Category Archives: animals

BBC Spy In The Wild

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Spy in the Wild (BBC ONE, January 12, at 8pm)

In one of the most innovative natural history series ever presented, a new nature series produced by the BBC deploys over 30 ultra-realistic animatronic Spy Creatures to go undercover in the animal world to capture unique animal behaviour closer than ever before.

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Using special “spy cameras” invented by film maker John Downer’s team, the viewer is plunged into the very heart of the extraordinary lives of over thirty fascinating animals across the world, including langurs, orang-utans, meerkats and crocodiles, revealing behaviour that is remarkably like our own. To expose some of the most astonishing animal behaviour ever seen, the team of Spy Creatures go undercover.

These robotic look-alikes make all the right moves to not only be accepted by animals but also interact with them, providing revelatory insights into their world.

Each episode in this four part series is packed with a menagerie of animatronic Spy Creatures exploring the different aspects of animal behaviour: Love, Intelligence, Friendships and Mischief.

Director  John Downer said that the aim of the programme was to “capture these elusive moments where animals do something so extraordinary that makes us consider our own connection with the natural world. Inevitably those moments are rare but by deploying a menagerie of life-like Spy Creatures and other remote cameras over a long period of time and filming thousands of hours of footage it was possible to capture many never-seen-before moments”.

Spy in the Wild is broadcast on BBC 1, on January 12th at 8pm

AMBASSADOG – SEARCHING FOR SCOTLAND’S TOP DOG!

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He clearly couldn’t put a paw wrong … over 200 dogs applied, but there could only be one chosen to be VisitScotland’s Ambassadog.

And that dog is George, a one-year-old Golden Retriever from Glasgow.

George (and his owners) will now have the job of being an ambassador for Scotland on social media, attending red carpet events and generally being in demand as a VID (or ‘very important dog’).

The lucky pup joined his seven fellow selected finalists at a special interview event at Prestonfield in Edinburgh on Sunday, 8 May where dog owners were assessed on their knowledge of Scotland, social media savvy and interview skills.

Owner Victoria said:

“It’s really unexpected and I still can’t quite believe George has been chosen; especially as there were so many lovely dogs in the final. I am very proud of him.  I feel George is a great ambassador for Scotland as he is always looking for to his next voyage.

A golden retriever is also a Scottish breed and VisitScotland will now work with George and his owners to create a programme of activity, to include social media that will enable them to be global ambassadors. In return they will be given a three night specially selected dog-friendly holiday in Scotland in 2016.

Santa Paws Comes To Kent

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Staff and animals at the Brands Hatch Battersea Dogs and Cats centre are getting into the festive spirit by inviting animal lovers from across Kent and the surrounding areas to join them for some Christmas fun at their countryside centre.

The Santa Paws event features a snowy Santa’s Grotto, which will be open for children to meet a special guest from the North Pole and lots of craft activities including making Christmas tree decoration and creating purrfect presents and gifts for your pets or, you can make presents to donate to the animals of Battersea.

As well as all that there’ll be christmas music, frosty cakes and loads of refreshments – as well as the opportunity to meet their countryside cats and canines up close!

Santa Paws is taking place this Saturday 12th December from 10.30am – 2.30pm.

Standard admission fees apply. Find out how to find them.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

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One of the newly arrived kittens.  Many kittens and puppies come to Battersea because breeders have been unable to find homes for them.

Situated in South London, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is the oldest and most famous home for dogs and cats in the United Kingdom.

Since it was founded, Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats – none of which would be possible without its team of over 1000 volunteers who help at Battersea’s three centres, in roles including dog and cat socialising, gardening, admin support and giving talks in the community.

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Bonnie on our meet and greet!

And so it was on a cold November morning that I met up with Monday Matters reporter Bonnie Britain for a coffee and light breakfast with the Battersea team.

Bonnie first spoke to the Operations Manager Carly Whyborn about how they cope at this time of year with the influx of unwanted pets and Carly spoke of the need for foster families.  To foster a cat or dog means helping to prepare them for their permanent homes by getting them used to a domestic lifestyle and handling by humans or monitoring their recovery following treatment by their Clinic team.  You can find out more information about being a battersea foster family by visiting either the dog foster page or cat foster page.

There were just so many wonderful animals at the rescue centre that both myself and Bonnie could have taken one or all of them home.

Battersea used to have a policy of not rehoming any animals just before Christmas, as families would often want one for their kids – but upon getting it realised the dog or cat needed more attention than they could offer – or was more expensive than they thought.

However, this has been changed as it was deemed unfair to the animals and their potential owners – just because it’s Christmas.  Plus, there are a lot of people who may be older or single who don’t have a family who live nearby and would love to re-home a pet – just in time for Christmas.

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Jason asks Hooch – the Dogue de Bordeaux, how he’s finding not having a proper home at the moment  – he said he was finding it “rough”.

The rescue and rehoming centre has recently launched a campaign in which they are asking crafty supporters of the home to make and donate dog bandanas so that these scents can be sprayed on the bandanas and the soothing smells can linger with the dogs as they move around their kennels.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Tyson has spent over 100 days at Battersea Old Windsor and is one of the many dogs in Battersea’s care who would benefit from a comforting bandana. The fun and excitable four year old loves to be outside exploring but 12246693_10153260915193443_8376998241883413331_n.jpgbecomes stressed when returned to his kennel.

Bandanas for small, medium and large dogs would be gladly received, in any colour and print material, so dogs like Tyson can remain happy and calm while they wait for their new forever home to be found.

Sewers are invited to use the pattern available.

Whilst at Battersea myself & Bonnie heard how over the past year, they have seen 21 dogs come through its doors that have been used for breeding then abandoned.  We were told how Battersea is urging people not to buy puppies from breeders.

Many dogs are sold through well-known classified adverts – online and print, so unsuspecting buyers have to just take the sellers word for what they’re getting. They may think they’re buying a Shih Tzu, but more often than not, that cute fluffy puppy, turns into something completely different.

12291197_10153100450076230_8151491576403214176_o.jpgThe majority of the 21 ex breeding bitches dumped at Battersea’s gates were bull breeds and the average cost of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy is £300-500. So if their puppies were sold for that amount their unscrupulous owners could have pocketed as much as £126,000 between them, and £6000 each.

After spending time with the dogs, our guide Francesca Vitale took us to the Cattery which was opened 5 years ago by the Duchess of Cornwall and cost £5 million. Something that I was unaware of, but Battersea has been rehoming not only dogs but cats of all ages and sizes since 1883 and have found homes for more than 200,000 felines. A great achievement for the charity.

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Rehomer Ros Davies with Matilda – an elderly cat who has been waiting to be rehomed

Bonnie spoke to full-time member of staff and rehomer Ros Davies about her work and met some of the cats waiting for a new home.  Ros said that in the run-up to Christmas rehoming slows down but they get a large number of cats through their doors.

Please help support Battersea by visiting their online shop.


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ban trophy hunting now!

trophy hunting

The hunting of wild animals has to be the most disgusting practices that another human can do to another animal.  Not for food.  Not for necessity. But only for the sake of pleasure alone.  This video might shock you. It shocked me and I found it disgusting.

BC’s grizzly hunt is horrific and 80% of residents want it banned. But as is often the case, the BC government ignores the scientific, economic, environmental and ethical arguments in support of such a ban. WDL has joined the fight to defend bears and other wildlife against trophy hunting and overhunting. Help us return to the field this fall, in defence of wildlife from exploitation like that seen in this video. Visit http://www.igg.me/at/WDL2015 to learn more and take action.