Keeping up with Hillfield Animal Home

The last few months have been extremely tough for our Animal Home. We have been unable to hold any fundraising events, meaning our funds are increasingly dropping.
However, we are incredibly lucky because we have such amazing supporters. If you saw last month’s blog, you would have seen that a few members from the Facebook group “Hearts of gold” raised £3000 for us by doing a sponsored silence and cake raffle! 
Recently we had an influx of kittens and, due to our food order being delayed, started to struggle as the kitten food was rapidly running out. It got to the point where staff members had to go to the shop on a daily basis in hope the next day our delivery would come. 
When “Hearts of gold” got wind of our problem, they sprung into action again and managed to donate a very generous amount of kitten food, as you can see below. 

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We have been just as lucky this month because a very generous boy named Oliver who is 11 years old has come forward to raise money for our animals. He will be walking 5 laps of his local park EVERY DAY of July and has already raised £124!
He is clearly a huge animal lover and we love to see younger generations be so caring towards other living creatures as it is SO important! 
If you would like to sponsor and encourage Oliver’s fundraiser, please click the button below:

We have been able to carry out adoptions from the 17th April 2020, following very strict guidelines from RSPCA headquarters and DEFRA, ensuring the safety of staff and public at all times.
We are pleased to say that we have managed to successfully re-home 36 cats, 16 dogs, 11 rabbits and 2 guinea pigs!
Check out some of our success stories below from June 2020!

Jerry

Poor Jerry has had a hard time over the last few months. He came to us in March 2020 and we knew very little about his past. It was clear that he had lost a little trust in humans as he was very easily spooked and nervous when coming in to contact with people.
After lots and lots of socialisation and building up his trust, he slowly started to show his incredibly sweet side. You honestly couldn’t wish for a more gentle and loving boy once he knows you!
Luckily, a lovely couple came along in June and saw past his nervous nature and really wanted to give him a chance. Thankfully he went to his fabulous new home on 28th June 2020!
His new owners have sent us an update with some lovely photo’s:

“Jerry is doing really well, he was initially quite shy (understandably) and spent most of the first day hiding under our sofa bed but once he had eaten some food he has really chilled out and seems quite relaxed. Thanks again to all of the staff at RSPCA Burton, we can tell that you must have put so much work in for him to be so relaxed and comfortable around us.”

Billy & Thumpy

Billy and Thumpy have quite the story! 
These two beauties actually came to us separately, Thumpy in February 2020 and Billy in April 2020. 
We tend to keep our rabbits separate unless someone specifically asks us to bond them as we get a lot of people coming to us with a rabbit that needs one friend.
However, in June, these two had a lucky break and a wonderful family came along asking if we could try Billy and Thumpy together. We try our best to give all of the animals the best chance so we carefully put them in separate pens next to each other. WELL.. straight away they showed really positive behaviour and Thumpy even did a bit of flirting!
The family were thrilled, came to meet them and fell in love. Thankfully we were able to do the necessary checks very quickly and they were adopted on 26th June.
They are now settling in their new home, absolutely loving life! Their new owner’s sent us some pictures of them in their new home and Billy even introduced himself on the first day to their existing rabbit. They are of course taking the careful steps to bonding as it isn’t something that happens overnight but so far so good! 
Here is a quote from their new owner:

“Billy and Thumpy are settling in well and eating and drinking normally. Billy was straight down the ramp and introducing himself to Cheddar. Thumpy has been making herself at home in her hutch but is still quite nervous. The boys have been stroking her gently and talking quietly to her so she gets used to us. We used the rabbit carrier to move Thumpy to the ground floor of her apartment yesterday and after a while of getting used to it she loved it. She’s now up and down the ramp all of the time and she’s getting on well with both of the lads through the cage!”

Nugget

Although the majority of our animals have quite a sad background or reason for coming to us, Nugget’s story is particularly heartbreaking. 
He is around 10 years old and came to our centre on 10th January 2020 as part of a cruelty case. Unfortunately Nugget was not treated with love and kindness before coming to us and was in quite a state. Due to this, he had some trust issues and could sometimes be unpredictable. He also has some health issues such as losing his sight, arthritis and anal furunculosis. His medication is very costly so we knew from the beginning he was going to be a difficult dog to re-home but we were determined not to give up on this handsome hunk and find someone willing to work with him and be able to afford his unfortunate medical problems. 

