News and events

#ThrowBackThursday: A day on the road

Today is a #ThrowBackThursday kind of day! Customer and Volunteering Services Officer Emma, had a rather unique opportunity when she first joined the team; accompanying an RSPCA inspectorate for day on the job! Below is a nice piece Emma has put together to share with you, taking us back to what I can safely assume was an interesting day!

Since I was a child I have always been interested and intrigued by what the Inspectorate do at the RSPCA. During my first week in my new role at the Mid Norfolk & North Suffolk Branch, I was lucky enough to go out with Paige, an Animal Collection Officer (ACO) from the National RSPCA. Our day out was very interesting and varied with the first call out being to help a chicken with a broken leg that was seen wandering near a road.

                                                                One of many animals ACO’s come out to help

We also rescued a Gull with a broken wing and took it to East Winch, our wildlife centre near Kings Lynn. Everything is always done in the best interests of the animal and I was educated on the importance of a thorough rehabilitation process which involves understanding, patience and minimal human contact with these wild animals. It was lovely to see so many different species at the last stages of their rehabilitation and almost ready to be released back into their natural habitat.

                                                                       Pictured: East Winch Animal Hospital

It’s amazing what the ACO’s do, whether it’s helping an injured chicken, rescuing a seal in distress or climbing up ladder to rescue a wild bird, it’s all done with compassion and love for the animals. It’s not without its challenges though; sometimes the Inspectorate has to deal with confrontation from the public, dangerous animals and have to work in extreme conditions. Although, I am told the job as a whole is very rewarding.

Paige is very dedicated and explained, getting a call out at 1 am to help an animal in distress is something she does not hesitate to act on. Animals always come first and no matter what, Paige will do all she can to help an animal in need.

The Inspectorate may be part of the National RSPCA however they work closely with our Branch and liaise with the Animal Welfare Team who, on occasion, is able to assist with finding temporary accommodation for the smaller rescued animals in the area.

As a whole, the RSPCA and our Branch dedicates its every move to animals in need. This includes all staff and volunteers in all positions such as; office and admin, education and events, shops, welfare, Inspectorate and many more. I am very lucky to be part of an organisation that is dedicated to animal welfare, with a great team who all pride themselves in caring for animals.

Thank you Emma for sharing your Throw Back moment
Check back again soon for more interesting reads and blogs from our team

Please do sign up to the Free Newsletter HERE if you have not done so already!

Jamie#ThrowBackThursday: A day on the road
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Great News!!

We are delighted to announce that our Charity Shops will be open again on the 29th June! Rest assured we will be putting measures in place to ensure we uphold the safety of our staff, volunteers and members of the public. Looking forward to seeing you all again! https://buff.ly/2XVC2LF

If you would like to donate to our Branch, or if you have any questions about what items are suitable for our shops or animals, get in touch HERE

We look forward to hearing from you!

JamieGreat News!!
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#ThursdayThoughts: The Mad House

Hello and welcome again to another edition of #ThursdayThoughts! We have another interesting insight to what life looks like from home, kindly provided by our Animal Welfare Manager Chloe. Despite being busy with the rest of the team she has taken the time to share this with us!

Working from home in ‘The Mad House’

Welcome to the jungle, we take it day by day… Generally a good synopsis of our house right now!

Our job varies day to day at the best of times however recently things just got more interesting and now working life and home life blend together. Currently a typical working day is a mixture of home working on admin, invoices and logistics along with call outs to move animals to safe locations such as fosterers when animals are brought into our care along with many vet visits, adoptions, supply drops etc.

                            

My job includes such a variety of situations and anything can happen when you receive a call from an Inspector or Animal Collection officer! A typical conference call at the moment involves my foster parrot announcing her presence with a “Helllooo!”followed by a wolf whistle or two. Thankfully most of our calls are internal however I do get caught out on external ones and have to explain that I’m not currently in the jungle, (especially if I have foster budgies or cockatiels).

