Website for the over 60s  August/September 2017
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      Dora's Diary

Dora's Diary

             A monthly dog blog

Hi folks. How are you all? I expect many of you will be going on your summer holidays. Don’t envy you the hassles involved in driving around in this country. Not for me. All those traffic jams, fumes, hot and stuffy cars. And that’s because I suffer from travel sickness. Only need to go a few miles or so, and I start to quiver, drool, lick my lips and whoosh, before you know it, I’ve been sick. So car journeys are out of the question for me.

Bossman had a similar car problem with a corgi called Roddy. Owned by a Mr and Mrs Ingrams. They brought him one August afternoon after a heavy shower that had just passed. Roddy shook his waterlogged coat, splattering Bossman’s white coat and liberally sprinkling his consulting table.

"Oh, we’re so sorry," chorused Mr and Mrs Ingrams, themselves soaked, water pooling round their shoes. "That downpour caught us out," added Mrs Ingrams.

"We couldn’t have come in the car anyway," said her husband, gruffly, his moustache bristling with droplets of rain. "Roddy won’t let us use it."

Mrs Ingrams interrupted. "It’s not his fault, dear." She turned to Bossman. "He just doesn’t like the car."

"And as a result, he’s going to mess up our holiday plans," snapped Mr Ingrams.

Roddy gave another shake. Steam rose from all three of them.

"What’s actually the problem?" Bossman asked, having given Roddy his annual booster vaccination.

Mr Ingrams answered. "As soon as he gets in the car, he goes mental. Absolutely nuts. Completely uncontrollable."

"He does rather bark a lot," confided Mrs Ingrams, with a nervous little laugh.

"You can say that again. He howls the car down."

Further gentle probing by Bossman revealed that Roddy leapt across the car seats, barking hysterically and so made any journey an absolute misery for the Ingrams. It seemed unlikely that they could take him down to the West Country that September for their annual break as they’d hoped.

"What about some pills to knock him out?" suggested Mr Ingrams.

"Well there are sedatives we could give him," said Bossman. "But they can be a bit unpredictable and could actually worsen the hysteria. Besides which, they’d only be a short-term remedy. I suggest we try a retraining programme. There’s six weeks before your holiday starts so there’s time enough."

Bossman explained what he wanted the Ingrams to do. Roddy was to be put in the car on his own each day. He was to be ordered to stay sitting on the back seat. If he did he could be rewarded with a doggy treat. Mr Ingram was to then approach the driver’s side, open the door and sit in the driver’s seat and rattle the car keys. Then start the car. If at any stage, Roddy got up and began to bark, Mr Ingram was to stop immediately and get out of the car. And no treats given.

"We’ll give it a go," said Mr Ingrams, determinedly.

Two weeks went by before Mr Ingrams phoned to say they weren’t making much progress.

"Persevere," urged Bossman.

Three days before their holiday the Ingrams came in to see Bossman.

"Roddy stays in the back of the car now," said Mrs Ingrams enthusiastically.

"And howls the car down from there," said Mr Ingrams bluntly.

"Perhaps you’ll need these after all," said Bossman, handing them a packet of sedative pills.

"I’m sure we’ll manage without them," said Mrs Ingrams. But her husband pocketed them all the same.

Bossman had a postcard from Cornwall a week later. It read, "Dear Doctor, Having a nice time despite a bad journey down. We got stuck in a ten-mile traffic jam on the M5. I was very well behaved but my master fumed with rage all the time. Perhaps he should have taken the pills as I didn’t need them. Lots of licks, Roddy."

So there you go. It worked out well for Roddy.

As for me, the thought of ten-mile tail backs, is sickening without getting in a car. So I’m staying put at home, thanks very much.

Whatever you do, make the most of the rest of the summer.

Love and licks


Pets Aplenty by Malcolm Welshman

P.S. My Bossman is Malcolm Welshman.

His latest novel, Pets Aplenty, is published by Austin Macauley Tel: 0207 038 8212 at £7.99, Kindle version £0.99 and available to buy from  

Malcolm Welshman has his own website at 


Give Shy Cats
a Chance

Sindy was hit by a car and brought to Harmsworth Animal Hospital

Sindy was hit by a car and brought
to Harmsworth Animal Hospital

The RSPCA is urging prospective owners to give shy cats a chance. Shy cats can often get overlooked but just because they are quieter in the cattery does not mean they won’t make the perfect companion.

