My rescue story

I was born in November 2019. I cannot remember much before I was rescued but all I know is I didn’t very feel well at all. I lived outside with lots of other cats in the wild; I heard those hoomans calling us a feral colony or something. One day, it was very cold and I remember seeing some different hoomans around. They had some tasty tasty food and were feeding us in these contraptions. They were also taking some of the other cats and they were returned later, with a small area shaved! These were the craziest of my many many cousins! I think they were far too wild to go to an indoor house, they would not be able to adapt, and they were happy and healthy outside. I leant they also had a snip; at the time I didn’t know what that was, but I found out later hoomans also call it neutering. I think it means they cannot have more babies so our colony doesn’t get bigger and bigger. Some cats they had to keep because they were not doing so well. I was one of them.

I hadn’t eaten much and I kept sneezing all the time, my eyes had water coming out of them and my right eye was very sore. They took me to a bright place that smells weird and some other hoomans looked after me. I couldn’t eat or drink on my own so I had to have help, although I wasn’t really hungry to be honest. I couldn’t go to the toilet; all I could really do was sleep. Sometimes I managed to knock my food and water everywhere so the hoomans didn’t know if I had had a wee or a drink or anything! They gave me breakfast through a tube thing in my mouth, a syringe I think. I had special tablets and drops in my eyes that made me feel better and the hoomans seemed kind, like they liked me. They kept saying ‘Hello Salty’ whenever they appeared and gave me food so I started to learn it was a good thing! I was still unsure and a bit nervous as this whole thing was weird for me. After a while, I started to feel hungry and a little better. After the hoomans gave me more special tablets and after staring at me for a few days, to make sure I was being good and eating all of my dinner, I was ready to leave. I still felt a little weird but lots better. I was too little to go back to the colony and a bit too unwell for a new home, so I went to an indoor house, with a foster hooman where I could recover.

I was scared of the new indoor house at first, but the foster hooman made me a hiding place in my crate so I felt safe.

 

               

Here I am hiding and just coming out for food and toilet. Then I got a bit brave and touched the hooman!

 

They also had another big cat, floppy ears, waggy tail and they called it dog. Strange, I think she was waiting for a new home too. I was nervous, but you know being a kitten and all I couldn’t resist the urge to pounce! I really wanted to be friends with foster hooman and dog so I tried my best and when I was ready, I ventured from my hidey hole and onto this squishy substance called carpet, which I must warn you, do not poo on! The hoomans told me this isn’t a litter tray!

Me being really brave and checking out dog.

Not long after, the lock up thing hit and that meant the hooman and dog didn’t go to work anymore. I loved it! I got so much attention; who knew that having cuddles was so much fun! Me and the dog, I think her name was Tinks, became great friends and we followed the hooman around everywhere!

Me and Tinks just hanging out. I liked to cuddle her on the sofa because she was soooo fluffy and  nice! She made me feel at home and told me all about foster hoomans and what they do. My foster hooman had a kitten before me and it went to a new forever house. Some foster hoomans have even smaller kittens than me that have to be fed by a bottle, and even other animals too.

 

After lock up, I was meant to go to a new permanent indoor house as I was strong enough to move to a new place. But the foster hooman couldn’t let me go and now, I live here forever!  I was about 3 months old when I arrived and I looked after her when she didn’t feel well. I also helped her with all of her work during lock up, tidying her paperworks, organising her pens, sitting on her box called a lap tops (I mean it’s inviting calling it a ‘laps’-top) so I am not surprised she kept me and it’s going to be for forever too!

Without the Animal Welfare Team coming to my rescue and without the vets making me get better and without the volunteer fosterer who gave me a home so I could get strong, I would not be here today.

The Branch as a whole works really hard and without each and every department, it could not helps me, my cousins or achieve the great results it does for animals in need, just like me.

But I was also told the Branch could not run at all if it wasn’t for these hoomans called supporters and volunteers. I would not have been rescued if the supporters did not donate or did not support us on the social thing, like Facebook.

So I want to say thank you, to all of you for rescuing me.

Salty

           

Me and Tinks being cheeky.                 Playing on my new cat tree!                I LOVE boxes, this is mine.

 

Me after being outside in the rain. I do love to play outside!