Due to lockdown, we had to move animals quickly into various fosterer carers which meant several animals appeared in my house (thankfully I have a very understanding husband). This included a heavily pregnant cat who decided on the Tuesday night (the day after lockdown was announced) to start giving birth just as I walked in the door! This lead to around 3 hours of not being allowed to leave the kitchen as mumma cat (Puma) wanted me by her side. The first two boys presented upside down and breach but thankfully I have lambed many sheep so have plenty of experience in animal midwifery although this was far more intricate! Check out our Instagram and Facebook to watch the kittens grow!

My household consists of various animals from birds, to reptiles, to small furries or cats and dogs. Normally my husband receives a text with something along the lines of “there’s a terrapin in the living-room” whereby I normally get a reply of “of course there is, why wouldn’t there be!” What many people do not realise is how often we as staff take home multiple different animals to ensure we can get them to safety. We also have many hard working private boarding establishments, veterinary staff, Inspectors and Animal Collection Officer who have all worked tirelessly to make sure our animals are safe and cared for. Many people do not realise how much of our lives become work but we do it for the love of animals!

Oh there goes the phones again… I wonder what animal will need our help next…

                 

Thank you Chloe for this insight into the ‘Mad House’!
Check back again soon for more interesting reads and blogs from our team

Please do sign up to the Free Newsletter HERE if you have not done so already, wouldn’t you like to know about all the amazing things our team are doing in your area??

Jamie#ThursdayThoughts: The Mad House
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# ThursdayThoughts: Missing my pets

 A warm hello to all of our important supporters and fellow animal lovers. Jamie here continuing work from home and #ThursdayThoughts has me thinking about how much I miss my pets…

It’s safe to say we are all experiencing something new and scary right now. A world on lockdown with their families and loved ones, stricken with uncertainty and likely anxious thoughts. Some are lonelier than others but some are with their beloved pets and companions, which makes isolating a more tolerable, entertaining, familiar and comforting process. The perfect company for whatever comes. ​Many across the country and my fellow colleagues here at the RSPCA, share frequent content of what life is like behind their doors with their pets or fostered friends. They make me smile and ponder of home, for I am too a father of 3 felines. On the other hand, it also brings a heavy heart, for isolation for me didn’t quite work out the way I wanted. I will be honest and admit… I am envious! I am without them and more to the point, finding this very difficult at times. If you are like me, then you’ll know how much we rely on the company of our beloved pets. They sooth my aches when I hurt and satisfy my need for laughter and attention. Without a voice have comforted me on nights when no one could and effortlessly focus my mind into a place of here and now. I often wonder if they truly know just how special and important they are… The soothing effect of my mental state they provide is irreplaceable ​and undeniable.
Luckily, they are living comfortably no doubt in the house I grew up in. Safe and well loved with my parents, in my home away from home and I remain grateful they are in the best of care. I might not be the only one isolated without the warmth of their beloved pets, so this is to say that I understand and share these feelings with you. If you are in my position and without a loved one, or are surround by loved ones, either way feel free to share your lockdown story with us​
Before our distancing, I would visit every week to spend time with my family including my 3 very special babies. This is something I will never take for granted again. Since then I’ve adapted like many others who are missing family and pets, requesting updates, pictures and video calling to help fill that void. I’m sure you’ll understand when I say that nothing can replace the feeling of touch or a cuddle, or even the smaller more simpler fondness of the sound of a meow or purr​.
Despite this, we can still find comfort. My 3 Cats are so incredibly unique with such funny personalities, I am bound to them emotionally and I trust this is something fellow animal lovers and empaths recognise. We can still remain grateful for those we have waiting for us, it just takes some practice and positive thinking. I exercise this by video calling them often (With a little help from a human) and have made photo albums of them, many of which are situated around the house and work space so they never stray far from my thoughts. Imagine how they make you feel and let that feeling fill you up. Over the years my furry friends have successfully contributed to my wellbeing and as mentioned before, even when no one else or no matter of words could. If you are like me and rely on the company of animals, know that it gets easier, we just have to channel the emotions into a grateful train of thought. Let the happier times with them inspire you to remain strong and healthy! If you are with them already, then make sure to give them extra hugs…

