Wednesday, 28 April 2010


I don't want to tempt fate but I'm actually beginning to feel like we have turned a corner. Things really feel like they are looking up and we have been having a wonderful run on rehomings the last week or so.....

1. Lily and Diaz, two pups who were kept in a car, have been rehomed

2. Our donkey-sized Mastiff pup Hank finally has someone interested in him who has bags of experience with big breeds and has 20 acres of land for him to lollop around in.

3. Looks like Princess, the poor dog that was abandoned and drank the toilet bowl dry, has a serious interest in her, at last, and is being viewed Saturday.

4. We've had a massive run on adult cats too and we can't fill up fast enough! But sadly we can't seem to find a home for our two kitten boys Simeon and Riley (grrr).

5. And then there's the bunnies - we've had a really good time with bonding ours with owned bunnies and it looks like 4 will have found new homes!

6. But best news of all is that our gorgeous rotti Sasha found a wonderful new home in the Welsh countryside and a new companion dog too. We are so chuffed.

Of course all this activity means we've been able to help more furries too. We are stock piling on cats again and hopefully going to be getting a boxer dog or two this week and two new bunnies whose mum fled from domestic violence.

But I had to introduce you to little Oscar. He was found abandoned in Ashton - no mum or siblings to be found. He was only 3-4 weeks old and needing to be hand reared. Me and my big gob said "yeah, sure" but with not actually having anyone to foster him it was looking like I was on for sleepless nights for the next two weeks.

Thankfully, my friend's sister-in-law (well would be if they were married) came to my rescue and was both mine and Oscar's saviour. Her cat Lily, who she adopted from us earlier in the year, has had her nose out of joint but is settling now, thanks to bribery and a new scratching post! Anyway, little Oscar is doing grand and is a greedy mcgreedy pants and is absolutely thriving. I'm going round Saturday to see if his teeth have come through much and if he can have a go at solids yet.

My other joy of the week has been the new staff starting - I already feel an enormous amount of pressure being lifted and beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. Mel is our new part time Animal Welfare Assistant and Sarah is our new part time Deputy Shop Manager. Both fit into the team brilliantly - which means they are wonderfully potty like the rest of us. I can actually see myself being able to have some time off soon - bliss!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Alive and Kicking

I am delighted to share the news that our website has finally gone live!

We need all your help to raise its status on google - so please get clicking on:

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Nature vs Nurture

There's a part of me that has been feeling guilty for not doing my blog in a while, but the truth is I haven't been able to face it. When I thought things couldn't get much worse, they did, and the last week has been really stressful and for the first time ever I have genuinely not wanted to go to work or do my job anymore.

I can't go into the ins and outs, more because I don't want to, but needless to say it has involved an animal and the result of human neglect and a desperate fight to give a beautiful creature a second chance at life. I'm pleased to say that so far we are winning the battle, but it will be at a cost, but one we decided worth every penny.

So, excuses over, let's move on to some happier times. We've had a busy old week or so. We admitted two 9 month old pups that were being kept in a car outside the owner's home because the landlord, who they live with, would not allow them to have animals in the home. We took in Duke, an Akita/GSD, from a home where the owners could not cope. He was discovered following attendance at the home by police and social services. He's a handful but absolutely gorgeous.

And we have had a run on cat rehomings too - I had the absolutely pleasure of delivering Frodo and Inky to their new home on Monday and it was just fantastic. The cats were so chuffed and their new mum and dad were so chuffed and it was a true happy ever after.

We have some more cats reserved, including a scrummy ginger teddy we have called Bear. He is a proper old man but loves to play and, the most endearing thing of all, he has a wonky face! I swear I am not joking, he really has got a wonky face.

This week we are also getting in an amputee cat, another abandoned cat and two bunnies from our Pet Retreat scheme. Oh and Sailor the dog has been officially adopted and being well behaved except for chasing the poor cats!

We have been having a peculiar run on abandoned cats with severe dental disease of late and all requiring lots of extractions. It tickled me actually to learn that you are charged by each extraction - there's an incentive and a half!!! We have also had a good run on rabbit rehoming and have two more on their way out pending successful 'bonding'.

So, whilst I may feel like I have been living under a dark cloud of late, I suppose, on reflection, there has been quite a strong silver lining to it all. To cheer me up further my colleague Catherine got this amazing picture of our cat Pippa in foster care talking to a very tame squirrel. Enjoy!

Sunday, 11 April 2010


I am pleased to say that this week has been peaceful - no traumas, no stress, just peaceful. In fact, at one point, whilst stuffing 200 envelopes with calling notices for our AGM, I actually found myself bored. Bliss, frankly. So I opened a tin of chocolate biscuits I'd saved since Christmas and wolfed down loads. Bliss.
This week has seen two of our dreams come true. Our gorgeous dog Sailor went to his new home yesterday. We've had Sailor since October last year. The inspector who removed him from a property in Moss Side is still pursuing a case against his former owner for failure to meet his needs. The former owner keeps sending in sick notes to say she is not fit to attend court, but we won't give up until we have sought justice.

