Blueprint magazine - Spring 2012 edition

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Blueprint magazine - Spring 2012 edition
blueprint
our
little
miracle
Bobby
survives
against
the odds
vetting your vet
READ our advice
BEFORE YOU DECIDE
WHICH VET TO CHOOSE
paws for tea
celebrate the jubilee
with a blue cross
fundraising party
SPRING 2012
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contents & editor’s note
welcome
Welcome to the Spring 2012 edition of
Blueprint. As you can see, Blue Cross has had
a bit of a makeover and we’re so excited to be
able to share our new look with you for the first
time. We decided we wanted to refresh our
brand because we’ve been helping animals
for 115 years and, apart from a name change
in the 1950s, which you can read about on
page 14, we haven’t really changed our visual
identity since.
We’re just as committed and passionate as
we’ve ever been about caring for pets in need
but we felt that we needed to embrace the
changing times and gain an insight into what
people think of us and
why they support us. So
last year we asked existing
and potential new supporters,
rehomers, staff, volunteers and
clients what they thought of our name,
logo and the language and imagery we
use to describe our charity.
As a result we’ve refreshed our vision,
mission and values to emphasise that Blue
Cross is all about pets and making sure they
lead happy and healthy lives. Our ultimate
goal is to let as many people know what
we do and raise as much money as we can
so we can help as many pets
as possible.
This edition of Blueprint is
a true celebration of our work,
from our Blue Cross Fund which
helped sick and injured animals in World
War One (page 14) to the lifesaving work our
vets are doing for animals today (page 16).
I’m so proud to be a part of this amazing
organisation and I hope you are too.
Happy reading,
Natasha Kleanthous Editor
REGULARS
featureS
over to you
4NEWS
Meet some of the animals we’ve
helped since your last edition of
Blueprint and find out how dog
Rosie’s wish came true.
12 HOMES WANTED
Meet some of the animals looking
for a new home.
13 HAPPY ENDING
Tillie started life alone – now she
has a big family looking out for her.
18 EXPERT ADVICE
Our team of experts are here to
help with your problems.
8
23
24
10
14
16
20
21
13
editorial
Editor Natasha Kleanthous
Production Andrea Fraser
and Karen Hedges
Photo library Tracey Hawkins
Communications development
manager Debbie Curtis
Design Think
22
ON TOP OF THE WORLD
Alvin learns to trust again thanks to
our pet behaviour team.
GOING FOR GOLD
Meet some of our star horses that
are making names for themselves.
THE REAL WAR HORSES
Read about the bravery of animals
in World War One, and of one
soldier’s determination to help
an injured horse.
A LITTLE MIRACLE
Bobby needed lifesaving surgery
after being attacked by another dog.
VETTING YOUR VET
Our top tips will help you find the
right vet practice.
CANINE CRIME FIGHTER
Blue Cross rescue dog Sam
is helping to fight crime at the
UK border.
WE’RE THERE FOR YOUR PET
Find out about our Pets into Care
scheme and how it could help you.
PET POST
Your letters.
EVENTS AND DIARY DATES
Paws for a cup of tea and find out
how you can support Blue Cross.
26COMPETITION
Win a fabulous limited edition
Merrythought bear.
8
14
Our vision: every pet will enjoy a healthy life in a happy home.
Our mission: we find happy homes for abandoned or unwanted pets and
we keep pets healthy by promoting welfare and providing treatment.
Blue Cross (Incorporating Our Dumb Friends League) is a charity registered in England and Wales (224392) and in Scotland (SC040154).
No part of Blueprint may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, either wholly or in part, without prior written permission from Blue Cross.
Blueprint is printed by Southernprint Ltd (a Wyndeham Group company) on UPM Finesse, a PEFC-certified paper, meaning it comes from a well-managed forest.
Blue Cross feeds Hill’s™ Science Plan™, generously donated by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, to ensure optimum nutrition for the dogs and cats in our care.
M6576/0112
Spring 2012 www.bluecross.org.uk
3
your news update
From giant rabbits to diminutive dogs, here
are some recent highlights from the work your
donations have made possible
Neglected Hettie back on top
A dog found abandoned in a shocking
condition has made a fantastic recovery.
Poor Hettie was spotted wandering
the street covered in sores and
missing large patches of fur. She was
underweight, her muscles had wasted
and she was suffering from benign
tumours and an eye disease that had
been left untreated.
The dog warden who found her said
she had never seen a dog in such a bad
state but, despite her horrific ordeal,
everyone who met her was touched
by her gentle and affectionate nature.
The mastiff crossbreed was brought to
our Burford rehoming centre and given
the love and veterinary care that she so
desperately needed. Her treatment cost
us more than £500, which was paid
for entirely by donations from pet lovers
like you.
Everyone was absolutely delighted
when gentle giant Hettie was reserved
and she’s now been rehomed.
New start for abandoned mum and foal
A mum and foal
who were left alone
fighting to survive
have been given
a fresh start.
Pony Poppy was
found in a field with
no grazing or water,
surrounded by
rubbish and scrap
metal. Any nutrients
she managed to
get were passed
on to the foal she
was carrying and
she was severely
malnourished. She
gave birth to her
foal, Prince, and
miraculously they were still alive
when they were found and rescued.
Both mum and foal were treated for
worms and a lice infestation and Prince
also needed antibiotics for a nasty
cough. Thanks to the care they received
at our Burford rehoming centre they’re
both flourishing and are now virtually
4
above: Poppy today,
glossy and proud left:
Poppy and her foal,
Prince, downcast in
their former home
unrecognisable as the sorry pair they
were when they arrived. They have now
been rehomed to a new family where
Poppy will make a riding pony and
Prince will be a companion until he’s
older, when he’ll be reassessed to see
if he’s suitable to be ridden.
www.bluecross.org.uk Spring 2012
£8K gift to “beloved Blue Cross”
We were touched to hear
that a Blue Cross supporter
who took part in our first
overseas fundraising
challenge, despite suffering
a stroke a year before, has
left us a generous legacy.
Mike McGuinn started
supporting us in the 1990s
and, during a visit to one of our
ABOVE: Mike
centres, he fell in love with and later McGuinn (right)
rehomed two cats, Lickul and Buster. on a visit to
Blue Cross
In 2000 he suffered a stroke but
recovered and celebrated by joining our Tuscany Trail,
walking for five days despite tendonitis. He raised nearly
£4,000, which went towards our refurbished Victoria
animal hospital. His wife Jane says: “Mike was delighted
to be invited to see the hospital and was pleased to
keep in touch with several of the others on the trip.”
Sadly, Mike died in September 2011, but we were
honoured to learn that, in addition to the generous
amounts given to and raised for us during his lifetime,
he left us a gift of £8,000 in his Will to help us continue
our work helping sick, injured and homeless pets.
For more about leaving a legacy to Blue Cross call us
on 0300 777 8240 or visit www.bluecross.org.uk/legacy
news
Rescue dog competes
at Crufts
A Blue Cross rescue dog will be competing at one of the
most famous dog shows in the world.
Border collie Lulu beat off stiff competition to win a
prestigious place in the Novice Cup agility class at this
year’s Crufts. Her owner, Anne Arbon, who rehomed Lulu
six years ago from our Southampton centre, says she
couldn’t be prouder.
Lulu came to us when she was just a pup because
her owner could no longer look after her. Under Anne’s
loving care she proved to have a special talent at agility
and, after two years of training, she started competing.
Since then she’s gone from strength to strength,
culminating in her qualification for Crufts.
Anne says: “The best thing about it is how much Lulu
enjoys it – she’s amazing. But whatever happens, even
if she goes completely wrong, I really don’t care. The
fact that she has qualified is more than enough for me.”
Lulu is also a member of the Blue Cross rescue
agility team.
Rosie’s wish comes true
A 13-year-old dog who became
homeless after 12 happy years with
her family because her owner was ill
has been given a second chance.
Jack Russell terrier Rosie was very
distressed when her owner had to go
into a care home and she came to
Blue Cross. She’s a kind dog with a lot
of love to give, but we feared her age
might put off potential new owners.
Community dog training is a hit
Our new dog training programme in London has been
given the paws up by the local community.
The classes, which are held in a local park, have been
organised by the nurse manager of our Merton animal
hospital, Tamsin Durston. She teaches owners life skills
to help them control their dog in a positive way that is
rewarding for their pet and lots of fun for everyone. Topics
covered include responding to name, recall, good food
manners and how to meet and greet a stranger.
The training is split into four weekly two-hour sessions
and Tamsin has already run two courses, which were
both fully booked, with more planned in 2012.
“Training
classes are
rewarding
and lots
of fun”
Some of you might recognise
Rosie because she appeared on our
Christmas mailing, where her wish
was to find a new home in time for
the festive season.
We’re delighted to report that
Rosie’s wish came true and not only
has she been rehomed, she also
got to spend Christmas with her
new family.