Here’s a little bonus content about the furry ones in question​

Meet Maggie

            
Maggie is 14 years old and has been my best friend for all these years. She is extra special and most certainly unique, I have never quite met a cat who’s just as loving, kind and affectionate as her. She bears a distinct love heart shaped mark on her fur. A sign of her angelic nature perhaps?… She also from a kitten developed a habit for ‘Suckling’, which we suspect comforts her. Still all these years later as a grown lady she still suckles with just the cutest little look imaginable. The corner of your hand or finger, even your nose if you’d let her.. She simply just wont stop suckling. When I get low I tend to call home and request ‘Put Maggie on the phone’. I am put on loud speaker so she knows it me and will suckle the edge of the phone, as if she is speaking to me! It’s almost too cute to be true. Our bond is legendary in the household as she comes to my voice and has loved me unconditionally throughout the difficult periods of my life. I have been so fortunate to have been raised with animals in a loving home and met many wonderful souls in my journey with the RSPCA. However she is hands down the most angelic, selfless being I have had the privilege to call family. ​
Favourite Foods: Cheese and Cream ​
Nicknames: Squeaky, Bingle Berry, Maggules ​

Meet Peppy

                
Peppy is a young boy, who’s delicate long fluffy coat and intelligence is outstanding and unmatched. My father and Sister heard a distant cry one night some 4 years ago and found a tiny abandoned kitten on a most bitterly cold and dark winter evening. He laid in a bush in the garden, with no telling how he got there. It was so cold outside even the bin lids had frozen down; he would never have survived that night if they did not hear his feeble cries. He was in a bad way and on that night did not exactly smell of roses, so as a collective decided to raise him and name him, quite appropriately, Peppy (After Peppi La Pew). His cheeky personality is a perfect balance for the household and knows his way around a human being like no other. Some days we question if he even remembers the rescue mission on the fatefully night, for he tends to spend most days coaxing you for treats, all day everyday. When sleepy, Peppy is simply the cutest. He enjoys milking soft dressing gowns and instantly reverts back to a kitten like state, when no other cats are around to witness. It’s almost like it’s our little secret, he wouldn’t want the other cats on the estate knowing he was a softie! We love his cheeky behaviour and whilst we still have no idea where he came from, we regret nothing from that night ​
Favourite food : Dreamies ​
Nicknames: Pippip, Shrepy​

Meet Ginger Moon Boots

       

This young fluffy man came to us from a house nearing our estate due to being neglected. We actually had our first encounter down an alley way which connects to the cul-de-sac my parents situate. Understandably mesmerised by his big ginger coat, handsome face and white boots I knelt down to express my admiration, putting my hand out to see if he could sense my intent. We made eye contact and he ran to me, rubbing and purring, rolling around and smiling. I don’t think anyone had genuinely showed him love before. He followed me home and would simply refuse to leave. We knew of his owners so kindly carried him back night upon night, with little thanks from them. Ginger Moon Boots, or Nirny as we like to refer to him by, came back every evening with the same result. We picked him and took him home. This continued for weeks until his owners insisted we take him, as he had clearly chosen where he knew he belonged; in a loving household. He is now much happier, healthy plus much less ‘skitty’! He enjoys drinking rain water we collect for him more than any cat I have ever seen and welcomes belly rubs like no other. Nirny has also learned recently the magic of a running tap and will make frequent attempts to enter the bathroom in hopes of enjoying water that way. Like Maggie and Peppy, he projects the most unique and friendly noises, equally as adorable. You can really feel the appreciation and love from him everyday and there is never day we regret the moment we opened our door for him

Favourite food: ​Felix Pouches
Nicknames: Crimson Nirnroot, Nirny

Thank you for reading and for your continued support!