Sailor had always found the kennels hard to cope with but of late it had taken it's toll and he'd begun loosing weight. With only having two dog foster carers (one with Hank and the other for puppies) we were worried about how to help him. Bulking his food out with pasta saw his weight increase but it wasn't helping him psychologically.

But then, last week, we got an email from a local lady wanting an active dog to go running with. Sailor was the perfect choice! After a week of visits and careful deciding Sailor went home on trial for the weekend yesterday. Catherine said he just laid down all calm in the back of the car, as good as gold and seemingly very content. And last night we received the fab picture of him in his new bed and the update that he had been on 3 walks, visited the pub and frightened their cats! How happy does he look in his king sized bed? Stuff of magic that is, so let's hope he doesn't disgrace himself and get returned.

The other magic news is that we have found a home for Aslan with a lovely local family. On a second visit this week the children were introduced. We feared he would jump up, be too giddy and maraud, but OMG, we couldn't believe our eyes! Aslan went bounding up to them but as soon as he reached their proximity he stopped himself, with a cartoon-like jolt, and just sat himself down in front of them, all smart and attentive and respectful like. From there on in he remained aware of the children's size and stature and was just amazing. I would not have believed it had I not seen it for myself and he really sold himself.
So, next Wednesday, after he has been neutered, he is going to his new home, again on trial, because he has never lived in a home before, probably not house trained and definitely not lead trained - so it's a lot to take on so we are letting him be trialled. But having met the family they will give it their absolute all. So please keep everything crossed for him and them - he is such a handsome, gentle giant that just needs a second chance in life.

Lastly, I want to introduce Princess to you. I couldn't before because I found her story so upsetting but now that I'm feeling far more robust I can share. (see piccie in the field)

I got a call from an inspector saying she had rescued a dog from abandonment. She was very underweight, had not been fed for days and had drunk the toilet bowl dry, even though it was covered in human excrement. The owner came forward and said that she had found the dog 6 months previously but had not taken her out through fear of reprisals from neighbours - the property was covered in 6 months worth of dog urine and faeces and a child had been living in those conditions too. Princess was signed over and monitored for weight gain as blood tests revealed she had been without food for sometime and her body had started using it's reserves to keep her going. A case is being made against her former owner and she will hopefully be successfully prosecuted but you can see why I found this so upsetting after Aslan and Dribbles, it was like the final straw.

Anyway, what I can tell you is that Princess is doing brilliantly and is the most wonderful poppet you could wish to meet. She is so loving, friendly and a great all rounder. We think she is Jack Russel cross Staffie and will make a wonderful first dog or family dog. Let's hope she isn't with us for too long.

So, not a bad week in all, especially because we also found homes for our long stay pair of cats - Olivia and Ebony and for new arrivals, mum and daughter cats Susie and Felix - just wonderful. Just need to find homes for the 43 others now!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Spring 2010 Newsletter


January may have brought the novelty of Narnia-style snow but the sub-zero conditions stranded many of our staff, the animal transport van couldn’t manoeuvre on the icy roads and our rehoming figures suffered the worst hit since May 2007.

Only 9 animals found new homes in January, meaning we had very limited capacity to take in new animals during a month when many were finding themselves homeless.

January also saw our first community welfare event, a free pet health clinic in Gorton, suffer with the snow and ice, with a record low attendance of just 24 animals. But there was one silver lining to it all - the enormous amount of fun our dogs had playing in the winter wonderland.

It warmed up on the rehoming front in February with a respectable 24 animals finding new homes, but things died down again in March with only 15 being rehomed. March also saw us battling with dreaded cat flu, which resulted in the reluctant decision to close to cattery to new admissions in order to contain the spread of the virus.

But of all the trials of the year to date the greatest low point was staff redundancies. In all six staff were made redundant, two were successfully redeployed, and at the end of March we said goodbye to Deputy Shop Managers Maureen Leonard and Susan England, Van Driver Peter Goodstadt and Animal Care Manager Jo Yoli. We wish them every success for the future and express our thanks for their years of service to the charity.

At the beginning of the year the branch won a £5k grant from the national RSPCA to deliver its vital community pet health clinics. We were also lucky enough to be sponsored by Supreme Pet Foods to the tune on £1k to help with the running costs of our recent Rabbit and Guinea Pig Roadshows. This extra funding enabled us to offer welfare assistance to pets in need of further veterinary treatment or welfare neutering too. We are pleased to report that our first four pet health clinics of the year have seen 291 animals attend to receive a free vet health check, low cost microchipping and discounted flea and worming treatment - that’s an average of 73 per clinic!

We may be looking at an uncertain future but we are doing it with steely determination! The branch is hoping that its soon-to-be launched website will positively impact on animal adoptions and income generation.
The national RSPCA has also launched a new-look website, which has a new feature called ‘Pet Search’. This search tool enables the public to see what animals are available for adoption and the service is now available for branches to use too. Go to select ‘Pet Search’ and type in ‘Manchester’ to see some of our furries looking for homes.

We will of course continue to use Facebook and the following websites to promote our animals:
but if you have any great ideas on how to promote our animals please let us know – we would be very grateful indeed!

