Well, we’re into May. A lovely time of year. Especially if
the weather’s fine. A chance for plenty of walkies. Have
some fun and games with doggy pals. That’s if you’ve got
any. Some of us form deep bonds with fellow mutts they live
Bossman saw such bonding between the two dogs belonging to
Greg and Marsha Edwards. He met the first one, when it was
four months old. A Coldoodle It’s collie-poodle cross
apparently. Andy, as he was called, was a sweetie by all
Predominately white with splashes of grey – the
blue merle collie in him. His coat long and curly – the
poodle touch. The cross meant he wouldn’t shed his hair. He
had no objection to being placed on Bossman’s consulting
table for him to give him the once-over. A check of ears,
eyes, teeth, heart.
"Andy’s first MOT," stated Marsha.
"And the start of a long happy life with you both," said
"I’m sure it will be," said Greg as Bossman gave Andy his
first vaccination and discussed the dietary requirements of
a growing pup.
He wasn’t to see him until the following year when his
booster was due. In that time he matured into a handsome
hound, collie-sized but with the look of a shaggy white
"He’s adorable," remarked Marsha when Bossman enquired how
things were. "So loyal and patient." She bent down and gave
Andy a hug. "Always eager to please."
So all was tickety-boo. Hunky-dory. That is until the
arrival of Tigger. A Jack Russell with an attitude problem.
He considered everyone his enemy. Not to be trusted. Just
"He was my mum’s dog," explained Marsha, levering Tigger
onto Bossman’s consulting table where he glared at him and
curled up his lip, emitting a low growl at the same time.
"She’s had to go into a home. So we’ve taken on Tigger."
There was another growl from the terrier.
"As you can see, he’s none too friendly," remarked Greg,
standing to one side, their Coldoodle patiently sitting next
to him, unfazed as ever.
"How do the two of them get on?" Bossman asked, glancing
down at Andy.
Greg shook his head. "They don’t I’m afraid. Andy’s tried to
make friends but Tigger won’t have any of it. Just snaps and
growls at him every time."
"So Andy now keeps his distance," said Marsha.
"Wise lad," said Greg, patting the Coldoodle on the head.
"Me too," he went on. "Having been bitten a couple of
times." He held up a bandaged finger.
Bossman wished he’d also been able to keep his distance from
the Jack Russell but Tigger needed to be examined. He’d been
brought in because he’d been off his food recently. Had
become rather listless. Sleeping a lot more.
"We wondered whether he was missing mum," said Marsha. "But
then thought we’d better get him checked over. After all he
is getting on a bit. He’ll be fourteen next month."
Bossman had Tigger in for X-rays and blood tests. A tumour
on his liver was discovered. A cancer. Inoperable, Tigger
would die from it.
It was at that point that the dynamics between the two dogs
changed. If was as if Andy sensed what was going to happen.
Greg and Marsha informed Bossman of these changes each time
they brought Tigger in for him to check on the progression
of the cancer and make sure Tigger wasn’t unduly suffering,
still able to eat, take some interest in life around him.
"It’s almost as if Andy’s become his nursemaid," said
Marsha. "He shuffles his bowl over to him. Encourages him to
eat his own food."
"And Tigger now sleeps with Andy in his basket. Something he
never ever used to do," said Greg. "It really is touching to
see them having grown so close together."
When the time came for Bossman to put Tigger to sleep, it
was done under the apple tree out in the Edwards’ back
garden. Here too was where they buried him. And for the next
24 hours, Andy lay next to the grave, even sleeping there
overnight. He clearly mourned the loss of his new found pal.
A sad story. But doesn’t it just show how us mutts can
become great pals with each other?
Love and licks
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
Spring is in full force and unfortunately this means so is
the UK’s tick population, with numbers peaking between late
spring and autumn. Ticks are blood-sucking parasites which
latch themselves onto a person or animal and grow in size
over several days, before dropping off. The problem is these
little critters aren’t just unpleasant – they can also be
Ticks can carry and transmit Lyme disease, or Borreliosis,
which is a debilitating bacterial illness, which can affect
both people and their pets. It can lead to symptoms such as
fever, pain and swelling in the joints, crippling arthritis,
nerve damage and even meningitis.
