Puppy Dealer Sentenced After Dogs Kept in Pig Pens Die of Parvovirus

Man in court for causing unnecessary suffering to puppies

A man has been disqualified from dealing in dogs after 23 were found in poor conditions at a pig farm in North Yorkshire.

James Featon (DoB: 19/01/1968) of Roughaw Road, Skipton was due to stand trial this week at York Magistrates’ Court but, on day one (Thursday 14 December) of the two-day trial, entered guilty pleas to three offences of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs.

RSPCA officers and North Yorkshire Police visited an old pig farm in North Duffield, near Selby, on 7 October last year where two adult dogs and 21 puppies were found living in pig pens.

RSPCA Inspector Alice Cooper, who led the investigation, said: “Some of the puppies were in very poor condition; thin and lethargic with swollen, distended abdomens. Three Jack Russell terrier puppies had collapsed.

“Police seized all of the dogs and we rushed them to the vets where a number of the pups were diagnosed with parvovirus – a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease.

“They were all hospitalised and needed intensive veterinary treatment but, unfortunately, we lost four because they were so incredibly poorly.”

Eighteen dogs – including spaniels, lurchers and crossbreeds – pulled through and were taken in by RSPCA centres while the investigation was ongoing.

Inspector Cooper added: “Our investigations established that Mr Featon was buying in dogs from Ireland and elsewhere in England, and then selling them on to the public.

“However, he was keeping the dogs in disgusting conditions and had categorically failed to provide veterinary care to those that had fallen ill.”

Featon was fined £130, ordered to pay costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £30 and was disqualified from dealing in dogs meaning he can own dogs as pets but isn’t to be involved in commercial activity involving dogs. The court returned two adult pet lurchers to him.

PC Sarah Ward of North Yorkshire Police said: “I’m very pleased with the result and thankful that we found the puppies when we did, saving them from more suffering. They were kept in cold, damp conditions without their mums and most of them were very ill with a number needing urgent veterinary attention. Sadly, some did not make it.

“We urge members of the public to only ever buy puppies from reputable dog breeders or adopt a rescue dog from a known charity.”

The dogs – which have all been in RSPCA care during the investigation – were signed over this week and can now be rehomed. They will be available after Christmas.

“Unfortunately this sort of thing is something we see all too often at the RSPCA,” Inspector Cooper added. “Breeding and selling puppies is big business and with certain breeds selling for hundreds if not thousands of pounds there are a lot of people trying to cash in.

“Sadly, some sellers like Mr Featon will put profits ahead of the health and welfare of the dogs. This is completely unacceptably.

“We’d urge anyone thinking of getting a dog to consider rescuing from a charity such as the RSPCA. We have thousands of dogs in our centres this Christmas waiting for new homes.”

For more information about adopting an RSPCA rescue dog visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet.

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Review: Furbo Dog Camera, a Great Piece of Pet Tech!

If like most dog owners, you sometimes have to leave your precious pooch home alone, and would like to find out what they’re up to, this nifty pet tech from Furbo is for you. Or rather, we say, your dog will love the Furbo Dog Camera!

The Furbo Dog Camera lets you tune into your very own ‘channel dog’ to find out if your fur baby is behaving well or is bored when you’re away from him. But, and what’s majorly exciting, is that the Furbo is not principally for you – oh no, it’s for the delight and delectation of your pooch, for it dispenses treats on demand….

Hang on, but won’t said pooch turn into portly pooch? No, because, this gadget is controlled by you via an app on your phone. And you’re a responsible owner. Great, eh?

The Furbo is now compatible with Alexa, ramping up the fun even more!

The HD super-wide image offers a 160-degree view of the room in which you place it. It features night vision and a high quality two-way microphone, so you can hear your dog and your pet can hear you. There is a capacity to hold around 100 small treats, so your dog won’t get bored easily. The Furbo is now also compatible with Alexa, which means it’s voice activated, ramping up the fun up even more.

Furbo can detect your dog’s barks, and will send an automatic push notification to your phone. You can then decide, whether to remotely dispense a treat, speak to your dog, or even sing to him, if that’s his bag!