Making Friends.....
The branch is sometimes lucky enough to become great friends with its animal adopters. This is always such an enriching and rewarding experience for us so we just wanted to say a big thank you to you for joining the team.

Our volunteers really are invaluable to us, as we simply couldn’t do what we do without you. So, if you are interested in helping here are a few ideas. We are currently recruiting for...
RSPCA Week Tesco Collectors
Summer Fair & Fun Dog Show helpers
Branch Committee Members
Dog Foster Carers

To get involved please contact Susie at the branch.

What really makes our day, just as much as rehoming an animal, is learning how they are getting on in their new home. This month I have the pleasure in sharing with you updates on some familiar faces.

Roma found a wonderful home for life in Yorkshire, as well a great companion in her mate Ben, pictured left. Roma’s owners tell us she is doing really well is such a happy, loving dog and they are so glad they chose to adopt her.

Ben waited nearly a year to find his forever home but it was certainly worth waiting for. He has gone to live with one our long-standing volunteers, Clare Goss and her family and Tia the dog.
Tia and Ben are quite alike – love affection, toy obsessed and absolutely gorgeous. The family are working really hard to make it work and are completely in love with Ben.

We want to say a huge thank you to the Goss family for making Ben’s wishes come true in 2010.

Buddy & Cleo
We have been truly lucky to find such a wonderful home for this gorgeous pair but to also become firm friends with their mum, Heather, who is an amazing photographer and regularly sends us the most wonderful photos of her fur babies, which really helps to lift our spirits on a bad day.
Thank you Heather for being such a great friend!

Tinker had been with us since August last year and we were beginning to lose hope until the ‘Special Appeals’ page on the national RSPCA website found her a forever home not so far away in Tameside! Tinker’s new mum contacted us to say, “She has definitely made herself at home and loves our bed more than her own. She is so lovable and cute and loves her cuddles, but we have seen her little madam side especially when we attempt to brush! I'm so glad she came to live with us, she has such a character and loves being around me and my boyfriend, she likes to sit in middle of us on the sofa or usually next to me and makes Alistair sit on the floor, which is funny! Thank you so much for letting us have her."


We need help with collections at Prestwich and Burnage Tescos:
29th/30th April evenings and 1st/2nd May day time
If you give just two hours of your time please get in touch

Sat 22nd May 12-4pm FREE All Pets Health Clinic at Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre, Portway, Wythenshawe £3 microchipping and low cost flea and worm treatment

Sat 5th June 12-3pm Giant Swap Shop for World Environment Day at Chorlton Park, Nell Lane
Swap anything from clothes, bric-a-brac, plants, seeds, books and bring your rags for recycling
FREE entry, refreshments on sale - contact us to book a free stall!

Sat 5th June 7pm A Classical Piano Recital - covering music for a wide variety of taste by Alessandra Pompili, at Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street, Manchester M2 1NL. Tickets on the door £10 (£8 conc). 100% profit to the branch

National Microchipping Month £3 CHIPPING FOR ALL PETS
Sat 12th June 11-2pm Clifton Country Park, Salford
Sun 20th June 11-2pm Blackleach Country Park, Salford

Sat 10th July 12-5pm Summer Festival & Fun Dog Show
Chorlton Park, Nell Lane -
Stalls, live music, dog show, dog agility and flyball demos, climbing wall, bouncy castle, cafes, donkeys, police dogs & horses, craft workshops, street entertainers and much much more
FREE ENTRY. To book a stall please get in touch!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

How many more?

This beautiful dog is Dribbles. She came into our care late Wednesday afternoon. The inspector who brought her too us had been involved with Dribbles for 6 months; each time she visited to investigate complaints the owner was seemingly not in. When she finally got access to Dribbles she was being kept locked in a garage, and despite requests not to continue keeping her locked up in this way, a month later another complaint call came in about her being kept locked in a garage. Finally, last week, the owner contacted the inspector and said he was willing to sign her over for rehoming, so she came into our care...and now I know why.

On the Thursday we found her to be in great discomfort in her spine and back legs. Just a gentle touch on her back and she buckled and sat down. We got her to the vets and found she had waxy ears and severe dental disease as well as apparent spinal problems. She went away with pain relief and antibiotics with a view to having further investigations after the bank holiday. Already at this point we were fearing the worst outcome and she was so clearly 'not right'.

This morning I got a call first thing; Dribbles had collapsed in her kennel, unable to stand up. I got down there and it took 3 of us to lift her into the van. I sat with her at the vets for an hour, such were the other number of emergencies. I watched how much she was suffering and in pain and so there was just no other option but to let her go. The vet, of course, concurred, and felt that she likely had a tumour too.

Dribbles was just 4 years old and looked like she had been used for breeding, which would probably explain why she was kept locked up all those months. She was a beautiful, gentle natured girl who was failed by humankind - even by us. We got to her too late.

I wish I could tell you that this is all the sadness we have experienced this week, but sadly a third dog called Princess has arrived with a desperate history too. I confess to becoming tearful when I repeat it, so I shall spare you for now. For today my sorrow is for Dribbles. I hope she finds a better place to be and the peace that she deserves.

I'm sorry we failed you Dribbles. Rest in peace big girl.