Only a small proportion of ticks carry this disease but
confirmed cases are increasing so it’s important to be
vigilant when you’re out and about with your pooch. To help
you do this, PDSA has put together a guide on preventing
tick bites, and tips on what to do if you or your dog does
get bitten by a tick. Being able to detect a tick on your
pet is essential as removing it early will reduce the
likelihood of bacteria being transmitted.
Speak to your vet about prevention – Many flea treatments
can also kill ticks.
Ticks are often found in wooded and moorland areas,
especially in long grass. If Lyme disease is known to be a
problem where you live, avoid letting your dog wander in
deep undergrowth or grass, stick to paths. Always wear long
trousers tucked into socks and long sleeves to help protect
yourself when walking in these areas too.
After walking your dog, always check for ticks – especially
in between dog’s toes and on their faces, ears, and
underbelly. Ticks can’t fly or jump, but they attach
themselves to the skin of people or animals as they brush
against them. Their bite doesn’t hurt so they aren’t always
Hedgehogs and foxes are common tick carriers, meaning pets
in urban areas with high fox populations are also at risk.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
A very small percentage of dogs that have been bitten by a
tick will develop Lyme disease. It can cause a rash, a
raised temperature, lack of energy, lameness due to joint
inflammation and swollen lymph nodes.
When they first attach, a tick may be the size of a small
pinhead but, as they suck blood, they can grow to the size
of a match head and may look like a bluish-grey, pink or
If you do spot a tick, on yourself or your pet, it must be
removed properly as soon as possible. It is best to get
advice from a vet before trying to remove a tick from your
pet, as it’s easy to remove the body of the tick but the
mouth parts can be left behind. If the tick isn’t properly
removed it can cause an abscess or infection.
Special tick removers are available to buy, but need to be
used carefully, so speak to your vet or vet nurse for
guidance before attempting to remove ticks.
Some common myths around tick removal include squeezing the
tick’s body or destroying it with a lighted match – Don’t do
any of these or put Vaseline on the tick as it may drop off
but will still be alive to bite another victim
The sooner you remove the tick the better – the risk of
spreading disease increases the longer the tick is attached.
Remember that Lyme disease is spread by infected ticks, not
from pet to person.
PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity. We’re on a mission to
improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and
treatment. Funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery
helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and
Become Pet Sitters
Jeanette 53 and Bryan 55 from Otley in West Yorkshire took
early retirement in 2012 from their jobs as a dental
receptionist and Bryan as a Police Sargent and stumbled upon
an article in a magazine that was to change their life. The
article was about a new concept in travel, house sitting
through a company called TrustedHousesitters where you apply
to stay in peoples homes all over the world for free in
exchange for looking after the resident pet.
As huge animal lovers this really appealed to Jeanette and
Bryan, they were well travelled but looking for an
opportunity to spend longer in a new place where they could
absorb the local life. With their two children now grown up
and one living abroad they decided to try it. They initially
went for short term local sits to get a feel for the house
sitting experience and their sits gradually became longer
and further afield.
They soon became completely hooked, they save money by doing
longer sits and love travelling in a home from home
environment rather than in expensive hotels. House sitting
allows them to immerse themselves in local communities,
experience different countries from a real home, cook food,
do chores, this normality is important to Jeanette and a pet
really helps with meeting the local community.
Bryan says, “When most people retire, they take up golf or
go on cruises. We’ve swapped our home life for a nomadic
year of house sitting - moving all around the world but
doing this authentically, by living within real communities
and doing so with the company of pets which we adore. It
feels way more adventurous than staying where we are. It
feels like we’re moving forward, seeing the world in a way
that often only younger people do - by exploring cultures
and meeting new people.”
