doris is fantastic and runs the cat side of things single-handedly as a volunteer. She is retired and seems to have unlimited amounts of energy. I really think she is amazing. I do wonder what animals would do without the likes of Doris' in the world and thank goodness they are there for them.

In my office currently is 3 cats, approx 9-10 months old, that have been almost exclusively confined to a rabbit hutch for the majority of their lives. It is the saddest thing to see animals that are essentially agoraphobic. It is going to take some time to rehabilitate them but I'm hopeful that we will because our sweet bunny girl Tasha had a similar history and came into us at 8 months of age having spent her life confidned to a small hutch. She too was frightened of open spaces but she has made such progress now that we have been able to put her up for adoption this week.

If anyone has any top tips on how we can help the cats we would be really grateful to receive them.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

It's in Egypt, init?

I've decided to go into denial over last week because I found it so tough. The animals that came in (or are on their way in) had been through really bad times and were in a variety of pitiful states. By Thursday I had lost my strength and for the first time in a while I was just a bit of an emotional mess. My poor husband came home from a late shift at the hospital to have me burst into tears on him, but thankfully he's a pyschy nurse so he's well equipped to deal!!

I realise how selfish that sounds given that I wasn't the one who had suffered at the hands of humans but it really did get to me last week. I said it in a previous blog that I continue to be surprised, and last week brought a whole host of new nasty 'surprises' - the states of the animals and their distressing histories just really messed with my mind. On the one hand I feel relieved we were there for them, but on the other it makes me wonder if we are just scraping the surface of neglect?

Two good things that did come out of last week is that we have had a flurry of animal adoptions and we had the biggest, most successful free pet health clinic of the year at Little Hulton. In 4 hours we saw a staggering 221 animals:
164 dogs (chipped 92)
41 cats (chipped 25)
8 rabbits
2 tortoise
2 guinea pigs
2 Indian ring neck birds
1 hamster
1 chameleon
1 bearded dragon

It was insanely busy and we were all so knackered by the end but it was all so worthwhile. The vets picked up on a number of potentially life threatening illnesses including kennel cough and pyometra and we also addressed a number of welfare issues too. I am really grateful to our team of volunteers who worked tirelessly, without a break for 5 hours, to make sure we got through so many animals in record time (I think people only had a 30 minute wait, which is nothing). One gentleman even gave us a ten pound note to say thank you for our hard work and service - the fact that we received a total of £52 in donations was a bit of a surprise but we did get other people thank us too.

This week will no doubt bring a number of new surprises for us again, but above all I'm hoping for great weather on Saturday for our Mutt Strutt followed later in the day by 'our Gilly's' wedding. Please keep everything crossed for a peaceful week - I really need one.

ps that's what a bearded dragon looks like!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Thank you Ian

Support the RSPCA 8!

On Sat 18th Sept all of our dogs will be taking part in our annual Mutt Strutt to help pay for their keep!

For each dog that comes into our care it costs the branch an average of £560 per dog. With over 60 dogs a year to look after that's an incredible £33,600 per year for dogs alone.

Here is how your money can help:

£1.70 pays for a collar
£5.50 pays for a Kong toy to keep them occupied in their kennel
£8.50 pays for a day's boarding in the kennel
£15.00 will pay for a kennel cough vaccination
£30.00 will pay for a dog castration
£50.00 will pay for a bitch spay

So, please will you sponsor our pooches? You can go to:

And make a donation to their Mutt Strutt fundraising page or send a cheque to:
RSPCA Manchester and Salford
565 Wilbraham Road
M21 0AE

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Our Boris is famous!

So I start my blog this time with a bit of excitement. Thanks to our friends at our Boris has found 15 minutes of fame! Click on the slideshow to see our celebrity:

The good news is Boris had a second viewing this Saturday and it went very well. The next hurdle, however, is to see how he gets on with cats....should be fun.

So, this week has been typically busy with a whole host of new furries coming in to our care. The theme of pedigree dogs and pups being relinquished to animal charities has been ever present again with us this week.

We saw the lovely Sasha take up our last kennel space. She is a beautiful natured Elkhound who was signed over because the owner could not cope with her dogs any more. Sasha was being bullied by the other one. Into foster care we took a 5 month old black Labrador because the owners had found out the hard way how work needs to go into puppy traing (a lab) and now that the lady was pregnant it was too much to cope with. Our pup is a typicall boisterous handful and so far I don't think Mel has had a straight night's sleep with his barking and she may well end up throttling me, but knowing her she will perservere and sort the little love out.

This week we rehomed cats and bunnies - yippee! Our little poppet of a cat, Fifi, finally found someone fall in love with her - she should have been snapped up weeks ago but I think the summer holidays affected that. In fact, our rehoming stats for August are just dire - we rehomed just 16 animals. This is awful but I'm hoping things will get better this month because already we've said goodbye to Abbey cat, Toby & Louis kittens, everyone's favourite bunny Sonny and our longest stay bunnies ever - Jack and Bitsy. We also have all but 3 bunnies reserved, which is incredible, but many are pending 'bonding' so it may not yet work out.

This week also saw three very welcome windfalls for the branch; a treasured friend and supporter of the branch sent us a donation for £150 whilst a local pub raised us £230 with a dog show. How wonderful is that! And Gilly's bloke is currently cycling 100 miles (as I type) to secure the amazing £474 he has raised in sponsorship for us - go Ian! (I will be cheering him over the finishing line with Gilly in a bit so pictures will follow.)

So, back to our other new arrivals: 2 six week old abandoned kittens, one gorgeous tabby tiger called Angus whose owner left him behind when they moved out and then two desperately tragic cases: Thomas and Purdy.

Thomas was rescued by an Inspector toward the end of August and has been receiving intensive veterinary treatment since. Thomas was emaciated and red raw and balding with a chronic flea infestation. His condition was so bad that the Inspector photographed her arms after handling him. The case is being investigated further but thankfully the owner has signed him over, which means we can get him rehomed as soon as he is better. What is so sad for us all with Thomas is how utterly loving and trusting he is of us all. He is a shy boy but he has a beautiful nature and at the moment he likes to be fussed whilst he eats to make himself feel reassured that everything ok.

But really, what right has a human to abuse the unconditional love and trust that an animal gives to them? It is so angering to see the state of Thomas whilst being so priveledged as to hold the affections of this sweet boy despite his ordeal..

But it got worse, as it often does, and yesterday my last job of the week was to take Purdy the Persian to be put to sleep.

Purdy was found abandoned in a brook in Sth Mcr - which could very well mean that someone had made the effort to place him in this discreet loation to leave him to die because Purdy was badly matted, underweight, terribly unsteady on his legs and had an oozing tumour on his face. The poor lad was in such a state that there was no alternative but to alleviate his suffering. He talked to me all the way to the vets and was a really lovely soul but he shoudln't have had to go through his ordeal.

I cannot reconcile why someone would abandon an animal in a remote location rather than outside a vets where they could be discovered and helped quickly. I keep being surprised by what humans do to animals, even after years of doing this work, and I wonder if this will ever end. Thank goodness we were there for Purdy and Thomas but how many more are there out there that we don't know about?