Towards the end of last year, the Mayhew Home had a surprise delivery when their Animal Welfare Officers brought in seven unwanted Jack Russell terriers. The team suspect they were from a puppy farm. Word spread among the staff that there were some adorable new arrivals and everyone was keen to catch a glimpse and hopefully sneak a quick cuddle. They were placed into the expert hands of the vet and kennels teams to look after until it was time to find their forever homes.
Every cat and dog that comes in to Mayhew is seen at the on-site Community Vet Clinic and given a full health check, vaccinations and flea and worm treatment. Once the puppies had been examined, naming them was the next task. Such sweet bundles should be named after treats, so : Fudge, Cookie, Pudding, Pie, Custard, Waffle and Truffle.
Over the next few weeks, the puppies kept the kennels team busy – imagine the fun and the mess! Lots of playing and socialisation took place and the puppies made the most of the indoor doggy play area, full of exciting things to explore and stimulate them physically and mentally.
At nine weeks, all seven puppies were neutered in Mayhew's vet clinic ready for rehoming. The Adoption team works hard to ensure each dog ends up with the perfect family and always provide a profile of the animal on the website rehoming pages to ensure the best fit can be found. Lots of people wanted to adopt these cuties and once new owners had been interviewed and home checks completed, the puppies were waved off to begin life in their new homes.
Do you want a sneak peak at what happened next? Cassie (formerly Custard) landed on her paws with her new owner, Antonia. ‘Cassie loves her walks and meeting people and other dogs, and there is nothing she likes doing more than snoozing on the sofa after walking us around the park or playing with her cat toys. Cassie is a lovely, loving puppy, who everyone adores.’
Alfie (was Fudge) was adopted by a London family. His new owner, Conrad, explains how Alfie is now very much part of their family: ‘Alfie is happily running rings all around us with so much zest, love and enthusiasm. He is such a lovable, cute, ultra-friendly and good natured puppy, with a typical Jack Russell cheeky (sometimes naughty!) comic character. My family, and Alfie of course, are very grateful to Mayhew for all their good work and for bringing us together.’
Maggie (was Truffle) found a forever home with loving owner Emma. A few days after adopting her, Emma said, ‘Maggie has already settled in and is a credit to every lovely person at Mayhew who’s looked after her.’ A short while after her adoption, Maggie came back to Mayhew to meet the Home's new Patron, The Duchess of Sussex, on her official visit.
So-called ‘tortoiseshell’ is made from turtle shells, more specifically from critically endangered hawksbill turtles. International trade in tortoiseshell is illegal, according to CITES. However, hawksbill turtles continue to be hunted, particularly in the Caribbean, where their shells are used to make trinkets sold in souvenir shops. Buying turtle shell is as socially unacceptable as buying ivory or rhino horn.
Photo by Hal Brindley - travelforwildlife.com
Consumers need to stop buying these items. Let sellers know it is illegal (in most places) and immoral to contribute to the extinction of a species. When sellers learn that selling turtleshell will reduce their business, they will stop selling them and turtle hunters will no longer have a market for their products. Travellers can learn how to recognise and avoid these products by visiting TooRareToWear. Please also see Responsible Travel website for information and updates on this and other important issues.
Photo by Julie Suess
A dedicated doggie foster carer who has helped care for more than 30 rescue dogs has rekindled her love for painting. She says it’s all down to the four-legged friends she has brought into her home.
Jo Heather from Salisbury started fostering dogs through Dogs Trust Salisbury's Home From Home scheme and has hand painted a picture of every dog that has come into her home. Collies, terriers, puppies and oldies, she has captured the likeness of every one whilst they sleep.
Jo said, "I studied Fine Art a few years ago but life got in the way and I had not picked up a paint brush for some time. But once I started fostering, our doggy visitors inspired me to revive my love of painting. I have always been inspired by nature, wildlife and animals, so I like to use the time to sit quietly during an evening, a tired dog curled up by my side and draw and paint. "
“As my daughters were growing up, we would often visit the centre with donations and were always in awe of those who worked there and the valuable role Dogs Trust played. During one visit two years ago, we saw a poster highlighting the need for foster homes and thought that might be a way to get involved and play a positive part in a dog’s life.