New charity shops open
Three new Blue Cross charity shops are
open for business and helping to raise
money for the animals in our care.
We now have shops in
Cheltenham, Witney and
Chippenham. All three are doing
well and attracting lots of shoppers
looking for bargains. If you’d like
to visit one of our shops, donate
unwanted items or find out more
about volunteering please visit
www.bluecross.org.uk/shops to
find your nearest one or call us
on 01993 825595.
Spring 2012 www.bluecross.org.uk
5
Long-stay dog Kiera
finds a home
A dog who was repeatedly
overlooked because she was
too “ordinary” has now found
a loving home.
Kiera was one of the longeststaying dogs at Blue Cross and,
despite having a lovely, friendly
and vivacious nature, kept getting
overlooked in favour of the
cuter, younger or more unusual
looking pooches.
Kiera appeared in one of our Blue
Cross appeals last year and we were
delighted when she was rehomed
to a loving family, where she’s doing
really well.
Competition winners
Congratulations to all the winners of the Pampered Pooch
competition from the Autumn 2011 edition of Blueprint:
First prize: A Pearce, Shropshire.
Second prize: Emma Walters, Stoke-on-Trent.
Third prize: Duane Wilkinson, Leeds.
Fourth prize: Danielle Frowde, Cornwall.
Fifth prize: Cathrine Barbosa, Brechin.
Sixth prize: A McGahern, Smethwick
Home Direct helps first small pets
Our Burford rehoming centre is celebrating after successfully
using our Home Direct scheme to help small pets for the
first time.
Degus Ty, Hugh and Archie found themselves looking for
a new home when their owner moved and was told by the
new landlord that she couldn’t have pets. We advertised for
homes for them and a lady in Devon got in touch to say she
would love to have them. All three degus are now settling
well into their new home.
Home Direct is our rehoming service which allows pets to
stay in their home while a new one is found through us, and
it’s now having great success with all species.
left: Three
more degus
rehomed
Blue Cross talks politics
Raffle winners
Congratulations to the winners of our
2011 Christmas Paw Draw raffle and
prize draw. The top winners were:
Raffle
1) J Rosier, Essex ­– Ford Fiesta
or £10,000
2) E Hamilton, Middlesex – £1,000
3) M Heissl, London – £500
4) V Hathway, Warwickshire – £500
6
Prize Draw
5) Miss Roberts, Nottinghamshire –
£1,500
For the full set of results, including
a list of runners-up, please visit
www.bluecross.org.uk/raffle or send
a stamped addressed envelope to
Paw Draw raffle, Blue Cross, 7 Hugh
Street, London SW1V 1QG.
www.bluecross.org.uk Spring 2012
Blue Cross joined forces with the RSPCA and Battersea Dogs
and Cats Home to host a fringe event at all three of the main
party political conferences.
The lively event, called ‘Can we afford to be a nation of
dog lovers in the age of austerity?’, attracted a high-profile
audience of politicians, journalists, delegates and others.
Steve Goody, our director of external affairs, spoke
about the hardships some pet owners face in the current
financial conditions and described how Blue Cross works
to support animals and their owners
by providing free veterinary care
and education.
The three organisations also urged
the government to address the stray
dog problem through microchipping
and the promotion of neutering, and
also to ensure that local authorities
have the funds they need to fulfil their
animal welfare responsibilities.
right: Steve Goody
news
Therapy Dog
Training
Our partner charity, the Society
for Companion Animal Studies, is
inviting people to apply for a place
on its Practical Training for Therapy
Dogs class.
The course provides a solid
foundation for owners who want
to take their dogs into a therapy
situation or visiting programme. It’s
made up of two fun and interactive
practical training days, as well
as some online theory work
to help you get the most from
your sessions.
Two sessions will take place
in 2012. To find out more and
to register your interest, visit
www.scas.org.uk
Gruelling challenge
for Blue Cross
executive team
Blue Cross chief executive Kim
Hamilton and her executive team
were so inspired by our amazing
fundraisers that they decided to step
into their shoes.
They all took part in our gruelling
Hadrian’s Wall challenge, trekking 25
miles over one weekend and raising
more than £5,500 for Blue Cross.
Kim says: “It was extremely
tough and it really showed us the
incredible effort people go to on
our active challenges to raise
money for us.”
Find out more about how you
can fundraise for Blue Cross on
pages 24 and 25.
Make us your charity of the year for 2012!
Many organisations pick a worthy
cause to raise money for each year.
If your company has a charity of the
year scheme, have you considered
nominating Blue Cross as your
charity partner?
We have a proven track record of
successfully establishing, managing
and developing relationships with
businesses. We work with our
corporate partners to raise funds for
our work, helping us to care for sick,
injured and homeless pets, while
also delivering outstanding benefits
to our partners.
For more information, please
contact our corporate development
officer, Caroline Holden-Coulman, on
01993 825622 or at [email protected]
bluecross.org.uk
Blue Cross and
the seven
giant rabbits
When it comes to these rabbits, big
definitely is beautiful. Our Burford rehoming
centre took in 17 needy bunnies of all
shapes and sizes after they were rescued
from their old home, where they had sadly
been neglected.
Among them were seven giant rabbits –
both continental giants and giant papillons
– which can weigh a hefty 8kg, or even
more when they’re fully mature.
This gang were around nine months
old when we took them in. They are all
really friendly and affectionate and have
now been rehomed, but we have lots more
rabbits that need loving homes. You can
find out more at www.bluecross.org.uk
Happy ending for kitten
A little kitten who had to have three operations in a month
is now looking forward to a happy and healthy future.
Betsy came to our Thirsk rehoming centre with her
brother Leroy after they were found abandoned on
a local farm. It soon became clear that Betsy had a
problem where her third eyelids were fused closed.
Betsy had an operation but while one eye healed
well, the other started to fuse again and she needed
more surgery. This time the eye began to heal at first,
but a fortnight later she needed yet another operation.
After a long course of eye drops her eyes have fully
healed and she has successfully been rehomed along
with her brother Leroy. Their new owner, Thomas Hudson,
says: “Betsy and Leroy have settled in very well and are
keeping us entertained playing around our home. It’s a
privilege to be able to give these two charismatic kittens
a home and a happy future.”
One stop shop
at Burford
Our Burford rehoming centre,
which finds homes for horses,
dogs, cats and small pets, now
operates one reception for all
animal species. You can contact
them by calling 0300 777 1570 or
emailing [email protected]
Spring 2012 www.bluecross.org.uk
7
on top
of the world
Running carefree with his dog friends and
showing off his long, glossy coat, picture
perfect Alvin looks like he just stepped
out of a shampoo advert
A
lvin is a fun-loving, happy dog who
loves nothing more than playing with
his toys and going for long walks.
But just a few months ago the Shetland
sheepdog was in a bit of a state. Alvin was
frightened of being groomed and became
fearful if anyone tried to handle him. The
eight-year-old had been a much-loved family
pet, but towards the end his owners didn’t
have much time for him any more. As a result
they didn’t groom him as much, so his coat
was in a bad condition.
The situation took a turn for the worse
when Alvin had a bad experience at
the vet, and when he was restrained,
he panicked and tried to bite in
self-defence. This, together with
losing his home, shattered his
confidence, leaving him wary
and mistrustful of people.
That’s when the Blue Cross
behaviour team stepped in.
Alvin was staying at one of our
rehoming centres, but animal
behaviourist Ryan Neile
8
www.bluecross.org.uk Spring 2012
behaviour
took him home so he could work with
him more closely.
Ryan says: “The knots in Alvin’s coat
would have made it very unpleasant for
him to receive even a stroke, let alone
any grooming. This issue alone would
have had a very negative impact on
the way Alvin perceived human touch.”
alvin’s journey
Before any training could begin, the pair
had to get to know each other. Ryan says:
“I couldn’t expect Alvin to do anything for
me until he learned that I was trustworthy.
Likewise, I also had to study Alvin’s body
language so that I could fully understand
him. If we were going to address his
problems, we had to work together.”
In the beginning, Alvin’s reaction
to even seeing a grooming brush
was panic. Ryan says: “We did some
desensitising work with Alvin. For
example, we’d get different brushes
out so he could get used to the fact
they were there and we helped him
to associate grooming with something
good by using a Kong toy stuffed with
food. We also began to refamiliarise him
with the things he’d experience at the
vet because sooner or later he’d have
to cope with this type of handling again.”
Gradually, Alvin grew accustomed
to being handled as his relationship
with Ryan developed. Ryan says: “His
confidence grew and he began to trust
me, which is such a huge thing when
it comes to working with fearful dogs. It
was a huge leap of faith for him to take.
“During our sessions I responded
immediately to the tiny changes in his
behaviour, rewarding him for being
brave and slowing down or stopping
when he couldn’t cope. He started to
let me do more and more with him
and the transformation was incredible
– his coat was in tip-top condition.”