Mimics Clicker Training

Remarkably, Furbo has been programmed to mimic clicker training, which is something that most dog owners attending dog training classes literally anywhere will have come across. Furbo makes a “clicking” sound before tossing a treat. This helps your dog establish a positive feeling towards Furbo. You can finally play with your dog and reward them remotely.

Cleverly, Furbo uses the colour spectrum that dogs can see – i.e. Yellow and blue. The device’s status indicator changes from yellow to blue to attract your dog’s attention; yellow being sleep mode and blue meaning that the gadget is ready to dispense tasty treats, or hear your voice.

The Furbo looks sleek as well, and will fit in seamlessly with other high-tech gadgets in the home. It’s also sturdy enough to withstand the attentions of the most boisterous dog; so you can rest safely in the knowledge that you won’t arrive home to find it in pieces with its contents strewn all over the floor, or, worse still, in your dog’s distended tummy!

Where can I buy the Furbo Dog Camera?

The Furbo is available online at Furbo and, if you act quickly, there is a substantial discount on the camera, which is currently priced at £129.00 until 23rd December.

This is a Sponsored Post. All views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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From Portly Pooches to Healthy Hounds – Two Dogs Share UK’s ‘Biggest Loser’ Crown

PDSA Pet Fit Club joint winner Borris Before and After

Two formerly obese dogs have been named joint pet slimmers of the year in 2018’s PDSA Pet Fit Club competition – after both shedding a quarter of their bodyweight – an incredible 18.8kg (equivalent to a Beagle*)!

Every year vet charity PDSA helps the UK’s fattest pets battle the bulge in a six-month diet and exercise challenge, specially tailored and overseen by its vets and nurses. 

Once-obese Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Borris, initially weighed-in at a whopping 28kg (4st 6lb) – 85% over his ideal weight (12kg/2st 13lb). After losing 25% of his bodyweight he’s now a trimmer and healthier 20.9kg (3st 4lb) figure.

Borris’s Story

Borris’ owner Annmarie Formoy (46) admitted that the family had fed him too many treats in the past, but said his loveable nature meant that even complete strangers would give him titbits.

His love of food also led to several mishaps over the years – including once raiding a cupboard full of chocolate Easter eggs, which could have poisoned him. He also once even ate Annmarie’s dad’s false teeth!

But after six months on his Pet Fit Club diet, Borris is like a completely different dog.

“I’m delighted, completely over the moon,” said Annmarie.

“Borris’ weight loss has been amazing. In the past his belly used to be touching the ground and he would refuse to walk. Now he loves his walks – even when it’s raining which he used to hate.

“The best part was the first time that I saw Borris taking his first few running steps, it made me want to cry, I was so happy. He hadn’t run in years!

“It has also helped show me just how bad his life must have been before with carrying around all that extra weight.”

An unexpected side effect of the weight loss has been the change in dynamic with the Formoy’s other pet, cat Charlie.

Annmarie added: “Before, she used to creep up and hit Borris with a paw and he was too fat too fight back. Now she thinks twice about it as he will chase her up the stairs.”

Borris’s weight-loss has been supervised by Louisa Carey, Head Nurse at Margate PDSA Pet Clinic.

Sadie’s Story

PDSA Pet Fit Club joint winner Sadie Before and After

Once-lardy Labrador, Sadie, weighed-in at a whopping 42.2kg (6st 9lb) 41% over her ideal weight (30kg/4st 10lb). She’s lost a quarter of her bodyweight, wowing Pet Fit Club judges with her 31.5kg (4st 13lb) figure.

George Chaplin (75), from Grays, Basildon, said back in May that Sadie’s unrelenting appetite and lots for leftovers led to her sumo size.

George said: “PDSA has given us the help we desperately needed to kick start the change, there’s no way I could have done this myself.

“She’s a totally different dog now and is so much happier. Before I would have to pull on her lead to get her on a walk but now she waits for me by the door, and she’s got so much more energy. She loves playing with a ball and toys too, which she wasn’t interested in before.

“We go on two walks a day with a group of dog walkers, at the beginning of her diet she would waddle at the back of the group but now she bounds ahead and that’s great to see.”

But the competition has not been without its struggles. “There’s been times where I have been tempted to give Sadie treats,” says George “but I didn’t and I’m really glad about that now because our determination has paid off!

