Saturday, 5 March 2011

Says it all for me

I hold my hands up! I've been avoiding my blog. To be honest I still don't want to be doing it now but it's like a commitment I've made to myself and now, having neglected it for nearly two weeks, I cannot hide from it any more!

There's only ever two reasons why I don't blog - I'm on holiday or I'm so damn well overwhelmed by everything that outside of work I just need to switch off and box it all away. Unfortunately it has been the work one that has caused me to not blog, and I'm feeling worse than ever if the truth be told.

Uppermost in my mind at the moment is the last, outstandingly horrible thing I dealt with, which was a continental giant rabbit yesterday. The words "unimaginable suffering" have been floating around in my head for the last 24 hours and I'm still feeling pretty teary about the state she was in. Now, I'll be the first to confess that my feelings are worsened by the fact that I am a rabbit obsessive and a giant rabbit obsessive at that, but even so, what that girl must have gone through is simply awful.

We called her 'Posh' and she had been found in a paddock in Cheshire. The only way she could have got there was by being thrown over a 6ft fence. How she was still alive, and not been eaten by foxes, is a miracle and suggest she wasn't there long; she had paralysis in her back legs (most likely neurological related) so she couldn't run away. If that wasn't bad enough, she had to weight bear on her front paws that had abscesses the size of plums. She had chronic mites and her ears were stripped bare and bleeding and she had puss truly dripping from her left eye. Her back paws were bald with thick scabs and coupled with the lack of urine scalding (rear end paralysis results in that) led us to conclude she had been kept on a bare mesh flooring for a long time. Mesh flooring is most commonly used when breeding.

The pain that girl went through each time she raised herself up off her belly must have been unbearable, and she had clearly been like that for some time. I really hope that whoever did this to her will reap what they sow one day. Making her suffer like that is revolting in itself but to 'throw her away' is so horribly cruel too.

Even though we only spent a short while with her, Posh was a lovely natured rabbit. Despite being severely disabled and not even knowing us she was up for attention and actively moved towards us whenever she could to get it and then sat there very happily whilst we stroked her. Needless to say we euthanized Posh, and whilst it was unequivocally the right thing to do, I remain deeply affected by her level of suffering. I just don't understand why people don't get that rabbits deserve better.

To lighten the mood I can tell you that Queenie, the desperately thin staffie featured last time, is doing very well and looking more and more healthier by the day. Her weight gain is steady and she is settling into the kennels and her personality is beginning to come out. We have, hoverer, found that in the paddock she gets distressed and wants to go back inside and out on walks she isn't much better, which does lead us to question whether she had been kept indoors an awful lot. A combination of patience, treats and a DAP collar is helping her to learn to trust us and we shall keep persevering!

Our rehoming figures for February were great once again with 25 animals finding new homes, admittedly it was mainly cats but now we have reopened the kennels after closing for a couple of weeks due to signs of kennel cough I'm hopeful we will be able to rehome more dogs this month too - like Mikey, who is going to his new home on Wednesday and was snapped up after only being listed on our website for half an hour! That is a record. Previously it had been one hour - how awesome is that! (Pictured is Riley the cat, formerly Sam, in his new home - he left us in January and we got a wonderful update about him this week, which is possibly the best bit of our job! In fact, we've been lucky enough to have quite a few lovely updates recently, which has been a very much needed motivator).

I'm also pleased to say that we are doing well on the small furries front too. We have just rehomed the last of our guinea pigs from the 433 animal case we helped out with last year and we have reserves on two bunnies too (we rehomed 3 in Feb and would have been more if 'bondings' had gone well). We are finally down to 14 small furries on the rehoming side, which is nearly back to our normal numbers - never thought I'd see the day!

But what has been really troubling me, and having me hide away, is the news that a case has fallen through and the owner will not be prosecuted and that the animals belonging to the owner that we have in our care have to be returned.

Words cannot be found to describe how we feel about this. We have looked after these animals for the last 4 months.

Some of us have had them in our homes, whilst a team of us have cared for them in one place. We have spent all that time undoing the sickening level of neglect they had suffered. One bunny alone has required 18 vet visits and racked up bills amounting to £500. We have loved and cared for these animals like they are our own, like we love and care for all the animals that come through our doors. So I can tell you that words really do fail me, fail us all, as to how we have ever found ourselves in this position and how we can conceivably return animals to the suffering they once came from.

'Reeling' is perhaps the best description I can give to how everyone is feeling at the moment. I really am sitting here 'reeling', as I once again have to entertain this notion of returning these precious animals.