Wilma came to us because of an alleged incident with a kitten, the previous owners were considering putting her to sleep, usually a decision made as a result of a kneejerk reaction to a situation. Often animals are brought to us because of what would appear to be unavoidable occurrence.
Well! It’s a good job that someone kept their nerve and hung on to that old fashioned term common sense, and looked for an alternative. Wilma after sitting on my wife’s lap beside two cats, Daisy our Shih Tzu cross, Milo and Cherry that decided to join us due to the fireworks going off, then took up residence behind me, as you can see.
Wilma is a really friendly little dog that has a greater dislike for rain than adult cats, I don’t know many terriers that I would trust with a kitten, so I think it’s safe to say we will not be re-homing her with kittens, but seems to get on with other dogs and adult cats. Wilma is two and a half years old and will be great company for the lucky new guardian she has a very sweet nature.
Ariel & Michael have been re-homed at last! They have been with for months; rabbits are probably one of the most difficult pets to re-home, so we were delighted when their new guardians came forward. They are now enjoying a huge hutch and run with loads of fresh vegetables, their own supply of apple branches and a walled garden just in case they decide to go walk about. Great news!
Gem has been successfully re-homed with a retired farmer, having the space a few sheep to check on every day, Gem has really fallen on her feet. She has a couple of other dogs for company as well and enjoys the comforts of living indoors. The guardians are delighted with her, living in a remote area Gem is very quick to let them know visitors have arrived, what more could a Border collie ask for? Pride of place in front of the wood burner I expect.
Drewid has found a new home, it’s always a pleasure to re-home an older dog, Drewid is seven years but due to her breeding appears much older, being a local dog and a celebrity it was great to see her new guardian again and catch up with Drewid’s progress. Well no surprises Drewid has got both new guardians pretty much where she wants them, including the use of the sofa. I’m sure Drew’s as she in now known previous owner would be as pleased as we are to see her settled and enjoying home comforts.
As we watched Smokey getting bigger and bigger, the time line was getting smaller and smaller and it was coming up very close to the day we picked her up. She must have become pregnant only a few days before trapping her. It became a bit of a race every morning to check in on any arrivals, but still no kittens! Finally on Thursday 20th June she had her three kittens in the cat litter box of all places! All three kittens and mum doing fine.
Is an 18 month old Rottweiler we have taken him in, because he had been in three homes in as many weeks and about to be put to sleep? Being still young we are not seeing his full character. He has no history of being aggressive and the reason given for re-homing is that he does not like being left. We think one of the previous owners had taken Diesel everywhere with them, which may be the reason he is troubled. We have had Diesel for a couple of weeks now and found him to be very responsive to training, now settles from 10.00 pm to 7.00am without becoming anxious. So far so good! A far cry from where it all started having us up every half hour.
We are now starting to look for a home for him; his new guardian will need knowledge of the breed and posses or be prepared to learn good handling skills. We will not consider young families, or anyone wanting a dog for personal protection.
This tiny baby rabbit was brought to us just after Easter by a cat owner whose cat came home very proudly carrying this little one in its mouth. We checked Bracken for injuries and puncture marks but found nothing wrong apart from being terrified, no harm done. Bracken has gained weight and very partial to collie stumps, carrot and rabbit mix. We are hoping to release her soon.
Is the latest dog to come to us, she is a very friendly dog had no treatments, as was obtained from her previous owner from a person on Facebook.
Willow is a great little character full of life, gets on well with other dogs, cat, and kids. We are hard pushed to see why anyone would want to re-home Willow she’s no trouble sitting wagging her tail whilst I’m at the computer writing this article. Fortunately for willow there is a few people wanting her and I’m sure we will have no trouble choosing a lovely home for her.
The fact that Willow came from Facebook is worrying and clearly came with no back up afforded by re-homing organisations.
PS Not PTS
We are hoping to re-unite Suzie with her original owner, Suzie had to come in because her owner was finding her difficult to handle.
She has been with us for a week now, and settled really well. Suzie had not really been on a lead before and not been taught any of the basics.
We are hoping her owner will respond well to training and Suzie will eventually be returned to him. Suzie is four years old, twenty eight in dog years; she is showing signs of becoming a really nice dog and beginning to respond to training and enjoying interaction. Fingers crossed !!
Kali has been re-homed with an experienced guardian spending some of her working life in quarantine kennels and owning Collies before.
Kali had fallen foul of the older owner syndrome and then had to be fostered and eventually passed to SPRA. Apparently Kali barked a great deal in her previous home and we feel this could have been a contributing factor. We found with regular exercise and a few toys to play with she was one of the best behaved dogs, with a very playful nature.
Is a 4-5 year old Springer Spaniel. He came to us due to a separation and the fact that he pulled like an express train. This dog is a very good example of the work we do. He is lovely natured, good with kids and other dogs, but without training would have made him difficult to re-home. Apparently he was a working dog, having assessed his character we think he was a working dog but possibly went self employed. Owning a dog like Dougal can be very rewarding, finding a new owner with the time and patience needed is often difficult for us. Fortunately this time it was relatively simple, His new guardian visited us to discus a private matter, and Bob’s your uncle, or in this case Dougal’s your dog! Dougal has fallen on his feet with a new family who adore him and who wouldn't, his face in the picture really say’s it all. His new guardians are very capable of carrying on with his training and still have us for advice and help should it be required.
The SHG for farmers, pet owners, and others.
