Meet The UK’s Podgiest Pets Battling The Bulge

Sadly Oscar is nearly double his ideal weight at 21.6kg. Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix

Sadly Oscar is nearly double his ideal weight at 21.6kg. Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix

Vet charity PDSA has revealed the UK’s fattest cats, podgiest pooches and other porky pets who are all starting out on marathon weight loss journeys.

This year’s 13 pets – who together weigh a staggering 296kg (46st 8lb) – have been selected to compete in the UK’s foremost pet slimming competition PDSA Pet Fit Club.

The fat finalists, include:

Curvy Cilla from Liverpool, who weighs in at nearly 8st 8lbs (54.4kg). Her canine companion, supersized Shyla, tips the scales at a hefty 7st 13lbs (50.2kg). Their owner used to give the portly pooches treats including crumpets, pasta, and biscuits. Together they need to lose nearly 4st (24.6kg)

Cilla Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix

Cilla Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix

The heaviest cat in the competition is Lucy who ate and slept her way to a colossal 1st 5lbs (8.8kg) – around 120% overweight – after her owner mistakenly believed she was pregnant and fed her double portions!

Shown is Lucy an overweight cat from Bradford. She was selected as a candidate for the PDSA Pet Fit Club as she is currently 70% overweight. Lorne Street, with Head Nurse Miriam Wilson and the owner Vicky Wood at one of her first weighins. Pictures © Darren Casey / DCimaging.co.uk 07989 984643

Shown is Lucy an overweight cat from Bradford. She was selected as a candidate for the PDSA Pet Fit Club as she is currently 70% overweight. Lorne Street, with Head Nurse Miriam Wilson and the owner Vicky Wood at one of her first weighins. Pictures © Darren Casey / DCimaging.co.uk

Tipping the scales at nearly a stone, is seven-year-old Chihuahua Tyty whose weight-gain has been caused by his thieving ways. He may be smaller than most dogs but is a big-time bully when it comes to food. He takes the lion’s share from his canine housemates even stealing potentially deadly treats like chocolate bars from his owner.

Supersized kitty, Puff, from Sheffield now tips the scales at 1st 3lb (7.5kg), making her around 50% overweight.  With the help of her owner she has already lost 5lb since being rehomed last year.

Four-year-old English Bulldog Ethel, from Manchester, has a weight problem because of her thieving ways. Her family admit to spoiling her, but say their dog has ballooned in size after she suffered a tear to her cruciate ligament last year which prevented her exercising. She currently weighs in at 4st 13lb (30.3kg), making the portly pooch 50% overweight.

Pebbles the rabbit once tipped the scales at a colossal 10Ib (4.5kg), making him more than 50% over his ideal weight (7Ib/3kg).  The three-year-old rotund rabbit from Blackpool piled on the pounds through a combination of poor quality rabbit food and his aversion to rain, which prevented him exercising.

Sadly, overweight pets are a big problem. It is estimated that around one-third of UK dogs and a quarter of cats are now overweight or obese. The PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report also revealed that vet professionals are predicting the problem will continue to grow – with four-in-five believing that there will be more overweight pets than healthy weight pets by 2019.

The cause of our pets’ expanding waistlines is no mystery either: over 4 million pets (2.6 million dogs, 1.4 million cats and 12,000 rabbits) are fed scraps or leftovers as their main meals. Owners have also admitted to ‘treating’ their pets by giving them fatty, sugary and, in some cases dangerous, foods including cake, chocolate (despite being poisonous), biscuits, crisps, chips, and even takeaways.

Nicola Martin, PDSA Head of Pet Health and Welfare, said: “Pet obesity is a serious issue affecting millions of UK pets. Like humans, pets carrying excess weight risk developing serious health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. It can even shorten their lives.

“Too many pets are being fed unsuitable diets and not receiving enough exercise. So it’s vital we educate owners on how to keep their pets fit and healthy before the problem gets even worse. If owners are unsure what to feed their pets, or are concerned about their weight, they should always seek advice from their vet.”