One of our loyal volunteers came forward, as she is a massive German Shepherd lover, and wanted to give him a chance to see if he would settle in her home. 
We decided to give it a shot because she is very experienced and knowledgeable about the breed, his medical conditions and his behaviour. She took him for a trial in June and as soon as she got him home he acted like a puppy again! He quickly learnt that she was there to care for him and love him.
We are very thankful that she could look past his imperfections because he is a real sweet soul underneath all of that fur! 
The new owner officially adopted him on 29th June 2020 and we are lucky enough to get regular updates <3 

If you would like to help us continue finding these gorgeous animals new homes then we would really appreciate if you could donate using the button below! Thank you for your support.

Ban on third party puppy trade

The UK Government’s new law, banning the sale of puppies and kittens in England from third parties, came into effect on 6 April 2020. This means that anyone wanting to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten must go directly to a breeder or re-homing centre.

We’re delighted that all puppies should now be sold direct from their place of birth or adopted from a re-homing centre to their new forever home. But, we cannot achieve this on our own.

"Don't get Petfished"

The law will only be effective if it’s enforced and people are aware of the risks of buying from an illegal puppy dealer, and don’t get “Petfished” by third party dealers.
The puppy contract will ensure your puppy has been well cared for, is healthy and will make the perfect pet for you.

Help us stop illegal puppy trading

Third party dealers have been growing rich trading poorly puppies. We want to stop the import of puppies for sale from outside England and give greater protection to the public when purchasing a puppy. You can help us eliminate breeders not giving priority to the welfare of the mother and puppies.

If you suspect someone is selling puppies or kittens illegally, please call 0300 1234 999.

Sponsor a Kennel/Cat Pod

A very popular way of commemorating the life of a loved one (whether two-legged or four!) is to sponsor one of our kennels, cat pods or rabbit pods. When you do so, we have a plaque made which is placed above the chosen kennel/pod and can have a message of your choice.

It’s a great way of making a donation in memory of an avid animal lover or just remembering a much loved family pet. It is simply an annual payment of £100 for a cat pod/ kennel or £50 for a rabbit pod.

To make the process even easier, you can now donate via paypal below and in the process it asks you to ‘leave a note’. Here, you simple state what you’d like to sponsor and the message for your plaque.

Example : Sponsored Kennel – In loving memory of Bruno, a special dog that touched the lives of the whole Smith family.

30 Year’s at Hillfield Animal Home

This year, we are celebrating 30 years at Hillfield Animal Home. But this was not the beginning of the RSPCA Burton upon Trent & District Branch, in actual fact, it began right back in 1876!

The Burton upon Trent & District Branch started its life on July28th 1876, in a room at 190 Horninglow Street, the home and surgery of Dr Henry Edward Bridgman. Within a week of this first meeting, the Parent Association gave recognition to the newly formed committee, so the Branch was born. 

On May 13th, 1938, the clinic for Animals was opened at 12 Rosemount Road, the home of inspector L. Moon. The clinic was open for one hour every Friday evening until the start of the second world war sixteen months later. 

In 1971, Major Langham opened the RSPCA kennels in Green Lane, Tutbury after a short spell operating from kennels in Hoar Cross. Green Lane was operational until our current purpose built kennels and cattery were opened on November 7th, 1989 at Hillfield Lane.

We still run the Animal Home at Stretton, which takes in, cares for and rehomes unwanted, neglected and ill-treated dogs, cats and small animals. We added three compounds and a duck pond, all labour being provided by volunteers, in 1994. We nearly always have a waiting list of animals to be taken in from the general public who no longer wish to keep them for many different reasons. 

The Burton upon Trent & District Branch covers a wide area, including Ashby, Measham, Netherseal, Packington, Swadlincote, Melbourne, Ticknall, Winshill, Uttoxeter, Stapenhill, Tamworth, Lichfield, Rugeley and all the villages in between! 