A cat can be shy or timid for a number of reasons, they may have been through a trauma, they could still be very young and learning the ropes, or maybe they are just waiting to find that special someone who can bring them out of their shell.

At the RSPCA Southall Cattery there are currently some timid cats who are looking for purr-fect homes.

Aneel Odhwani, animal care assistant at Southall in London, is urging prospective owners to give shy cats a chance. He says, “All cats personalities’ are very unique, some might be feisty and some might be quieter but they could all make a great companion.

“Unfortunately this is quite a common problem which we see all over the country. People just don’t give shy cats a chance.

“People walk through catteries and don’t notice the timid ones as they pass through because they don’t go up to strangers immediately. The confident cats who stroll up to people are much more likely to catch someone’s eye.

“It is such a shame as just because a cat is shy in a cattery doesn’t mean they don’t make loyal, sweet-natured and often playful companions once they have settled in a home and have got to know their owners.

“Some might say that this extra bit of a challenge makes the bond between owner and cat all the more unique.

“The shy cat won’t go up to any old stranger with their love - it would be especially for you.”

Two year old Sindy was hit by a car in February and brought to Harmsworth Animal Hospital as she was unable to walk. The black and white cat was found under a car by a passer-by in Brent and brought to the RSPCA for treatment.

No owner was ever found and so after a month of treatment she was back on her feet and arrived at Southall in March looking for a new home.

Aneel adds, “She has recovered from her ordeal now but Sindy is a very shy cat. She’s not going to be anyone’s lap cat but she does want to make friends.

“She would suit a quieter, adult-only home with a more experienced owner who understands her need to do her own thing.”

Three-year old Betsy is another cat who needs a little patience and lots of space.

She came in to Southall in March from a multi-cat household in London where 10 cats were living in total.

She shies away from the staff at the cattery and would rather be running around a field or out and about.

She would suit a home on a farm where she can have plenty of space to run around and be herself.

Paris and Andie are two timid foster sisters who are bound to come out of their shell soon.

The three month old kittens were brought in separately in April but have become foster sisters during their time at Southall.

Paris was found as a newborn with her mum in a back garden in London whereas Andie came in at about two weeks old without a mum. The pair have since become thick as thieves.

They are still quite timid but staff are sure they will grow out of this and will benefit from lots of company.

They will need a home with adults-only or older children who are used to cats. The new owners will also need to be experienced with cats as the pair are flu carriers.

Aneel adds, “Shy cats can take some patience but in the end we’re sure it will be worth it.

“Southall Cattery is at full capacity and this isn’t a rare occurrence. We’d love it if more people took a chance on quieter cats and gave them the loving home they deserve.”

To rehome Sindy, Betsy, Paris or Andie, contact Southall Cattery, Hounslow, London on 0300 123 0746, or visit

Or visit the national website at

* Please note - story is correct at time of going to press and cats available for rehoming may change

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care visit  Or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

RSPCA Launches Free Pet Fur-st
Aid Guide

RSPCA Pet First Aid Guide

Do you know how to carry out CPR on your cat, what to do if your dog is choking or how to help a pet in shock? The RSPCA’s brand new free downloadable Pet First Aid Guide has everything owners need to know in an emergency.

As the UK’s oldest and largest animal welfare charity, the RSPCA hopes pet owners will download the guide onto their smartphone so they can be as prepared and knowledgeable as possible, should a crisis happen. The guide is available to download free* from now.

James Yeates, chief veterinary officer at the RSPCA, who helped write the guide says, “This pet first aid guide is an essential for all dog and cat owners.

“Hopefully they will never need to use it but it’s good to know what to do if an emergency happens.

“Obviously in the situation like a cut, a burn or if your dog or cat stops breathing you need to speak to a vet straight away and get them seen to as soon as possible - but in an emergency situation every moment is crucial so if you can start first aid before you get to the vets it can really help. You could also ask your vet to show you some of the techniques at your pet’s next visit so you can be confident in using them.

“The guide can be downloaded onto a smartphone so pet owners will have the reassurance that help is at hand in the event of an emergency.”

Easy to navigate and read on any smartphone, the first aid guide covers what to do in the following emergency circumstances until you can get your pet vet care.

· Choking
· Not breathing
· No heartbeat,
· Signs of shock,
· Signs of poisoning,
· Seizures,
· Burns,
· Heat stroke,
· Internal and external bleeding and
· Fractures.