Nicola added: “With the help of PDSA Pet Fit Club, these pets and their owners will be making positive changes to their lifestyles to help them slim down to a healthy weight. PDSA will support them every step of the way over the next six months to ensure they succeed.”

An annual contest, PDSA Pet Fit Club was launched in 2005 and has already helped 74 dogs, 32 cats and 6 rabbits lose a total 63 stone 11lb – equivalent to over 400 bags of sugar, 6,500 tins of tuna, 7,000 sausages, or four heavyweight boxers.

For more information about this year’s pet finalists and to follow their progress visit www.petfitclub.org.uk

 

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National Memorial Day For Pets Announces Support For Charity That Re-homes Senior Dogs

Supporting the day: TV vet Emma Milne with her (deceased) dogs Pan and Badger.

Supporting the day: TV vet Emma Milne with her (deceased) dogs Pan and Badger.

Pet Remembrance Day, a national day set up for people to remember deceased pets is backing a charity that finds ‘forever homes’ for older dogs.

On national Pet Remembrance Day (Tuesday July 5), pet lovers are being asked to dig deep and pledge support to The Oldies Club, a national charity, which rehomes dogs aged seven and over.

Pet Remembrance Day, which launched in 2015, is the inspiration of Pets Magazine and Arty Lobster , a company that specializes in 3D pet sculptures.

Pet Remembrance Day, or #PetRemembranceDay on social media, provides a valuable opportunity for people to celebrate the lives of departed pets and the increasing number of ways in which we can commemorate them.

Marie Carter, Editor & Publisher of Pets Magazine said: “Last year, we held the UK’s first-ever National Pet Remembrance Day and we were delighted that the day really captured peoples’ hearts and imaginations. Hundreds of people shared their feelings, memories and photos of their departed pets on social media. It is clearly a day that people have been waiting for and it just seemed right that this year we combine it with helping to raise money for an important pet charity.

“Grieving for a pet is gradually becoming widely accepted, and acceptable, but many people still don’t understand that for many pet owners, dogs and cats in particular, are now regarded as family members. National Pet Remembrance Day helps people to remember beloved companion animals.”

Lars Andersen, Managing Director of Arty Lobster, who co-founded the day, says: “Pets are increasingly regarded as members of our family, and we do not remember them as we should. Pet cremations in the UK are still a slowly growing market and pet memorials tend to be very ‘samey’ with the best you can hope for being an urn featuring the pet’s name.

“Pet Remembrance Day is proud to support The Oldies Club, which is a wonderful charity that makes a huge difference to the lives of our beloved companion animals.”

Olive Armstrong, The Oldies Club, explains: “Our pets are members of our families too, and to dedicate a special day to remember them is a great idea.

“At The Oldies club, we have so many older dogs desperately in need of new forever homes in which to see out their final years. Older dogs can be the most loving and special dogs and they crave love and a nice spot in a warm home to snooze. We have so many people who have adopted an older dog and say they would definitely do so again, as they have had such a good experience with the dog. We are also looking for people who would like to foster an older dog, so please do get in touch with us via our website if you can help.”

Celebrities including TV vet Emma Milne are already lining up to support the day.

Emma explains: “As a vet and a pet owner, I have experienced the devastation of pet loss from every angle. One of the hardest things for any vet is helping owners through the most difficult times of their lives but it is also our most important job. Having had to make the decision to end my own pets’ lives as well as those of my clients’ pets I completely understand the incredible sense of guilt and the mix of other emotions we all go through.

Emma adds: “For me, like everyone else, animals are part of the family. My ‘boys’, Pan and Badger, were with me for 15 years through thick and thin and their loss utterly crushed me. Events like Pet Remembrance Day are hugely important to bring people together through shared anguish and unite them to help them remember the great times with their pets rather than just the final moments.”

How can people get involved on Pet Remembrance Day?

