News and events

On the fifth day of Christmas the Branch came to see…..

Lots of mice!

Did we say lots of mice? 340 to be exact! In March we assisted the National RSPCA by taking in some mice from one household that had around 200! In April we also assisted again and took in some multimammate mice from another household of around 140! The Natal Multimammate mice are known for having many more nipples than a standard mouse – between 16 and 24 – meaning they are prolific breeders and can have large litters.

Unfortunately, none of the mice were neutered or separated by sex so the situation had spiralled out of control.

We worked around the clock to find homes for these inquisitive creatures and months later, nearly all have found their forever residence. As you can see below, Wensley, Brie and Phili have settled in really well!

Mice are small rodents who can be very active, generally at night and around dawn and dusk. They are a prey species and therefore prefer to stay close to cover.

They are highly motivated to build nests to help them regulate their body temperature and are sensitive to light and noise. They are very quick to move and need to be handled carefully to avoid injuring them. Here is some information from the National RSPCA in how to care for your pet.

Your duty of care
Owning and caring for mice can be very rewarding. Typically, mice can live for about three years. Although this may appear a short time in comparison to other pet animals, owning mice is still a big responsibility and commitment.

Understanding mice’s needs
There is no one ‘perfect’ way to care for all mice, because every mouse and every situation is different. It is up to you how you look after your mice but you must take reasonable steps to ensure that you meet all their needs.

Read the National RSPCA ‘s expert reviewed pet care information to find out more about the needs of mice and how to make sure that they are happy and healthy: EnvironmentDietBehaviourCompany, and Health and welfare.

EmmaOn the fifth day of Christmas the Branch came to see…..
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On the fourth day of Christmas the Branch came to see…..

Four quail birds!

In March, four quail birds came into our care after being mistaken for hens! That’s right, their owner originally thought they were hens however it turns out they are all male and they began to fight each other. Their owner was concerned for their welfare so they were signed over to our Branch and are now living happily in their forever homes.

Quails are distinctive due to the combination of their stocky bodies and long, pointed wings. Their upperparts are brown, streaked and barred with buff, while their underparts are a warm buffy orange. Rarely seen, they are more often heard giving a distinctive “wet-my-lips” call.

Their breeding range reaches as far north as the UK, where they are the only migrant species of the Phasianidae family, which includes heavy ground-living birds such as the pheasant.

Due to their historical decline, quails are on the Amber List but are now in partial recovery. They are also listed on Schedule 1 of The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. (RSPB)

 

 

EmmaOn the fourth day of Christmas the Branch came to see…..
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On the Third day of Christmas our Branch came to see…..

Three reptiles!

 

In March we gave a home to Pringle, a lovely tortoise who was signed over as his owner moved house and could not take him with them. Another lovely tortoise was also signed over into our care in November.

Did you know that all tortoises have a bony shell made of hard plates that protect their soft bodies. The overall size, colours and features of tortoise shells and bodies vary from species to species. Generally shells are tones of brown, blacks and buffs with quite a bit of yellow in the case of the Hermann’s tortoise. The spur-thighed tortoise has a bony spur on the rear of each thigh, whereas the Horsfield’s tortoise has a claw on the tip of its tail. The marginated tortoise is the largest and darkest of these land tortoises; it grows to 30cm in length, with the edge of the upper shell of adults being splayed out at the back.

In June a gorgeous blue- tongue skink was signed over into our care because the owner could no longer care for it.

Did you know that blue-tongue skinks, are found in tropical forests of Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea. Their biology is the same in captivity as in the wild, so the captive environment should reflect the natural habitat as much as possible to meet their complex welfare needs. These include: the need for a suitable environment, a healthy diet; to be housed with, or apart from others; to allow normal behaviour and to be protected from harm. Bluetongue Skink Care Sheet (PDF 461KB) (1)

EmmaOn the Third day of Christmas our Branch came to see…..
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On the second day of Christmas our Branch came to see…..

Two Micro Pigs!

In April two Micro Pigs were signed over into our care because their owner could no longer care for them. The pigs were living in a flat and although a lot of people think these pigs can be indoor pets, Micro- and mini-pigs have very specific welfare needs that must be met to keep them happy and healthy.

When they arrived, they went to live with one of our dedicated and experienced foster carers who in the end, ended up adopting them both!

However before they were moved to their foster home, we had to apply for an emergency DEFRA license in order to have them. Pet pigs have specific needs and, like farmed pigs, there are strict laws concerning their diet, identification and movement. It can be challenging to look after them properly, which you need to do under the Animal Welfare Act.

Here are some facts from the National RSPCA concerning Micro pigs.

