It’s National Rescue Dog Day!

This National Rescue Dog Day we want to honor all of our lovely dogs that have come into our care. Whether they have already found their forever home, or going through rehabilitation before they become available for adoption, each and every one of them is unique and very special.

But what can you do to help rescue dogs? Below is a list of useful tips and how to get involved.

#adoptdontshop: If there is room in your life to give a dog a forever home and that second chance, consider adopting! When our animals are ready for their forever home, they will be listed on our website.

Volunteer: If you are unable to commit to having a dog long term, why not look into fostering? As a volunteer fosterer, you may be able to help more than one rescue dog on their path to recovery, helping them to get ready for their new forever home!

If directly caring for an animal isn’t your thing, there are also other lovely volunteer roles too! Our shops are in need of some dedicated volunteers and by joining our volunteer team, you will make a huge impact on animals in need!

Donate/Fundraise: Our animals always need your support. In addition to financial donations, our dogs have a list of much needed items such as blankets, toys, treats, and food, so if you prefer, you can buy them a present! You can see our Amazon wishlist here.

You can also donate any unwanted items to our charity shops. Our shops are our main source of income so anything that is donated and sold will go directly to helping animals in need in your local area.

Fundraising is also a great and fun way to help animals in need. From bake sales to sponsored runs, you can be as creative as you like!

Neuter your dog: To stop any accidental arrival of puppies, you may want to speak to your vet about getting your dog neutered. With more unwanted animals around, there is an extra strain on animal charities. Below are some reasons (from the National RSPCA) why neutering your pet may be best for them, and for you.

  • Neutering prevents females coming into season, when they may attract unwanted male attention, become pregnant or have false pregnancies.
  • Neutering prevents the risk of testicular cancer in males and uterus infections and cancers in females.
  • In male dogs and cats, neutering can reduce urine marking and roaming.
  • Unspayed female animals can be messy when they come into season – during this time, females can bleed for up to three weeks.
  • Animals don’t respect family relationships – siblings will mate. This increases the risk of offspring with birth defects and deformities.
  • Neutering animals can reduce the risk of them being stolen for breeding.
  • Vet fees for problems during or after pregnancy and birth can be expensive. Offspring might need veterinary attention too.
  • Owners have a responsibility to meet their animal’s needs under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Pregnant and nursing animals need even more care, and their offspring will be equally as demanding. When the young are ready to be rehomed, you need to ensure that they are vaccinatedwormed and flea treated, which you will also need to be able to afford.

If you live within our Branch area, we offer reduced cost neutering vouchers.

Education: Teaching young children the importance of kindness, unconditional love, and responsible care of all animals is essential to ensuring a future of good animal welfare. Our Education and Events Officer runs educational talks in schools, clubs, care homes and more and covers many different topics.

EmmaIt’s National Rescue Dog Day!
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We are working together

We are delighted to announce that we are coming together with Age UK Norwich in a brand new fostering scheme! This is a great partnership and it will not only help animals in need, it will also help people in our local community.

Animal fostering is an important and rewarding volunteer role. It helps to play a vital part in the rehabilitation of animals and helps improve their chance of finding a new home. Many animals that we take in have may have been strays or are not used to the care and affection that they deserve. Living with a foster family helps to provide them with one-to-one care, allowing them to build up their confidence and get used to a normal lifestyle. Some animals don’t cope well in a kennel or cattery environment, or need to remain in our care for a slightly longer period of time due to medical issues.

We want to ensure our animals are as healthy as can be before they find their forever home, or at least get used to their new medications if they have to be on them permanently. This is where we need fosterers to take them in to provide them with a real home, even if it is only on a temporary basis.

We are delighted to be partnering with Age UK Norwich on this very worthwhile and important project. Not only will the animals in our care receive the extra special love and attention that a fosterer brings, but the fosterer will also benefit from the rewarding, active and healthy lifestyle that caring for an animal can bring”

Gregory Brown, CEO RSPCA Mid Norfolk & North Suffolk

No two days are the same here at the Branch and although we require foster homes for dogs and cats, we are also looking for foster homes for rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals.

Whether it is a dog, cat or even a little mouse, caring for an animal is proven to have a positive impact on mental well-being, and just as important are the benefits for our physical wellbeing. Older people that take care of an animal can expect a boost to the immune system, along with the regular exercise that can improve our mobility and fitness. Animals can be great company and taking the time to aid their rehabilitation so they can find their forever home is extremely rewarding.

