Jelly & Custard land on their feet!


Back in September last year (at the tail end of a VERY hectic ‘kitten season’) we took a call from a concerned member of the public regarding her cats. It was the age old problem of starting with one cat and things getting ….out of hand. 

Cookie

Cookie was a stray that had taken residence in someone’s shed. She was the first to come into the animal home with some of her kittens. However, she had never been spayed or vaccinated and over the course of just ONE YEAR Cookie had produced 11 kittens. Now, this can be quite stressful for a cat. Particularly one like Cookie who much prefers her own company! 

To add insult to injury, it became clear that some of the kittens had conditions often related to unvaccinated mothers and possibly inbreeding. Two examples of this are Jelly & Custard. Both came in with very obvious conditions. 

Jelly

Jelly was particularly wobbly on her feet and seemed thrown off balance very easily and we soon suspected a mild form of a condition called Cerebellar Hypoplasia. 

Cerebellar hypoplasia is a developmental condition in which the cerebellum of the brain fails to develop properly. The cerebellum is the portion of the brain that controls fine motor skills, balance and coordination. The condition is not painful or contagious. […] Cerebellar hypoplasia most commonly occurs when a pregnant cat becomes infected with feline panleukopenia virus and passes the infection to her unborn kittens.

Cutard

There was also Custard, she came to us with a very obvious deformation of her foreleg. After a few examinations by our vet, it was discovered that she was missing a bone (radial) in her leg, causing the other bone (ulna) to grow in a curve. 

It was decided by the vet that (as it would likely be very painful to put weight on) that Custard would be far better at getting around with just 3 legs and pain free. So the leg was amputated and Custard was relieved of the unuseable limb…and far happier for it!

Once both kittens were vaccinated and spayed, they were put up for adoption and it wasn’t long before they were snapped up by a lovely family who could not only see past their quirks, but embraced them!

Jelly & Custard in their new home

All of Cookie’s kittens were rehabilitated and rehomed but sadly, Cookie remains. Most of the time she is playful and loving but being a torti (and being used to doing as she pleases for a very long time) Cookie is predictably unpredictable. She knows what she wants and she isn’t afraid to let you know. Now that she has said goodbye to all of her kittens and most importantly been spayed, Cookie needs a pet and child free home to call her own.

Cookie

If you would like any information about neutering or our neuter schemes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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