Why not sign up to our free newsletter if you haven’t already HERE? Our monthly newsletter is full of our latest news, events, advice, ways you can help and stories about our latest finned, scaly and feathered residents. Sign up today and get to know your local RSPCA!

Jamie# ThursdayThoughts: Missing my pets
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#ThursdayThoughts: Working from home

Today is #ThursdayThoughts, so we thought it would be nice to share a bit about what life looks like for some of our team at home! Animal Welfare Officer Charlotte is taking us through what a typical day on the job looks like for her right now. She has appropriately named this:

Working from home with a house full of fur children

It’s 6am on a Monday morning and I haven’t set an alarm. In this house, no alarm is needed. Before you know it, the sound of meowing awakens you, or the pitter-patter of tiny ratty feet climbing, jumping and roaming around their enclosure. It’s summer, so the guinea pigs are outside. Usually, they start wheeking and screeching as soon as one of us stirs in our bed. Now, they lay sleeping until the backdoor is opened to let the dog out to the toilet! That’s when they start ‘wheeking‘ excitedly as they know the veggies are soon to be arriving. You could say we have a house full currently; with 3 cats, 3 guinea pigs, 13 rats and a dog all living in a two-bedroom terrace house alongside me and my partner.

But we say it feels like home- well I do anyway, my partner is just tolerant of the menagerie I bring home to foster at the drop of a hat. It keeps us busy that’s for sure. They’re not all ours. Some will stay for a short period of time and then go off to find their forever homes. Whereas, the others are my ‘failed-foster-children’-that’s how we like to refer to them at the Branch! The animal’s that we were only supposed to foster but they ended up being permanent members of the family. Nearly everyone who works for the branch has at least one ‘failed-foster-child’.

Our day begins by making sure that everybody has their breakfast. We, of course, come last in the long list of mouths to feed. After breakfast, it’s litter-tray cleaning, rat-handling, dog-walking and putting the guinea pigs outside to enjoy the day grazing on the grass. Once mouths are fed, it’s 9am and work begins. Working from home is strange for me. I’m usually sat in an extremely loud office surrounded by other members of my team on the phone, or out on the road attending vet appointments and catteries. Today, it’s an office of 1 human and many animals. Many animals who still can’t understand why I’m at home and yet not giving them the 24/7 attention which they deserve.

                            

At 9:15am, I have lined up a virtual home visit. I have an entire day full of back-to-back virtual home visits to try and find the animals under the care of the branch their forever homes. We have only been undertaking these virtual visits since re-homing has been allowed to resume last week. It’s a weird way of being shown around someone’s home but nevertheless, it allows the branch to run as normally as possible during these strange times. During the middle of my video-call, the door-bell chimes. I apologise to the potential adopter and tend to the person at the door. It’s the postman. He’s just delivering the rat hammocks that I ordered a few days before. Yes- 4 rats have managed to become ‘failed-foster-children’ (*blushes*).

I go back to the computer to finish my video call and mother cat (Wanda) has managed to hang-up the phone on my behalf. She’s also decided that her new favourite place to sit is on the computer keyboard. I pick the her up, place her on the floor, and ring back the potential adopters….. It felt like me saying ‘the cat hung-up the phone’ was as bad as the excuse of ‘the dog ate my home-work’ but they seemed to understand.

It’s 12pm, the dog begins to become a little unsettled. It’s his Dentastix time and he’s got into such a routine with me being at home that he expects it bang on 12pm. I open the cupboard door where the I keep the dog treats and the sound of the cupboard opening encourages the dog to come and join me in the kitchen. Because the dog has walked to the kitchen, the cats think they are missing out on something tasty, so they decide to join us too. Now we’re all unsettled standing in the kitchen waiting for some form of midday snack. I decide to take my lunch break.