To get your hands on a copy of the guide visit


Pet Care  

Keeping Your Pet Safe in the Summer

Keep your pet safe in the Summer

Summer is finally here, and with it marks long glorious days, drinks in the sunshine and barbeques aplenty. Summer is also a fantastic time to spend quality time with our four-legged friends, enjoying long walks, trips to the beach and eagerly-awaited holidays.

With light mornings and evenings, our pets will have more time to spend in the great outdoors. However, they can’t tell us if they are too hot or uncomfortable, so it’s important that we make sure they are happy and healthy during the summer months. PDSA vet, Rebecca Ashman, outlines her top tips to keeping our animal companions fit and well when it’s warm outside.

1. Never leave pets in hot cars, conservatories or caravans. Not even for a couple of minutes. Even if the sun isn’t shining, temperatures can rise incredibly quickly. Within a very short space of time, pets can develop heatstroke, which can be fatal.

Provide lots of fresh water for your pets

2. Provide lots of clean, fresh water. Check your pet’s water bowls or bottles at least twice a day and be on hand to provide plenty of refills. This is even more important on hot days.

3. Exercise your pet at cooler times in the day. Just as we wouldn’t exercise under the midday sun with our coats on, keep pets in the shade during the hottest part of the day. Keep exercise and walks to mornings or evenings, and give them constant access to cool, indoor areas throughout the day.

4. Ensure your pet has access to shade. This is especially important if your pet lives outdoors in an enclosure or a hutch. Indoor cages should also be kept away from windows to avoid long periods of direct sunlight. Don’t let your pet lie in direct sunlight for too long.

Ensure your pet has access to shade

5. Check your rabbits for flystrike. This is a serious maggot infestation that can be fatal. During summer months, rabbits should be checked underneath at least twice a day for fly eggs and dirt. Keep their back end clean by wiping with a clean damp cloth, removing any faeces and trimming the fur if necessary. Apply a preventive product regularly to stop flies laying eggs.

6. Protect your pet with pet sunscreen. These are available from all good pet stores and can be used on areas where pets have no, or sparse, fur. It is particularly important in white pets. Protect areas such as the nose and tips of ears.

7. Be careful when enjoying BBQs. Dogs will eat everything and anything and it’s not uncommon for dogs to swallow corn cobs and then need them surgically removed from their stomach or gut. Kebab skewers are also particularly dangerous. Remember to clean up and keep dangerous items away from your four-legged friend. Keep alcoholic drinks away from pets, as well as glass bottles which can cause harm.

Keep your pet's fur regularly trimmed

8. Regular trims. Keep your pet’s fur neat and trimmed as this can stop them from getting too hot. This is particularly important for dogs with very hairy feet. Dogs lose heat through their foot pads so keep hair in between these pads nice and short.

9. Take care when travelling. If you’re going on a journey in the car, make sure there is plenty of fresh air and the temperature of the car is cool. Make regular stops and offer your pet water, regularly. Never let your dog put their head out of the car window and never leave them in a parked car.

With all of these tips in mind, it’s important to watch out for signs of heat stroke. Excessive panting, excitement, a bright red tongue and disorientation can quickly escalate to fatal collapse. If you see any signs of heatstroke, call your vet immediately.

If your pet has simply overheated in the sun, wrap them in a cool damp towel, changing it regularly with a fresh one until they are cooler

If your pet has simply overheated in the sun, wrap them in a cool damp towel, changing it regularly with a fresh one until they are cooler.

Head to PDSA’s website for what to do if you see a dog in a hot car this summer. Click on 

PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity. They are on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps the reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information.

For details visit

Specialist Pet Oxygen Masks in Fire Engines in East Sussex

Fire fighters Kieran and Darren, RSPCA volunteer Ann Bolton, lurcher Patch from RSPCA Brighton, Brian Lockyer from Smokey Paws at Hove Fire Station

 RSPCA and Smokey Paws fund special
    kits to help animals caught up in fires

The RSPCA has joined forces with Smokey Paws to pay for one specialist animal oxygen therapy kit for every fire engine in the county - with the aim of rolling this scheme out across the whole country.

Brian Lockyer from Smokey Paws says, “With 46% of UK households having pets and over 40,000 house fires a year in the UK, pets can tragically often become the victims of smoke inhalation and poisoning. If oxygen is available at the scene, it should be provided to the pet.

“Specially designed pet oxygen masks are more effective on pets than the human masks often used to try and revive pets by first responders. Our mission is to equip every fire engine in the UK with these life-saving pet oxygen masks.”