Alvin began to really enjoy the
pleasures of life again and had a
great time going on fun trips with
Ryan, such as climbing to the peak
of Mount Snowdon. It soon became
clear that Alvin loved adventures.
Alvin was now ready to find a
new home, but he’d need a very
special place with someone who
would understand him. That’s when
Julie Brown stepped in. Julie, from
Oxfordshire, already had two shelties,
Chester and Harry, and a West
Highland terrier, Basil, but she couldn’t
resist looking on the Blue Cross website
to see the dogs needing new homes.
alvin had a great time going on fun trips, such
as climbing to the peak of mount snowdon
life at the top
Julie says: “I always like to look, but I
don’t normally do anything about it.
When I saw Alvin though, I couldn’t
getting in touch with Blue
“Alvin began resist
Cross to find out more about him.”
to trust me, which
Julie met Alvin and spent lots
was a huge leap of time with him before introducing
her dogs to him. She says: “He
of faith for him
was a lovely dog who just needed
to take”
some love and affection. I really wanted
to give him a nice, loving home.”
Alvin soon settled in and is well and
truly a member of the family. Julie says:
“He’s very playful and enjoys cuddles
– he’s a happy and calm dog. He likes
going for walks, and he loves food,
which helps with his training. The
dogs are very comfortable together.”
Julie admits she still likes to go online
to look at the dogs needing homes, but
says: “This time, I’m definitely just looking!”
Ryan adds: “Julie is far too modest.
She has worked really hard with Alvin.
Her understanding and patience have
enabled his personality to blossom.”
Ryan and Alvin remain good friends.
Ryan says: “I visit Alvin and give him a
good groom while I’m there. Alvin would
never admit it, but I think he’s beginning
to enjoy being brushed!”
Alvin is one of the many pets helped
by our team of animal behaviourists. Not
only do they work with the new arrivals,
they’re also on hand to help anyone who
gives a home to a Blue Cross animal. The
team have helped hundreds of people
and pets have a happy future together.
Spring 2012 www.bluecross.org.uk
9
storm and kate
going for gold
Meet the Blue Cross horses making a name for themselves
in equestrian competitions and proving that rescue animals
are not only a joy to have, but also a force to be reckoned with
10
www.bluecross.org.uk Spring 2012
Competition time
Kate says: “I was looking for a second
horse and I had been to see a few in
private homes but none of them were
right. During an internet search I came
across the Blue Cross website. I adored
Storm right from the start.”
Kate and Storm started dressage
in 2009 and they both had to learn as
they went along. She says: “I was quite
intimidated by dressage. I’d never done
it before and I felt a bit out of place, but
people were really encouraging and
it wasn’t long before we realised that
Storm had something that the judges
liked because he was getting good
scores. He stood out, too, because cobs
are very stocky and there aren’t many
of them in the dressage world.”
Soon Kate and Storm were
climbing the ranks, and they now
compete in elementary classes –
a high standard of dressage. Kate
says: “I never thought I’d be competing
at this level. To be a part of an event
like the Dressage Championships
was incredible.”
Photography: Showground Photography (page 10), Frances Kay (page 11, above)
“Your horse is beautiful! What breed is
he?” This is the kind of question Kate
Marks gets asked all the time by fellow
competitors when they see her horse,
Storm. They are convinced this classy
chap must have come from a top
breeder and probably cost megabucks.
Little do they know that Storm was an
“ordinary” black cob from Blue Cross.
Storm came to our Burford
rehoming centre when he was three
years old because he was showing
aggression towards children when
he was tied up. Our staff spent a lot of
time working with him so he became
used to being handled, but no one
could predict that he would blossom
into such an elegant horse and come
fourth in the prestigious Dressage
Championships of Great Britain, missing
a bronze place by just 0.1 per cent.
For Kate, who has learned dressage
alongside Storm, it’s a dream come
true. Kate rehomed Storm on the Blue
Cross loan scheme back in 2003 when
he was a youngster. She was working
at a stable yard at the time so she
was in the perfect position to spend
lots of time with Storm and provide the
knowledge and training he needed.
rehoming
Darius and Becky
Darius was just a year old when he
came to Blue Cross after being in an
accident. His owners couldn’t afford his
veterinary treatment and were advised
to put him down but they desperately
wanted to give Darius a chance.
They contacted our Burford rehoming
centre and we took him in. We gave
Darius the veterinary treatment he
needed and he made a full recovery.
Darius blossomed into a fantastic riding
pony and was rehomed on our loan
scheme. Because he’s a small pony he
was outgrown several times, so he’s
helped many children become happy
and confident riders. Now aged 17, he’s
as fun-loving and energetic as ever.
Darius has proven that it’s never
too late to try something new and, with
his current rider Becky Frost, 13, he’s
become a horseball star. Horseball
is a cross between polo, rugby and
basketball which sees teams of six
competing to score goals, with four
from each side on the pitch at once.
Although he’s only been playing for
a few years, Darius has proven to be
a natural and Becky is a member of
the Twin Trees Equestrian Centre junior
Charlie and Thunder
team, travelling around the country to
go to matches.
Becky says: “Horseball has given me
and Darius great confidence as we have
built up such a level of trust. It’s great fun.”
Becky’s mum Su Scott says Darius
has been a much-loved member of
the family since they got him in 2007.
At first he was ridden by Becky’s older
sister Katie, who had success with him in
showjumping and cross-country before
introducing him to horseball. When Katie
outgrew him, Becky took over.
Su says: “Darius epitomises a good
family pony. You know your children will
be safe with him and he’s really keen to
try things. He’s a real people pony!”
above: This isn’t an
accident in progress
– this is horseball
Angel and Natalie
Not only does Natalie Smith think her
pony Angel is a superstar, she’s got an
award to prove it.
Angel won 2011 Rescue Horse of the
Year in the Your Horse magazine awards
in November. It’s a fantastic success for
the piebald pony, who came to us from
the RSPCA in 2000. She was extremely
thin and had cracked and overgrown
hooves. She was also pregnant, but
sadly her foal died within minutes of
being born. If that wasn’t enough, one
of her eyes was damaged from a rare
medical condition that meant only one
eye grew while she was in the womb.
During her time with us Angel
made a remarkable recovery. She
was rehomed with a family for several
years, then in 2008 found a new home
with Natalie Smith. The pair formed a
strong partnership and now successfully
compete in dressage competitions.
Natalie says: “Before Angel I’d only
been riding for a few years and I didn’t
do very much. I didn’t jump because
I thought it was scary and I didn’t do
dressage because I thought it was
boring but Angel showed me otherwise.
“Angel taught me everything I know.
They say that everyone has one extraspecial horse in their lifetime and she is
undoubtedly mine. She’s such a major
part of my life, and my family’s life too.”
Natalie nominated Angel for Rescue
Horse of the Year after one of her friends
urged her to enter. She was overjoyed
when she got an email to say that Angel
had won. She says: “She’s so fabulous,
I can’t believe how amazing she is.”
above: Angel in the
paddock after her
impressive recovery
A passer-by spotted Charlie and
Thunder in a bad condition, and the
ponies soon came to Blue Cross
for veterinary care. Both were very
underweight and had to be treated
for lice. It was clear no one had cared
for them properly for some time.
After just a
few months at
Burford, Charlie
and Thunder
have improved
dramatically.
Dengie Horse
Feeds is proud
to support Blue Cross by supplying
the Burford and Rolleston rehoming
centres with feed and supplements.
After consulting Dengie’s senior
nutritionist, Burford staff started
Charlie and Thunder on a small
amount of Dengie Alfa-A Original.
Alfa-Beet was gradually added to
the ration, as it is a highly digestible
source of fibre, ideal for digestive
systems that have been under stress.
Now Charlie and Thunder are fit
and well they, like many ponies, risk
becoming overweight. Blue Cross
staff have now switched their feed
to Dengie Good Do-er, a special
low-calorie feed for those who only
have to look at grass to put on weight.
It also contains all the vitamins and
minerals the ponies need for healthy
hooves and a shiny coat – a simple
way to provide a balanced diet.
Charlie and Thunder are now
ready to be loaned to homes, where
handling and training will help keep
their weight down and health good.
Would you like to give a home to a Blue Cross horse?
Find out more at www.bluecross.org.uk/horses
Spring 2012 www.bluecross.org.uk
11
hoMes Wanted
take me home
Can you offer any of these Blue Cross animals the companionship
and attention they derserve?
iCed Bun
Miss tiBBs
Burford rehoming centre
0300 777 1570
Thirsk rehoming centre
0300 777 1540
French lop Iced Bun is a young rabbit who’s full
of life and loves having a good run around and
a rub behind her ears. She’s looking for a home
together with her sister and best pal, Sponge.