In the latter part of the afternoon, the animals have their afternoon snooze. Casper, Darwin, and Linnaeus (the guinea pigs) are resting in their igloos in the outside run, Wanda (mumma cat) has found a sunny spot on the bay window to take a cat nap, and Buzz (the dog) has found a comfy space on the sofa where he can catch a little bit of sun all whilst eye-balling the cat because she is sitting where he would usually choose to sit. The rats are laying in a heap on the top shelf of their enclosure, all 13 of them (Cygnet, Fawn, Filly, Cairo, Nairobi, Kigali, Lima, Manilla, Pairs, Sophia, Victoria, Vienna and Oslo- if you wanted to know their names!) and the kittens (Lumos and Nox) are upstairs. Finally, a little bit peace and quiet and time to reply to my emails

By 5pm, everyone is hungry again so it’s mouths to feed and a dog to walk. My working day finishes at 5pm so me and Buzz leave the house and enjoy catching the final bit of sun. I’m walking along and my phone rings. It’s the vets that I spoke to earlier telling me results from a faecal sample. There is a young couple walking a little distance in front of me. They turn around when they hear me say the words ‘colon flush’- yes, it is as lovely as it sounds!

Upon arriving back at home, it’s finally time for dinner. The make-shift desk is turned back into our dining room table and we eat and discuss our day ‘at work’ before passing out in front of the television ready to do it all again tomorrow. It’s never a quiet day at work in normal situations when you work with animals. Let alone when your animals are living in your office!

Thank you Charlotte for this entertaining read! I hope you all enjoyed it too and we hope to have more insights from our team soon

I would also recommend signing up to our newsletter too HERE for more great content, if you haven’t already…

Jamie#ThursdayThoughts: Working from home
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#ForeverHomeFriday: Meet Florida

This is a new series where we catch up with our previous adopters and find out how they and their new family member is getting on! Want to be featured? Get in touch.

First up, meet Florida!

 

“Adopting from the RSPCA was the best thing I’ve ever done. It was an easy, stress free, straight forward process.

RSPCA always put the animal first and were clear about Florida’s needs and that it would take a lot of patience and trust. He has been like a little miracle cat, as Florida adapted to being from outside into a flat and he’s literally living his best life. He has adapted very well and as his confidence has grown, his cheeky, loving personality is beaming!  Loving affection and cuddles, he loves his routine and is so loving in return. It’s very much turned into a special bond, some would say I rescued Florida, I disagree. He rescued me. My anxiety is loads less and having him has given me responsibility which has kept me on track. He’s amazing.”

Have you adopted from us and want to be featured as our #ForeverHomeFriday? Get in touch! 

Anna#ForeverHomeFriday: Meet Florida
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Current Adoption Processes

We are very happy to announce that due to guidance from DEFRA we have started to undertake adoptions again for some of our animals.

This is wonderful news for our Branch as by starting to carry out adoptions again we will be able to find loving homes for our animals and also be able to help more animals in need as we will have more available resources.

Due to restrictions around COVID – 19 and as we are still running at a limited capacity; we will be operating in a different way temporarily in order to keep our staff, volunteers, animals and members of the public safe.

For now, we will only be rehoming cats and smaller animals but not dogs as unfortunately this is not possible to do in line with current guidelines around social distancing.

As always, we would advise people to only consider adopting a pet if they have researched it and would be able to provide the same amount of care should the lockdown be lifted.

Here’s a guide to how to adopt from us whilst we are under lockdown:

  • See who we currently have available for adoption on our website here
  • If you are interested in adopting one of our animals, fill in an enquiry form.
  • The form will be sent to our Animal Welfare Team who will get in touch to discuss your application further.
  • If it’s a perfect match, you’ll reserve the animal and we’ll carry out a virtual home visit with you using a webcam or video and go through a questionnaire with you.
  • If the virtual home visit is successful, we will then take payment for the adoption fee, over the phone and arrange a time for the animal to be delivered to your home.
  • The member of our Animal Welfare Team who is delivering your new family member will call you upon arrival and place the pet carrier and relevant paperwork in a pre-agreed location.
  • Get to know your new family member!