Smokey Paws raises the money for the life-saving masks via public donations, company sponsorships and fundraisers. But now, the RSPCA is also helping to fund the kits in an effort to roll them out across the country.

RSPCA animal welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines says, “The bond between people and their pets can be incredible strong and so losing a pet in a house fire can be hugely traumatic.

“Our pets can be very vulnerable to the dangers of house fires and particularly smoke inhalation. The fire and rescue services in this country do a wonderful job, we’d like to help them not only save the lives of people but also of beloved pets who can be caught up in devastating and terrifying fires.

“By providing one special animal oxygen kit for each fire engine in the country, we hope to enable our brave and heroic firefighters to save even more lives.”

All crews in East Sussex will now carry an animal oxygen kit onboard as standard practice

All crews in East Sussex will now carry an animal oxygen kit onboard as standard practice.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service operations manager Matthew Elder says, “The Smokey Paws Animal Oxygen Therapy Kit is used in the resuscitation of animals rescued from fires or who are in need of oxygen, following respiratory damage through smoke inhalation.

“Occasionally we see pets suffer from the detrimental effects of fire leaving owners devastated and this additional piece of equipment means that we can help to revive pets in those crucial moments following a fire. We have found that it can be difficult to revive a pet with a human-style oxygen mask but this piece of equipment will assist us as it is specifically designed to fit around muzzles rather than a human nose and mouth.

“For many residents in our Service area pets are part of the family and we feel that it is our duty to rescue animals and give them the best chance of survival, which we hope this new piece of kit will give us the ability to do this.”

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

To support Smokey Paws, please visit their website:

* The picture shows Fire fighters Kieran and Darren, RSPCA volunteer Ann Bolton, lurcher Patch from RSPCA Brighton, Brian Lockyer from Smokey Paws at Hove Fire Station.

Fill your Retirement Void and Supplement Your Income by
Pet Sitting

Anne and Cliff Law from Oxfordshire have been pet sitting since 2010

Anne and Cliff Law from Oxfordshire have been pet sitting since 2010

More than half of people retiring this year will be doing so earlier than expected, according to new research from Prudential. 60% of those giving up work this year are doing so earlier than their projected state pension age, or company retirement date.

But giving up work early comes at a cost. According to the research, early retirees will be £1,250 a year worse off than those who work until their retirement date. Understandably, many may want to continue to earn money to boost their retirement income.

One popular option for retirees is home and pet sitting. According to Homesitters Ltd, a national home and pet sitting company, a growing number of retired people in their 50s, 60s and 70s are joining them every year.

Anne and Cliff Law from Kidlington in Oxfordshire have been home and pet sitting since taking early retirement in 2010. Cliff had worked in the motor industry for thirty-three years and Anne was a care assistant in a pharmacy. When the couple stopped working, they found retirement had left a big void in their lives.

Anne heard about Homesitters when she met a couple employed by the company looking after her employer’s home and dogs while she was away. They decided it would be something they would enjoy too.

Both keen animal lovers, the Laws didn’t have room for a dog at home so one of the main highlights of home and pet sitting is spending time with animals, particularly dogs and cats.

Over the years the couple have carried out 112 assignments and looked after 60 different dogs, 30 cats as well as chickens, budgies and hamsters and they do many repeat visits.

They find dog walking is very sociable and also great exercise and the couple have become friends with some clients and keep in touch with them throughout the year. The role is helpful financially too.

Cliff Law says, “Home and pet sitting is a fantastic hobby, we receive a remuneration and expenses which is useful, but the main benefit is having the chance to visit new places and spend time with dogs and cats and we really benefit from the exercise we get taking the dogs for walks.

“We have stayed in some very special places. We recently did an assignment in a huge old rectory in the Cotswold countryside with stunning views. Most of the houses have beautiful gardens which are usually maintained by professional gardeners and some are like stately homes. We’re able to appreciate them without doing any of the work! Some homes also have swimming pools or cinema rooms which can be a real treat.”

The couple feel reassured that as employees of Homesitters they have 24-hour support should they need any help or advice. They know they are completely supported by the company, which is just as important to them as it is to the client.

One regular client is Sara Evans from Bedfordshire. Anne and Cliff looked after Sara’s two golden retrievers and cat when she made her first booking with Homesitters six years ago and Sara has requested them for every assignment since.

Sara explains, “When Anne and Cliff arrived for the first time I knew I’d struck gold! Now I always request them if possible. We know the animals are in safe hands with Anne and Cliff while we’re away and that no problem is unsurmountable for them, especially with the backing of Homesitters’ support services.”