MouLder
Lewknor rehoming centre
0300 777 1500
Poor Moulder is desperate for love, but he’s
being overlooked because he’s 13 years old.
He’s the most loving and gentle companion
anyone could ask for and he’s always eager
to meet new people.
Miss Tibbs is a sociable cat who enjoys
giving affection – as long as it’s on her terms!
Once she gets to know you she’s a fun and
friendly character.
roLo
Southampton rehoming centre
0300 777 1530
Rolo is a lovely young boxer crossbreed
who has lots to offer a new family. He’s loyal,
affectionate and cuddly, and he loves his
walks, so he’ll keep you busy and active.
steffi
Burford rehoming centre
0300 777 1570
Steffi is a sweet and kind horse who’s looking
for a home as a non-ridden companion. She
enjoys fuss and attention and her favourite
pastime is being groomed.
poppy
Torbay rehoming centre
0300 777 1550
Poppy is a sociable, playful puss who loves
chasing toys, and she’s really loving and
affectionate. All she needs now is a place
to call home.
OUR ANIMALS ONLINE
To learn about all our pets available for rehoming, visit www.bluecross.org.uk
12
www.bluecross.org.uk Spring 2012
happy ending
a family affair
She had a tough start to life, but now Tillie has found her
ideal home with the Marshalls – and their menagerie
“We had
room in our
house, and
our hearts, for
another cat”
T
illie started her life without anyone
to look out for her. The kitten was
just a few days old when she was
found abandoned on a farm with her
two brothers, on the brink of death.
Sadly Tillie’s brothers died and she
was left all alone, fighting for her life.
The next few days were crucial, and
staff at our Lewknor rehoming centre
cared for her by day and took turns to
take her home and nurse her through
the night. Tillie was a true fighter and
she blossomed into a happy, playful
and confident kitten. Soon she was old
enough to start life in a new home.
Now Tillie has a bigger family than
she could ever have dreamed of. Not
only does she have her loving new
owners Lynda and Dean Marshall,
there’s also Labrador Barney, crossbreed
puppy Jess and cats Poppy and Cali,
who were all rehomed from Blue Cross.
Constant companions
Lynda says: “No matter where I go, I
turn around and Tillie’s a few feet away.
She always likes to be close to us. She
also loves playing with Poppy and Cali
and we often see them charging across
the landing together.”
Tillie also gets on well with the dogs
and likes to come out and see what’s
happening when they’re playing in the
garden. There’s never a dull moment in
the house, and that’s exactly how Lynda
and Dean, from Oxfordshire, like it. Lynda
says: “Our 15-year-old cats Oscar and
Tillie is never far
away from Lynda
Today Tillie is confident
enough to pose for her picture
Emmie died in 2010 and it was
so empty in the house without
them. There was no one poking
their head around the corner to
see what we were up to and we
missed the heartbeats in the
house. We felt lost.”
That autumn Lynda and
Dean rehomed Poppy and
Cali, then, a few months
later, realised their dream
of getting a dog. Lynda says:
“We’d always wanted a dog but our
work commitments had never allowed
it. When our situation changed, we
decided the time was right, but, of
course, we had to have a dog that
was good with cats.”
Match-makers
Thanks to our tailor-made rehoming
scheme we can match people to the
right pet and vice versa, so we were
able to find them the perfect pooch, and
cat-friendly Barney arrived in December
above: Tiny Tillie,
soon after she was
found abandoned
on a farm
2010. In June last year, Lynda
logged on to the Blue Cross
website and, when she saw
Tillie’s profile, she was smitten.
She says: “We felt we had room
in our house, and our hearts,
for another cat, and when I read
about Tillie’s sad start to life, I
had to go and see her. Tillie was
sociable with both cats and dogs
so she was a great match for us.
She’s an absolute joy.”
The newest arrival is Jess, who had
a tough start after being rescued from
the streets of Ireland, and was rehomed
as a friend for Barney, who is already
besotted with the puppy. Lynda says:
“That’s it now – our family is complete!”
If you recognise Tillie it’s because she
appeared on one of our mailings last
summer, highlighting the rising number
of kittens being abandoned. At the time
she was called Pippa. We’re delighted
to report a happy ending for her.
Spring 2012 www.bluecross.org.uk
13
The real war horses
Steven Spielberg’s War Horse was a box office triumph when it hit cinemas this year. But
behind the fiction lie true stories of the bond between man and horse in the First World War
G
eorge Turner was just 16 when he
escaped his strict grandmother
and ran off to join the army.
The Hereford lad, whose parents
had died when he was young, didn’t
let being underage stand in the way of
him serving his country. It was 1914, just
before the outbreak of the First World
War, when he was enlisted into the 56th
(London) Division Royal Artillery and it
wasn’t long before he was shipped off
to the trenches in France.
George became a driver. His job
was to look after war horses and take
ammunition and food to soldiers at the
front line. He was young
and inexperienced
so he always carried
the Drivers’ and
Gunners’ Handbook to
Management and Care
of Horses and Harness
with him, which Blue
Cross had produced to
help soldiers look after
horses in the war. The
handbook gave George
valuable advice to
help him care for
the horses, but sadly
nothing could protect
him from the threat
of an enemy attack.
British convoy and
started shelling.
“My grandfather
was thrown off his
horse and one of
the other horses
he was travelling
with was very
badly injured. He
under fire
took all the ammunition off the injured
His granddaughter, Ruth Turner, says:
horse, putting it on his own back and
“Drivers were a prime target for
on another horse, before leading
the enemy because they were
them to cover in a wooded
carrying vital supplies. One
“George led copse. He tied up the injured
day my grandfather was
the wounded horse and carried on back
taking some ammunition
through enemy fire to the
horse back
to the front line when
trenches so he could drop
through heavy the ammunition off.”
his convoy was spotted
by a German observation
George knew he couldn’t
fire”
balloon. It was a sunny day
save the injured horse, but
and the sun had reflected off
he couldn’t bear to leave him to
the horses’ brasses, which caught
a slow and painful death, so he told
their eye. The enemy gunners were
his commanding officer that they
alerted and they opened fire on the
needed to go back to the woods.
14
www.bluecross.org.uk Spring 2012
above: A wounded
horse awaits a Blue
Cross ambulance
left: Horses weren’t
the only animals to
be involved in war:
dogs were used
as messengers or
regimental mascots
heroic actions
Ruth says: “George just wanted to put
the poor horse out of its misery, but
drivers didn’t carry guns so he needed
his commanding officer to go with him.
They started back towards the copse,
but they were under such heavy fire and
shelling all around them that the officer
ran back to the trenches.”
George was so determined that the
wounded horse wouldn’t suffer that
he carried on, and led the horse back
through heavy fire to the front line so
he could be humanely destroyed.
Unbeknown to George, his selfless
actions had been witnessed through
binoculars by a French soldier. Ruth says:
“The soldier saw the whole thing and
wrote to my grandfather’s commanding
officer to tell him what George had done.
As a result, George was awarded a
military medal for bravery.”
George was one of the fortunate
men who survived the war. Ruth says:
history
“He always said that the thing that saved
his life was the precision of the German
bombing. They were so methodical that
he used to be able to count between the
shell blasts and gallop the horses to a
safe position in between attacks.”
George’s story mirrors that of the
character Albert in Michael Morpurgo’s
children’s book War Horse, which has
been made into a hit West End theatre
production and, more recently, a
Hollywood movie, directed by Steven
Spielberg. The story is about a young
boy who runs off to join the army, despite
being underage, so that he can save
his beloved farm horse, Joey, who was
sold to the British army. Like George, he
was devoted to helping horses, even if
it meant putting his own life at risk.
Ruth still has her grandfather’s
battered Blue Cross handbook. It was
one of the many ways we helped
animals in the First and Second World
Wars, back when we were known as
Our Dumb Friends League. We had
been set up by a group of animal lovers
in 1897. Our initial aim was to care for
working horses on the streets of London,
but we created the Blue Cross Fund to
help animals in the Balkan War. When
the First World War broke out we quickly
re-established the fund and, just like The
Red Cross helped human victims of war,
we were there to care for the animals.
blue cross in wartime
We sent vital veterinary supplies to more
than 3,500 British units. The fund was
paid for by generous members of the
public who were horrified to hear of
the plight of animals in war.
As the war continued, we realised
that while Britain was relatively
ABOVE: A poster,
postcard and
photograph from
the Blue Cross
wartime archive,
showing some
of our work in the
First and Second
World Wars
well-equipped with knowledge and
supplies to help its horses, our allies
weren’t, and we extended help to France
and Italy, providing hospitals to treat
injured animals on the battlefields. In
France alone more than 50,000 horses
were treated for mange and, when
the Americans joined the war, we sent
veterinary supplies to their army, too.
It’s estimated that more than six
million horses and mules played a
part in the First World War, 1.2 million of
which were supporting the British army.