Pets Magazine and Arty Lobster have come up with several ways in which people can remember deceased pets on National Pet Remembrance Day, including:

-Give to The Oldies Club and help to support an older dog.
– Take part in a Twitter Chat to share stories and experiences and win a 3D sculpture of a beloved pet.
– A memorial service in a place where the pet liked to walk or play.
– A memento mori such as a sculpture of the pet
– A living memorial by planting a tree or flowerbed
– A pet portrait featuring the pet or their image printed on a coaster or other accessory
– A scrapbook, blog or social media channel, with photos and other reminders of the pet.
– A poem about the pet

Other ideas include:

– Keeping the pet’s favorite toy, collar or blanket
– Volunteering at an animal rescue centre in remembrance of the pet

To donate to The Oldies Club, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/oldies/donate

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Pete the Vet: Why Pets Are Good For YOU!

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Dr Pete Wedderburn  qualified as a vet from Edinburgh thirty years ago in 1985. He has worked in his own four-veterinarian companion animal practice in County Wicklow, Ireland, since 1991, and he has his own menagerie of dogs, cats, ducks, hens and others including a pet rabbit in his kitchen.

Pete is well known as a media veterinarian in Ireland and the UK, with a weekly breakfast television slot on national television for the past fourteen years. He is a prolific writer on animal topics, with weekly columns in the Ireland’s Herald newspaper and the UK’s Daily Telegraph. Pete is known as “Pete the Vet” on his busy Facebook and Twitter pages, regularly posting information on topical subjects and real-life cases from his clinic. He also writes a regular blog at www.petethevet.com.

Research shows that children who live in households with pets tend to be more self-confident and socially adept than those without animals.
Pets are experts in body-language, which is often universal across species barriers. Perhaps animals are able to teach children this by being in close contact with them as they are growing up?

Recent research has also suggested that the presence of animals in the home can act as a protective against the later development of asthma in the child – as long as the mother of the child does not have asthma, in which case animals can make things worse.
Children with psychological difficulties may gain special benefits from pets. Professional pet therapy started nearly fifty years ago when a psychiatrist noted that severely withdrawn children became more responsive when he was accompanied by his own dog in counselling sessions, and this is now a well established routine.

Children learning to read can also benefit by reading allowed to pets: they seem to be able to do this without feeling the same self-consciousness that they may have with fellow humans listening.

A case in point: Emma has owned a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel since she was a baby: she is now a confident, healthy, ten year old child, and her friendship with her dog is a model of good companionship.

Pets are good for adults too!

Animals bring both physical and psychological benefits to all of us. Most obviously, dogs encourage people to exercise. If you own a dog, a regular walk – half an hour twice daily – is a necessary part of your routine together. There is something different about walking with a dog – many folk would not take a walk around a local park, on the beach or along the street if they did not have a dog beside them.

Dogs also act as supreme social catalysts, making it easier for us to connect with other people. It’s far easier to talk to someone who has a dog beside them: the animal makes them seem more approachable, and you can talk about the dog as a neutral subject (“He’s a lovely looking creature. What breed is he?”)

Taking it to another level, pets bring benefits to the treatment of psychiatric illness, including depression. The presence of an appropriate animal can help to build self-esteem and increase mental alertness, and they also lift the spirits of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

In several prison projects, inmates who have been given birds and small animals to take care of have become less violent, more sociable and more responsible.

Pet ownership has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies have revealed that petting a dog or a cat, or sometimes just being in the same room as a friendly animal, can reduce people’s blood pressure and heart rate. And perhaps linking to this, after major heart surgery, one study showed that patients who had pets with animals lived for longer than those who did not keep pets.

A case in point: The Connolly family have owned a succession of Boxers, since before their children were born. The children are now in their twenties, and they can’t imagine the Connolly home without a resident Boxer or two. Every family photo includes the dogs, and they’re seen as an integral, key part of the Connolly family.

Pets are good for older people!