Alan Irvine, Chairman of Homesitters says, “With our business expanding rapidly we would love to hear from many more retired people. We have interesting assignments all year round and our homesitters can choose to take on as many as they wish. Also, unlike home and pet sitting agencies, all our homesitters are employed and paid directly by us, which means they are fully insured and get our full support and backup at all times.”

Homesitters is on a recruitment drive to recruit enthusiastic and reliable people to join its expanding team of homesitters across the UK.

For more information on becoming a homesitter and to apply click on

   Sixtyplusurfers Competition 

Win a Royal Stewart
    Tartan Dog Bed

Win a Danish Design Royal Stewart Tartan Dog Bed from Feedem

Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with Feedem to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a gorgeous Danish Design Royal Stewart Dog Bed in a beautiful Scottish Tartan pattern with a rich red base colour. The bed measures 45cm (18 inches).

The Royal Stewart Tartan range is designed around a traditional Scottish tartan with a rich red base colour. Particularly popular with owners of West Highland Terriers the Royal Stewart range brings a taste of Scotland to your home.

Made from 100% Textured Polyester. Slumber Beds are a traditionally shaped basket bed, and are available in seven sizes to accommodate the smallest and largest of pets.

Each Slumber Bed has a deep, soft, polyester fibre base attached with velcro fastenings which are easily removable for washing and quick to dry.

Slumber Beds are produced from Fire Retardant Foam providing safety for your pet at home.
Price is £13.25.

For more information about the Royal Stewart Tartan Dog Bed visit

  For Your Chance to Win

Tell us what pattern is the Royal Stewart Dog Bed from Feedem decorated in?

       a) Floral
    b) Tartan
    c) Chevron
    d) Gingham

 To Enter the Competition

Tell us what pattern is the Royal Stewart Dog Bed from Feedem decorated in? Then send in your answer together with your full name, postal address and telephone number to the Sixtyplusurfers email address as shown below:

* Please label your entry Royal
Stewart Dog Bed Competition

* This competition is open to
our UK readers only


      Cats Protection
 Reunites Owners with
   Three Cats Missing
  for Total of 21 Years

Ringo was reunited to his owners after 5 years

     Ringo was reunited after 5 years

Cats Protection has renewed calls for compulsory microchipping of cats after helping three cats who had been missing for a total of 21 years finally find their way back to their owners.

Ringo, Whiskey and George were all handed into separate branches and centres of the charity in June – appropriately during National Microchipping Month – and were swiftly reunited with their owners thanks to details on their microchips.

While Ringo and George had both been missing from their homes for five years, Whiskey had been gone for a staggering 11 years when he was handed into Cats Protection’s care.

Cats Protection spokeswoman Cat Jarvis says, “Cats Protection frequently reunites cats with their owners, and the main reason why this is possible is because the cats have been microchipped.

“Whiskey, Ringo and George’s owners were all thrilled to have their much-loved pets home after being missing for so long, and this was only possible because they had been ‘chipped."

The stories behind the happy reunions 


Whiskey with Christine Charlton, Marie Goddard and Delphine Wood, Co-ordinator of Cats Protection's Anglia Coastal Branch

       Whiskey with Christine Charlton,
   Marie Goddard and Delphine Wood,
      Co-ordinator of Cats Protection's
                Anglia Coastal Branch

Whiskey was reunited with his owner Marie Goddard an incredible 11 years after he went missing from his home in Wanstead, East London. It is thought the ginger puss became lost and was later taken in by an elderly man living nearby, who assumed he was a stray.


The man later moved to Caister-on-Sea in Norfolk, taking Whiskey with him and caring for him until ill health meant he needed to hand him into Cats Protection’s Anglia Coastal Branch. A routine scan for a microchip revealed his original owner, and Whiskey was later reunited with Marie after 11 years.

She said, “I was absolutely overwhelmed and thrilled to see Whiskey again. I always thought he must have died, perhaps in a road accident, so to see him again was just wonderful. I had always felt so sad that I never had any idea what had happened to him, but thanks to his microchip he is now back in our lives.”

During the 11 years in which Whiskey was missing, Marie moved into a flat which is not suitable for cats. Therefore, Whiskey will now be living with her son James and his partner Christine (shown in the photo). So Marie will still get to see plenty of Whiskey


Ringo's owner's daughter Jasmine Daniels and Ringo on the morning they were reunited

    Ringo's owner's daughter Jasmine
     Daniels and Ringo on the morning
                     they were reunited

Ringo had been gone for five years when a farmer contacted Cats Protection's Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre to report him as a stray. After bringing him into the centre, staff used the details on his microchip to trace his owner Carolyn Daniels, who lives just a few miles away in Bradninch, Devon.