The legacy of the work we did was so
important that in the 1950s we changed
our name to Blue Cross, in honour of
the war fund. Today we continue to help
thousands of animals in lots of different
ways, thanks to your generous support.
Buy a special commemorative
veterinary chest
To mark the release of the War Horse
film, Blue Cross has produced a
commemorative keepsake box.
Each contains three books – Blue
Cross at War, War Horse by Michael
Morpurgo and Animals in War by
Jilly Cooper – plus posters, postcards
and a certificate. We have 10 for
Blueprint readers to buy for £35
plus postage and packaging, which
includes a donation to Blue Cross.
To order or find out more, call 020
7932 4061 or
email [email protected]
bluecross.org.uk
Spring 2012 www.bluecross.org.uk
15
veterinary
A little miracle
After a savage attack, it was hard to say whether Bobby
would survive. But he isn’t the kind of dog to give up…
L
ittle Bobby was enjoying a walk around a
boating lake when he was picked up and
thrown in the air by another dog.
The attack on the Yorkshire terrier crossbreed
was so severe that he was left with extensive
life-threatening injuries and every minute was
crucial to his survival. His terrified 80-year-old
owner Evelyn Davidson wrapped him in
a blanket and rushed him to Blue Cross’s
Grimsby animal hospital.
She says: “It was horrific and Bobby was
terrified. I knew he was in a bad way but I must
admit I didn’t realise just how bad it was until
we got to the hospital.”
didn’t mean that he was out
of the woods.”
back from the brink
The next day Blue Cross
staff nurse Michelle
Clarke brought her
own dog, Lyra, into the
hospital to donate blood
so Bobby could have a
transfusion to help him
in his fight for life. He then
needed round-the-clock
intensive nursing care.
Evelyn says: “I was so
upset that I couldn’t even eat.
I went to see him every day and
his little tail wagged but then he
started to turn his back on us as if
he was giving up. There was one point
when I was preparing to say goodbye to
Bobby. I couldn’t believe this was happening –
he’s only three years old.
Bobby’s back to normal now and he’s
bouncing around like nobody’s business
ABOVE: A battered Bobby, in mid-recovery
As well as being treated for severe shock,
Bobby needed major surgery. During a five-hour
operation he had to have his abdominal muscle
layer repaired, which was shredded down to
his spine. His left kidney was removed because
it had been crushed and severed into two, and
the multiple deep bite wounds on Bobby’s body
were repaired.
dogged survival
For poor Bobby, that was just the start of his
road to recovery, and Evelyn was warned that
his outlook was uncertain. She says: “The whole
time they were operating it was touch-and-go,
and even when he survived the surgery I knew it
16
www.bluecross.org.uk Spring 2012
“But then suddenly he seemed to get
better and better and finally I could have hope.
Everyone was amazed and the nurses called
him a little miracle.”
Nearly a month after his ordeal,
Bobby was finally allowed home,
where he’s recovering well and
gaining strength every day.
Evelyn says: “Bobby’s back to
normal now and he’s bouncing
about like nobody’s business. In
fact, some people have said he’s
even livelier than he was before.
It’s so lovely to have him back
home where he belongs.”
right: Evelyn keeping a close
eye on Bobby – and probably
keeping him well away from
the boating lake
Bobby’s treatment cost us more than
£1,000, which was funded by generous
donations from the animal-loving public.
Evelyn says: “I really can’t praise Blue Cross
enough – they never gave up on Bobby.”
Break
the
Cycle
Effective worm control is more than just worming. It’s about using
all the tools available to break the lifecycle of parasites that affect
the health and performance of your horse.
manage
test
plan
dose
manage
test
plan
dose
POM-VPS
At Pfizer Animal Health, we believe it’s important to use wormers
responsibly. The right worm control strategy involves:
Managing your pasture to minimise re-infection
Testing regularly to assess worm burdens
Planning your worm control programme
Dosing with the right wormer at the right time
These concepts are explained in more detail in our free booklet,
Worm Control for your Horse, available through your vet or SQP.
For more information speak to your vet,
SQP or visit www.wormingyourhorse.info
Further information is available from: PFIZER ANIMAL HEALTH Walton Oaks, Tadworth, KT20 7NS
EQUEST & EQUEST PRAMOX are registered trademarks of Pfizer Ltd. EQUEST contains moxidectin. EQUEST PRAMOX contains moxidectin and praziquantel.
Advice on the use of this or alternative medicines must be sought from the medicine prescriber. Use medicines responsibly: www.noah.co.uk/responsible/
AH799/10
ask the panel
Whether it’s itchy cats, nervous dogs or allergic horses,
our experts are here to offer their advice
More than skin deep
For a year now our 14-year-old
cat Ted has had an ongoing
skin condition which we have
endeavoured to overcome. Three vets
at our local practice have tried various
treatments, injections and tablets and
now our cat is on antihistamines in the
hope that his condition may be allergic.
Unfortunately this medication appears
to be having little effect and there seems
to be no solution in sight.
Michael Daniels, Essex
down sideways to his level and playing
ball but he doesn’t want to know.
Deanne Reid, via email
Q
A
A
Caroline says: Many of our
patients have itching and skin
problems that are distressing
for animals and owners alike. Allergies
are the most common cause but there
are many possibilities. Methodical
investigation is essential. Rarer causes
include mange, fungal infections
like ringworm, hormonal problems
(particularly excessive thyroid hormone,
which is common in older cats) and
some internal cancers.
Cheaper tests such as skin scrapes
and hair samples are essential, but
more expensive procedures such as
biopsies may be needed if nothing is
found. There is no definite test for an
allergy, although response to treatment
can “confirm” the diagnosis. Many
animals develop multiple allergies,
worsening their condition and making
allergen avoidance difficult. Special
allergy tests are only worthwhile
if hyposensitisation therapy (which
won’t help every case) is contemplated.
Allergies are not caused by
something new. They develop in
response to substances in the everyday
environment or even food that a pet
has eaten for years. Food allergies
can affect the skin and changing brand
won’t work; ask your vet about a proper
low-allergy diet. Although fleas are
rarely seen on affected pets, they are
a common complicating factor and it’s
18
essential to follow the recommendations
of your vet.
Most animals can be kept
comfortable using steroids, but in cats
it can take large doses. Stronger, more
costly drugs can be needed, especially
where steroids produce side-effects.
Bathing or nutritional supplements may
help. Skin conditions can be frustrating
and it may be worth discussing a
referral to a specialist with your vet.
Specialist consultations cost more
but may save money in the long run.
Making friends
My daughter adopted a German
shepherd dog, Oakley, about
12 months ago and he settled
in well. He came from a woman who
was at work all day and he was kept
in the utility room and hardly ever met
other people. My husband and I often
go to my daughter’s house to let Oakley
out into the garden for a stretch, but he
won’t come anywhere near us – he’s
frightened of us. We have tried talking
to him without looking at him, squatting
Q
www.bluecross.org.uk Spring 2012
above: It can be a
challenge to pinpoint
the cause of feline
skin conditions
Julie says: It sounds as if you
have been doing the right
things for Oakley, but his early
upbringing means he will find it difficult to
bond with more than one person. Have
you tried going for long walks with
your daughter and Oakley? Dogs are
often more relaxed when out walking
than when in the home or garden.
When you’re back home, instead
of trying to coax Oakley towards you,
why not use food to create a game for
him? Your daughter will have to start the
game so he understands the rules, but
once he gets the hang of it you can take
over. Get ten pieces of hot-dog sausage,
place a piece on a jam-jar top in front
of Oakley, say “find it” in an excited tone
and encourage him to go and eat the
food. Repeat with all ten portions.
For three days continue placing
the food down while Oakley watches,
but place it further away, just around
the corner or behind furniture. As you
release Oakley to find the food say “find
it” in an excited, encouraging voice. For
the next three days continue as above,
but gradually make the food harder for
him to find: around the back of a chair,
in another room, out in the garden etc,
but always letting him see that the food
is being taken and placed somewhere.
If he dashes out and gets each
portion quickly and appears confident
have a question?
Do you have a pet or horse question that
you would like answered by our experts?
Please write to: Ask the panel, Blueprint, Blue
Cross, 7 Hugh Street, London SW1V 1QG or email
[email protected] Due to the volume of mail
we receive, we regret we cannot answer every letter.
For urgent enquiries, please contact your vet.
ask the panel
A
you can move on to doing the same
thing without letting Oakley see where
you have put the sausages. This fun
game can boost a dog’s confidence and
form pleasant associations with you.
above: That special
bond between dogs
and the people they
trust can take time
to develop
Sweet itch – sour problem
I’ve been told my new pony is
prone to sweet itch. What causes
this and is there anything I can
do to try and prevent it?