Emma MillsMy rescue story
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International ‘Thank You’ day

What a lovely day, dedicated to saying ‘thank you’ to those that we are grateful for. Not that we need an excuse to say thank you but it certainly is great to spread the love! Who or what are you thankful for today?

We have a huge list of who we would like to say thank you to and first of all, we would like to thank

Thank you to all that have and continue to support our animal welfare work. 

A note from Jamie, our receptionist.

“I would like to thank all the people who have contacted us via the phone or in writing. From those looking to make donations to reporting welfare concerns, you have helped tremendously in these unprecedented times and your passion is appreciated. Going forward I hope we continue to stay safe as can be and remain positive; helping each other where we can whilst promoting exceptional care for animals”.

What/who else are we thankful for? Our absolutely fantastic achievements in 2020 of course! Despite the strangeness of last year we found loving homes for 615 animals, 65 more animals than we found homes for in 2019!

That’s 399 cats, 41 dogs, 44 birds, 46 rabbits, 16 fish, 2 donkeys and many more.

We are so incredibly grateful to all of our supporters, volunteers and staff for helping us to achieve this fantastic result. We couldn’t have done it without you and this year we hope you’ll continue to support us as we continue our vital work.

Thank you.

 

 

 

Emma MillsInternational ‘Thank You’ day
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Coronavirus Update – December 2020

Following on from the announcement from the ​Government instigating a Tier 4 lockdown for Norfolk and Suffolk as of the 26th December, the ​RSPCA Mid Norfolk & North Suffolk Branch will now be running a further limited service.

All of our sites will be closed, but we will continue to carry out ​online adoptions for cats and small pets in our care, by following social distancing guidelines and ​wearing appropriate PPE when your new companion is delivered to you. Unfortunately due to current restrictions we will be unable to carry out adoptions for dogs in our care at this time. We will also continue offering our subsidised neutering and veterinary assistance programme throughout this time. If you need advice or information, you can contact us in the usual manner, either by phone (0303 040 1565) or email during our usual hours​,which are Monday to Friday, 10am ​- 4pm. Unfortunately, as a charity with limited resources, during this time we will be unable to accept any animals into our care unless through the RSPCA Inspectorate or as a veterinary emergency.

Sadly, due to government guidelines our seven shops will be closed until they are able to open again. These closures will have a significantly detrimental impact on our income for the year however​, we understand that it is a necessary action and one that, we hope, will help keep our staff, supporters and volunteers safe. We thank those of you who have supported our shops by buying from and donating to them and ​we hope we can welcome you again soon.

We are an independent, local Branch of the RSPCA and unfortunately, the necessary restrictions around COVID-19 have made it even harder for us to support the animals in our care. The closure of our ​shops and cancellation of ​all of our fundraising events have meant that the majority of our income streams have ceased and we’ve had to look at new ways of fundraising so we can continue our vital work. We have always relied on the generosity of the public to enable us to do the work that we do and now, more than ever, we need your help and we can’t do what we do without your support. Luckily there are many ways you can support our work:

  • If you are doing more online shopping than usual, you can sign up to EasyFundraising or Amazon Smile and help us raise money for animals without any additional cost to yourself.
  • Making a donation to the Branch online.
  • Buy something from our eBay shop.
  • Making a bequest to the Branch in your will.
  • We also welcome any donations you may have for our shops or the animals in our care, you can leave these outside our Longwater offices.
  • You can purchase an item for our animals from our Amazon Wishlist.
  • You can take part in our lottery via Make A Smile.

For more information on ways you can help, check out our Individual Fundraising page.

AnnaCoronavirus Update – December 2020
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Working from home on reception in 2020

2020 has been a unique year for us all, staff and supporters included. For me on Reception, it’s proven to be no different, with changes to everyday life which would once have seemed impossible to imagine! I have enjoyed helping people and in extension, the animals too during these uncertain times, providing advice and guidance from home to ensure those who need us understand we are still here and operational. Being asthmatic and living with my partner who is high risk, the decision was made to house reception from my home in March. I want to firstly say a big thank you to my team here at the Branch, whose support has been fantastic and unmatched. We are lucky to have such a dedicated team whose passion for animal welfare is unrivalled; it helps keep me going in the most difficult of times. I would also like to thank all the people who have contacted us via the phone or in writing. From those looking to make donations to raising welfare concerns, you have helped tremendously in these unprecedented times and your passion is appreciated. Going forward, I hope we continue to stay safe as can be and remain positive; helping each other where we can whilst promoting exceptional care for animals

