Friday, August 1, 2008

Full up

Worryingly the private kennels where we board our rescued animals have notified us that they are completely full up until after the school holidays.

They give us a very generous discount on their standard boarding rates because our animals need to be boarded throughout the year, and provide a steady income flow during off-peak seasons when not many people want to board animals privately. However this does mean that there's less space to take in RSPCA animals during the peak holiday seasons.

The cat shown here is Alphina, who is a very pretty girl, but has lost her tail.
If you would like to adopt Alphina, or any of our other cats, please email

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yet another cat

Collected by one of the ACOs from Burwell village, with a very nasty collar wound. This happens where a cat manages to get a leg through a collar and it cuts into skin in the equivalent of our armpit, and shows why it is so important that cat collars should be made so that they will break if they get caught up. 

It will certainly need stitching and probably a tissue graft as these injuries are very difficult to get to heal because the skin is continually being pulled apart when the cat walks. Most of them are caused by flea-collars, which is possibly another reason why they don't heal as the chemicals of the collar are worked into the damaged area.

No micro-chip, and no tag on the collar so we can't easily reunite the cat with an owner. 

Flea collars are dangerous and not very effective as a way of getting rid of fleas. It would have been so much better to use an efficient veterinary "spot-on" treatment and to have used a micro-chip for ID.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Update on Bob

Good news is that the surgery on his fractured pelvis went OK, and his FIV/FeLV tests also OK. Bad news is that he has a very nasty cough and enlarged kidneys - possibly the result of an ongoing lungworm infection that's flared up because of the stress of his accident.

Latest Cruelty Figures

The RSPCA's latest figures for 2007 expose a 34 per cent increase in convictions for cruelty to dogs (1,197 in 2007), a 15 per cent increase in convictions for cruelty to cats (277 in 2007) and a 12 per cent increase in RSPCA cruelty investigations (137,245 in 2007).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


To Cambridge City Council's Environmental Services dept. for offering to install and empty a nice new dog waste bin next to our animal clinic if we could pay the one-off cost of the bin.

The bin is now in place, so there is no excuse for the antisocial types who don't clear up after their dogs.


Frustration today after a series of incidents that needn't have happened.

Yet another owner with a pet in labour and not enough funds to cope when things go wrong. This time a cat. We charge £20 to spay a cat if the owner is on benefits, and the most expensive private vet doesn't charge much over £60. A caesarian via our clinic will set you back at least £200; up to £600 at a private vet. Registering your cat by getting her vaccinated at our clinic will at least entitle her to out of hours emergency treatment at our discounted rates.

Two phone calls from people with multiple cats wanting them taken in for rehoming; which we can't do, because our funds just won't stretch to cover the cost of boarding them all. 

One call about an un-neutered tom cat who is beating up other local cats, whose owners want him taken away.

Another un-vaccinated pup with diarrhoea and vomiting. Owners not willing to pay for anything.

Dog who's probably eaten rat, or mouse poison.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dogs who bite people

Wondered why: "Saved: knife man who set himself alight" was coming up in my newsfeed of RSPCA items, and found: 

Neighbours said the man had been upset after his bulldog had to be put down the day before.

One, who did not wish to be named, said: "The RSPCA came round and they said that it was attacking people and would have to be destroyed. I think the man was really cross with his mum for having the dog put down."

I doubt whether it happened exactly like that. It may not actually have been the RSPCA at all who called round: usually dog bite incidents are dealt with by the police or local authority dog warden. Certainly, if someone phoned our control centre and complained they'd been bitten, they'd be told to phone the police. 

The true story may well be something similar to a call I took late on Friday evening. The caller's rottweiler dog had just attacked her (adult) son for no apparent reason. He wasn't badly injured, but wanted the  dog out of the house, and was expecting that we'd be able to collect it that evening. Realistically, there's no way we could responsibly take on a large, potentially dangerous dog for rehoming to the public. It had to be their decision either to get professional advice on training or to have the dog put to sleep, and I told them so. 

Further down the line, if one of the other family members had reacted like the man in the knife incident, that could easily have been reported to the Press as: "the RSPCA told them they had to have the dog put down".