George is delighted that Sadie has won the competition, but said it was never about winning for him. He is simply thrilled that his much-loved pooch is now healthier and happier.

Sadie’s weight-loss has been supervised by PDSA Vet Nurse Kerry Griffith from the PDSA Pet Hospital in Basildon.

PDSA Vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan, who helped to judge the competition, added: “It has been hugely rewarding to see our Pet Fit Club pets’ weight decrease over the last six months thanks to their new diet and fitness regimes. Their success is testament to the hard work of his owners and our PDSA veterinary teams across the UK.

“Pet obesity is a growing issue that affects millions of UK pets. Around 40% of dogs and cats in the UK are estimated to be overweight or obese.”

PDSA Pet Fit Club – The Results

Overall, this year’s Pet Fit Club finalists lost 28.5kg (4st 7lb). Their vital stats:




(4st 6lb)



(3st 4lb)



(1st 2lb)

25% Joint winner!




(6st 9lb)



(4st 13lb)



(1st 10lb)

25% Joint winner!

(East Lothian)


(1st 3lb)










Top cat!


Pepsi Cola



(1st 5lb)



(1st 2lb)





17% Top cat!





(1st 5lb)



(1st 2lb)







(1st 10lb)



(1st 7lb)







(4st 5lb)



(3st 13lb)







(1st 11lb)



(1st 9lb)







(3st 11lb)



(3st 9lb)







(1st 8lb)



(1st 7lb)







(1st 11st)



(1st 10lb)





TOTAL   28.5kg

4st 7lb




Since its launch in 2005 Pet Fit Club has helped 85 dogs, 42 cats, 8 rabbits and two rats lose over 75 stone!

Find out more about this year’s pet slimmers and register your interest for next year’s competition at www.pdsa.org.uk/petfitclub.

Borris and Sadie’s owners have won pet-friendly holiday courtesy of Sykes Cottages and a year’s free pet food from Dechra Specific.

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Owner of Diabetic Dog Calls on Other Diabetic Pet Owners to Choose Proper Treatment

Diabetes sufferer: Lottie

The owner of a diabetic dog has appealed to other animal owners not to give up on their pets after research revealed 1 out of 10 diabetic pets are put down at diagnosis.

Rebecca South, 40, from South Yorkshire, a Senior Account Manager at MSD Animal Health, has been managing her 16-year-old terrier Lottie’s diabetes since she was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 10 in 2012. Lottie has since been kept under close supervision with a managed diet and insulin and is otherwise a healthy, happy dog.

Recent findings from the Big Pet Diabetes Survey (Neissen et al, 2017) have revealed more than 10 per cent of diabetic cats and dogs are euthanised at diagnosis, despite the fact that they can live normal, healthy lives – and some diabetic cats can even achieve remission.

Rebecca is sharing Lottie’s story as part of MSD Animal Health’s Pet Diabetes Month, in a bid to inform other pet owners that their animals can go on to live happy lives following a diabetes diagnosis, whilst also urging pet owners to check in with their vet if they spot any signs of diabetes, including weight loss despite increased appetite, excessive thirst, vomiting or lethargy.

Rebecca said: “When Lottie was diagnosed with diabetes the vet advised me that she would need some lifestyle changes and insulin treatment for the rest of her life.  If I chose not to treat her, the condition would rapidly progress and I would have to put her to sleep. The thought of putting Lottie down just wasn’t an option. She is an important member of the family, and I wanted to do everything I could to keep her with us.

“Six years on, and managing Lottie’s diabetes is second nature. In fact, very quickly we got into a routine and it is normal for us now. She has twice daily feeds with a specialised diabetic diet, followed by twice daily injections of insulin with a pen.

“It does sometimes take more organisation than with a non-diabetic dog, as they have to be fed and dosed at roughly the same time every day. A few of us in my household know how to use the insulin pen, so if I’m not at home, we are able to be consistent with her treatment. She has a check up with her vet every six months and sometimes a blood test to check she is still stable and I monitor her at home for the signs that she may be becoming unstable. Consistency with diet, medication and exercise is the key to a happy, stable diabetic.”

According to Blaise Scott-Morris MRCVS, MSD Animal Health’s vet advisor for diabetes, further education is needed amongst pet owners to raise awareness of diabetes in pets and the importance of an early diagnosis to achieve better treatment.