Having spent many hours talking to SHG, following the national press, and surfing the net. I would like to express my concerns for new and existing pet owners. It is becoming apparent that if current trends continue, it will be illegal for just about anyone to live with a pet harmoniously, and God forbid that pet to become ill. If you are concerned by the information available and feel you need advice please contact us, we will be very pleased to help. Martin Hawker (Chairman) and Stuart Ford were two of the first to meet the newly appointed Tony Hogg with a comprehensive list of concerns, mainly, with regard to outside agencies misleading the public about their powers, which was received by his legal assistant. Mr Hogg went on to say one of his first jobs was to appoint a new Chief Constable and stated he would be looking into the use of other agencies by the Police. We wish him well!
One of our main concerns is how current laws and the type of law enforcement which would appear to go on un-checked, is going to affect the ability of animal homing centres to indeed find homes in the first place. rSpCa employees have allegedly been allowed to threaten, intimidate, at times shake pet owners into handing over pets without the opportunity of an explanation by the owner. The pets then put to sleep humanely (we hope) before the owner has a chance for a second opinion.
The rSpCa can issue an animal welfare report form which is not a statutory document, to the uninitiated could scare a pet owner into complying with the demands. I would like very much to clarify this misconception. An AWRF is not a legal document, however under the 2006 Animal act an inspector can issue an Improvement Notice (legal document) to anyone they feel is non compliant to the act. It will state the local authority logo and name of the inspector, state how the inspector feel the animal owner is non compliant, state the action the owner would need to take to comply and give a time scale for the compliance to take place.
Like most pet owners I was unaware of the complexities of law, but did some time ago check to see if an rSpCa employee otherwise known as Inspector is in fact the Inspector referred to in the act. Alas they are not; the act refers to agencies empowered by local authorities or government.
Another concern is the steady flow of animals needing to be re-homed and the reasons surrounding that decision. Often vets have been approached to put the animal to sleep. Many years ago veterinary surgeons would carry out the owners request without question. Thankfully that practice has ceased in the main, vets offering advice, sometimes medication depending on the diagnosis. Other channels available are to seek the advice of a behaviourist or trainer, or simply re-home? Both may and can contravene the 2006 animal act as interpreted by the local agency, police or rSpCa, depending on the reason for obtaining the advice. Many years ago whilst enjoying probably a miss spent youth in was interesting to see how many young and old men and the odd women, sat in a pub were at the very least a competent mechanic, and enjoyed giving advice on car repairs and servicing, commenting on how local garages were a rip off and how they could carry out the repair, cheaper and quicker and usually at the roadside without any equipment. In other words they were all an expert. Sadly it’s true in the animal kingdom only both sex’s having an opinion and both being experts in the field. This said tongue in cheek, because of course there is a wealth of knowledge and understanding due to the broad spectrum of experiences. And of course many have read the book and got the gear.
What we do know is there’s a direct relationship between animal’s habits and behaviour and time or lack of time spent in a permanent home, the more times an animal is re-homed the less chance it has of finding another one, sometimes due to attracting even worse habits along the way. Therefore the importance of reducing unacceptable habits has a profound effect on the animal. The various methods for bringing about a positive change in the animals life is controversial as just about every method of training now can lead to having your animal taken away. Defra has published a number of codes of practice with the help of other organisations including the rSpCa which of course take out private prosecutions.
When you next have an extensive conversation with your treasured pet, every word of course being understood, please ask your pet if they would rather continue with existing unacceptable habits and spend a life time however short, seeking the owner who will accommodate these habits or simply best to find better habits?
This could of course explain why some high profile re-homing organisations have such a high percentage of animals being put to sleep in their care. Which bring me onto the second question you need to ask your pet whilst having this heart to heart? Would you just prefer euthanasia? I think not.
It is a well known fact amongst trainers and serious pet owners that a well trained pet is a happy pet receiving all the love and attention it so richly deserves, living its life securely in the knowledge of having a guardian, protector and owner. However more difficult this is becoming for humans. We can strongly advise pet owners to contact your local animal welfare officer for independent, non political, with no hidden agenda good old honest help.
Kay is a Welsh Collie that we are fostering at the moment; her owner is not well at the moment so we have Kay for a few weeks while her owner recovers. Fostering is not something we usually do, but sometimes there are exceptional circumstances.
Kay has given us the opportunity to just remind dog owners that taking on a young active breed is not always a good idea especially as we get older. We often forget just how energetic they are, not to mention working ability and the fact they will go self-employed if not stimulated.
The sad part for the owner is when you realise you can’t cope as well as you did you are then faced with the possibility of re-homing your pet. Hopefully Kay’s owner will make a full recovery and be reunited soon.
CAT OWNER’S MOJO RETURNED
On Wednesday evening we received a call from Stanice Watts of Floorline Uk to report a cat lying in the road outside the Globe Inn at Beaford. Stuart and Ian were at the scene within a few minutes, the cat Mojo was sat up by this time but badly damaged, blood coming from his mouth and the skin on his tail removed from the base of his spine to half way down his tail.
The poor chap was clearly in a bad way, Ian and Stuart wrapped him in a blanket and took Mojo straight to Westridge Vets Winkleigh. The damage to his tail was horrific, the on call vet administered pain relief and checked him over and decided to transfer him to the Witheridge surgery where they would carry out further examinations and X-ray him.
Apart from the obvious damage to his tail Mojo had fractured his hip in two places and bitten his tongue. Mojo was micro chipped so his owner was contacted that night and explained the situation. In the morning the decision was made to remove most of the tail leaving him with a short stump and reconstruct the skin around the back end. The operation was carried out that day, Mojo recovered really well over the couple of days and was reunited with his owner on Saturday.
Mojo has to restrict his movement for the next six weeks, but expected to make a full recovery. If Stanice had not stopped to help him we are sure he would not have survived.