Street Cats Winner – Mei Catherall

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2017 ‘Street Cats’ photography competition winning image – photographed by Mei Catherall from the UK

“I was in Sousse, Tunisia, just after the Arab Spring. I found myself alone down a seemingly abandoned alleyway when I was startled by the appearance of this cat. As I explored the area she kept an eye on me, as if tolerating my presence in her domain, popping up at a safe distance at every turn.

This was the last look back over her shoulder before she disappeared deeper into the labyrinth, daring me to follow her but somehow knowing that I wouldn’t and that she could go back to her streetwise lonesome scavenging, never being sure if she could have trusted me but having shared a moment with me that I still treasure.”

The judges felt that this image reflected the hot and tough life of many street cats and the need for us to care about their welfare.  They also loved the composition of the photograph and the direct gaze of the cat.

Mei’s winning image features in the 2018 Street Cats Calendar which will be sold to raise funds for International Cat Care’s cat welfare work.

To find out more and to pre-order your copy of the calendar for just £5 click here.

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Kitten loses one of her nine lives – and her tail – in road accident

Craft ideas for creative cat owners to make their own feline-friendly creations

Please find below a sad rescue story from our friends over at the PDSA which luckily at a happy ending over-all for the affected cat.

Unfortunately it once again displays the risks cars pose to our beloved cats and why all of us driving a car should be taking extra care not just while driving but also when we set off from home.

Thanks,

Marc

A kitten has used up one of her nine lives but lost her tail after sustaining horrific injuries in a road traffic accident.

Brave ten-month-old JJ managed to drag herself back home following the suspected collision. Her owner, Natalie Joyce, from Longsight, Manchester, was devastated by her poor kitten’s injuries.

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Picture by Julian Brown for the PDSA
JJ the cat

She said: “I heard her meowing outside, but she didn’t seem to be able to climb through the window like she normally does. I went to let her in and she just collapsed on the floor, it was horrific.

“I knew she was in pain so I rushed her to PDSA.”

JJ was given pain-relief and x-rayed, which revealed her tail had detached from her spine. Fiona Buchan, vet at PDSA’s Manchester Pet Hospital, said: “JJ had a separation at her tail base causing severe damage to the nerves leading to her tail and bladder, which can be life-threatening.

“We had to allow time to see if she would regain function of her tail and bladder so she was kept on strong medication to keep her pain free and allowed to go home for strict bed rest. Natalie brought her in daily for us to check her progress

“She was struggling to urinate and we knew if she didn’t regain bladder control there would be a build-up of toxins which could be fatal. It was very touch and go for a while and we needed to monitor her carefully to prevent her situation worsening.”

JJ’s bladder started to show signs of recovery, but unfortunately her tail was too badly damaged and had to be amputated to prevent further complications.

“Cats are very adaptable so no longer having a tail won’t affect her quality of life,” said Fiona

“JJ is just one of the lucky pets to benefit from PDSA’s A&E service which has received generous funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Thanks to their support we’re able to provide thousands of life-saving operations and care.”

PDSA is urging people to be aware of animals which could be hiding under vehicles for shelter or warmth at this time of year.

Fiona said: “The nature of JJ’s injury is consistent with her being hit by a vehicle. Cats like to hide under cars, especially in colder weather and they have also been known to get under car bonnets, so please check before you set off on a journey.”

Natalie, who has four young children, said the family were extremely grateful to PDSA for the care given to JJ.

She said: “PDSA have been amazing and we can’t thank them enough. The kids call JJ a magic cat because everyone thought she would have to be put to sleep but she’s still here. We’re so glad because she means everything to us.”

For further information about PDSA and free pet health advice visit www.pdsa.org.uk

Cat-astrophe strikes for trapped cats

From intrepid moggies and fearless felines the RSPCA is on hand to rescue cats who have got themselves into a tight spot!

It is a well known fact that cats can get themselves stuck… a lot!

Whether scaling a 50ft tree with no escape route, squeezing themselves into tiny gaps, or falling down a hole they can’t get out of, some cats can get themselves into some very tight squeezes. 

They are naturally curious and inquisitive animals but some cats are better than others at navigating the hazards that may pop up along the way.