She said: “Rebecca and Lottie’s story proves that pets can go on to live a fulfilling life after a diabetes diagnosis. To help ensure the long-term health and well-being of our diabetic pets, successfully managing the various facets of the disease and treatments is critical.  

Often animals are put to sleep as owners don’t feel they can cope with the medical side of injecting their animal every day. There are ways to make this much more manageable for clients, including the use of insulin pens similar to those used in the treatment of human diabetes.

“While 90 per cent of humans use an insulin pen to facilitate insulin injection, less than 20 per cent of diabetic pets are treated in the same way, which indicates an opportunity to improve pet diabetes management.

“MSD Animal Health has also launched a Pet Diabetes Tracker app to make the disease far easier to manage for pet owners.  It’s an incredibly useful tool that enables owners to use a smartphone or tablet to track water and food consumption, exercise levels, glucose levels and insulin injections.  It also allows reminders to be set for vet appointments and medication timings, providing charts and trends that owners can share with their vet. Blaise is urging pet owners to check in with their vet if they spot any signs of diabetes, including weight loss despite increased appetite, excessive thirst, vomiting or lethargy.

She added: “We will hopefully see an increase in the number of owners opting for treatment and a drop in the number of unnecessary euthanasia cases if we can succeed in educating pet owners about pet diabetes management.”

To find out more about Pet Diabetes Month, visit www.petdiabetesmonth.co.uk

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Turtle Doves of the Twelve days of Christmas Facing Extinction

  • Turtle doves bird ‘most likely’ to go extinct in Britain in the next few decades
  • Fewer than 5,000 turtle doves left in UK compared to 250,000 in the 1960s
  • Turtle dove population increasing at Knepp Castle Estate, in due to extensive rewilding project as detailed in Isabella Tree’s Wilding
  • Knepp ‘has more turtle doves on 3,500 hectares than National Trust does on 250,000 hectares’

Millions of this people this Christmas will sing about the ‘two turtle doves my true love gave to me’ in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ – yet most Britons have never heard a real-life turtle dove, and potentially never will.

According to the RSPB , turtle doves are the species of bird most likely to go extinct from our shores in the next couple of decades. In the 1960s there were 250,000 turtles doves in Britain; in 2018 there are fewer than 5,000.

There are two main reasons for their catastrophic decline. Firstly, the loss of the thorny scrub that is their habitat, due to the agricultural transformation of the British countryside since World War Two; and secondly, widespread intolerance for the so-called ‘arable weeds’- i.e. native wildflowers – which are the main source of food for the birds.

But West Sussex’s Knepp Castle Estate the subject of Isabella Tree’s best-selling book Wilding, is bucking the trend. Formerly a working farm, Isabella and her husband Charlie Burrell have turned the estate into the largest rewilding project in lowland Britain, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife.

There were no turtle doves to be found at Knepp at all from 1940s until the year 2000, during the period when it was under intensive farming. In the summer of 2018, 18 singing male turtle doves were recorded on site, which indicates that there may have been as many as 30 turtles doves or more (turtle doves are shy and incredibly difficult to spot, so the distinct ‘turr-turr-ing’ call of the males is the best way of identifying numbers).

Knepp is quite likely to be the only place in Britain where numbers of turtle doves are actually rising. According to Matthew Oates, Nature Specialist at the National Trust, Knepp probably has more turtle doves on its 3,500 acres than the National Trust does on 250,000 hectares. The presence of fledglings at Knepp also suggests that the turtle doves are beginning to breed there.

Isabella Tree, author of Wilding and co-owner of Knepp Castle Estate :“The reason turtle doves have been drawn to Knepp is because our rewilding project is providing them with the thorny scrub they like to nest in away from predators, as well as plenty of clean water ponds and an abundance of their food source of native seed-bearing wildflowers.

“I think this is a clear sign that there is hope for the turtle dove in the UK. If Knepp  – 44 miles from central London, under the Gatwick stacking system, on land that was virtually a biological desert before the year 2000 – can bring back turtle doves, then anywhere can.

“If only we can roll out the concept of rewilding to allow ourselves to embrace a wilder landscape, we could bring turtle doves back from the brink, and at Christmas sing of a bird that is a living part of our culture once again, rather than a lost icon of the past.”

