Sometimes the weeks feel so long that the start of them are a distant memory, or, I think it all happened another week. This week has been desperately long with really long hours for both Catherine and I; each day trying to fit too much in to too little time.
We have kitten explosion everywhere, which is just so untypical for this time of year. Not many are ready for adoption yet due to ill health (one of the reasons why we have had lots of running around this week) or being too young. So we will have plenty many kittens staying in foster homes over Christmas until the New Year now. What fun on Christmas Day! Check out Dodger up the Xmas tree already.....(his foster mum has adopted him - yay!).
The three cuties above are our latest arrivals - found Friday night abandoned in a box in Didsbury. They are three boys barely 3 weeks of age and quite frankly are very lucky to be alive. They were so hungry that the nurses looking after them at the RSPCA hospital ended up putting saucers of 'cimicat' down for them and they just rolled around and got covered in it so that's why they look so bedraggled! The boys are now safely in the care of one our wonderful foster homes and are doing really well, so everything crossed for them please.
Undoubtedly the highlight of our week was a phone call on Monday that resulted in the adoption of our 7 year old boxer Dale on Thursday. You know, it is just so fantastic that there are people out there like Dale's new mum and dad.....
His new family have had boxers for 20 years and of late taken it upon themselves to give a home to the older ones, who don't get snapped up so easily. They had seen Dale on the RSPCA main website and for 10 days his photo had stuck in their minds. They had sadly not long lost one of their oldies and were contemplating giving a new dog a home. Even though a friend was fostering a two year old boxer that got on great with their other two, Dale's picture kept 'haunting' them.
They came to see Dale on Wednesday and our lad seriously took a shine to the gentleman. As they lived quite a bit out of our area they knew a home visit might take a while and they were desperate to get Dale home asap. Bless their hearts, they offered us double the adoption fee if we could sort out the visit before the weekend, so Mel hot-footed to their home that very afternoon and Dale went the very next day! How blooming amazing is that! Thank you so much Mel for working over your hours yet again for the dogs - they are very lucky to have you.
We also had the surprise of finding two of our cats reserved this week - my favourite, Sally and newbie Tigger. Now, ordinarily rehoming an animal is nothing unique (although something we always get excited about) but at this time of year it is positively rare. Including Dale, we have only rehomed 4 animals this month, so we were just overjoyed when these two beauties were reserved to live together. We were also deeply relieved because at this time of year we have to find spaces for foster animals as many fosterers can't look after their charges because of family commitments over Christmas. I can tell you it will be a seat-of-the-pants job as usual as we just about manage to find places for everyone. We also try to plan for emergencies too but this is rarely possible.
For example, we are absolutely snookered on the rabbit front. So much so that we have had to close entirely to admissions for the foreseeable future. Despite recent radio and newspaper appeals not one bunny has found themselves a home. It seems largely as a result of the fact that few people can meet our rehoming criteria (which I will never compromise on or make apologies for). I am passionate that as the RSPCA we must be upholding the very highest welfare standards and never, ever will a hutch be enough for a rabbit. They deserve so much more and a life worth living and they can't do that alone in a hutch.
So, my wish this week is for foster homes.....I have an incredibly grumpy house rabbit that needs somewhere to stay until he is either rehomed or it becomes Spring time and he can move into our rabbit boarding place. He is taking up a foster space at my house which I really desperately need for ill rabbits and is causing no end of turmoil at the mo (but I shan't bore you with that story). And we desperately need a foster home for about a month for Sian the dog. She is an adorable, chilled out Chow (truly a lovely one). She urgently needs an op for entropian and to be spayed. She is also suffering with urinary problems and is on a prescription diet and antibiotics and needs twice weekly shampoos with maleseb for a skin condition. We cannot achieve what she needs without placing her in foster care - so if anyone out there can look after or fluffy teddy bear for about a month and can cope with accidents in the house please get in touch. Sian has had a rubbish life and we want to do all we can to find her the happiness she deserves.
I'm hoping for a peaceful week next week whilst Catherine is on leave and we get everyone sorted out for Christmas. I know I'm deluding myself already so I'll just go back to bed in a bit and enjoy my first day off in two weeks. And hey, at least Bret, Jermaine and Murray are safe now - let's hope there aren't many others out there being written off people's xmas card list this year.