Friday, 15 October 2010

Hope Springs Eternal.....Sometimes

I have tried so hard this week to snatch half an hour to update the blog but it has been a really hectic week. I've clocked up well over 55 hours so far and it's only Friday. But, I tell you what, it has all been worth it and I'm just itching to tell you all our news.

We don't normally take in what we term 'case animals'; these are ones who have been removed from their owner and the owner is subject to further investigation with a view to prosecution due to neglect/causing suffering/failing to seek veterinary treatment/abandonment etc - you get the picture. The reason we don't normally take in these kinds of animals is because we don't have our own animal rehoming centre and so pay to board our animals at various boarding establishments.

It therefore makes a lot more sense for us to prioritise our limited spaces - 11 in the cattery, 8 in the kennels and in theory 12 small animal spaces - for animals available for adoption (e.g. because they have been abandoned, signed over, found stray etc). And to be honest animal centres are better equipped to look after case animals because it usually takes months for a case to come to conclusion and the animals has stay in our care all that time in case the owner wins the case and the judge orders the return of the animal(s).

But two weeks ago I got a call asking for help with what is arguably got to be the biggest multiple animal case we have ever seen. Thankfully, our small animals boarder has massive capacity outside of peak holiday seasons and was able to accommodate quite a few more than we normally can afford to house there so I agreed to take in 20 small animals.

(I must mention at this point two things: 1. we already have 6 case rabbits from another investigation/prosecution that we took in a week before this call, and 2. I have to be suitably vague about details so as to not jeopardise any investigations and future potential prosecutions.)

We went to collect the 20 animals a week ago, after they had been removed from the owner, only to come away with 27. I know, far more than we can possibly afford but they needed us and at times of crisis I feel us branches have to rally around together and do what we can. Long term I have no idea how we are going to afford the additional costs of neutering, vaccinations, health care etc when they are, hopefully, able to be rehomed, but as it could be months down the line yet I'm just putting it to the back of my mind.

The other confession I must make is the same day the call came through about the large animal case one of our inspectors had got a call about 7 baby bunnies abandoned in a box. Guess what happened to them.....yes, they are boinging around my house! However, two have found homes with friends of ours so I've not got quite as many...though that is a poor defence as another new admission came home with me today - a gorgeous bunny lad found stray in Sth Mcr with the usual dental problems and unable to eat. We had caught gut stasis just in time and he has a dental and is happily recovering at mine for the weekend (it was fair to say husband was not amused when I called to forewarn him).

As you are probably gathering, with so many animals whose owners are subject to potential prosecution, there is ill health aplenty and that is why it has been such a hectic week because we've had our normal workload to do too a swell seeing to all the extras. But like I say, I wouldn't have it any other way because we are helping when and where it is most needed.

So, the current count on small furries in our care (not including Buffy and Duffy who are going to their new home tomorrow - hooray!) is: 44 small furries. Yeah, I know, that's a helluva lot of fluff! I just hope we get to keep them and find them new homes.

On to cat news....the suspected case of ringworm was confirmed but thankfully had not gone beyond Sally cat. We were finally able to reopen the cattery last weekend and as a result had 4 cats reserved - Starry, Thomas, Izzy & Winston and they should all be leaving us to go to brighter futures in the next few days, which is a good job as we have to take in 4 on Monday.

On top of this we have newbie Wanda today who was found abandoned and Hendrix who was in a terrible RTA and had to have his leg amputated. Both are absolutely beautiful cats and I'm sure they will be snapped up quickly.

So, last news of all to share is dog updates. In fact, there is so much to tell that I'm not sure where to start but needless to say we have had a steady flow of interest in our new furries up for adoption. Little puppy Sophie, who was found stray in a field with bite wounds to her face and neck, has found a home and is going Sunday and we have lots of new admissions and 3 viewings booked in to see our dogs over the weekend - magic stuff!

So, I just want to finish this week with an 'in memory' bit. Exactly two weeks ago the two puppies pictured, Jake (left) and Elwood (right) were taken into the RSPCA animal hospital desperately ill with an absolutely terrible, terrible worm burden that had left them seriously malnourished, desperately dehydrated and fighting for their lives. They were only approx 7 weeks old.

It soon transpired that the owners provided false contact info as they could not be reached. This was confirmed two days later when an inspector was sent to check out the address. I can only hope that they were too ashamed to provide correct details and were embarrassed for not having sought help for these babies sooner.

After 6 days of hospitalisation the boys had appeared to have stopped passing live worms and appeared well enough to go into foster care with our Mel. But that night they went downhill, passing live worms out of both ends and became very lethargic. The next morning we took them to our regular vet and they were hospitalised immediately. Thereon in began an enormous effort by all the staff to save the puppies.

At first we lunged from one hour to the next, clinging to hope. Then from morning to afternoon to evening. We never made it from day to day but by Wednesday Jake had seriously bounced back and was ready to be discharged. Sadly, desperately, Elwood was slipping further away from us; his diagnosis uncertain but was treated with the utmost diligence and care yet by Thursday he was a shadow of himself and could barely lift his head. There was only one kind option left and that was to let him go.

Despite the best medical care money could buy this poor little lad died a needless death. I'm not sure I can forgive the people who allowed this to happen to him; he was only a baby, a trusting dependent, a needy, vulnerable baby. What we need now is massive dose of hope and faith that Jake will make it through - so please keep everything crossed for him.