On average the RSPCA receives a call to its National Control Centre about a cat every three minutes and receives more calls about cats than any other animal.

New figures reveal that since the start of this year the RSPCA has been called to 2,819 trapped cats.

May and June had the most rescues with 606 and 611 respectively.

These figures include cats that have become entangled, ‘trapped up’, ‘trapped down’ or stuck in water.

The largest amount of rescues were cats ‘trapped up’ something with 1,488 in total from January to June.

Rescues can be a tricky business and requires specialist equipment to be able to safely free an animal from a tight spot without injury as well as avoiding a nasty nip or bite in the process.

RSPCA superintendent Tim Minty said: “There is a range of equipment needed for these particular rescues. The animal in itself will be frightened and its behaviour is most likely to be unpredictable because of the situation it’s in and the fact they don’t know the person trying to rescue them.

“Some standard equipment such as bitemaster gloves, eye protection and a grasper and restraining basket can all help with a cat rescue.

“Cats like height and so it’s very possible that our officers will need to reach heights themselves.

“Some of our officers have extendable ladders and nets which can reach to a first floor window and really helps in these situations – but sometimes we do need to ask the fire brigade for help if they are available.”

For more difficult rescues there are also water and rope rescue teams available who use a variety of equipment, for example extendable poles, pulleys, harnesses, and three types of inflatable rescue boats.

Some of the challenges cat’s face can leave some owners understandably concerned or worried about their safety.

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However, for most cats going outside is important for keeping them happy and healthy, explains Alice Potter, the RSPCA’s cat welfare expert.

She said: “Unfortunately we can’t always be there to supervise our cats when they are out and about to make sure they are safe but there are some steps we can take.

“Make sure your cat is microchipped and registered with your current contact details. Remember if you’ve moved home or changed your phone number you will need to update your details.

“Microchipping your cat is the most reliable way to identify them and gives you the best chances of being reunited if they become lost. If you decide to put a collar and ID tag on your cat it’s important to ensure the collar is correctly fitted and is a quick release type collar with a snap-safe buckle – other collars can get caught and cause nasty injuries.

“It can be helpful to have a consistent routine with your cat and to feed them their meals around the same time each day. This way your cat will know when to come home for food and can give you a chance to check in with them and make sure they are okay.”

There are also a few things that everyone can do to ensure there are less cat rescues needed.

Alice Potter added: “Cats can fit into small spaces and like hiding and sleeping in warm quiet spots. This means it’s important to always check that there are no cats in your garage, shed or conservatory before you lock it up.

“Likewise it’s important to be cautious with any bins or other places that cats might get in and become stuck.

“If you have any concerns or find a cat in distress, please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.”
Our pick of the top cat rescues in June:

  1. Albus, the three year old tabby cat, had become tightly stuck between an office building and an external wall in Coleridge Road, Hove, on Thursday (June 1).

The owner of the building called the RSPCA and animal collection officer (ACO) Julie Parsons attended to try and free the cat.

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She said: “Poor Albus was stuck very tightly between two walls with about a four inch gap. No one knew how he managed to fit in there in the first place.

“It took about three hours, working with East Sussex Fire and Rescue to create a huge hole in the wall to free him.

“He was struggling to breathe where he had wedged himself so tightly between the walls so time was of the essence.”

Just when it looked like Albus had used all up of his nine lives, one last tug saw the moggy freed and reunited with his grateful owner.

2. A plucky kitten which had got herself wedged 8ft up a chimney was freed after a four-hour rescue operation between the RSPCA and Merseyside Fire Service.

Lola’s worried owner contacted the RSPCA after hearing the kitten making noises inside the chimney.

She had not long been adopted by her owner and, feeling timid in her new home, sought a place to hide – behind the fireplace.

“From there, she had somehow managed to climb inside the chimney – about 8ft up it,” said RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer Matt Brown, who went to rescue Lola from the house in Fairfield Drive, in Liverpool, on Friday (16 June).
3. A vulnerable kitten who used up one of his nine lives after getting stuck 20ft up a huge tree has landed on his feet – after bagging a new home with the firefighter who rescued him!