Any vet can tell you stories about older people who have their lives enriched by the company of their pets. Studies have shown that pets can help older people to be more self-reliant. One study measured how many hours of ‘paid care worker time’ was needed for elderly people living alone. At the start, an average of 40 hours a week of human help was required per patient. Six months after each patient had been given a pet, the amount of carer time had reduced to about 10 hours per week.

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For older people who are unable to live on their own, there are other benefits. When pets are allowed to visit nursing homes, there’s a strong positive effect, with elderly residents smiling and talking more, and experiencing more symptoms of well-being.

A case in point: Chance is a Golden Cocker Spaniel who was the sole pet of Betty until she was ninety, when she was no longer able to live in her own home due to a disability. When Betty moved into a care home, she was allowed to bring Chance with her. Her long term companion has now become the friend of many other older people in their new home together.

Whatever your stage of life, pets can bring brightness, cheerfulness and friendship into your immediate environment. If you’ve never thought about having a pet, why not think about one now? It’s never too late!

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Sir Michael Gambon Shows How Dogs Really Are Our Best Friends!

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Twenty uniquely different dogs star in a new film narrated by Sir Michael Gambon – best known for playing Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter – to celebrate man’s best friend.

The film is being released following research revealing that dog owners are on average eight per cent happier than non-dog owners.

‘FEED DIFFERENT’ is an affectionate pastiche of the iconic 1997 ‘Think Different’ advert by Apple, but with human thinkers including John Lennon, Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso being replaced by canine characters. BAFTA-nominated Gary Tarn made the film for tails.com, a new company that tailor-makes food for a dog’s unique nutritional and dietary needs.

A study of over 1,000 adults revealed that 94 per cent of dog owners say their pet makes them happier – with 63 per cent saying a dog makes them physically fitter and 40 per cent saying a dog makes them feel less stressed. Half of the dog-owners questioned (50 per cent) said their dog understands them more than anyone else.

Pictured: Blue

Pictured: Blue

The research also conclusively revealed that dogs are the nation’s favourite pets with 61 per cent of adults saying a dog would be their number one pet choice ahead of cats (23 per cent), fish (4 per cent), horses (3 per cent) and birds (2 per cent).

Pictured: Winston

Pictured: Winston

James Davidson, co-founder and CEO of tails.com, said: “Dogs are one of the most diverse species on the planet, but they all have one thing in common in that they make the lives of their owners happier. Our film captures some of the unique personalities of dogs and recognises how much they can change our individual worlds for the better.

“Because every dog is different we believe its food should be too, which is why we deliver tailor-made food blended to each individual dog’s nutritional and dietary needs – helping owners enjoy a happier dog for longer.”

Pictured: Monty

Pictured: Monty

‘FEED DIFFERENT’ was filmed, produced and directed by Gary Tarn and narrated by Sir Michael Gambon. The twenty tails.com dogs in order of appearance are Pickle, Denny, Teddy, Winston, Molly, Truffle, Rio, Dulce, George, Axel, Dixie, Alexis, Phoenix, Bluey, Sonny, Deefor, Acorn, Prince, Monty and Lucky.

FEED DIFFERENT – SCRIPT

Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of one size fits all.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can walk them, try and train them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push dog-kind forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see happy ones.
Because the dogs who are crazy enough to think they can change our world, are the ones who do.

And finally, here’s the film itself!

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PG Tips Chimp Star Sadly Passes Away At Age 48

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ONE of the last surviving chimp stars of the PG Tips adverts has died aged 48, it was announced on Thursday.

Choppers, who played Ada in the iconic TV commercials, had been showing signs of heart and liver failure.

The beloved female chimp was put to sleep at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire on Wednesday (20/4) surrounded by her keepers.

Her death comes three years after her TV partner and lifelong pal Louis, who played Mr Shifter, died aged 37.

Dr Charlotte Macdonald, director of life sciences at the zoo, said: “Choppers was known for her gentle nature and loved grooming other chimps and interacting with her keepers, whom she was always excited to see.