This year they have decided to take their house sitting
adventure to another level by committing to a year of house
sitting, renting out their own home while they travel the
world for free. They have planned a route starting in Hong
Kong moving on to China, Japan and the Philippine’s with a
house sit booked for Adelaide over Christmas, they will
apply for house sits as they go and let the sits dictate
Jeannette says, “If I get a little home sick and want to see
the grandkids I will pop back to the UK and take a local
house sit near the family. We do lots of house sitting in
Gloucestershire enabling us to do Nanny and Grampy stuff
without imposing on our daughter.”
When asked what their friends think, Jeanette adds, “They
think we’ve gone mad but they love it. Our children think
this is a great idea, and with our son working in Cambodia
we also use house sitting as a way of catching up with him
by visiting nearby countries. It’s given us a new lease of
life - we feel daring and young and ready for new challenges
and we look forward to all the new friends we’ll make along
the way - two and four legged!”
TrustedHousesitters has grown hugely from the time when
Bryan and Jeanette first joined in 2012. It now has a
community of more than 300,000 with house sitting
opportunities in more than 140 countries, and is the largest
and most trusted house sitting business in the world.
With so many sits and stories to tell it is hard to pick
favourites but two sits really stand out for Jeanette and
Bryan a Christmas in Singapore with Benson the Labradoodle
as big as Jeanette and sit in the earth quake stricken South
Island of New Zealand where a Bernese mountain dog needed
lots of love during an earth tremor. It is clear from
talking to them that their love of travelling is equal to
the love of the animals they meet along the way having
completed over forty sits with twenty seven 5 star reviews
Jeanette and Bryan see house sitting as a way of life.
Unlike a home rental, with TrustedHousesitters no money
changes hands. Unlike a house swap, there is no need to have
someone stay in your home if you simply want to travel as a
sitter. All arrangements are made through trust, with
members building their trust profiles through references,
recommendations and police background checks.
Animal groups warn, ‘It’s never
okay to leave a dog in a hot car’
Worrying figures show four out of 10 people think
it’s okay to leave dogs in hot cars. More than 40%
of people believe it can be acceptable to leave a
dog in a hot car, worrying new figures from the
RSPCA have revealed.
A survey of more than 8,000 people, commissioned by
the RSPCA, revealed that only 55% agreed that it is
never acceptable to leave a dog in a hot car.
The RSPCA and 11 other groups have joined forces to
raise awareness among the general public, and
particularly among dog owners, that it is never
acceptable to leave a dog in a hot car. It comes
following the deadly summer of 2016 in which a
number of dogs perished in cars and conservatories.
The ‘Dogs Die in Hot Cars’ campaign group is made up
of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, British
Veterinary Association, Dog’s Trust, The Kennel
Club, The Mayhew Animal Home, National Animal
Welfare Trust, National Police Chiefs Council, PDSA,
RSPCA, #TeamOtisUK and Wood Green The Animals
Campaign manager Holly Barber, from the RSPCA, says,
“You should never leave a dog in a hot car. This
isn’t a new message, it’s something we’ve been
shouting from the rooftops for a number of years now
but it’s staggering that more than 40% of people
still think it’s okay.
“The message is getting through to many people but
there are still too many instances where animals are
being left in sweltering cars, caravans and
conservatories and tragically some of them have
deadly consequences like last summer when four dogs
One man was convicted for causing unnecessary
suffering to his three Staffordshire bull terriers
who died after being left in a car in 16°C
last June and a second man was sentenced in his
absence last month in March for leaving a
husky-cross dog to die in a conservatory on a
sweltering day last August.
Now, the group of charities and organisations, are
striving to ensure no more animals suffer or die
needlessly because of a lack of awareness around the
dangers of leaving animals in hot environments.
Holly adds, “While ignorance is bliss in many
circumstances, this most certainly is not one of
them. There is no excuse for owners not to be aware
of the dangers associated with leaving any animal in
an environment in which they cannot escape the heat
or the sun.
“It doesn’t have to be a hot day, it doesn’t have to
be a car, and it doesn’t have to be a dog. We’ve
seen dogs dying in cars but we’ve also, tragically,
seen them lose their lives in conservatories. And
while generally dogs are most likely to be affected,
they are not the only pets this applies to.