An extract from Isabella Tree’s Wilding:

For most people our age, born in the 1960s, who have grown up in the English countryside, turtle doves are the sound of summer. Their companionable crooning is lodged forever, somewhere deep in my subconscious. But this nostalgia, I realize, is lost to generations younger than ours. In the 1960s there were an estimated 250,000 turtle doves in Britain. Today there are fewer than 5,000.

At the present rate of decline, by 2050 there could be fewer than 50 pairs, and from there it would be a hair’s breadth to extinction as a breeding species in Britain. Now, at Christmas, when we sing of the gifts my true love gave to me, few carollers have ever heard a turtle dove, let alone seen one. The significance of its name, derived from the lovely Latin turtur (nothing to do with the reptile; all to do with its seductive purring), is lost to us. The symbolism of ‘turtles’, their pair-bonding an allegory of marital tenderness and devotion, their mournful turr-turr-ing the song of love lost, the stuff of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Spenser, is vanishing into the kingdom of phoenixes and unicorns.

Wilding (Picador, £20) by Isabella Tree is available now from all good bookstores.

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18-year-old Cat Finds Retirement Home With Kent Couple

A blind, senior cat who has reached the grand old age of 126-YEARS-OLD in human years has finally found a home to spend her retirement.

At 18-years-old and completely blind, black cat Isabella spent months in RSPCA care patiently waiting for her forever home.

The Golden Oldie had become a firm favourite at the RSPCA Thanet branch where she spent her days in reception meeting and greeting visitors and welcoming new animals to the centre.

Unknown to Isabella herself, her search for a home had given her national (and even international) exposure, as the plight of this senior cat touched many hearts.

Now Isabella has finally found her retirement home with retired couple Brenda and Terry Faulkner Wood.

The couple from Sittingbourne adopted Isabella in July after falling in love with the older puss.

Brenda, 67, said: “Our cat Kitty who we’d had for 14 years, was 16 years old when she got a lump on her throat. She wasn’t able to swallow very well so we had to have her put to sleep. It just wasn’t right here without a cat so I searched on the RSPCA website and saw Isabella. I thought she would be ideal and we wanted to have another older cat. We have room in our home and our hearts for an older lady.”

The couple also have an older dog and a senior horse so they really are proving that age is just a number.

Brenda added: “My husband has dementia and he loves having Isabella sit on his lap. She is a great companion to both of us and she fits in well with the rest of us older lot!”

Lady Isabella, as she is known in their household, has settled in well and is getting braver all the time.

Brenda added: “She’s absolutely fine. As time goes on she gets a bit braver. Even without her sight, she knows the bedroom really well so she mostly sticks to that room but she will come out to the hallway on her own. We also bring her out in the living room in the evenings and she sits with us.

“When the weather is nice we take her out into the garden for some fresh air. The first time we did it we couldn’t believe it, she can really move when she wants to. She gave us a fright! She hadn’t gone far but much further than I had expected her to.”

The couple also adopted a young six month old kitten called Merlin shortly after bringing Isabella home with them. Brenda explained that the pair get along very well but Isabella is the boss and puts young Merlin in his place if he gets too playful.

“Isabella always knows when Merlin is there even before he gets near her basket.” Brenda explained. “She’s listening and sniffing. It seems like all her other senses are much better to make up for her sight.”

Isabella came into RSPCA care in April as her owner sadly passed away and although a family member took her in, unfortunately their circumstances changed unexpectedly which meant they were unable to keep Isabella anymore, so they asked the RSPCA for help.

With Isabella being blind and having high blood pressure, the branch were keen to find the perfect home for her where she could spend her retirement days.

On average it takes a cat aged seven years or older 38 days to rehome. This is compared to just 13 days for a kitten under six months old.

Emily Mayer, deputy manager at the RSPCA Thanet branch said: “We are so pleased that Isabella has a nice home to spend her twilight years. She’s such a special cat and everyone who met her fell in love with her. Despite being a Golden Oldie, she has plenty of personality. Brenda and Terry call her Lady Isabella, which says it all!

“We would always encourage people to consider adopting a senior cat, they may be older but they still have so much love to give.”

To rehome any of the cats in RSPCA care visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website.