Emma Newall, Lincolnshire
Q
Meet The Panel
Julie Bedford is
head of behaviour
services at Blue
Cross. She can
answer your animal
behaviour, training
or welfare queries.
Caroline Reay is chief
veterinary surgeon
at the Blue Cross
hospital in Merton,
London. Ask her
advice on any aspect
of pet health.
below: Prevention
is the best strategy
for some horse and
pony afflictions
Kath says: Sweet itch is caused
by an allergic reaction to saliva
from insect bites. Your pony is not
alone is suffering from this condition as
it affects around five per cent of horses
and ponies in the UK.
The sweet itch season usually runs
from April to October but may start
earlier or continue later into the year
depending on the weather. It is not
contagious so you don’t need to worry
about your pony infecting others.
Symptoms vary in severity but include
itching, hair loss, weeping sores and
thickening of the skin. Prevention is the
key to managing sweet itch and you are
right to consider what you can do even
before your pony shows symptoms. The
local environment is the main factor to
consider: if you have moved your pony
to a different area you may be lucky
and find they show no symptoms in
their new home. Unfortunately, you may
instead find they become more severe.
Speak to your vet, who may
recommend some treatment or
supplements. Again, it is better to do
this before your pony starts to show any
symptoms. Try to keep your pony away
from areas that will attract flies, such
as water sources, muck heaps and
woodland. Stable your pony at dawn
and dusk when midges are most active.
Several fly rugs are on the market,
and fly repellents will also help protect
against some types of fly bites.
With some forward planning and
a little extra time, care and attention
you should be able to ensure your
pony remains comfortable and
healthy throughout the year.
Healthy Appetites!
Have you ever thought about how
nutritional requirements change with
age? Parents will know that babies
shouldn’t be fed salty or sugary foods
and that certain ingredients should
not be introduced till much later in life.
Equally, toddlers need healthy food to
fuel their activity and we wouldn’t
expect them to consume the same
foods a teenager’s digestive system
will tolerate. When we get older, spicy
foods can be less well tolerated and
something that’s easy to digest
becomes a primary consideration.
Now, what about your pet –
wouldn’t it be logical to think that
their nutritional needs will vary
through life too? Vets and nutritionists
at Hill’sTM Pet Nutrition certainly think
so and that’s why Hill’sTM Science
PlanTM range has foods suitable for
puppies or kittens, adult pets and
older dogs and cats. There are even
foods suitable for pets that pile on the
pounds more easily than others or
that have a sensitive digestion.
Dogs add another complication –
a Yorkshire terrier may weigh as little
as 3kg and a great Dane could weigh
90kg. A 30-fold difference in weight
is not something we generally see
in humans – even an 18-stone adult
is only three times heavier than a
six-stone adult.
Yet a Yorkshire terrier may need as
little as 75 kilocalories a day, while a
great Dane may need nearer to 1,000
kilocalories. That’s still 13 times more
calories for the bigger dog, but
nowhere near the 30-fold difference
we see in size alone. As different
dog breeds show these enormous
variations, Hill’sTM has developed
foods specific to the breed size.
Find out more about your dog
or cat’s nutritional needs at www.
hillspet.co.uk or talk to your vet or local
pet shop about choosing a pet food.
Kath Urwin is
manager of our
Rolleston rehoming
centre. She can
help with your
horse concerns.
Spring 2012 www.bluecross.org.uk
19
veterinary
vetting your vet
There are so many vet practices out there that choosing which one to take your
pet to can be tough. Read our advice before you make that important decision
Find a registered vet
It’s illegal for anyone unregistered to practise as
a vet. The body responsible for this is the Royal
College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). Qualified
vets will have MRCVS or FRCVS after their name.
You can check whether your vet is registered on
the RCVS website at www.rcvs.org.uk.
Personal recommendation
Recommendations can be a useful way to find a
vet. Find out what other pet owners in your area
think about their vet, but consider whether they
have the same type of animal as you because
different pets have different requirements.
Distance
It’s good to choose a practice close to your
home. Not only is it convenient, but it’s
helpful to know that in an emergency you
can get your pet to the vet quickly. Think about
where the practice is located, if it’s near public
transport links or, if you drive, whether it has
a car park or public parking nearby.
Opening hours
“Think about
whether
you’re kept
informed“
Vets have to arrange for pets to
receive emergency treatment outside
normal hours, but it may not be
at their own practice if they lack the
facilities. You and your pet may be sent
further afield, so it’s worth asking about this. If
you work long hours, check whether the practice
is open in the evening or at the weekend.
Bedside manner
Do staff treat your pet sympathetically? They
may need to restrain or muzzle your pet for
treatment, but there’s no excuse for rough
handling. Also, think about whether you’re
kept informed about what’s going on and, if
you have to give your pet treatment, make sure
you’re given clear information on how to do this.
Price
Veterinary charges vary depending on location,
facilities and overheads. Staff should be able
to give you typical costs for routine treatments,
but don’t forget to ask exactly what’s included
20
www.bluecross.org.uk Spring 2012
Finding the right vet can make a big
difference to the health of your pet
when you’re given a quote. If your pet is having
surgery, find out whether there will be further
charges for post-op check-ups.
Specialist vets
Most vets carry out a variety of medical and
surgical procedures but there may be times
when it’s better for a specialist to take over –
for example if your pet needs an MRI scan or
has a complex fracture. If your practice lacks a
specialist they may refer your pet elsewhere.
Consider what pets the practice usually
treats. If you have an unusual pet, it’s worth
finding a vet with experience of that species.
If you’re not sure, your local practice should be
able to point you in the right direction, or you
can search by species on the RCVS website.
Extra services
Some vets provide extra services, such as puppy
training, obedience classes or pet-care advice.
Ring your local practice to see what they do.
rehoming
canine crime fighter
Sam’s focus and enthusiasm make him an ideal
dog for sniffing out trouble on the UK’s borders
F
ighting crime and keeping the UK
border safe is all in a day’s work
for body-detection dog Sam.
The former Blue Cross pooch is
in France, sniffing out people trying
to enter the UK illegally. Sam works
alongside the UK Border Agency,
finding obscure hiding places in lorries,
including fake floors and ceilings. He’s
been working only a short while, but
he’s already had a result.
Sam is owned by Wagtail UK Ltd,
which trains and provides specialist
detection dogs for UK and international
operations. It’s the perfect environment
for Sam, who came to our Bromsgrove
rehoming centre because his owner
was ill and could no longer look after
him. We struggled to find him a home
because he had so much energy, and
he needed a lot of stimulation.
We tried to rehome him into a family
but he was so easily bored he became
destructive and was returned to us.
That’s when we contacted Wagtail UK.
We had already seen their training
grounds in North Wales and thought
their staff, housing and training methods
were top-notch, so we arranged to take
Sam up so they could assess him and
see if he would be suitable.
Training regime
Wagtail UK trainer Rhi Atkin says:
“We’re looking for focus and drive, and
Sam had that in bags. The dogs are
rewarded with toys so it’s essential that
they are toy-motivated, and when Sam’s
focused on a toy, nothing else matters.
“We took him up to our training
area, which has various ledges and
ramps for the dogs. Most dogs are a bit
unsure at first but within seconds Sam
had done a lap around the room. He
was just up for it straight away.”
Wagtail UK took Sam on a two-week
trial to make sure he settled in and
enjoyed training. They then had to find
a role for Sam, and they soon realised
he’d be an ideal body-detection dog.
Rhi explains: “For this kind of work
the dog has to be totally unfazed by
“For this
work he has
to be totally
unfazed by
everything”
everything. They’re surrounded by
vehicles, loud noises and people and
they have to be completely focused on
the job and not easily distracted.
“We soon realised that this was the
perfect job for Sam because nothing
worries him at all – he’s just a very
happy-go-lucky chap. He took to it
almost immediately. In fact he was
one of our quickest learners.”
jobs for life
After 12 weeks of training, Sam went
to France, where he had further
environmental training to acclimatise
him. He’s now a fully-fledged bodydetection dog. The working life of a dog
depends on the animal; many work
until around eight years old or even
longer because they love it so much.
When a dog no longer enjoys their
work Wagtail UK, which currently has
around 60 dogs, finds them suitable
family homes. But that’s a long way
off for one-year-old Sam, who’s just
embarking on his career of a lifetime.
Spring 2012 www.bluecross.org.uk
21
pets into care
we’re there for your pet
If you’re worried what might happen to your pets if
you’re no longer able to look after them, the Blue Cross
Pets into Care scheme may have the answer
J
anet Gower simply couldn’t
imagine life without her beloved
13-year-old cat Tabbie. But, as she
lives on her own, she needed to know
that if anything ever happened to her
she could be confident that Tabbie
would never be left alone in the world.
She says: “If the time ever came,
it would be so traumatic for Tabbie,
or any pet, to be left behind, and
it’s a situation that requires such
careful handling.”
