Saturday, January 17, 2009

Staffy neutering campaign

David Grant, of Animal Hospital fame, is profiled in the Independent today.

In my opinion, the root cause of most of these cases seems to be the worrying trend towards owning these dogs as accessories, and as weapons. Because of the demand for certain types of dogs for such purposes – primarily on inner-city housing estates – there has been a huge increase in dog breeding for undeclared profit. As a result, we are seeing a lot of puppies who are diseased due to poor breeding. The number of dogs being dumped is at an all-time high, and Battersea Dogs' Home can no longer take in Staff-type dogs. The problem is seriously out of control.

Fortunately, in our more rural area, things haven't reached this pitch, but there's still a huge problem of irresponsible breeding of Staffordshire and other bull terrier dogs.

And, of course the puppy with parvo died

Just had the bill for last weekend's rottie puppy - euthanasia and cremation.

PLEASE, if you take on a puppy or a rabbit: get them vaccinated. You wouldn't think it was OK not to feed them, "because I can't afford it."

If you live within our branch area and are on state benefits (including working tax credit, but not child credit on its own), you can get your pet vaccinated at our animal clinic at the reduced rate of £18 (cat or dog) or £7 rabbit.

Friday, January 16, 2009

More rabbit woe

Two weeks into 2009 and Caroline has already taken in fifteen rabbits, homeless for a variety of reasons. 

Owner emigrating (5), moving into rented accommodation where no pets allowed (5), child lost interest (2), owner died of heroin overdose (3). 

Unfortunately it seems bunnies are not exempt from the effects of the current state of society.
On the bright side she has eleven booked to go out, so at least there is some movement on the rehoming front.

Caroline urgently needs more committed volunteers to help with caring for the rabbits. Even a few hours each week would be helpful—for example it would free her to do other things if she had some volunteers able to take over the job of shutting the rabbits in for the night occasionally.

If you might be interested, please email

Due to planning restrictions on the field where the rabbits are kept, volunteers need to be prepared to park some distance away and walk down the private road that leads there, and also to keep noise to a minimum.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Coming up in April

Region East will shortly be launching a campaign to encourage owners of "bull breed dogs" (i.e. mainly Staffordshire bull terriers, but also English bull terriers, American bulldogs etc.) to get their pets neutered.

Each branch in Region East will be supported by up to £1,000 matched funding from the Regional Fund. This will be in addition to the normal low-cost spay/neuter we offer for dogs belonging to owners on state benefits and will probably be free to owners registered with one of the local homeless charities. Owners on benefits, but not homeless will be expected to pay part of the cost, but less than we ask for other breeds.

The campaign will aim to educate owners about the large numbers of bull terriers we are asked to take in each year, and the need to reduce irresponsible breeding, but also to promote the image of well-trained, properly cared for staffies as wonderful companions in the right situation. 

Please spread the word by sharing the "staffy neutering" widget. Click "menu", then "share this widget" and copy the code to paste it into your own myspace page, blog etc.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cat updates

Gizmo, our longest-staying cat, is booked to go to a home this weekend.

Joshua's various fracture repairs went well and he's due to go out to a foster home (with a view to permanent adoption if he gets on with the resident cats) today.

I picked up Sox yesterday evening and Janine's fostering him for a few days, and has a possible permanent home lined up.

Unfortunately Santa's collar wound has been giving some problems and the vets are planning to do another surgical repair once they get back the results of a bacterial culture of the infection. If these are OK, he'll have a graft from the fatty tissue near his gut to provide a basis for blood vessels to supply the (hopefully) now healthy skin flaps. This sounds pretty drastic, but generally does result in proper healing although it does leave the cat with a palpable lump in the area where the surgery was done, so a future owner needs to be warned that it's not a tumour.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Animal Welfare Statistics for 2008

Just finished the spreadsheet for 2008. During the year, RSPCA Cambridge rehomed a total of 190 animals, neutered 277 animals and provided 4,069 veterinary treatments (some animals had more than one treatment, so this represents less than 4,000 individual animals).

Rehoming email address

Apologies - there is a problem with the address at the moment. If you email that will work. There's a problem with the redirect from our email domain to AOL, but using the direct address will work.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Interested in becoming an RSPCA trustee?

Would you like to use your skills and experience in becoming one of the RSPCA's charity trustees? The Council discusses plans for the RSPCA and makes the decisions that will affect how the RSPCA deals with animal issues in the future.

The RSPCA Council comprises up to 25 volunteers elected to serve as the charity trustees of the Society.

Fifteen national Council members are elected by the votes of the whole RSPCA membership and serve for three years, retiring on a rotational basis... [read more on the National RSPCA website]
RSPCA branches are also directed by trustee bodies: each branch elects a minimum of seven and a maximum of fourteen committee members at its Annual General Meeting each year. Branch trustees normally play a more "hands on" rĂ´le than members of the RSPCA Council, because branches rely less on employed staff, so the committee members are responsible for carrying out the board's decisions as well as making them in the first place.

To stand for election to the committee of your local branch you need to be an adult member of the society of at least three months standing at the time of the AGM, and to have been nominated by two other adult branch members. It is important that committee members are "team players" and willing to learn. Most people will have their own particular areas of interest, such as pet rehoming, veterinary treatment or campaigns, but it is important that everyone is prepared to take a balanced view and accept that all aspects of branch activities are important in fostering animal welfare locally.

If you might be interested in standing for the Cambridge branch committee at our next AGM, please email If you're not already a member of the Society, you will need to apply to join, and you can do this online using the link at the side of this blog.