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Councils Need More Funds Or Animals Could Suffer, Warns RSPCA

The RSPCA is warning that animals could suffer as councils are being expected to deliver more welfare work with no extra money.

Cash-strapped councils are legally obliged to run stray dog services, care for pets belonging to owners in hospital, ensure pets shops and kennels are properly licensed, and protect animals from environmental health and noise issues. More recently they were also tasked to tackle problems with fly-grazed horses and will soon be expected to enforce even stricter conditions on an even bigger range of animal establishments but with no extra funding.

Rachel Williams, senior parliamentary advisor are the RSPCA said: “Councils are under increasing pressure from budget cuts, and, sadly, animal services are often the first to be affected.”

There is no sign that demand for these services is reducing and if anything councils are being asked to do more crucial animal welfare work – with no extra funding.

“We are already seeing the impact of this in the number of services being cut or outsourced, the number of previously specialist animal welfare staff being given ever wider remits and, in the most extreme cases, some local authorities abandoning aspects of animal welfare provision altogether.

“We’re concerned that councils need more funds or animals could suffer. Everyone involved, at all levels of government, must start to recognise and value the work of the hardworking staff involved in protecting animal welfare.”

An RSPCA report – Ten Ideas in 10 Years – is released today as the charity recognises local authorities for pioneering initiatives to improve animal welfare through its PawPrints Awards.

The RSPCA’s report features the 10 best examples of ideas that have won the charity’s prestigious Innovator in Animal Welfare Award in the last ten years since the RSPCA PawPrints awards were created  – innovation that makes a real and lasting improvement to animal welfare without placing a huge financial burden on the cash-strapped organisations who are delivering them.

The 10 ideas:

1 Multi-agency working

2 Protecting equine welfare and tackling fly-grazing

3 Promoting responsible dog ownership

4 Ensuring the welfare of dogs in kennels

5 Tackling the illegal pet trade

6 Ensuring animals are not forgotten in contingency planning

7 Protecting the welfare of pets in housing

8 Protecting vulnerable people – and their animals

9 Enforcement, education and prevention

10 Protecting farm animal welfare

Rachel Williams added: “The work that local authorities, housing providers, contingency planners, the police and other public sector organisations do to protect and improve animal welfare is absolutely vital and should be recognised and celebrated.

“However we feel there needs to be political will from elected representatives to stop animal welfare services from being sacrificed when budgets are tight or tightened further, and crucially, there needs to be more money, more guidance and more support from national governments to help protect animal welfare services and dedicated animal welfare staff.”

The report released by the RSPCA marks the 10th anniversary of the charity’s PawPrints Awards, and highlights the ten most outstanding initiatives it has seen over the last decade that has helped improve animal welfare.

This RSPCA celebrated the 10th anniversary of its PawPrints Awards this evening at a special ceremony in London. As well as celebrating the 97 Footprint Awards which were announced back in September, two special anniversary awards were given. The Innovator of the Decade was awarded to both the London Borough of Wandsworth and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities Civil Contingencies and Resilience Unit, and the Innovator Award was given to Forest of Dean District Council’s Street Warden team.

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Does Your Pet Have The XMAS Factor?

We’re searching for the most festive of pets for our #PetXmasFactor competition. You can win a 3D sculpture of YOUR pet (literally, any pet, from cat to iguana!) designed by 3D printing specialists Arty Lobster.

Arty Lobster’s highly skilled artists create the 3D pet sculptures, which are 3D printed in-house before being delivered to the customer.

The company offers three options, including sandstone, bronze and custom options and sculptures range in size from 14 cm (5.5 inches) tall when sitting (or long when standing) to 20 cm (8 inches) tall for the large sculpture.

The prize is for a 14cm sandstone sculpture featuring a brass nameplate.

TO ENTER, simply take a photograph of your pet looking a bit Christmassy.

Then, visit the Pets Magazine Facebook Page or tweet to @Pets_Mag and post your pet photo with the hashtag #PetXmasFactor. (To be a valid entry, it must include the hashtag #PetXmasFactor.)

The deadline for entries is midnight on Monday 17th December 2018. One lucky winner will be announced during the first week of January 2019.