“She was a much-loved member of the chimpanzee group and she will be sadly missed by all staff at the zoo, as well as her numerous fans.

“Choppers recently became very ill, showing signs of heart and liver failure, and despite the best efforts of the zoo’s veterinary team, her health declined and the difficult decision to put her sleep was made on Wednesday.”

In her final years, Choppers was left traumatised by her spell in the limelight and had to endure a spell in simian rehab to help her mix with other chimps.

Choppers pictured in her enclosure at Twycross Zoo.

Choppers pictured in her enclosure at Twycross Zoo.

Yesterday fans of the beloved chimps paid tribute to her.

Jenny Williams wrote on Facebook: “Can’t believe Choppers has gone. For all those kids of the 70s and 80s who grew up with the PG Tipsads, we should all raise a cup to her tonight.”

Paul Clough added: “RIP Choppers, enjoy your cuppa in heaven with the rest of the Tipps family.”

The PG Tips TV adverts, featuring the Tipps family, first aired in 1956 and were a huge hit for the brand.

By 1958, PG Tips had risen from fourth place in the British tea market to first.

Much-loved Choppers starred in arguably the most famous commercial in 1971, where two chimps playing father and son removal men accidentally dropped a piano down a flight of stairs.

Choppers shot to fame as the grey-haired old lady wearing a frilly pink pinny offering cuppas to the bumbling piano movers.

The ads were stopped in 1970 after complaints from animal rights groups but returned 18 months later.

They were finally taken off air in 2003 and replaced by the cuddly puppet called Monkey who stars alongside comedian Johnny Vegas.

Choppers first came to attention of zoo keepers at Twycross after she was rescued from poachers in Liberia by a British couple.

Chimps were trained at Twycross for TV appearances and were often dressed up in clothes and lip-synced with the voices of actors such as Peter Sellers and Bob Monkhouse.

They also appeared in children’s shows Tiswas and Blue Peter and were notorious for their messy tea parties.

After 30 years the zoo ended its agreement for its apes to be used in advertising but chimpanzees from abroad still appeared in tea adverts until 2003.

Last January, Choppers returned to the screens when she appeared in a Channel 5 documentary charting the story of the lives of the original PG Tips chimps.

In February this year two TV-trained chimps Kip, 39, and Jolly, 32, died after reportedly roasting to death in their cages when a fault with the heating system sent temperatures soaring to 50C.

No press release was issued regarding the deaths but the zoo insisted there wasn’t any cover-up.

 

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Dog’s Baking Cupboard Binge Was Recipe For Disaster

PDSA vet Erin Beale checks Ray after his binge.

PDSA vet Erin Beale checks Ray after his binge.

A binge-eating Boxer dog created his own Great British bark-off after wolfing down the entire contents of a baking cupboard.

Ray, the lovable eight-year-old pooch, from Plymouth, gobbled up a bag of flour, an entire kilo of sugar (including the bag!) and a packet of raisins, which can be deadly to dogs.

As soon as the kitchen crime scene was discovered, greedy Ray was rushed to Plymouth PDSA Pet Hospital by his worried owner, Jasmine Quick, 36, where he was admitted for emergency treatment.

Jasmine said: “I’d been on a baking competition weekend with friends and brought the leftover ingredients home. I popped out for 20 minutes, but I returned to complete chaos – Ray was absolutely covered in flour and sugar, and was guzzling his way through the raisins.”

Jasmine called PDSA immediately as she had read that grapes were poisonous to dogs – and was advised to bring him straight in.

PDSA Vet Erin Beale said: “Ray was given medicine to make him sick and kept in overnight for observation. This was a potentially disastrous cocktail. Grapes, raisins and sultanas are all highly toxic to dogs and even small amounts can be fatal, depending on their size. Thankfully for Ray he got help straight away, so recovered quite quickly and was soon back to his boisterous self.”

Ray returned home the next day and the family are hugely grateful for the help they received. Jasmine, who will be keeping a close eye on Ray in the future where food is concerned, added: “PDSA have been a godsend, we gave a donation but simply couldn’t have afforded Ray’s treatment without them.