After a visit from the Home from Home coordinator, Emma Sainsbury, our minds were made up. She explained the support we would receive from Dogs Trust and the type of dogs who benefit from being in a foster home. It is so rewarding to see a dog starting to trust, to learn to play again or start to enjoy walks after being nervous of the outdoors. We have attended various Dog School classes that have helped with our understanding of dogs, but above all we just open our home and enjoy offering a safe space, full of care and kindness. We have had wonderful dogs of all ages and we are always so happy to see them find their forever homes.”
Emma Sainsbury said, “We are incredibly lucky to have a fantastic network of foster carers like Jo. The Home From Home scheme is there to help our doggies whilst they wait to be adopted, but it’s also so heartwarming to see how the dogs can help their foster carers discover things about themselves too. We believe a dog is for life and our fantastic fosterers really do show our dogs the meaning behind this statement, giving them a safe, loving environment to enjoy whilst they wait for their new families. For anyone who is a dog lover but dog-less and who wants a four-legged friend in their life but can’t commit to having a dog long-term, fostering could be the perfect solution.” See dogstrust.org.uk for more information.
To highlight the crisis that that nature is facing and the loss of over 40 million wild birds from the UK in just half a century, The RSPB is releasing a specially-created track of birdsong titled ‘Let Nature Sing’. The single contains some of the most recognisable birdsongs that we used to enjoy but which now are on their way to disappearing forever. A compilation of beautiful sound recordings of birds with powerful conservation stories include the Cuckoo, Curlew, Nightingale, Crane and Turtle Dove who form part of the dawn chorus choir.
The track is designed to help reconnect the nation with nature, helping people find a moment to relax and promote a feeling of tranquillity, as birdsong has been proven to aid mental health and promote feelings of wellbeing. The single uses entirely new sound recordings by an RSPB birdsong expert, recorded on nature reserves and other places around the UK.
The single will be available to pre-order on all major platforms from 5 April and on general release 26 April reaching a crescendo for International Dawn Chorus Day on 5 May. More information can be found and the track downloaded at www.rspb.org.uk/letnaturesing
Martin Harper, RSPB Director of Conservation said: “Nature is falling silent; over the last 50 years we’ve lost a quarter of the birds that used to sing and soar in our skies. We’re losing our connection with nature so we’re using music to put it back on the agenda by releasing a track of pure uninterrupted birdsong. Children today grow up with much less birdsong in the soundtrack to their lives. We’re asking people to show their support and concern for nature by downloading the single and enjoying the benefits that birdsong brings into our lives, but also helping to get nature noticed.”
Although the track is not designed to raise funds and the download price is the minimum permitted under chart rules; any proceeds raised will go to help the charity’s 200 UK nature reserves, where a home for the birds featured on the single is created and protected for future generations to enjoy.
Photos: Kevin Sawford ,Craig Churchill ,David Tipling ,Richard Brooks (rspb-images.com)
Filmed across Battersea's three centres in London, Old Windsor, and Brands Hatch, animal lover and Battersea Ambassador Paul O’Grady was star - along with the lovely canines - of a TV series ‘For the Love of Dogs’. Paul met some of the many Battersea dogs looking for help, love and new homes.
Dog lovers needed to take steps for rescue pets! How better than by joining the Wag Walk, on Sunday 12th May?
Starting at the rescue centre in Claverton Down, Bath Cats and Dogs Home will lead a mass dog walk across the Bath countryside to raise funds for unwanted and cruelly treated dogs being cared for at the centre. Rachel Jones, Head of Fundraising & Communications said, “The Wag Walk is a great event, we love seeing dogs of all shapes and sizes and their owners having fun on this walk and raising money for the dogs in our care. We hope that all the animals we rescue have as bright a future.”
There is a choice of a 2 or 5 mile walk and best of all every dog who signs up gets their very own stylish ‘Wag Walk’ doggie bandana to wear and take home as a memento.
The walk finishes at Bath Cats and Dogs Home where dogs and their owners are encouraged to stay for a picnic with their new Wag Walk friends. The rescue centre has 225 spaces for local pooches up for grabs on this year’s Wag Walk. Places are going fast so register you and your doggie friend as soon as you can. The Wag Walk is kindly sponsored by Bath Vets. Every pound raised from the registration fee and sponsorship will be used to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome unwanted and abandoned local dogs that have come into Bath Cats and Dogs Home’s in need of help.
What are you waiting for? Sign your dog up now at www.bcdh.org.uk/wagwalk
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and author of 11 books. My byline appears in national and regional newspapers and magazines. See website gillypickup.co.uk