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It took 90 minutes to get to the little ginger puss who was buried deep inside a very dense tree in Bigby High Road, Brigg.

RSPCA animal collection officer Carol Smith was called to the scene on Tuesday morning (27 June) and requested the help of Humberside Fire & Rescue Service as the kitten was so high up.

She explained: “Due to his age and the height of the tree, I called in a local fire crew to help get to him.

“It took more than 90 minutes to get up to the tree and find him amongst the dense foliage. When they found him he was huddled inside a pigeon nest with some nestlings!”
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

The Mayhew Animal Home Rebrands to ‘Mayhew’

The Mayhew Animal Home Rebrands to ‘Mayhew’

The longstanding London-based animal welfare charity, The Mayhew Animal Home, has rebranded, overhauling its brand strategy, identity and logo to appeal to a wider audience and highlight the range of proactive animal welfare and community outreach work it delivers in addition to the rescue and rehoming work it is well known for.

The charity has rebranded to ‘Mayhew’ with a new strapline, ‘for dogs, cats and communities.’ Their strapline was formerly `Helping animals and their carers since 1886.’

The rebrand was prompted after the charity recognised that supporters and the general public were not necessarily aware that the organisation is much more than an animal shelter with its increased focus on preventative work, education and community engagement, aimed at improving companion animal health and welfare both in London and overseas, whilst simultaneously retaining its heritage of more than 130 years of addressing the issues in its local area.

The charity also recognised that with the rebranded focus its supporter base could be broadened, appealing to a wider audience.

The London-based charity, which provides help and support to neglected, unwanted and abandoned animals as well as vulnerable, sick and elderly pet owners and the homeless and their pets, worked on the rebrand with the London branding agency, Fabrik Brands.

“We have had a significant and sustained, long-term impact over the years helping pets and their owners in the community across London and receive great affection from our supporters who know us and our work, however, this is not necessarily reflected in all of our audiences and the broader public awareness and perception,” said Sonya Brucciani, Head of Marketing and Communications at Mayhew.

“In order to engage with new supporters and raise the vital income we need to deliver our essential services in communities, both in London and overseas,  we want to increase our brand’s awareness and promote the wide range of animal welfare initiatives we deliver beyond our rescue and rehoming work.”

“This is more than just a logo and name change for us. We have also updated our mission and vision, placing our existing companion animal related human behaviour change activities at the heart of the charity.”

The charity’s strapline is changing from “Helping Animals and their Carers since 1886” to “For dogs, cats and communities” and Mayhew’s blue logo is being replaced by a purple logo incorporating a dog’s and cat’s tail.

The change in strap and logo reinforces the focus on education, preventative work and community engagement that Mayhew has led on for many years and also incorporates those dogs, cats and communities we are helping in the UK and overseas.

Caroline Yates, CEO, Mayhew, says, “We are really proud to be launching our new brand identity. A lot has changed since we started in 1886 but sadly a lot hasn’t. We still see the joy that living with a dog or cat can bring. But we still see the misery and suffering that comes from ignorance and neglect as well as the effect of treating animals as commodities.”

“We are one of the oldest London animal charities, having been at the forefront of animal welfare for 131 years, so we had to ensure that our new brand embodies the comprehensive and holistic range of innovative work that we do, as well as retaining our recognition and the loyalty and trust we have from our supporters.”

“Our animal welfare work involves so much more than being a rescue and rehoming charity with a shelter facility, so it’s important that we create wider awareness about our work in London and our efforts to create sustainable change and better lives for animals and communities where we work abroad in Afghanistan, Georgia, Russia and India.”

Mayhew is launching their new brand at their annual fundraising Family Day Out event, Hounds on the Heath, on Hampstead Heath on 16th July 2017. The day includes celebrity-judged Dog Shows, agility course, food, games and activities. The brand will be rolled out during July onwards.

For further information on our new brand, go to: www.themayhew.org/rebrand

For further information on Hounds on the Heath go to: https://www.themayhew.org/events/houndsontheheath

Former stray cat Lenny lends a helping paw – to a dog charity

Former stray cat Lenny lends a helping paw – to a dog charity

A former stray cat is settling into an unlikely new home – at dog charity’s warehouse.