If you are an Age UK Norwich service user, please remember to tick the box on the application form when you apply!

EmmaWe are working together
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We are now accepting fostering applications!

Would you like to foster for our Branch? If the answer is yes, you are now welcome to apply! After such a long time, we are finally able to start recruiting for volunteers again and we are very excited! Read on for some fostering FAQs and for the link to our application form!

It is not just cats and dogs that need foster homes. Sometimes we have rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and other small animals that need some rehabilitation and specialist care too. So if you are able to help more than one type of animal, make sure you let us know on your application form!

If you are unsure or would like more information on being an animal fosterer for our Branch, read our FAQs below.

EmmaWe are now accepting fostering applications!
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Hedgehogs

Did you know that as many as 10 different hedgehogs may visit a garden over several nights? This could mean ‘your hedgehog’ is a number of different individuals visiting at different times! As it is Hedgehog Awareness week, we thought we would share some top tips from the National RSPCA on making your garden hog friendly and some information on what to do if you find a hedgehog out and about.

If the hedgehog is hibernating, gently replace the animal into the space, re-cover with old nest material and leave alone. If this is not possible then place the hedgehog in a large box or in a part of the garden the hedgehog will be safe and sheltered. Make sure the hedgehog can get out of the box easily.

If the hedgehog is not hibernating and has young hoglets, recover them and leave them alone. If this is not possible, please call the National RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 for advice.

If the weather is not cold and the hedgehog seems healthy, it should be left alone. Provide food and water and monitor the situation. If it does not seem interested in the food, call the National RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

If the weather is cold (frost, snow or below freezing) or the hedgehog is staggering, circling or obviously sick or injured then please call the National RSPCA.

If you found a hedgehog that is clearly sick or injured, or an orphaned hoglet that weighs less than 300g, please call the National RSPCA‟s cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.

Supplementing a hedgehog‟s natural diet by leaving out food is a great way to help hedgehogs in your area. Hedgehogs will love tinned dog or cat food
and crushed dog or cat biscuits (not fishbased). Hedgehog food is also highly
recommended and often available from suppliers of wild bird food.

Never feed hedgehog’s bread and/or milk! Cow‟s milk can cause diarrhoea and bread is very low in nutrients. Leave a shallow dish of fresh clean water every day. Clean the dish outside (not in the kitchen) every day with hot soapy water and rinse well.

Cats do not normally pose a problem as they usually leave hedgehogs alone after initial investigation.

Dogs can attack hedgehogs, though they will rarely succeed in getting through their spines unless the hedgehog is sick or young. Try to keep dogs away from hedgehogs and monitor or keep your dog on a lead in the garden at dusk or night when you know the hedgehogs will be out. You can also „warn‟ any hedgehog before you come outside by turning a light on. Owners may worry about “hedgehog fleas” being passed to their pets; however they cannot survive on any species but hedgehogs

Keeping your garden Hedgehog friendly

  • Gardening: Leave „wild‟, insect-friendly areas in your garden to encourage invertebrates for hedgehogs to eat and provide shelter for the hedgehogs themselves. Check carefully for animals before moving or strimming your lawn and take care when turning over compost or leaf piles with
    a spade or pitch fork.
  • Log, compost or leaf piles: Provide shelter for nesting mothers, young hoglets and hibernating hedgehogs, plus as havens for invertebrates they provide an all-year food supply.
  • Ponds: Provide a natural source of water and attract invertebrates for hedgehogs to eat. Make sure you slope the edges of the pond or use stones to create ‟steps‟ so that hedgehogs can climb out if they fall in!
  • Bonfires: Always thoroughly disturb bonfires before lighting, as there could be hedgehogs nesting or hiding inside.
  • Netting: Make sure that if you do have any netting in your garden that you ensure it is well above ground level as hedgehogs can easily become caught in netting or wire. Pack away or roll up fruit nets, tennis and goal nets or similar when not in use. The RSPCA recommends replacing any netting in your garden with solid metal mesh.
  • Drains and holes: Hedgehogs can easily fall into uncovered drains or holes in your garden. Cover holes or check them every day to ensure no hedgehogs have become trapped.
  • Litter: Litter is a big problem for all wild animals as they can become trapped, injured or choke; make sure your garden is clear of all litter.
  • Chemicals: Slug pellets can poison hedgehogs and should be used only as a last resort. Instead try using one of many „natural‟ alternatives, like crushed eggshells or coffee grounds. Wood preservatives can be ingested by hedgehogs and should be replaced with a wildlifefriendly water-based alternative. Pesticides will reduce the prey available to a hedgehog and should be used sparingly or not at all.
  • Sheds: Don’t close your shed doors if you usually keep them open, there may be hedgehogs nesting there. Make sure any dangerous chemicals or tools are kept well off the ground. Don‟t dismantle your shed around
    October time as hoglets may be nesting underneath the floor.
EmmaHedgehogs
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It’s the first of the month so you know what that means. Our May Newsletter is here! We have have pet care advice, adoption stories, a top tip from our lovely Animal Welfare Officer, Charli plus so much more!