“My husband lost his job a few years ago and Ray was ill soon after, we thought we might have to give him up. It was such a difficult time and the kids were devastated – we’d had Ray since he was a puppy. Then a friend suggested PDSA might be able to help us. We can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done for Ray.”

PDSA doesn’t receive any Government of National Lottery funding for its charitable services – they are funded entirely by generous public support. To make a donation to support PDSA’s life-saving work text PAWS to 70111 to donate £3*.

PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, treating more than 470,000 pets annually across its 51 Pet Hospitals. The charity strives to improve all pets’ lives through education, preventive care and emergency treatment. For more information visit www.pdsa.org.uk.

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3D Pet Sculptures Help People Remember Lost Pets

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A company is helping people remember their beloved pets by creating life-like 3D printed sculptures.

London-based Arty Lobster creates the hi-tech sculptures from around ten pictures of a dog or another pet which the owner uploads to the company’s website. 3D printing is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The designer makes a 3D CAD/CAM computer model of the pet, which is then turned into a 3D print.

The result is a perfect little replica of the pet, which captures even small variations in fur colour and other characteristics.

Lars Andersen, Managing Director of Arty Lobster, explained: “With more and more households considering their pet to be one of the family, demand for a wide choice of quality products including bespoke pet memorials has never been higher.

“Pet memorials represent a significant part of our customer base. As our pets are becoming members of our family, we also increasingly want a memento of them to cherish forever.”

Most of Arty Lobster’s pet sculptures are made from full colour sandstone material. After creating a full colour computer model, they 3D print the pet in full colour using an advanced 3D printer. The result is a statue that shows off the pet in glorious full colour. Customers can have the full colour sculpture in either standard and large sizes. The standard size is 14 cm (c. 5.5 inches) tall when sitting (or long when standing), while the large sculpture is about 20 cm (almost 8 inches) tall.

The pet memorials market is a growing one. With almost 13 million households or 45% of the UK population owning a pet, the pet market as a whole is worth £4 billion a year. In 2014 it was estimated that 13 million (46% of) households have pets. The current pet population stands at around 65 million, according to figures from The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA.)

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Big Rise in ‘Beer’ Drinking Dogs…

A Scottish dog-friendly bar & restaurant is reporting a 35% rise in non-alcoholic doggy beer sales and a 50% increase in demand for its healthy treats.

Hartley, Tony Rayfield's Dog & Customer at Mercat Grill

Hartley, Tony Rayfield’s Dog & Customer at Mercat Grill

Thirsty pooches including Hartley (pictured) have been lapping up 100 bottles of beer in a year and munching on packets of dog snacks at The Mercat Grill in East Lothian.

The Mercat Grill’s owner Graham Blaikie said: “We’re increasingly seeing more and more customers coming in for a drink or to dine with their best friend – their dog! Our canine customers seem to be more sociable than ever before and certainly enjoy a fine bottle of Snuffle with a healthy and nutritional pack of ‘Harry’s Treat’s!

“Snuffle is made from beef or chicken and malt barley extracts, mineral oils and vitamin B – and of course is non sparking! Harry’s gourmet treats are handmade with high quality, human grade ingredients, containing no artificial colourings or preservatives and our canine clientele love them.

He added: “With pet spending reaching £4.6 billion in 2015 (6 Jan ’15, Daily Telegraph), a figure which has grown steadily over the years, I think people are increasingly seeing their four-legged friends as integral family members.

“We also live in a less humanised society, with more people living alone – so having a canine companion provides great company. Therefore, sharing meals, drinks, treating them to health, tasty snacks, designer outfits or taking them out for social occasions, is becoming more the ‘norm’!”

Paul Marsden, owner of Harry’s Treats commented: “We’re delighted the Mercat Grill’s four-legged customers are munching more and loving our gourmet treats. Sales have continued to grow over the last year and our treats have become so popular we’re about to open our inaugural dog bakery on Edinburgh’s Portobello High Street to cope with increasing demand.”