Five-year-old Lenny was adopted from Cats Protection by the owner of the warehouse in Sywell, Northamptonshire, which is used by the Retired Greyhound Trust to run its online store.

Having settled into his new home, the black puss now spends his days meeting and greeting visitors, entertaining staff with his mischievous antics – and curling up in the boss’s chair.

Tracey Dyett, fosterer at Cats Protection’s Northampton Branch, said she was thrilled the Retired Greyhound Trust had been able to offer Lenny a home.

She said: “Having been a stray, Lenny isn’t very domesticated, and while he will enjoy a fuss or a stroke, it’s very much on his terms. We knew he needed a home with plenty of space and freedom so we’re thrilled he could go and live at the Retired Greyhound Trust’s warehouse.

“We’ve been enjoying hearing how Lenny has settled in. He is clearly a team player and we suspect he believes he’s management material, as he already has a reputation for pinching the boss’s chair.”

Tracey added that Cats Protection frequently finds homes in working environments for cats in its care.

She said: “For some cats, a traditional home is not suitable and they may need more space and freedom. Other cats may struggle being in close contact with people, normally because they weren’t properly socialised as kittens.

“We’ve homed cats to all sorts of places such as garden centres, farms and pubs, along with other charities such as The Donkey Sanctuary.”

The Retired Greyhound Trust homes nearly half of the 8,000 greyhounds that retire each year. The Trust has around 60 volunteer-led branches across the UK, all dedicated to finding homes for the dogs in their area.

Rachel Poole, Merchandising Officer at the Retired Greyhound Trust, said staff at the warehouse were smitten with their new feline colleague.

She said: “We find loving homes for hounds every single day and we realise that a pet can feel at home in any space, large or small. Similarly, we feel that there is a greyhound for the vast majority of home settings, with and without other dogs and cats. We would urge people to consider a greyhound as their next canine companion.”

Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity, helping around 500 cats a day – or 200,000 a year – through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.

To find out more about adopting a cat from Cats Protection please visit http://www.cats.org.uk/

To find out more about The Retired Greyhound Trust, please visit www.retiredgreyhounds.co.uk

#MyPetMadeMe: What will your pet make YOU do?

Hi everyone,

Our friends from the BlueCross charity are currently running this super fun campaign called My Pet Made Me! Basically the idea is that your pet will give you a challenge to complete and raise money for the charity in the process of completing the challenge together with your furred companion.

Full details below:

#MyPetMadeMe: What will your pet make YOU do? 

Blue Cross puts pets in charge of their owner’s destiny with new fundraising campaign

The internet is awash with cute viral cat videos and hilarious dog memes but national pet charity Blue Cross is aiming to switch the spotlight on to their owners with new fundraising campaign #MyPetMadeMe.

#MyPetMadeMe aims to turn the tables on all the dog shaming and cat-nap papping that takes place online, with a simple mechanic that puts power in the paws (and hoofs) of pets across the UK – and puts the human in the spotlight instead.

The online campaign will see pets select a cringe worthy challenge for their owner which they will need to carry out once friends, family and work colleagues have helped them to hit their fundraising target.

#MyPetMadeMe officially kicks off on March 20, however Blue Cross has already enlisted some high-profile recruits to kick off the campaign, including popular Instagrammer Marcel Le Corgi and his owner who will be demonstrating the mechanic and their steely nerve to the tens of thousands of fans on their Instagram and Facebook pages.

To take part, pets will select one of four pieces of paper numbered 1-4 placed in front of them by their owner (whether that’s using treats, toys or other rewards – it’s up to the owner!).

Their owner must film or photograph their pet choosing one of the pieces of paper before heading to the Blue Cross website to learn of their fate!

The website will reveal details of their challenge and the total amount they need to fundraise.

Owners must then share their video or photograph of their pet’s selection on social media with the aim of getting family, friends and co-workers to raise the fundraising amount to see them complete the challenge.

Challenges vary from the unpleasant – such as downing a sprout smoothie – to the downright embarrassing such as wearing pants over your trousers for a day, shaving off an eyebrow or busking in public.

Once they have reached their fundraising target, participants must capture themselves completing the challenge and share their film or picture on social media with the hashtag #MyPetMadeMe.