That’s the reason why Janet, from
Milton Keynes, registered Tabbie on
our Pets into Care scheme. It was set
up to give people peace of mind about
what will happen if their animals outlive
them. Many of us don’t feel that there’s
anyone we can ask to take on our
beloved pet after we’re gone, and
this can cause a lot of anxiety.
With Pets into Care people can be
safe in the knowledge that if something
happens to them we’ll take in their pet,
care for them and try to find them a
new home. More than 3,000 people
are already signed up to the scheme.
peace of mind
For Janet, it means she can happily
continue to have pets. She says: “It’s
always a worry that your animal will
outlive you, especially as you get a bit
older, and it might stop people taking
on a pet, which is such a shame
because it means they both lose out
and animals enrich your life so much.”
Tabbie has been on the scheme
since Janet got him in 2003, and her
two previous cats, Puss and Smudge,
were also registered. She adds: “I have
been to visit Blue Cross and the staff
care so much about the animals.
I wouldn’t trust my precious bundle
of love to anyone else.”
22
Make sure a loyal companion is always looked after
a blue cross legacy
The scheme is free of charge
but many people, including
Janet, generously decide to
leave us a legacy in their Will as
a way of saying thanks. While this is not
at all essential, it’s a much-appreciated
gesture. Legacies make up more than
half of our income so they are vital
in ensuring we can care for as many
animals as possible in the future.
Unfortunately we can’t accept pets on
to the scheme with specific legacies
or funds attached to them, but we
promise we’ll be there for your pet, and
the best way you can help us with our
work is to leave a legacy to Blue Cross.
www.bluecross.org.uk Spring 2012
About the Pets into Care scheme
The scheme is available for dogs, cats and
small animals, such as rabbits, guinea pigs
and hamsters. We’ll also consider horses on
a case-by-case basis. Up to four pets per
owner can be registered at any one time.
We’ll let you know within seven days of your
application whether or not your pets have been
successfully registered. If so, we’ll provide you with
a clause to insert into your Will and your executor
will be responsible for carrying out your wishes.
Pets in our care are subject to our policies, including
neutering, vaccinations and microchipping.
For more information, or to apply, call the legacy team
on 0300 777 8240, email [email protected]
or visit www.bluecross.org.uk/petsintocare
PET POST
have your say
We love to hear from you – please send us your news
and pictures of your pets
Star
Letter
a dog’s life
We were looking for a second dog
to join our family and we came
across Dudley (renamed Billy), a
lovely mongrel looking for a home
at the Blue Cross centre in Thirsk. The
dogs met in the secure paddock and
it was love at first sight! They have
been totally amazing together and
love nothing more than to snuggle up
on the sofa. I can’t thank Blue Cross
enough for all the advice they gave
us about bringing a second dog into
our house and for finding us such
a wonderful dog. He has definitely
found himself his forever home.
Alison Polland, via email
magazine moggy
This is a picture of my cat Mimzi
giving a thumbs – or should that
be a paws? – up for your magazine
Blueprint. She is the eldest of three
cats that I have and she is two and
a half years old. I got her from a
pet rescue centre here in Chingford. I think she looks very intelligent in
this picture.
Jeanette Le Carpentier, via email
As the writer of the star letter, Jeanette Le
Carpentier has won £100-worth of
Love2Shop vouchers, provided by Petplan,
the UK’s largest provider of animal health
insurance. For more information on Purely
for Pets pet insurance from Petplan and Blue Cross, call
0800 107 7551 or visit www.petplan.co.uk
hanging out
My four-year-old ginger tomcat Strawberry
likes to adopt this strange posture in his
cat’s cradle. I have never before had a cat
who did this. His name comes from the fact
that he is not really ginger, but strawberry
blond. He came to me as a stray three years
ago so I do not know his history, but he is
tremendously affectionate as well as a good
mouser! He is a wonderful companion and
he really makes my day with his antics.
Helen Elliott, Eastbourne
room of rosettes
Gypsy’s mum was taken to the Blue Cross
centre in Hertfordshire in the summer of
1997 and her litter was born on-site. Nine
weeks later I brought the bundle of fur,
alert eyes and wagging tail home.
Gyp is all we could have hoped for and
more. She took part in many competitions
in jumping and agility, and she collected
over 100 rosettes and was part of the Blue
Cross team for three years at Crufts. We
retired when she was ten years old. Her
enthusiasm was waning a little and I was
certainly puffing at the end of a round.
Besides being part of the family she gets
on well with others, most of all with our cat
Cleo, who is also from Blue Cross. Gypsy
is now 14 years old and still very healthy;
she even won a few rosettes at a local
dog show for fun. It is not the winning of
all the rosettes but her love, faithfulness
and all the smiles we have had that are
the important parts of having her as a
main member of our family. I am sure she
would be embarrassed if she knew I was
writing this but I just wanted to say thank
you, Blue Cross, for such a superb lass.
Jill V Pearce, Hertfordshire
SIGN UP TO THE BLUE
CROSS E-NEWSLETTER
Get more news, information and
pet advice from Blue Cross by
signing up to our e-newsletter
at www.bluecross.org.uk/pawprint
Spring 2012 www.bluecross.org.uk
23
get involved
paws for tea
This summer, why not turn a jubilee party into a fundraising
opportunity with a Blue Cross tea party?
Highness. Or, if you’re already
planning a street party or
jubilee celebration, why not
help a worthy cause like Blue
Cross while you’re at it?
W
e’re a nation of tea lovers and
what better way to celebrate
the glorious brew than to have
a party and help sick or abandoned
pets at the same time?
Up and down the nation animal
lovers will be “paw-sing” for a few hours
on Friday 11 May 2012 to hold a Blue
Cross tea party and we need you to join
the fun. It’s perfect timing because it’s
the Queen’s diamond jubilee this year
and there’s no better British celebration
than a good old-fashioned tea party.
So get your best crockery out, put the
kettle on and raise a toast to Her Royal
pets in need
It’s really fun and easy to
get involved. From a small
gathering of a few friends
to a school or social
group, every penny you
raise will go towards helping
pets in need. Last year we took in and
cared for more than 6,500 unwanted
animals and it’s thanks to people like
you that we achieved this.
If you can’t hold a party on Friday
11 May don’t worry – you can have your
tea party whenever you like, wherever
you like. And, if you’re feeling inspired
to get involved but you’re not sure
where to start, our special tea party
pack is full of ideas to help you.
To receive your free fundraising
pack simply fill in the form enclosed
in your copy of Blueprint, call us on
08444 993 663 or email [email protected]
bluecross.org.uk
Paws for me!
Bessie was just days from death when she was found
abandoned outside our Burford rehoming centre early
one cold morning.
The frightened dog was in a crate and had clearly
been there a while because there were dried faeces
inside and she had pressure sores. We could tell Bessie
had recently given birth and was now very sick. She
had a burst abscess in one of her mammary glands and
a severe infection in her uterus, known as pyometra.
She needed surgery to treat both infections, but
she recovered well and, despite her ordeal, she has
a beautiful nature. She’s now been rehomed and is
having a wonderful time cuddling up to her owner on
the sofa.
24
www.bluecross.org.uk Spring 2012
ABOVE: Bessie might
not fancy a cup of tea,
but she’d probably
join you for a biscuit
ABOVE: Hats like
Greta’s astounding
creation are
entirely optional
Greta’s Blue Cross tea party
When Greta Balson decided to hold
a tea party for Blue Cross word soon
spread – no one likes to turn down
tea, cake and a chance to help a
worthy cause. On the day, 25 people
turned up to have a natter over a
brew and do their bit for needy pets.
Greta’s husband was on hand for
tea duty and their cat Jasper, from
our Felixstowe rehoming centre,
entertained guests. Greta says:
“People came and went throughout
the day but it was still a full house!
Jasper’s a very sociable cat so he
enjoyed himself too.”
The day raised £104 for Blue Cross.
dates for your diary
dates for your diary
From dog shows to treks in Thailand, there’s plenty going on
in the next few months, so schedule some time to join the fun
as we raise money for sick, injured and abandoned pets
ACTIVE CHALLENGES
Coast to coast cycle:
5-8 April and 9-12 August 2012.
Cycle the breadth of Britain, passing
some of our most incredible scenery,
from mountains to moorland, on this
140-mile challenge.
to us. You can also call the team on
01993 825567, email [email protected]
org.uk or visit www.bluecross.org.uk/
activechallenges.
LOCAL CENTRE EVENTS
Hadrian’s Wall trek:
Tiverton:
13-15 April, 13-15 July and 7-9 September
2012. Join the Blue Cross team and trek
25 miles over a weekend, taking in
some fascinating landscapes and
ruins by day and camping under the
stars by night. Dogs are welcome.
Sponsored dog walk, Sunday 15 April.
Annual fun day at Knightshayes Court,
Sunday 10 June, 11.00am-3.00pm.