“Last year, a man was convicted for leaving his
ferret in a car on a warm day. The ferret lost his
life. We’re all working together to ensure no more
lives are lost and no more animals suffer
The group aims to reduce the number of dogs, and
other pets, suffering having from being left in cars
or at home in conservatories or other hot
environments, by raising awareness of the dangers.
Kennel Club Secretary Caroline Kisko adds, “Owners
should never leave a dog unattended in a vehicle or
other potentially hot environment, it is not enough
to just open a window or leave a supply of water.
Dogs should instead be left in a secure, cool place
with access to shade and water, or if you know this
won’t be possible, you should consider leaving your
dog at home in cool, safe surroundings.
“In an ideal world owners can take their dogs with
them when they shop or go for a bite to eat, this is
one of the reasons why the Kennel Club encourages
businesses to be dog friendly and welcome our four
legged friends rather than insist that they wait
outside or in the car.”
It’s important to remember not to leave any animal
in a car or caravan, or in a conservatory or
outbuilding, where temperatures can quickly rise,
even when it doesn’t feel that warm outside. For
example, when it’s 22°C
outside, within an hour the temperature can reach 47°C
inside a vehicle, which can result in death.
In an emergency, call 999
In an emergency, the group’s advice is to call 999
to report a dog in a hot car to police. However,
shockingly, the RSPCA’s survey revealed that only
48% of people said they would call the police first.
As a charity, the RSPCA may not be able to attend
quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, we’d
need police assistance at such an incident.
If the animal is displaying any sign of heatstroke -
such as panting heavily, drooling excessively, is
lethargic or uncoordinated, or collapsed and
vomiting - call 999 immediately.
If the situation becomes critical and police can’t
attend, many people’s instinct is to break into the
car to free the dog. But please be aware that,
without proper justification, this could be classed
as criminal damage. Make sure you tell the police of
your intentions and take photos or footage of the
dog as well as names and numbers of witnesses. The
law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit
damage if you believe that the owner of the property
that you damage would consent to the damage if they
knew the circumstances.
Once removed from the car, move the dog to a
shaded/cool area and douse him/her with cool water.
Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool water.
If the dog isn’t displaying signs of heatstroke,
establish how long the dog has been in the car and
make a note of the registration. Ask a member of
staff to make an announcement of the situation over
the tannoy, if possible, and get someone to stay
with the dog to monitor its condition.
Call for help in an
You can call the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency cruelty
0300 1234 999
for advice but, if a dog is in danger, dialling
should always be the first step.
12 Good Reasons Why Animals can Benefit the
Elderly and those Living with Dementia
Award-winning home care provider,
SweetTree, is keen to acknowledge the benefits that
animals bring to the elderly. SweetTree is a
pet-friendly company that welcomes pets in its own
Company Founder Barry Sweetbaum says, “We recognise
the value that pets have in improving the wellbeing
of those around us including our clients and staff.
In the office, we have two dogs – Bella and Billy
and having them around makes everyone much more
SweetTree also acknowledges animals for the many
benefits they bring to the elderly, especially those
living with dementia. “People with dementia find a
pet easy to communicate with because there’s no
expectations,” says Barry. “Clients know my dog
Billy and they welcome him, as he’s not a threat or
a challenge. He has no expectation that they will
know his name and it’s a very straightforward
A person with dementia can be confused about what
stage of their life they are at and may think they
are back in the past.
Barry adds, “Pets don’t change their appearance over
time. As humans, our clothes and images have changed
over the years – the clothes we wear and the
haircuts we have are different now to many years
ago. But dogs haven’t changed and my dog Billy looks
exactly how you would expect a dog to look at any
time in history.”
Having a pet or interacting with one can improve the
health and wellbeing of the elderly, boosting
physical health as well as mood. Here are 12 key
reasons why pets can benefit physical and mental
Lower blood pressure
Scientists believe that stroking a dog or a cat can
help you relax and therefore reduce blood pressure.
A 2002 study revealed that dog or cat owners had
lower resting heart rates and blood pressure than
those who didn’t have pets.