If you have any questions, give us a call on 0303 040 1565 or send us an email

 

 

AnnaCurrent Adoption Processes
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#WednesdayWisdom RSPCA Education Visit

Hello all, Jamie here working from home. Seeing how it’s #Wednesdaywisdom, I thought I would share my experience of one of our Branch Education Visits that took place in February. These sessions truly are fun and interesting, I would encourage any locals or communities after our current lockdown to schedule a talk with us to learn more about us!

 

I had the privilege of attending an Educational session with our Education and Events Officer Leanne. The Advanced Motorists Society agreed to have us along for a talk at the Wensum Community Centre in Norwich, a spot where they meet on a regular basis. They started off by having a meeting of their own, demonstrating a lovely sense of community. The group were primarily of an older generation, which was a nice change of pace for Leanne who mainly visits Schools. This demonstrates the diversity in people Leanne is able to reach and educate: as she adapts well to different audiences and different types of people naturally. I was there to help out and socialise, whilst taking notes of how the evening was going (and even some factual notes as I was learning on the job).

We started the session off with some technical issues unfortunately. Leanne’s laptop, for some reason or another, would not connect to the centre’s projector. The centre’s projector was an older model, so after many attempts to get the visual aids on the big screen, Leanne encouraged everyone to make a semi-circle around her laptop, pulling their chairs forward creating a much more personal and up close style of presentation. Through no fault of her own, she made the best of the situation by adapting and the audience appreciated this also

                                                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The content of the presentation was of course tailored to Leanne’s audience, so it focused more heavily on the history of the RSPCA to start with. The thing that most people reacted to, was the fact that it was because of the birth of the SPCA, which then later became the RSPCA, which inspired the creation of the children’s charity, the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). The audience also liked the detailed history of how the RSPCA assisted in the 1st World War. The reception was great and I learnt some more things about the RSPCA myself. Throughout the talk Leanne was clear and informative and maintained her friendly attitude which kept the group engaged from start to finish. After briefing the group on the 200 years of history, she then talked through the important work we do in modern times, busting any myths about the RSPCA they perhaps once thought. Here are some of the interesting facts of the night:

KEY FACTS LEARNED

FOUNDED
The RSPCA was founded in a London coffee shop in 1824. The men present knew they were creating the world’s first animal welfare charity, but they couldn’t have imagined the size and shape that the charity would become today. Back then we were the SPCA – Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Royal patronage followed in 1837 and Queen Victoria gave permission to add the royal R in 1840, making us the RSPCA as we are known worldwide today.

THE LAW
We’ve always been influential in forming and improving animal welfare law. In 1822, two years before we were founded, ‘Martin’s Act’ was passed. It was the very first animal welfare law and it forbade ‘the cruel and improper treatment of cattle’. Thirteen years on, in 1835, and ‘Pease’s Act’ consolidated this law. The prohibition of cruelty was extended to dogs and other domestic animals, bear-baiting and cock-fighting was forbidden, and it insisted on better standards for slaughter houses. Other successes along the way have included laws for lab animals, the abolition of fur farming in the UK, the ban of fox hunting with dogs and the animal welfare act. Today we are still changing the law

It must be mentioned that the most favoured part of the evening was the numbers game which Leanne created inspired by the famous television show, ‘The Price Is Right’. She showed the audience a number and asked a question about an RSPCA statistic such as “How many animals did we help rehome in a year? The audience would then raise their hand if they thought the answer to this question was higher or lower than the proposed number. This went down very well and every single person got involved, which enjoying some nostalgia and familiarities to the popular game show 

As her presentation ended, she received a healthy round of applause and an additional round of applause when the audience learned that Leanne is fact the only person in the Education team – this impressed them very much!  

The words back from the group was warming and complimentary and to conclude the evening, we all enjoyed a cup of tea and had a good talk about what we love about animals; the perfect way to wrap up the gathering. If you have not had the chance to see Leanne in action, I would strongly recommend getting in touch with us. You never know, you might learn something new.

Jamie#WednesdayWisdom RSPCA Education Visit
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