For more information call Tiverton
rehoming centre on 0300 777 1560.
BUPA London 10k
Spring open day, 11.00am-3.00pm,
Sunday 29 April.
For more information call Cambridge
rehoming centre on 0300 777 1470.
27 May 2012. Follow part of the 2012
Olympic marathon route, past some
of the capital’s famous landmarks,
including Westminster Abbey and
Buckingham Palace, on this fun run.
Ben Nevis trek:
15-17 June and 5-7 October 2012.
Conquer Britain’s highest mountain
on this challenging trail to the summit
and catch your breath by stopping to
take in the gorgeous views from the
Scottish highlands.
Pembrokeshire coast trek:
13-15 July 2012. Take in the stunning
scenery along the Welsh coastline
during this two-day, 25-mile trek.
Discover rugged cliffs, sandy
beaches and wooded estuaries
that provide a perfect sanctuary
for wildlife.
Thailand northern tribe trek:
2-12 November 2012. Trek 57km over four
days, passing through remote villages
via stunning mountains and rivers. This
once-in-a-lifetime fundraising challenge
is an unforgettable chance to discover
the real Thailand.
To find out more about any of
these challenges fill in the tear-off
form on page 28 and send it back
Cambridge:
Hertfordshire:
top: Happy faces
Sponsored dog walk, Sunday 27 May.
Stall at Wheathampstead gala day,
Sunday 8 July.
For more information call Hertfordshire
rehoming centre on 0300 777 1490.
Northiam:
Spring dog walk, Sunday 22 April.
Summer dog walk Sunday 29 July.
Dog show and open day, Sunday
9 September. Hatch Grange, West End.
For more information call Northiam
rehoming centre on 0300 777 1510.
Southampton:
Annual fun day and dog
show, Saturday 2 June,
10.00am.
For more information call
Southampton rehoming
centre on 0300 777 1530.
Torbay:
Oddicombe dog day,
Sunday 22 April, 10.00am.
Open day, Sunday 8 July,
11.00am-3.00pm.
For more information call Torbay
rehoming centre on 0300 777 1550.
OTHER EVENTS
at the Bromsgrove
charity shop
ABOVE: Reach
new heights
with Blue Cross
active challenges
ABOVE: One of last
year’s dog show
agility challenges
Come and visit us at any of these
events to meet a few of the Blue
Cross team and find out more
about the work we do.
Badminton Horse Trials: 3-7 May
Devon County Show: 17-19 May
Herts County Show: 2-3 June
Suffolk Show: 7-8 June
Brocklesby Fair: 24 June
East of England Show: 6-8 July
Royal International Air Tattoo
(Fairford Air Show): 7-8 July
New Forest Show: 24-26 July
Mid-Devon Show: 28 July
Pony Club Championships:
16-19 August
Burghley Horse Trials:
30 August-2 September
Blenheim Horse Trials:
6-9 September
Would you like to organise your
own fundraising event? Could you
give up six hours a year to manage
one of our collection boxes? If so,
our community and events team
would love to hear from you. Give
us a ring on 0300 790 9903 or
email [email protected]
bluecross.org.uk
Spring 2012 www.bluecross.org.uk
25
competition
a limited edition Rascal bear
T
he Blue Cross has three fabulous
limited edition Rascal bears worth
£250 to give away to Blueprint
readers. There are only 500 in existence
and they’ve been handmade in England
using the finest mohair.
Rascal bear is 41cm tall and has
been produced by Merrythought, which
has been making quintessentially British
teddy bears for more than 80 years from
its world-famous factory in Ironbridge,
Shropshire. Treasured by both children
and adults across the globe, all
Merrythought bears are fully jointed
and made using the finest materials
and craftsmanship. Each bear has a
unique character and superior quality,
designed to last a lifetime. For more
information about Merrythought bears
visit www.merrythought.co.uk
How to enter
Answer the following question for a
chance to win.
You can enter online at www.bluecross.
org.uk/blueprintcompetition
On page 14 we told you about the
history of Blue Cross. But when was
Our Dumb Friends League, as we
used to be known, formed?
Alternatively, write your answer on this
coupon, along with your name, address
and telephone number, and send it to:
A) 1852
B) 1897
C) 1913
Answer
26
Rascal bear competition,
Blueprint, 7 Hugh Street,
London SW1V 1QG
Name:
Address:
Post code:
Telephone:
From time to time we may wish to communicate
with you by phone or email. If you are happy for
us to do this, please fill in your details below.
Email:
Strictly one entry per household.
Closing date: 30 May 2012
www.bluecross.org.uk Spring 2012
Tick here to receive emails about Blue Cross.
Tick here to receive phone calls about Blue Cross.
contacts
Moving house?
find us
Please don’t forget to let us know if you have moved home recently
or are in the process of doing so. Updating us in this way is
enormously important because, without your new address, we
would be unable to claim Gift Aid on your donations, which is worth
28p for every pound you donate. Giving us your new address also
means we avoid the unnecessary cost of contacting you at your old
address and ensures you continue to receive your copy of Blueprint.
To inform us of a change of address, please call our customer
care team on 01993 822651, email [email protected] or fill
in and return the coupon.
Thank you!
Locations of Blue Cross services and charities
27
25
Please write your old address below
(including postcode):
(Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms)
Name
Address
4
Postcode
Please write your new address below
(including postcode):
(Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms)
2
1
Name
3
Address
Postcode
Blue Cross
Animal Hospitals
Blue Cross animal
hospital, Victoria
Blue Cross animal
hospital, Hammersmith
3 Blue Cross animal
hospital, Merton
Blue Cross animal
hospital, Grimsby
Blue Cross Shops
Andover, Banbury,
Bromsgrove, Cheltenham,
Chippenham, Droitwich,
Dursley, Fleet, Frome,
Hereford, Hungerford,
Kidlington, Leamington
Spa, Ledbury,
Marlborough, Newbury,
Pershore, Stow-on-theWold, Stratford-uponAvon, Summertown,
Tewkesbury, Warwick,
Wells, Witney, Wootton
Bassett, Worcester
Blue Cross
Pet Fostering
Rehoming Centres
Cleveland
Bromsgrove
Burford
Cambridge
Felixstowe
Hertfordshire
Lewknor
Northiam
Rolleston
Southampton
Thirsk
Tiverton
Torbay
Please visit
ss.
www.bluecro
e
org.uk for mor
details
County Durham
Cumbria
Lincolnshire &
Leicestershire
Staffordshire
Surrey & Kent
West Yorkshire
Wiltshire
Pet Fostering Service
Scotland
Associates
Mayflower Sanctuary
Mountains Animal
Sanctuary
Partner Charities
Society for Companion
Animal Studies
Irish Blue Cross
Customer Care 0300 790 9903
Please cut out this coupon and return it to the following
FREEPOST address:
Tracey Nadin, Blue Cross,
FREEPOST OF224, BURFORD OX18 4BR
Please note that since we select our mailings up to two months in advance, it is
possible that you may receive one or two further mailings to your old name or
address before this amendment takes effect. We sincerely apologise for any
inconvenience this may cause you.
Send us your shares…
and help animals in need
Many of us don’t often consider the different ways we can
support our favourite charities. As well as giving money,
volunteering or engaging in fundraising activities, Blue
Cross can also benefit from donations of shares. So you
can help even more animals without it affecting your
monthly outgoings!
Donating shares can be an extremely tax-efficient way
of giving to Blue Cross and we can turn your contributions
into much-needed funds. We also work with ShareGift, the
charity share donation organisation, which specialises
in aggregating shares, selling them and using the
proceeds to make donations to charity. Since 1998,
Blue Cross has received almost £75,000 from ShareGift.
For more information about how you can donate your
shares, please contact Selina Williams at Blue Cross,
Shilton Road, Burford, Oxon OX18 4PF, on 01993 822651
or by email at [email protected]
Spring 2012 www.bluecross.org.uk
27
If animals
have a place
in your heart…
…find a place for
them in your Will
We’ve been dedicated to the health and happiness of pets since 1897.
Abandoned or unwanted, ill or injured – we do what’s needed to give
every pet a healthy life in a happy home. We’re a charity, so the more
help you give us, the more help we can give pets.
A gift in your Will can help secure the future for thousands of animals.
If you need us, we can also be there for your special companion.
www.bluecross.org.uk
Return the coupon or write to the address below to receive our free advice and information pack on Will writing.
Please send me your FREE advice & information pack on making or amending a Will and leaving a gift to Blue Cross.
Name (Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms)
Address
Postcode
Telephone No.
Send to: Narelle Khan, Blue Cross, FREEPOST OF224, Room B112, Shilton Road, Burford, Oxon OX18 4BR
Or please call 01993 825594 and quote B112
Registered charity no: 224392 (England and Wales), SC040154 (Scotland)
M6574/0112

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