Reduced risk of
heart attack and stroke
According to scientists, owning a cat can relieve
stress and anxiety and therefore reduce the risk of
heart disease. A study that looked at over 4400
adults aged between 30 and 75, including half who
owned a cat, showed that 3.4% had died from a heart
attack over ten years.
In the group who had never owned a cat, 5.8% had
died from heart attacks.
Stroking a dog can be comforting to both parties.
When you stroke a dog, a hormone called oxytocin,
linked to anxiety relief, is released. A study
conducted at Uppsala University in Sweden presented
at the 12th International Conference of Human-Animal
Interactions in 2010, showed that friendly human-dog
interaction releases oxytocin in both humans and
“It’s interesting if you walk down the street with a
dog how many people look at him and it brings a
smile to their face,” says Barry. “That really
stimulates a positive emotional response.”
Fewer visits to the
According to Pets for The Elderly Foundation in the
US, 21% of elderly persons who had a pet had fewer
visits to their doctor. Owning a pet like a dog will
make you more active.
Being regularly active is noted for reducing heart
disease and risk of having a stroke, as well as
reducing the risk of developing diseases like
dementia and some cancers. Experts also believe that
pets can help us recover faster after illness or
Walking a dog is more likely to promote social
interaction and conversations with others and lead
to increased likelihood of new friendships. There is
more chance striking up conversations with pet
owners in parks and other public places when you are
walking a dog.
Stroking a pet is thought to reduce the level of
stress-related hormones in the blood according to
Professor Adnan Qureshi from Minnesota University.
Reducing stress can help protect against heart
disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing
More affection and
Focusing on taking care of an animal is a great way
to give and receive love. “It’s a very positive
thing to recognise the care and nurturing benefits
of having a dog and focusing emotional energy on a
pet,” says Barry.
Dog walkers will naturally be active. According to a
1991 survey, pet owners in general had higher
exercise levels and fewer minor health problems.
Greater sense of
comfort and security
For many elderly people who lack regular social
interaction and company, pets can be their main
source of comfort. In a survey by Pets For The
Elderly Foundation, 95% of elderly people spoke to
their pets, while 82% said their pets help them when
they feel sad.
A positive focus and
a sharper mind
SweetTree’s Content Manager Christina Macdonald
noticed a marked improvement in her late mother
Hazel, who had vascular dementia, when caring for
her cat. “My mother loved her cat and was always
happier when she was around,” recalls Christina.
“When her cat passed away, mum
was understandably distraught but I also noticed a
change in her mood and mental function. Her dementia
seemed to get worse – she became less focused, more
detached and more easily confused. Her cat had given
her a sense of purpose and focus.”
Animal-based therapy is popular in care homes as it
has been shown to reduce agitation and improve
social interaction in those with dementia.
Alzheimer’s Society actively encourages those with
dementia to keep pets for as long as they can, or
interact with them as much as possible.
However, if you are taking a pet into a care home or
to a person’s home, make sure they have the right
temperament and will comfort the person rather than
cause more stress. Make sure dogs aren’t prone to
jumping or barking loudly and ensure cats are
friendly and not likely to bite when stroked.
Pet owners seem to be healthier than those who don’t
own pets according to experts. Those with a good
relationship with their pets were, on average,
healthier than those who don’t have pets according
to pet research Allen R McConnell, a professor of
psychology at Miami University.
SweetTree Home Care Services is an award-winning
business providing the highest quality care and
support for individuals in the home. With a
compassionate, highly trained team of experienced
carers, SweetTree delivers outstanding domiciliary
care spanning a wide range of needs from basic
through to more complex requirements.
Areas of expertise include dementia care, learning
disabilities, acquired brain injuries, neurological
conditions and end-of-life support. The company has
been twice recognised in the Sunday Times 100 Best
Companies to Work for in the UK and an Investor’s In
People Gold Award Winner.
Hole in One for Lost
Lamb with RSPCA
& New Home
It was a happy ending for a little lost lamb who had
come a ‘fairway’ and wandered onto a golf course…
Golfers enjoying a quick round had quite a shock
one evening after a little lost lamb wandered
onto the course.
