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.
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.
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.
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.
LOST AND FOUND
Those of you who have ever had a pet disappear will understand how my husband and I felt last week when we realised one of our cats had not come home for 24 hours. What a great start to the New Year we thought.
Carlos is a big back and white tom who loves to wander even though he has been 'done' but he always comes back for his evening meal so for him not to have appeared last Wednesday night meant that something was wrong. We hoped he had just been locked in somewhere, so put letters through doors, posters on lamp-posts and talked to neighbours and local dog-walkers.
Fortunately, because we had got him (and our other cat, Mishka) from SPRA and he was therefore microchipped, we were able to contact Petlog and report him missing on their national website. So, as well as letting Stuart know too, we felt we had done everything we could. It was just a matter of waiting and hoping.... and sleepless nights. However, after three days of fearing the worst, we both more or less resigned ourselves to never seeing him again or finding a body. Even Mishka missed him and was not her usual self.
Imagine our surprise then when, on Saturday morning, he sauntered down our driveway as if nothing was wrong! To top it all off, he had a cuddle, some food and then went out again!
It appears he has quite a reputation with the neighbours which we found out when a number of them told us he had been seen in their gardens after he returned. So, at least we now know that lots of people are aware of his antics and I shall be keeping his 'missing' poster on file!
As you can see from photo’s, the eight Springer Spaniels rescued on 4 July have made the most amazing progress. The four dogs Stitch, Smiler, Popeye and Skinner have all been neutered and chipped, have also had three baths each, and nails and wounds treated. They are now about to start the usual pre-re-homing treatments.
The dogs are bolder than the bitches but love their fuss and attention. Popeye has to be first in line, therefore we feel he would be best suited to a home without other pets.
Like the dogs, Sarah, Penny, Poppy and Cuddly are about to start the pre-re-homing treatments.
This will take a little longer than the dogs. Poppy and cuddly are joined at the hip and it would be really nice to find them a home together, but realise this may not be possible. The girls are also very friendly and all get on well together. They all really enjoy their walks and have adapted really well to going outside. We need to do a little more lead work which will go at its own speed. The boys are really clean now using the field and their run for a toilet. The girls are much improved and we are sure it’s only a matter of time and a little patience.
They have all improved beyond our hopes. Their coats, eyes, and general being is testament to the dedication of Janet, Ellie, Cat and Laura of Kinings Kennels, who have really gone the extra mile. Also the generous support of the public, through food and cash donations made via our web site and through our five shops, which have made it all possible.
Stuart will now start working through the list of over 120 people who have kindly put themselves forward to give them a home, but this will take some time. The calls will be made in order, but finding the right home to suit the individual dog will be paramount. Please be patient.
Already we have received close to £1000 in donations which is brilliant, but sadly we need more. Please consider making a small donation to be a part of their recovery. It really helps.
We hope the deceased owner will rest peacefully knowing his dogs are recovering so well. It’s clear to see they did receive much love and affection from him but sadly due to ill health needed some help and guidance.
Penny Popeye Poppy & Cuddly update
It has been a lengthy process but now the Spaniels are being re-homed. They have been taught to walk on a lead outside, which until now they hadn’t done before. Some were more nervous than others about the big outside world. But with encouragement their confidence grew day by day. Everybody that had contact with these Spaniels grew to love them in a very short space of time. All of them were exceptional, they all had their own lovely characters and all of them just wanted love and affection, which is what they had in their previous home. Penny was the first bitch that we had back with us, she was lovely. She settled in well very quickly and put her paw on your leg when she want more loving. She was having a phantom pregnancy, we were all relieved that is was only a phantom! She soon went to her new owner down in Paignton who’s family were so excited to have her. We then re-homed Poppy and Cuddly together, down near Falmouth, Cornwall (my neck of the woods). They had always stuck together from the start and we felt it would be best for them if they stayed together. Then it was Popeye’s turn. He went to live with a lady in Hatherleigh. All their stories from their new owners are in the other pages of this newsletter. The other Spaniels will be mentioned in the next newsletter.
This is very upsetting to write. Dear Smiler has died. He had caught a bug called Campylobacter . This is a common bug that dogs pick up and it often affects very young or old dogs causing them to have severe diarrhoea and vomiting, followed by passing blood. Once it takes over it isn’t very long before the dog is flat and no amount of anti-biotic or fluids will make any difference, the dog will die. Most dogs build up immunity to this bug but poor Smiler had been shut in a house for five years never going outside to enable him to build his up. He had his vaccinations but there is not one for this bug.
Smiler was a wonderful dog, full of life and energy. Always welcoming you with a waggy tail and a huge smile, hence the name. We were all devastated by his death, nothing we or the vet could do to save him. All we can say, is that he had three months of outside life, walks on the commons and lots of pampering. All these Spaniels are special and Smiler was no exception. We shall miss him very much.
NEW WAY OF LIFE
Firstly, all staff and trustees of the SPRA would like to express their sincere condolences to the family and friends of the owner of these eight Springer Spaniels who sadly passed away on Wednesday 4th July.
Secondly, Stuart Ford (Manager) would like to commend the deceased’s son and close friend for the speed at which they recognised the situation the dogs were faced with and sought help through Sheryl (Practice Manager) at West Ridge Veterinary Practice, Winkleigh, resulting in SPRA removing from their home on Thursday 5th of July, all eight dogs consisting of four dogs and four bitches.
The four dogs have received initial treatment, castration, flea treatment clipping, microchip, nail trimming, and wound treatment. A carefully laid plan of two vets, veterinary nurse and Stuart, administering treatments while the dogs were under the influence of anaesthetic, and Kennings Kennels waiting to receive them.
The bitches Poppy, Sarah, Cuddles, and Holly will be receiving their treatment this coming week. They are currently boarding with Janet Walker and staff at Kennings Kennels where they are being spoiled and getting used to their new surroundings. They have settled remarkably well considering their circumstances and we expect to have a better understanding of each dog’s character shortly.
I would like to take this opportunity to correct the statement made in the Western Morning News. The RSPCA had NO involvement with the removal of any of the dogs and did not discover the dogs initially.
I would also like to thank the Western Morning News photographer Emily Whitfield-Wicks and their readers of the article. We have received in excess of eighty offers of homes, gestures of goodwill and promises of donations already.
Thank you all very much indeed. If the dogs could recover on goodwill and kind thoughts alone they would enjoy a speedy recovery.