Emma
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Frogs and Toads

In the spring season, frogs and toads lay their eggs which means we will be more likely to spot them in our gardens and out and about on the roads. But what is the difference between frogs and toads and what should we do if we see any on the roads?

Read on for some useful information from the National RSPCA.

Helping frogs and toads in Spring

Pond owners may find large amounts of frogspawn at this time of year and it can make the water look overcrowded but it’s nothing to worry about.

What’s the difference between frogs and toads?

Common frogs

Frogs have smooth, moist skin which is not slimy, and special glands to keep their skin moist and supple – this helps them to ‘breathe’ through their skin as well as their lungs so that they can stay underwater for a long time. Most are mottled shades of green, yellow or brown and have a distinct brown patch behind the eye.

Common toads

Common toads have dry warty skin which means they can’t ‘breathe’ through their skin as well as frogs, but they can survive on land in drier place. They are usually grey-brown and crawl rather than hop like frogs do.

Both frogs and toads eat a lot of beetles, bugs and woodlice and the frogs will eat a large number of slugs and snails, whereas toads favour ants.

Don’t be surprised if frogs or toads are found in greenhouses. They are attracted there by the warm, moist conditions and will live in a greenhouse quite happily, eating the insects and other small creatures that live there too.

Each spring, toads may be seen migrating in large groups and over distances of a kilometre or more to return to their pond to breed. At this time, toads are vulnerable when crossing roads, with many being squashed by cars. People can help by carefully carrying the toads across the road; many areas organise toad patrols. Other measures can be taken and details of these can be obtained from the Toads on Roads project.

EmmaFrogs and Toads
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True or False?

As a Branch of the RSPCA, we are slightly different than what you may expect. In fact, all RSPCA Branches operate differently so we are going to provide you with some interesting facts about our Branch over the next couple of months.

Let’s start with these three common statements, are they true or false?

Incorrect

We are a separately registered charity from the National RSPCA. As we are an adoption centre, we do not have an inspectorate so we cannot act on calls regarding an animal that is sick, injured or in distress or deal with other National RSPCA matters.

Correct

That is right, we are not the same as the National RSPCA. In fact, we are a separately registered charity and all the money we raise goes directly to animals in need in your local area. As an adoption centre and we do not deal with animal welfare calls as we do not have an inspectorate.

Incorrect

We are a small Branch with only four departments. We have one receptionist for the Branch who takes all of your calls and emails. Although we are a small Branch,we are extremely busy and we always do our best to assist your queries as soon as possible.

Correct

That’s right, we are a small team and have one receptionist who deals with your queries via email or telephone. All of our departments can get extremely busy however we always do the best we can to assist all of our customers and supporters.

Incorrect

We do not have an animal centre. Our animals are kept at private boarding establishments or with volunteer fosterers so they are not able to be viewed by the public. If you are looking to adopt, you can see our animals that are available and ready for adoption by clicking here.

Correct

That’s right, we do not have an animal centre so you are unable to pop in and view our animals. Our animals are kept at private boarding establishments or with volunteer fosterers. To see our animals that are available for adoption, click here. 

EmmaTrue or False?
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Charli- Animal Welfare

Hi, I’m Charlotte (referred to as Charli for ease and because the other Charlotte was here first!), and chances are that if you have adopted from us in the last couple of years, you have spoken to me.

I am one of the Animal Welfare Officers which make up the six members of the Animal Welfare Team for the RSPCA Mid-Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch. I joined the team back in April 2019 after completing a degree in Animal Behaviour at Anglia Ruskin and leaving my job as an Education Officer at ZSEA Banham Zoo.