The first era of working from home proved very tough to begin with, as I did not have my family pets with me in isolation. If you are like me, we rely on the company of animals heavily and this was affecting my morale. I did however, foster a young adult cat to provide some relief for the Animal Welfare Team. This short-lived period was unforgettable, for we provided each other with much needed attention and support.  As lock down ended the first time, I returned to the office to resume reception work from there (Covid proof of course). Not long after, we introduced working from home again to ensure safety and to adhere to government guidelines. It was actually around this time in the summer, me and my partner decided to adopt a young cat via the RSPCA and we have never looked back since. He came to us as Blenheim, to which we renamed him Vinnie and little does he know how special he is to us!

To summarise, it has been a pleasure having the opportunity to continue to provide support from home and brings me pride knowing that our services did not falter throughout this pandemic. Likelihood is, I’ll be working from home until further notice so me and Vinnie will be ready to take your call! Stay safe and bless you all.

Here are some pictures of Vinnie for you to enjoy!

Jamie – Receptionist

Emma MillsWorking from home on reception in 2020
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My Furlough Experience

2020 well what a year and certainly one no-one will ever forget. As the Education and Events Officer, I began 2020 with a diary full of School Bookings, ideas to reach out to every sector of the community to educate on Animal Welfare and to raise awareness of the amazing work our Branch does. With 3 big fundraising events in the planning, a golf day at Dereham Golf Club, RSPCA One Fun Day and a stand at the Royal Norfolk Show it was going to be a busy, productive, successful and enjoyable year. Yet three months in and the world looked very different.
Suddenly, the Country was in full lockdown, I was immediately furloughed and with the schools closed I realised quickly I had a very different role to play now. I was now a year 4 and year 7 school teacher! But on top of that I had to make sure we had sufficient supplies to do 3 meals a day 7 days a week, deal with the worries, fears, anxieties and tears of both my children whilst trying to keep my own anxieties at bay. We had to adapt to this new way of life of staying at home, not seeing family or friends, just the three of us, my children and I in our own little pod of safety. So, adapt we did, school work completed with me drawing on things I learnt over 25 years ago, daily walks looking at nature, wildlife and the changes in our local River Meadow with the absence of so many people.

Just days before lockdown I had been fitted with knee braces to aid my walking, so we measured just how far we were walking each day and plotting the increase in the distance I could now walk. We decided to give our garden a makeover so armed with secateurs, spades and electric hedge cutters the three of us set to work. I have never felt so empowered as I did with the electric cutter in hand powering my way through the branches!! We looked at the task through educational eyes (of course) comparing tools for each job and working out which would be the best. We drew our vision for the garden and kept records of all the seeds we planted. We created a full fairy garden in one area and got very excited when the postman brought our houses and toadstools we ordered online. I was never a big online shopper but now I find myself browsing online ordering bits and pieces and loving the delivery of them and opening the box. My daughter and I got out the 1000 piece mystery puzzle we kept saying we would do and we sat for hours working together fitting in piece after piece. As a pre-teen she was already completely tech savvy so when I told her we would be facetiming Nana, or zoom calling Auntie she wasn’t fazed at all.

We set up Thursday night Quiz Night, so after we had been outside to see the whole street come together to applaud the work of the NHS, we would get online with my parents and sister’s family for Quiz night and with each person taking a turn to write and host the quiz it was hotly contested each week. Finally after several weeks my children I were victorious and won the coveted “Nobby Cup” – let me explain. Early on in Lockdown I decided to start a WhatsApp group of family members of funny characters reporting on vital news, which in truth was not vital at all but it did alert people to the goings on of each community; the day the bin man came, the day the cat from number 6 went missing and so on. Each day getting sillier than before, the vital news now was completely made up and brought a much needed smile to everyone involved. We all had alter egos based on where we lived, I was Bob from Beetley. My father went a step further and not only had his own character, but named his garden gnome Nobby. The adventures of Nobby were reported on each day and he in turn sponsored the trophy for the quiz nights (and people worried staying indoors would affect one’s stability!!).