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Ashleigh & Pudsey To Perform Live At South London Vets

MORDEN and South London residents are being invited to bring their pets along for a free consultation and enjoy being entertained by Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey at a special Open Weekend this coming weekend at The Vet Morden.

Ashleigh & Pudsey

Ashleigh & Pudsey

The Vet Morden is inviting anyone to come along this weekend (April 16 -17 from 11.00am to 4.00pm each day)– with or without their animals – to enjoy a performance by the super talented and lovable Pudsey the dog on the Sunday, and to get a behind the scenes tour of the practice. Also on offer will be a whole host of pet-themed games and giveaways as well as refreshments.

Anyone wanting to see Ashleigh and Pudsey can catch them on Sunday April 17 from 12.30pm – 2pm.

The Vet Morden uniquely provides a no-appointment walk-in service for consultations alongside high quality service and care.

Clients can also benefit from separate waiting areas for cats and dogs – allowing for calmer pets.

Jen White, Clinical Director at The Vet Morden, said: “We’re excited to be holding our open weekend, which promises to be a brilliant opportunity for local pet owners to come in and meet us. It’s also going to be a fun-packed and entertaining weekend with lots of games and competitions and also a performance by the talented Ashleigh and Pudsey on Sunday.

“On Saturday pet owners can bring their animals in for a free consultation too, which is, as always, on a no-appointment basis. Both myself and the rest of the team are looking forward to meeting residents and their pets this coming weekend at what should be an exciting and informative event.”

The Vet Morden is located at the following address: Puma Trade Park, 145 Morden Road, Mitcham, CR4 4DB. The Vet Morden is easily accessible from Croydon, New Malden, Wimbledon, Streatham, Tooting, Mitcham and Sutton. The practice has free on-site parking and is within walking distance of the tramline.

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‘Pawsome’ Kittens Are Seeking New Homes

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A pair of tiny homeless kittens have been named Fingers and Thumbs – because they sport 12 extra TOES between them.

The two kitties, who were both born with polydactyly – which gives them extra digits on each paw due to a genetic defect – were found living under a garden bush at just two weeks old with their stray mother Zoot and five siblings.

They were handed in to Cats Protection’s St Helen’s Adoption Centre, Merseyside, but three of the kittens died after picking up diseases because their mother was not vaccinated.

Now after being given injections and neutered – Fingers and Thumbs have been given a new lease of life and are on the look out for a new home.

Cats Protection’s North West Adoption Centre Manager, Sonia Scowcroft, said: “Fingers and Thumbs are everything a kitten should be – fun-loving, adventurous and inquisitive – they just have that little bit extra in the form of their huge paws.

“Having extra toes is neither an advantage or disadvantage for cats and, so long as they don’t get their extra claws caught on things, it shouldn’t present any problems.”

Sonia said their stray mum Zoot had done well to care for the large litter – but she couldn’t help three of the kittens being struck down by the feline parvo virus.

Sonia added: “It’s a widespread virus which kittens are particularly susceptible to given their immature immune systems – but its easily prevented by vaccination.

“Sadly as a stray cat, Zoot had not been vaccinated and therefore she couldn’t pass on her protection to her kittens through her milk. Had she been vaccinated, these three kittens may not have died.”

Now 12 weeks old, Fingers, Thumbs and their remaining two littermates will all soon be available for re-homing – fully vaccinated and will be neutered.

Sonia added: “Poor Zoot was an unneutered, unvaccinated stray doing her best as a new mum to a large number of kittens.

“Neutering is vital to reducing the number of unwanted kittens and the stray population, while vaccinating is a simple and effective way to protect your cat from serious illnesses.”

Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity and help 205,000 cats every year through a network of 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.

To find out more about adopting Fingers and Thumbs, please contact Cats Protection’s St Helen’s Adoption Centre on 01744 817718 or email [email protected]cats.org.uk.

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