  • There will be one winner in this competition
  • Cash alternatives to the stated prize are not available
  • The judges’ decision is final
  • All entries sent in after the above date will not be counted.
  • The competition is open to owners of all types of pets
  • All entries must be either uploaded to our Facebook page or Twitter page and must include the hashtag #PetXmasFactor.
  • The deadline for pet photos to be shared on social media is Monday 17th December at 6.00pm.
  • One winner will be announced and contacted by the first week of January 2019.
  • After notification of winning, the lucky reader is required to send half a dozen additional photos of their pet
  • Please allow approximately 3-4 weeks for the creation and dispatch of your 3D sculpture
  • This competition is open to UK residents only.
  • By submitting images, you are allowing us to use them for marketing purposes.

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Leave a Gift to Help Animals in Need this Giving Tuesday

It cost more than £200,000 to feed the dogs in RSPCA care last year. This is why the RSPCA is highlighting the importance of legacies this Giving Tuesday (November 27).

Giving Tuesday is the time of year when we are encouraged to think about what we can give back to charities. Even if you can’t make a donation today, leaving a legacy means you can make a lasting impact to animals. Legacies are the lifeblood of charities and helps to fund more than half of the RSPCA’s vital work.

In 2017, the charity collected and rescued 7,669 dogs in England and Wales. On average, it costs the RSPCA £36 to feed a dog in its care whilst they look for their forever home which means that last year it cost £276,084* to feed rescued dogs across England and Wales.

Jessica Taylor Bayliss, RSPCA’s Head of Legacy Marketing, said: “Generous gifts in Wills are vital in ensuring that last year we were able to care for more than 7,000 dogs.

“At this time of year after the retail rush of Black Friday, Giving Tuesday is a chance to think about how we can give something back to charities. There are lots of ways to support the RSPCA but leaving a lasting legacy is a powerful way to help animals, just like Stella, for many years to come.”

Five-year-old Stella is a friendly and playful staffy who came into the RSPCA as her previous owner could no longer care for her. She is currently waiting for her home at RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre.

Dogs are just one of the many animals the RSPCA cares for with more than 114,000 animals rescued each year from bearded dragons to horses.

For more information on leaving a legacy this Giving Tuesday, visit: www.rspca.org.uk/leavealegacy

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Perfect Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers

They say that a dog is for life and not just for Christmas. And while that statement is very true, there are plenty of things that are for dog lovers that will be great to get them for Christmas.

There are so many funky and unique gifts out there that any dog-parent or dog lover is going to enjoy when they find it under the tree. So if you have a friend or family member on your list of people to buy for, then you don’t have to look any further for some ideas and inspiration.

Dog DNA Test

There are DNA tests for us humans where you can find out your heritage and where in the world that you come from. But now you can do the same for your pet. You can get a DNA test for them to check what their breed mix is and where in the world their kind originally comes from. For some owners this won’t be that useful as they may already know. But for those with an adopted dog, it could really be interesting to find out.

Dog Walk Accessories

As any dog owner will know, come rain or shine, you have to be out there every day with your dog on walks. So a good idea for a gift could be some dog walking accessories to make it a little easier. It could be something as simple as a new pair of wellie boots, or perhaps something like dog walking bags, hats, gloves, or new umbrella. A pack-a-mac type of coat could be a fun stocking filler too as it can be handy to grab when there are rain showers.

Hand Vacuum

Having a dog in the home can be so wonderful. But it can also lead to a little bit of mess and dog hair all over the place. Instead of having to get the big vacuum cleaner out each time, a small handheld vacuum can be a good idea. They tend to come cordless, but make sure that it has that capacity so that it can be used all over the house.

Framed Art

Giving a gift that is really personal to the pet owner shows how much you have thought about them and thought about what to give to them. So if you are able, how about getting a print or photograph of them and their dog printed out and framed? You may have some of your own that you can use, or how about sneaking a few off their Facebook page or other social media pages? It can be a wonderful keepsake later down the line too, when the dog is no longer around.

Scented Candles

As much as dog owners love their dog, they are unlikely to love the smell of wet dog in their home. So especially for this time of year when more rain is likely, it can be a gift that keeps on giving! Yankee Candle is a brand that is pretty popular, but there are more natural options too. Look for candles made from soy or beeswax.

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