My main role at the RSPCA focuses around the adoption and re-homing aspects of the Branch. I also assist with welfare vouchers, vet appointments, and behaviour advice. However, during lockdown, my main role has been dealing with enquiry forms and conducting home visits. Due to the pandemic I have been mostly home-based and my spare room has become my office (with the added bonus of rats and guinea pigs as work colleagues who are actually way less distracting than my usual colleagues!).

Home-based working comes with many challenges; my fridge is far too close to my location which means that day-time snacking is a real problem, my dog believes that he should be the centre of attention when I am at home, and despite my youthful age, I have limited technology skills- I only downloaded WhatsApp in 2019 and what on earth is Twitter?!

A virtual home visit starts off by the new potential adopter seeing my happy smiling face; if the home visit is at 9:15am, I am usually accompanied by a large cup of coffee. I then begin to ask a few questions relating to the species of animal they are adopting. After that, it’s on to our new questionnaire relating to coronavirus; we’ve introduced this questionnaire to try and keep both the adopters and our staff as safe as possible. Once the questions have been asked, it’s on to the virtual tour of the property, including the outside of the property and the nearest road.

Once the home visit has been conducted, I then go into a bit more detail about the specific animal they are adopting: previous history, veterinary history, current diet etc., and then I explain the process going forward. The home visit also provides the adopter the chance to ask any questions they have too. I have done so many home visits that they run super smoothly (if I do say so myself!) and I even have a ‘script’ in my head of all the things I need to say and ask.

Not being able to see other members of my team is really hard. Working from home alone is lonely, especially when you’re staring at the same 4 walls. However, it is made that much easier by getting to see the faces of all the lovely people looking to adopt a new furry friend, even if it is over a computer screen. Humans are social creatures (most of us anyway!) and I guess the one issues it has highlighted to me, even more-so than before, is how lonely group-living animals who are living on their own must feel.

Therefore, I think it is super important to draw attention to this issue and strive for better animal welfare. Lockdown has shown how isolated we all feel and is a perfect example of how social animals must feel too. Did you know it is illegal to own a solo guinea pig in Switzerland?

EmmaCharli- Animal Welfare
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Hi, i’m Jo

Hello and thanks for taking time to read this blog. I’ve been asked to write about my experience of becoming a Trustee with the RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch, so I hope you’re sitting comfortably.

Like so many people, I have always described myself as an animal lover. More of a dog person these days if I’m honest. But actually over the years since childhood I’ve kept all sorts of animals, from ponies and horses to hamsters and goldfish. I might walk into a room and forget what I went in for…or I might lose my glasses when they’re on top of my head, but I remember every single pet I ever had.

In April 2020 my best friend died. He was my wingman, fellow adventurer and ultimate ‘Good Boy’. His name was Sam. A 16 year old Jack Russell with the heart of a lion and a character the size of a house. He was a lover, not a fighter. We went everywhere together.

Since Sam died I have spent a lot of time thinking. And let’s face it, there’s been plenty of opportunity during lockdown! I decided that I want to do something meaningful with my spare time. So I researched different voluntary roles and found my local Branch of the RSPCA had opportunities to join the Board of Trustees. I applied…and the rest is history.

I’d describe the induction process where I met individual members of the team and found out how the Branch works, as being like walking into a room full of people who’re all standing chatting, with a cup of tea or glass of wine in their hand…and they all turn and smile and are genuinely pleased to say hello and start a conversation. (I really need to get out more, I know). But that’s the best description I can think of.

When I thought about what I could bring to the (meeting) table, in terms of experience and know-how, this is what I came up with; I enjoy reading reports. Honestly, I admire anyone that can write sensibly and in a way that means I can understand technicalities – and finance in particular. I am happy to be the one that asks the ‘obvious’ question. Being a good listener helps too…forming a balanced overview is pretty much the basis of a Trustee’s role I think.

In a different life I am a declutterer and tidier. I enjoy helping people create order out of chaos. This invariably means there’s ‘stuff’ to ‘re-purpose’. Being a practical soul, I’m looking forward to visiting our charity shops soon, so I can go and meet the retail teams and chip in with some tip-top donations. And don’t even get me started on Gift Aid 😀

I think Sam would approve🐾

If you are interested in becoming a Trustee for our Branch, contact volunteering@rspcanorwich.org for more information or click the button below!

EmmaHi, i’m Jo
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