A group of teenage girls, who spotted the little
orphan and were worried about his welfare, called
the RSPCA who sent animal collection officer (ACO)
Kim Sheriff to collect him.
ACO Sheriff found the baby at the course in Nelson,
Lancashire. “A member of the public found the lamb
all alone on the golf course and couldn’t see any
other sheep nearby so called us.
“The lamb was very young and it wasn’t clear where
he had come from. He seemed rather ‘teed off’ to be
there all alone. He still had his umbilical cord
attached so we took him to a nearby veterinary
centre for assessment. Staff gave him a feed but
couldn’t keep him so I took him overnight to keep up
The following morning inspector Natalie Taylor
contacted local farmers but was unable to find out
where the little lamb had come from. The officers
arranged some official paperwork to transport the
lamb and a local farm park agreed to take him on.
“This little one was very young and vulnerable so
the girls definitely did the right thing in calling
us to come and help him,” confirms ACO Sheriff.
“If anyone sees an animal in distress or is
concerned for a baby animal then we would urge them
to call our 24-hour cruelty line for advice.”
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).
The Purr-fect Party
Us Brits love a good party, so it’s no surprise
that a quarter of us now throw one every year in
honour of our furry friends. And they’re nothing
to be sniffed at either – together, we’ve spent
over £7billion on pampering our four-legged
companions in the last 12 months alone.
Maia Boylla, Product Manager for Argos Pet
Insurance, delves deeper into this trend and
explores where it’s come from and how to ensure
it gets a round of ‘appaws’…
Those with social media accounts won’t be
strangers to seeing cute pictures of pop stars’
and actors’ pet pooches. They love posting
photos of their adorable pups and don’t shy away
from letting us in on the birthday party fun,
either – albeit virtually.
None other than former President of the USA,
Barrack Obama, and his family, recently joined
in the craze celebrating their beloved dog Bo’s
seventh birthday. The Portuguese Water Dog, who
even has her own
was lavished with doggie cakes and even got into
the spirit of things by donning a shiny party
But don’t worry – if your pet isn’t one for a
fuss, there are all sorts of ways to spoil him
or her on their birthday. And it doesn’t have to
break the bank.
Budget or boom
Research conducted by Argos Pet Insurance
reveals that owners have paid for cakes,
presents and even pet entertainment for the
special day. One lady reportedly spent over
£4,000 on her pampered pooch with a
no-expense-spared bash including a clown, face
painting and three birthday cakes.
However, it needn’t cost the earth. For a more
modest affair, all you need are some doggy or
moggy-friendly treats, a couple of gifts
(squeaky toys or feather wands always go down a
storm) and some of your pet’s favourite music.
Most pets do get tired quickly and to avoid
risking too much over excitement, it’s best to
limit it to an hour.
One for the
As the so-called sandwich generation, it’s no
wonder how easy it is to be influenced by the
grandkids. Kids and parties go hand in hand, so
why not get them to help out? Drawing
invitations, helping bake cakes and packing
party bags for your human guests are just a few
of the things that little hands can help with to
make the event run that bit more smoothly. They
always know how to get the party started, too,
so make sure the playlist includes some of their
Barking mad for
At Argos Pet Insurance, we’re embracing this new
craze and are joining in the celebrations as we
agree that pets deserve some extra special
treatment on their birthday. For more ideas and
inspiration, we’ve created guides to help you
throw the ultimate pet-friendly party on our
Kelly Roberts, ‘mum’ to three cocker spaniel
pups and their big brother, held a knees up for
their first birthday. Her adorable dogs enjoyed
celebrating and relished the extra attention.