The Branch and Animal Home is administered by an annually appointed committee, who also act as trustees for the Branch. The local group of fund-raisers work hard all year round raising funds to keep the Branch and the Animal Home running smoothly. The Branch is a self-funded charity, relying on the generosity of the general public and local businesses and the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers. 

In the last few years we have added 2 shops, one in Burton town centre and one in Swadlincote town centre with plans to open a third store next year specialising in second hand furniture. Each year, the Animal Home runs several key events to help raise extra funds including our Summer Fair/Fun Day, Christmas Market and Bingo evenings.

Most Recently we held a 30th Birthday event with a dog show to celebrate and raised lots of much needed funds. Our 30th birthday also signifies the fact that our kennels and cattery are now 30 years old and seriously in need of renovation. Unfortunately we can only make these much needed improvements with the help of our community, if you can’t make it to our fundraising events, please remember that you can click to donate here.

Hillfield’s 30th Birthday cake

Skin Conditions in Dogs

Here at Hillfield Animal Home, one of the issues we see time and time again is the dreaded ‘skin condition’. At any one time, we can have at least 3 or 4 dogs with some varying degree of skin issues…and this is almost always the reason they arrive in our care.

An example of this is Shep. A delightful German Shepherd Dog who arrived with us after his owners just couldn’t keep up with the issues he was having with his skin. It is suspected that his issues began as a pup and were left to progress a lot further than they should due to a lack of veterinary attention. In this situation, if immediate attention was sought it could have been solved relatively quickly. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for poor Shep and his condition deteriorated rapidly.

Shep as he arrived at RSPCA Burton upon Trent

After concerns were raised and an inspector visited, Shep’s owners were advised that he needed immediate treatment (ordinarily a form of steroid and some special shampoo etc) The inspector informed the owner that they would be back to check on Shep’s welfare in a certain time frame and that they would expect to see improvement in his condition. Sadly, upon their return he had deteriorated further and the owners agreed to sign him over into RSPCA care.


Luckily for Shep, when he arrived here he was immediately seen by a vet and prescribed the treatment he needed (including his much loved baths in his medicated shampoo). As you can see, 2 year old Shep is now fully on the path to recovery and ready to find his new home.

When you ‘acquire’ an animal from a private seller, breeder or a dreaded online selling site, you cannot be sure of his/her medical issues. Every animal that comes into an RSPCA branch is health checked, treated and rehomed with 100% openness about any issues it may or may not have. We can tell you how to help him/her and what the likelihood is that he/she will need medical treatment either ongoing, or in the future. All cats, dogs and rabbits are also neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and flead/wormed prior to their adoption, giving them the best start possible to their new lives!

Shep is currently up for adoption, find out more about him here.

Cat Neutering Scheme

Working with Cats Protection, we’re offering a cat neutering scheme helping you to meet the costs of neutering your cat to ensure that they remain healthy and happy. 

If you’re eligible under the scheme, you can get your pet cat neutered and microchipped for just £5.

Take a look at the map below and call your local participating vet to get booked in! (Your vet will request proof of eligibility upon appointment)

For more information, please go to our main site here

One Fun Day Summer Fair & Dog Show

Hillfield Animal Home have been having a Summer Fair (of sorts) for 30 years now and this year was no different! Another hugely successful event that saw our local community out in force to support us here at their local RSPCA branch.

As always, the event was well attended and a great day was had by all. Our Fun Dog Show was more popular than ever before with around 70 dogs entering categories such as ‘Most Adorable OAP’, ‘Best Rescue’ and ‘Cutest Crossbreed’. The Dog Show was hosted and judged by the delightful Inspector Herchy Boal who you may recognise from Channel 5’s The Dog Rescuers. However, it was Taz that stole everyone’s hearts and was crowned Best in Show accompanied by his owner.

Taz – Best in Show 2019

All in all, the day was a huge success with a grand total of £4285 being raised on the day to help fund the animal home. A huge thanks goes out to

  • Oscars Pet Foods South Derbyshire
  • Burton Albion Football Club
  • Paul Spencer Photography
  • Red Carpet Cinema
  • Sainsbury’s in Burton
  • Little Dog Laughs
  • Yoshi
  • Tesco
  • Pets at Home
  • Stanton Nurseries
  • All of the staff, volunteers and supporters at Hillfield Animal Home