Matthew Cull, Blue Cross deputy director of fundraising, said: “Whether it’s abseiling down a tall building or wearing something silly, people have always been willing to swallow their pride or even their fear to help raise money for a good cause.

“With #MyPetMadeMe we wanted to give this incredible fundraising spirit a new twist – and put pets at the centre of it.”

Cat Has Emotional Reunion with Owner after Going Missing for Eight Months

Hi everyone,

Please find below another fantastic rescue story from our friends at The Mayhew Animal Home charity.

It’s another great example of why microchipping is so important and can help reunite families and their beloved cats. : )

Thanks,

Marc

Cat Has Emotional Reunion with Owner after Going Missing for Eight Months

A cat who went missing for eight months had an emotional reunion with his worried owner, thanks to having the correct microchipping details and The Mayhew Animal Home.

Two-year-old Pepsi arrived at The Mayhew, when a member of the public brought him into the Home after she found him living as a stray outside a school in Harlesden.

Pepsi was immediately settled into a comfy and warm cat cabin and was given a thorough health check by The Mayhew’s vet team. Thankfully, he was in a good condition and was wearing a collar.

The Mayhew’s Animal Welfare Officers were then able to scan Pepsi for a microchip, and found that luckily he had a chip registered to a family.

Cat Welfare Coordinator at The Mayhew, Georgina Disney, said: “One of the first things we do when an animal is brought in to us, is check for a microchip so we can contact the owner as quickly as possible. Fortunately, Pepsi was microchipped and his owner had called up the microchipping company to mark him as missing. As soon as I rang the chip company, I found out he had been missing for eight months and that his family would be looking for him, so I was easily able to contact them and give them the good news that he was safe at our Home.”

The Mayhew’s Officers discovered that Pepsi’s owner had last seen her beloved pet in October 2016 just before she went on holiday – a whopping eight months before he was found.

Pepsi’s owner, Davinia, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I got the call from Georgina at The Mayhew Animal Home to say Pepsi had been found. I honestly thought I’d never see him again and didn’t think it was real because it had been so long since we last saw him.”

“I had last seen Pepsi back in October 2016 when I went on holiday. I left him with a friend to take care of him when I was away, and unfortunately he must have got out and become lost. I desperately tried to find Pepsi again, and rang up every rescue to see if he had been found and notified the microchipping company that he was missing, but sadly had no luck.”

After being lost for such a long time, Pepsi was finally reunited back with Davinia.

Davinia, said: “I was so nervous, overwhelmed and excited to see Pepsi again. My kids missed him so much and it’s great to be able to have him back.”

“Since getting back home, Pepsi has settled in wonderfully, it is as though he didn’t go missing at all.  We’re all so pleased, including Pepsi.  He is very content and is getting spoilt.”

“Microchipping your pet is so important; if Pepsi hadn’t been microchipped I really don’t think we would have seen him again.”

Georgina, added: “We were over the moon to help reunite Davinia back with her beloved pet. We don’t know what happened to Pepsi during the eight months and can imagine he must have been so scared. We’re glad that he is safe now and is back with his family, where he can be loved again.”

“Pepsi’s story highlights how important it is to get your pet microchipped, as it means we can quickly reunite lost pets with their owners. Sadly we get hundreds of stray cats and dogs come in to us every year who haven’t been microchipped, and it’s heart-breaking to think that they could be someone’s missing pet.”

We strongly advise all pet owners to have their animal microchipped to significantly increase your chances of being reunited should the unthinkable happen and your pet becomes lost or is stolen. If Pepsi hadn’t been chipped we wouldn’t have been able to trace him back to his family, where he belongs.”

“It’s also so important to keep details up-to-date on the microchipping database, and to notify the chip company if you change phone numbers, address or if your pet does go missing. Unfortunately, we see many pets come in who have been microchipped but don’t have their owners current details registered to the chip, so we are unable to get in contact with the owner.”

Microchipping is cheap, harmless and takes seconds. The Mayhew offers low cost microchipping services at their Community Vet Clinic in Kensal Green, North West London. Please call 020 8962 8017 or email vetclinic@mayhewanimalhome.org to book an appointment.