She said, "He was thin, looking a bit worse for wear and in need of a bit of TLC, but we were overjoyed to see Ringo again. As soon as we got him home he was purring away, he definitely recognised us and our other cat, Arthur. Our teenage daughters were so thrilled to see Ringo again and it really is so wonderful to have him home.

"I never gave up hope, I knew that if he was ever scanned for a microchip I would get a call, but as the years passed it seemed less and less likely we would ever see him again. And then it happened! If he hadn’t been microchipped we would never have got him back."


George at the Cats Protection's National Cat Adoption Centre before he was collected by his owner

       George at the Cats Protection's
   National Cat Adoption Centre before
         he was collected by his owner

George had been missing from his home in Eastbourne, Sussex, for five years when he was handed into Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex. Having gone missing from owner Carrie-Ann Bishop’s home, it is believed he was taken in by an elderly woman who assumed he was a stray.

Eventually, she became too frail to care for him and handed him into Cats Protection, where staff carried out a routine microchip scan and discovered his original owner’s details. Carrie-Ann said: “I am so pleased that me and my two children have been reunited with our cat after five years, thanks to him being microchipped. I cannot thank Cats Protection enough for all their effort in reuniting us and I would urge everybody to get their pets microchipped.”

While the charity is able to bring about many happy reunions, figures released earlier this month by Cats Protection show that two in three stray cats are never reunited with their owners.

The charity's calls for compulsory microchipping of cats appeared in Cats Protection’s 2022 Agenda for Cats, which urges politicians from all parties to support measures to protect cats from abandonment, harm and neglect.

Cat Jarvis adds, “We know from our research that less than a third of pet cats are microchipped and one in four have no identification at all. If all cats were microchipped the chances of reuniting missing cats with their owners would be greatly increased, leading to many more happy reunions.

“Legislation relating to the compulsory microchipping of dogs came into force last year so we are asking the Government to now turn its attention to cats.”

As part of its campaign, Cats Protection is urging cat owners to ‘chip their pets and keep their records up to date so they are able to reunite more missing moggies with their owners.

The charity’s latest video promoting the benefits of microchipping is available to view here


   Surge of Baby Owls
   at RSPCA’s Norfolk
       Wildlife Centre

The RSPCA are working flat out as young birds and mammals flood in during summer season spike

The RSPCA are working flat out as young birds and mammals flood in during summer season spike. More than thirty owlets are currently being cared for at the RSPCA’s East Winch wildlife centre near King’s Lynn in Norfolk. They’re part of the 643 wild mammals and birds that are being looked after in the centre at the moment.

Every summer, injured, orphaned and abandoned juvenile mammals and birds flood into the RSPCA’s wildlife centres. Young owls are no exception, and so far this year, East Winch has looked after more than 32 tawny, barn and little owlets.

East Winch has looked after more than 32 tawny, barn and little owlets this year

Alison Charles, Manager of the RSPCA’s East Winch wildlife centre near King’s Lynn in North Norfolk says, “We’re looking after thirty-two young owls at the moment. The youngsters have been admitted for a variety of reasons including being caught in netting, being emaciated and riddled with flies and maggots. We need to help them recover from their injuries or weakness and then build them up in preparation for return to the wild.

“On arrival we feed the owlets tiny pieces of chopped chick and leave some pieces in their cage to encourage them to eat on their own. These owlets may look cute, but it’s important to remember they’re wild birds of prey. Once they’re able to feed themselves, we keep reducing our contact with them so they don’t imprint on humans. That’s the best way to make sure they’ll cope when they return to the wild.”

As well as the young owls, East Winch wildlife centre is currently looking after more than 170 ducklings, 41 gulls, 56 hedgehogs 35 swans and over 200 fledgling birds. If you see an animal you have concerns about after observing it for some time please call the RSPCA's emergency line on 0300 1234 999.

Three Tawny Owls

If you would like to help raise funds to support the vital work carried out by the RSPCA’s Wildlife Centre at East Winch, visit to purchase your animal care products.

If you would like to help RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre continue rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing wildlife with a donation of just £3, simply text RSPCA3 to 70007. (Texts cost £3 + standard network rate).