Kelly has these
tips for anyone thinking about throwing a bash…
Keep it fun and light-hearted and try not to go
too over the top with treats – you don’t want
them to spend their birthday with an upset tummy
If you’re making a birthday cake for your pet on
the day, never include chocolate, macadamia
nuts, avocado, grapes, sultanas, raisins or
currants. Also avoid adding too much sugar. Good
doggy cake ingredients are olive or coconut oil,
rice or rye flour, peanut butter, honey, cream
cheese, mascarpone, grated carrots, cored apples
If you want to share human food with your pets
as a rare treat, avoid rich foods such as deli
meats that can cause gastrointestinal problems,
and avoid tinned tuna in brine for cats. Many
foods can also cause allergic reactions, so if
you’re unsure then it’s best to stick with what
you know is safe
Remember to take lots of photos and videos for
Lastly, if your pet isn’t enjoying it, or
becomes overwhelmed, then stop!
About Argos Pet
Argos Pet Insurance covers cats and dogs and
offers a range of policies to suit customer
needs, including lifetime cover with its
platinum policy. It covers pets from eight weeks
old with no upper limit on the age of pets,
though death from illness in dogs aged 9 or
older is not covered.
Argos Pet Insurance has been established over 14
years and has covered more than 1 million paws
As with all insurances, terms and conditions
apply. Argos Limited is an appointed
representative of Home Retail Group Insurance
Services Limited (HIS). For pet insurance, HIS
acts as an intermediary to Royal & Sun Alliance
Insurance plc (RSA), which sells, administers
and underwrites this policy, HIS is authorised
and regulated by the Financial Conduct
RSA is authorised by the Prudential Regulation
Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct
Authority and the Prudential Regulation
Authority. Further details are available on
Cat Lovers Urged to
Join Demands to
Extend Air Gun Laws
Cat lovers are being urged to back a major
campaign for a change in the law on air guns to
bring England and Wales in line with the rest of
the UK. Cats Protection says a lack of UK-wide
regulation means the vast majority - 90% - of
air gun attacks on cats happen in England and
Both Northern Ireland and Scotland already have
air gun licensing laws in place, and the charity
has now launched an online petition to urge the
government to bring in regulation across the
rest of the UK.
Cats Protection’s Advocacy Manager Jacqui Cuff
says, “Cats and other animals in England and
Wales are hugely vulnerable to being the victim
of an air gun attack because there is nothing to
stop air guns falling into the wrong hands.
“The reality of an air gun attack on a cat is
horrific, and around half die as a result of
their injuries. Those that survive will endure
considerable suffering and may be left with
life-long disabilities. Owners can face a great
deal of upset and huge vet bills and whole
communities can be left deeply worried about
attacks of this kind in their neighbourhood.
“Scotland and Northern Ireland have already
taken action to address this, having brought in
the strict regulations to regulate who can own
such deadly weapons. Cats Protection believes
it’s time the rest of the UK caught up and cat
owners and communities in England and Wales can
be afforded with the same peace of mind.”
In 2016, 202 cats in the UK were reported in the
press as being shot with an air gun. Crucially
90% of these attacks were in England and Wales.
Northern Ireland led the way in restricting gun
ownership and since 2004, anyone who buys, owns
or uses an air weapon in Northern Ireland is now
required to have a licence. Scotland adopted
similar legislation earlier in 2017.
Cats which have
been victims of air gun attacks in England and
Wales over the past year include:
Lily: In April last year, Cats Protection was
contacted about Lily, a cat from York that was
shot in the stomach with an air gun. The bullet
perforated her bowels and she underwent
emergency surgery to repair the damage. Despite
suffering from severe peritonitis she came
through and is now well on the road to recovery.
Chaos: Chaos was shot between her eyes in
September 2016 in Neath, South Wales. The pellet
narrowly missed her brain and lodged in the
muscle between her spine and gullet, where it
remains. It did, however, shatter the bones in
her nose making her unable to breathe except
through her mouth which, of course, prevented
her from eating or drinking.
She was fitted with a feeding tube which has now
been removed and she is able to eat and drink
again. She has only been outside once since her
recovery and was frightened by the lights
outside the house which tends to support the
vet’s theory that a light was shone in her face
to temporarily blind her before being shot.
Cats Protection has now launched an online
petition to encourage cat owners to get behind
its campaign and put pressure on the government
to update the law on air guns in England and
To watch the Cats Protection’s campaign video
and sign the petition, or find out more about
the campaign, please visit the website at