  • All pigs have a strong desire to root, which means they need continual access to suitable areas for rooting, otherwise they can become destructive.
  • Being small may make it difficult for micro- and mini- pigs to keep warm, so they must always have access to a suitable shelter that includes a comfortable, dry lying area and appropriate bedding.
  • Without a stimulating environment, micro- and mini-pigs are highly likely to show negative behaviours, such as stereotypic behaviour (behaviours that are repeated without an obvious purpose).
  • Micro- and mini-pigs need to be housed in social groups with other friendly, similar-sized pigs, not only because they are social herd animals but also because they can become aggressive to their owners if housed alone.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, 2006, pet owners are legally required to meet the needs of their animals. Due to their complex needs, the RSPCA is concerned about how well micro- and mini-pigs can be cared for by non-specialist keepers

EmmaOn the second day of Christmas our Branch came to see…..
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On the first day of Christmas our Branch came to see…..

A brand new appointed Trustee!

“Trustees are the backbone of every charity, and are always at the forefront of the governance and strategic direction that the charity takes.
We are very fortunate to have such a supportive, united and passionate board of Trustees at the RSPCA Mid Norfolk & North Suffolk Branch, who work closely with myself and the operations team to ensure that our charitable objectives are delivered, helping improve the lives of animals and their owners.
As the CEO of a growing charity, I am very lucky to work so closely with a professional Board of Trustees who bring a broad set of skills to their Trustee roles. I value their support and guidance immensely, and through our cohesive working practices, I am confident that the Branch will continue to flourish and provide outstanding animal welfare in the years to come.”

Gregory Brown, CEO

We are very lucky to have a new addition to our Trustee Board! Amanda was appointed in October and is settling in really well. We all had a lovely day getting to know her during her Branch induction however below are some questions we asked her about the application process.

Why did you want to be a Trustee?

I have been passionate about animal welfare since childhood. I retired recently after 30 years as a solicitor and I hope that I can combine my professional experience, previous volunteering experience and my love for animals in my role as a trustee.

What made you pick the RSPCA Mid Norfolk & North Suffolk Branch?

I was very impressed by the website which gave me a good understanding of the Branch, its people and the great work it does.

How did you find the applications process?

I applied using the straight forward form provided on the website and this was followed up by an interview with the Branch CEO and Trustees. The interview confirmed to me that I very much wanted to join the branch and, thankfully, they agreed!

How did you find the induction process?

I spent a really interesting day meeting members of the team at the Branch. I was very impressed with their professionalism and enthusiasm. It gave me a great insight into their roles and the excellent work the Branch does.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself 

I have a rescue greyhound called Scruff (who, despite his name is a very handsome gentleman) and a mad cocker spaniel called Monty, his tennis ball never leaves him!

Have you considered becoming a Trustee?

For me being a trustee is about learning from peers who are passionate and enthusiastic about our cause. I am fortunate to work with fabulous colleagues, both trustees and staff, who are prepared to stand up and put forward their ideas about how we can make a difference. It’s so refreshing to debate these and not be hamstrung by doing more of the same but more effectively. It’s that desire to strive to be out of the ordinary that gives me a buzz. We do have plenty of governance to consider as Trustees, but where we shine is looking at how we can move the branch to better things. A good board of trustees does need a mix of skills and professionals, although some of our best ideas come from those who aren’t formally trained. Having a mix of trustees is so important. Enthusiasm for the cause and being prepared to communicate your ideas are attributes that I value from others. No potential trustee should feel they don’t have the skills, training & support can be provided. Passion can’t.

Stephen Read, Treasurer
EmmaOn the first day of Christmas our Branch came to see…..
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Keep your pet free of fleas this autumn

It’s nearly winter and we are now starting to switch our heating on. We need to make sure we keep ourselves and our pets nice and warm however did you know that your home can provide the perfect breeding ground for fleas in autumn?

That doesn’t mean we cannot start to heat our homes as it gets colder however turning up your heating in the autumn months can provide the perfect temperature for fleas. A house heated between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius can cause dormant flea pupae (cocoon type stage) to hatch into adults and create an ideal breeding ground.

Even if there’s no signs of fleas in your home your pet may have a chance to catch them so to ensure your pet and your house stay free of fleas, it’s important to treat your pet regularly all year round. Make sure you also treat your home with a household flea spray (follow the instructions carefully). The flea pupae like dark and warm spots so make sure you treat all floors, under sofas and beds and even spray a small amount in your hoover.

Below is an infographic from the National RSPCA which provides you with more information on fleas and how to treat them.

EmmaKeep your pet free of fleas this autumn
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Animals on the roads

The National RSPCA sees more injured wild animals coming into their care, who have been involved in road traffic accidents, as the nights grow longer.
Road traffic accidents involving deer are especially common during the rut, which can occur from mid-July to December (depending on the species).

Take note of warning signs, drive with extreme caution (especially early morning and evening) and report collisions with deer to the police.

Here is some information from the National RSPCA

If you find an injured wild animal, watch it first to see how badly hurt it is. Then if possible take it to a nearby vet or wildlife rehabilitator (call first to make sure they can take and treat the animal).

