SOCIAL-distancing clearly hasn’t put us off helping animals.
The RSPCA reports almost a third more users for its Find A Pet section online – after more than a million people looked at it between March 1 and April 19.
The charity rehomed more than 520 animals during this period, while 395 have been fostered – all while following guidelines put in place by the Canine & Feline Sector Group, formed by various organisations to advise the Government on animals.
An RSPCA spokesperson told Paws & Claws: “We are so pleased that we’ve been able to place more than 900 animals in loving homes and more than 500 of those have found their ‘for ever’ homes. But sticking to strict social- distancing guidelines means we will not be able to rehome all animals – for example, those who may need to meet any prospective owner a few times.”
But others, including Nate the lurcher, five, are still waiting for their moment.
Nate has been with the RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre in Surrey for six months. He can be unsure of new places and people when he first meets them.
Dogs like Nate, who need time to readjust, will need to meet prospective owners before being rehomed. Learn more about
Nate and other animals at rspca.org.uk/findapet.
STAR OF THE WEEK
WREN the Rottweiler has helped her owner overcome debilitating anxiety.
Since getting the pup last year, Charlotte Forbes, 15, of Mitcham in South West London, has formed an unbreakable bond with her.
Wren is always at her side to provide support and even sits with her during home-schooling.
Charlotte’s big sister Sam, 36, a customer services delivery manager, said: “Wren loves my sister so much, she will follow her around the house. It gives Charlotte confidence and helps her control her anxiety.”
Charlotte added: “I’ve never been more connected to any pet. She is my everything.”
Q) SILKY my corn snake is not eating properly. In the past he’s always eaten what he’s given, usually mice. He’s also not touched any of his water. Can you suggest what I can do?
SEAN SAYS: First thing to check with any reptile that’s off their grub is the temperature and humidity in their enclosure.
They have pretty exacting standards and for corn snakes there should be a fairly smooth gradient from about 30C at the warm end of their enclosure to low 20s at the cool end, dropping a few degrees at night.
The second thing that springs to mind is stress. Too much handling or disturbance, or any environmental changes, will stress reptiles.
Another possibility is that Silky is seeking a mate now summer is on the way — male corn snakes often act restless and lose appetite as they pick up on the longer hours of light.
A check with an exotics-specialist vet is advisable. Snakes can hide their illness until it’s almost too late.
Finley Bourke, 26, Edinburgh asks:
Q) MY six-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier Lucy loves to bark, moan, whine and make all sorts of noises. Should I be concerned? She seems otherwise happy and healthy.
SEAN SAYS: Staffies are very vocal. They love to talk to us in all kinds of ways. Usually they’re doing it to get a reaction or outcome. Lucy might hear someone next door, or walking down the street, and bark to warn them not to come into your home. To her, she’s done a great job defending your home. To you, she’s just making a noise.
Darren Knighton, 43 Weston-super-Mare, Somerset asks:
Q) MY five-year-old boxer cross Poppy has started scratching herself a lot more than normal. She has even started to try to scratch herself when you smooth her back, and scratches in her sleep. She is neutered and wormed and I de-flea her regularly. I’ve also changed her food to hypoallergenic but she’s still itchy. Any ideas, please?
SEAN SAYS: The top three causes of itchy dogs are flea bites, environmental allergies and food allergies. If you’ve ruled out fleas and food, it sounds like environmental allergens — you highlight a classic pattern. Her symptoms are seasonal.
My guess is this could be a pollen allergy, though other factors such as dust mites, fungal spores and even household chemicals like detergents can play a role.
The only definite way to find out is to run blood tests to check her anti-body levels to various allergens. Then your vet can recommend treatment ranging from anti-itch medication to immunotherapy, which vaccinates her against her own allergies.
It’s no fun to be itchy, so investing in finding out the cause and possible treatments will really help her.
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Henry Curtis, 33, Sheffield asks
Q) WHY do some dogs love sniffing fox poo? Why does it smell terrible to us but apparently amazing to them? My Spaniel Peachy is guilty of this.
SEAN SAYS: Coprophagia, or eating poo, is normal for dogs. Mum will eat her puppies’ poo to keep the den clean, and it’s thought puppies imitate this behaviour — or pick it up if there is competition from siblings for food. Sometimes they carry the habit into adult life. As for fox poo, the strong scent, and presumably taste, means it’s very stimulating for dogs so eating it can give them a kick. Just like rolling in it. The stinkier the better. Urgh!
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