On a more serious note, I decided to spend my time teaching myself to draw and paint, something I had always wanted to do. So after a few YouTube tutorials I was happily sketching, painting with watercolours and acrylics and creating presents I later gave to family members. I also decided to start writing a mystery novel, maybe due to the hours of Vera, Midsomer Murders and Lewis, I had been watching!! Finally, as I had given up smoking, I decided to subscribe to Ancestry to continue searching the family history my daughter and I had started on a free trial some years before. Aside from all this, which all had an educational slant to them, my daughter and I created tik tok video after tik tok video with the occasional cameo from my shier son. We enjoyed a fortnight away in our caravan with our new support bubble when this was introduced in the summer, before the new tiers system and second lockdown were brought in.
This year has taught many people many different things. To value the time we have with friends and family, enjoy our work and the people we work with, to make time in our busy lives to just stop and appreciate our surroundings and the beauty the woodlands, streams, and coastline. To do things that give us pleasure, for no particular reason other than pleasure, to help as much as you can, whether it is within your own community or to charities or just doing a good deed.

My community came alive during lockdown, with a community cupboard set up where you took items of food/drink you didn’t need and could take something from there that you did. More and more houses laid out items of bric-a-brac in the gardens so that as you took your daily walk, your child might see a new book they wanted, or a game, or some plants you could use in your own garden. All free, all out to make the walk a little more interesting especially for children. We had music and dancing in the street following the Thursday applause. We had a village Easter Egg hunt with Eggs donated from a supermarket delivered to each house taking part. We had a pumpkin trail for Halloween and recently a Christmas tree trail, raising funds for the school and for a new village play area and raising the spirits of everyone in the village. It’s strange, I’ve always been a village person and loved the idea of proper village life; slow paced no big supermarkets or attractions for shopping and days out but making your own entertainment and shopping in local corner shops. But I also love technology, texting, apps, and videos. Lockdown really was when old met new, the slow-paced living, supporting local business’ who had reinvented how they operated in order to survive, appreciating our local area and what it offered, spending time at home baking and making things but with the technology of zoom, facetime and teams to keep in touch with friends, family, work colleagues and schools. We have online apps to keep us singing, dancing and making a fool of ourselves, and shopping completely in the online world.

Birthdays and Anniversaries all looked very different but perhaps even more special because more thought went into the planning of the day and the gifts so I doubt anyone will forget their lockdown birthday. The year 2020, one that has changed the face of the earth, how we live, how we work, how we behave. It’s stopped the world in its tracks and made it think; perhaps that wasn’t such a bad thing.

I will take away from 2020 the precious months I got to spend at home with my children, living plainly and simply and not by the clock, learning and enjoying new skills, how much I love my job and the work we do as a Branch, my love of good old fashioned village life invigorated and my appreciation of technology increased. It’s reminded us all that we are not infallible and we never know when our time is up, so live life to the full, make a difference, make it count, act with kindness and appreciate everything you have. We as part of this year will go down in history so let’s make where we go from here, is something fit for the record books.

Emma MillsMy Furlough Experience
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December cover photo competition!

With the hit of Covid-19, this year has been a difficult one. Regardless of this, there are still many things to be thankful for and our pets are at the top of our list! Do you have favourite photo of your pet that you would like to share? If so, share it with us and write a little bit about why this is your favourite photo, or just tell us what your pet means to you. What a lovely way to honor our pets and say thank you!

We can’t wait to see your photos!

For entering and taking part though, they are a few things you should know:

Competition Guidelines

 Photos of the entries must be submitted on our competition post on our Facebook page.

 Along with a photo of your entry, please include a brief description of why you have chosen this special photo.

 Entries are open from Monday 14th December and run until Monday 21st December at midday.

Thanks for entering, and good luck!

Terms and Conditions

 The December cover photo competition begins on Monday 14th December and runs until Monday 21st December at midday.

 Entries which meet the guidelines above will initially be shortlisted by the team at the RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch, and then put to a public vote between Tuesday 22nd December and Wednesday 23rd December 2020.

 The public vote will take place on the Facebook page and will be measured by how many likes each photo receives.