It’s often faster to take an animal to a vet or wildlife rehabilitator yourself as the nearest RSPCA officer may be out of the area attending other calls.

If you’re unable to transport the animal and cannot find a wildlife rehabilitator who is able to help, contact the National RSPCA about an animal in distress. If possible, contain the animal before calling.

Be careful when approaching wild animals, they can scratch and bite when frightened, particularly if they’re injured. If in doubt, keep a safe distance and call National on 0300 1234 999.

The following animals can’t be handled or transported by the public:

  1. an injured deer
  2. seal
  3. wild boar
  4. otter
  5. badger
  6. fox
  7. snake
  8. bird of prey (including owls)
  9. swan
  10. goose
  11. heron
  12. gull.

If you see one, keep a safe distance and call the National RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

EmmaAnimals on the roads
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It’s the last day of Trustees week!

This week, we have been celebrating the hard work and commitment of our Trustees because without them, our organisation simply couldn’t run.

Trustees of the RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch are responsible for overseeing the overall governance and strategic vision of the Branch; representing the Branch in a manner which is sympathetic to its core mission and values.

Trustees are the backbone of every charity, and are always at the forefront of the governance and strategic direction that the charity takes.
We are very fortunate to have such a supportive, united and passionate board of Trustees at the RSPCA Mid Norfolk & North Suffolk Branch, who work closely with myself and the operations team to ensure that our charitable objectives are delivered, helping improve the lives of animals and their owners.
As the CEO of a growing charity, I am very lucky to work so closely with a professional Board of Trustees who bring a broad set of skills to their Trustee roles. I value their support and guidance immensely, and through our cohesive working practices, I am confident that the Branch will continue to flourish and provide outstanding animal welfare in the years to come.

Gregory Brown, CEO

Our mission is to “To raise awareness, provide practical support and demonstrate compassion in order to deliver excellent animal welfare in our Branch area.”

Stephen Read

Stephen Read is the Treasurer of RSPCA Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk Branch. He has overall accountability for the finances and it could be good news that he is a chartered accountant. He has held various executive finance roles across East Anglia over the years although he is not local. He is from a Lincolnshire farming family and whilst his family had many animals when he was younger, the farm is now purely arable.

For me being a Trustee is about learning from peers who are passionate and enthusiastic about our cause. I am fortunate to work with fabulous colleagues, both Trustees and staff, who are prepared to stand up and put forward their ideas about how we can make a difference. It’s so refreshing to debate these and not be hamstrung by doing more of the same but more effectively. It’s that desire to strive to be out of the ordinary that gives me a buzz. We do have plenty of governance to consider as Trustees, but where we shine is looking at how we can move the Branch to better things. A good Board of Trustees does need a mix of skills and professionals, although some of our best ideas come from those who aren’t formally trained. Having a mix of Trustees is so important. Enthusiasm for the cause and being prepared to communicate your ideas are attributes that I value from others. No potential Trustee should feel they don’t have the skills, training & support can be provided. Passion can’t.

Stephen Read, Treasurer

Jo Church

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. Want to hear more? Click here to read Jo’s blog.

Are you thinking about becoming a Trustee for our Branch? For more information, please get in touch by calling us on 0303 040 1565 or emailing volunteering@rspcanorwich.org and we will be happy to help!

We have an extensive recruitment process to ensure you are well looked after and once your application is successful, we offer a full Branch induction where you will have the opportunity to meet the team!

“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”.- Jo Church, Trustee

Thank you to all of our Trustees for the amazing work you do to help animals in need.

If you have a certain skill set or you just love animals and want to make a difference, apply by clicking here.

EmmaIt’s the last day of Trustees week!
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It’s the season for fireworks

It’s getting colder and bonfire night is getting closer. This can be such a fun event for families however as you may know, fireworks can be very scary for animals. We all want to have fun and we can do so by being mindful of our pets and wildlife.
If you have concerns for your pets this season, follow these top tips from the National RSPCA.

If you are building a bonfire in your garden this month, please think about how this may affect wildlife. Before you light your fire follow these five useful tips below to help you keep an eye out for animals.

  • Don’t build your bonfire until the day you need it. Remember, this will look like a lovely winter shelter for them so ensure there is less time for them to find it and to settle down.
  • Always place the bonfire on open ground. If you place it on top of leaves or close to a hedge, you could potentially harm birds, hedgehogs or insects that are seeking shelter in the leaves.
  • Check before lighting your bonfire. Just in case any animals have managed to take shelter inside.
  • Light your bonfire from one corner. This will give any animals inside that you didn’t spot, more chance with more exits to escape.
  • Have a hose close by. If you do see an animal once you have started your bonfire, you will be able to put it out quickly!
EmmaIt’s the season for fireworks
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