 Winners will be notified on Christmas Eve 24th December and their picture will become the cover photo of our Facebook page from 24th December to 31st December.

  • The competition is open to residents of England and Wales.
  • The competition is organised by the RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch, (“the Promoter”) The Street Ashwellthorpe, NR161EX
  • Entry into the competition constitutes acceptance of these Terms and Conditions and any entry found not to comply with them will be disqualified. Entries will be accepted on the Facebook page.
  • All entries must comply with the Competition Guidelines as outlined above.
  • Only one entry per person will be accepted.
  • You agree to grant the Promoter a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable licence in perpetuity of the copyright and other intellectual property rights in your photograph, to use, display, publish, transmit, copy, edit, alter, store, re-format and sub-license your photograph for such purposes.
  • The winning photo will become the cover photo for the RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch Facebook page for a week. The winner will be notified by being tagged on Facebook and contacted on messenger.
  • The Promoter reserves the right at any time to modify these terms and conditions, alter or discontinue the competition if deemed necessary in their opinion or if circumstances arise outside their control.
  • The decision of the Promoter in all matters relating to the competition is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The Promoter will not accept responsibility for entries that are lost, mislaid, damaged or delayed, regardless of cause, including, for example, as a result of any equipment failure, technical malfunction, systems, satellite, network, server, computer hardware or software failure of any kind.
  • The Promoter reserves all rights to disqualify you if your conduct is contrary to the spirit or intention of the prize competition.
  • The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English Law and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

Privacy Statement

The RSPCA will only use the personal data you give to enter this competition to contact you to notify you in the event you are a winner and the winning photo will be shared with the RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branches audiences on social media and on the Branch website.

Information about how we use your personal data is set out at

https://www.rspcanorwich.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/rspca-privacy-policy.pdf

Emma MillsDecember cover photo competition!
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Petplan & ADCH Animal Charity Awards!

What are the Petplan & ADCH
Animal Charity Awards?

Petplan and the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) have joined forces for the ninth year of the Animal Charity Awards. The awards celebrate the outstanding work of staff and volunteers in animal charities and not-for-profit organisations across the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands.

ACA 2021

Nominations are now open!

Nominations for the Petplan & ADCH Animal Charity Awards 2021 are open 15th September 2020 until 18th January 2021 and we would really appreciate you thinking of us! Perhaps you became a new pet owner this year and used our adoption service, or you received some financial aid for a vet bill, if you were pleased with our service, or someone really stood out for you, nominate today!

Nominations are anonymous and you can nominate again for a different category.

The Awards

The animal charity awards are a great opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication put in by the teams and the individuals within the animal charity sector who have gone that extra mile to help rescue and rehome animals in need.

The three nomination categories are:

Animal Charity Team of the Year

Animal Charity Employee of the Year

Animal Charity Volunteer of the Year

Anyone can nominate outstanding charity teams or individuals, from pet owners and fellow charity staff and volunteers, to friends and family. Every nomination remains anonymous and all nominees will be sent certificates to recognise their dedication and achievements; a great way to boost morale!

If you think your charity has staff or volunteers who deserve to be recognised and thanked, nominate now, and promote the awards to your supporter network so that they can do the same!

Click here to find out more!

Emma MillsPetplan & ADCH Animal Charity Awards!
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Our Christmas opening hours

With Christmas around the corner and the year coming to an end, we would like to say a huge thank you to all of you for your support this year. As we prepare for the Christmas holidays, we would like to share our opening hours with you.

Our office is closed from Tuesday 22nd December to Monday 4th January

The last day to apply for Subsidised Neutering vouchers is Thursday 10th December. This is so we have enough time to process the many applications we receive before we close for Christmas.

The last day we can accept phone calls for Financial aid assistance is Monday 21st December.

 The last day our reception is open for phone calls from the public is Tuesday 22nd December.

From Monday 14th December until Thursday 24th December our shops will be open from 9am to 5pm (Wymondham 9am to 4:30pm), giving you more time to get your Christmas shopping done!

Sadly due to the announcement on the 23rd December, all of our Charity Shops will be closed after the 24th December for the foreseeable future.

Emma MillsOur Christmas opening hours
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