Klana receives the comfort she needs
Every day, Klana pulls a cart for her owner Ely, in Mauritania’s capital city, Nouakchott. Under the hot Mauritanian sun and in such a dusty and arid climate, the seven-year-old donkey’s homemade harness started to rub against her skin. Over time, the constant friction from the harness led to painful wounds developing across her nose and around her chest.
Sadly, poor harnessing and ill-fitting equipment are common problems for working animals. In the world’s poorest countries, proper harnessing is often unaffordable or unavailable, leaving owners with no option but to use makeshift materials, which can be uncomfortable, abrasive and cause cuts and sores.
Ely had tried his best to make sure Klana’s harness fitted her, but he realised that she now needed help as soon as possible. Luckily, he knew exactly where to go. He had heard about the care provided by our member SPANA vets at the nearby mobile clinic and took Klana for urgent treatment.
At the mobile clinic, SPANA vets gently disinfected each of Klana’s wounds to make sure they were all clean. They also provided Ely with some comfortable padding and showed him how to position it correctly to protect Klana from any further injury. This padding is a simple solution to reduce injuries and wounds in the future – and will make Klana’s working life much more comfortable. They also gave Klana a general health check and administered anti-parasite treatment.
Ely was thankful for the help he received from SPANA and was delighted that Klana’s discomfort had been eased. He said: “I am so grateful that SPANA could help my donkey and I have learnt a lot from the vets today. I will tell all my friends to come here with their animals.”
In 2020 your support helped 5,419 pieces of humane equipment to make working animals comfortable and prevent future injuries be distributed to owners. Thank you!
Kitten found abandoned in laundry basket
Dumped in the middle of the road in an old laundry basket, three-month-old Eddie must have been terrified. Thankfully, he didn’t flee into the path of a car.
The kind woman who found him asked about the neighbourhood, to see if anyone knew who he belonged to, but he remained unclaimed – so she took him home.
However, she soon realised she could not give the black and white kitten the care he needed and called our member Blue Cross’ Hertfordshire rehoming team.
Animal Welfare Assistant, Sarah said: “Within the space of 30 minutes, a colleague and I got into the car and went and collected the kitten from the lady’s home.
“When we got back to the office, we scanned the kitten to see if he had a microchip; and looked on local social media pages to see if there was any mention of lost kittens. But there were no recent posts and sadly he did not have a microchip”.
The team decided to call him Eddie and Centre Manager Kellie offered to take the sweet boy home to give him the love and comfort he needed. Luckily, a vet check confirmed that Eddie was fit and healthy.
Sarah continued: “Eddie was in good condition, very friendly with people and loved to play so we don’t think he’d been homeless for long. Once he was in foster with Kellie, his personality started to shine through – he was very adventurous and into everything.”
The team found Eddie could be quite excitable during play, so looked to find him a new home where his energy could be channelled the best way.
“He needed to find a home where he could be given lots of time and stimulation” explained Sarah.
We are delighted that after a couple of weeks, Eddie went on to find just that and he hasn’t looked back since.
Your support helps provide the care animals like Eddie need, and the chance for them to find a new loving home.
Heidi - From puppy farm to village superstar
Passed from pillar to post as a tiny pup, poor Heidi’s early life was filled with uncertainty until a loving family gave her the fresh start she deserved…
At less than eight weeks old, Heidi had been through more than any dog ever should. The cocker spaniel had already known three homes before she was even old enough to be taken away from her mum.
She arrived at our member Blue Cross’ Suffolk rehoming centre after being given up by her first owner, who had been told by the seller on collecting Heidi a fortnight earlier that she was two months old.
But a vet check confirmed that she had been sold at six weeks, at the most, and there were glaring inconsistences with her paperwork. Susie Winship, Animal Welfare Assistant, said: “Everything pointed towards Heidi coming from a puppy farm. These are run by unscrupulous breeders, often with awful conditions.
“Not only that, but Heidi should have been at least eight weeks old when she was taken away from her mum.
“She had more bad luck when her first owner injured their leg immediately after taking her home. It meant that Heidi hadn’t left the house, so she had missed out lots of vital socialisation.”
The sweet girl was placed in foster care to keep her used to the sights and sounds of a home and expose her to the experiences she had so far missed out on.
Meanwhile, Tony and Marie Boullemier, from Northamptonshire, were looking for another dog after losing their beloved spaniel, Lucie, two years earlier.
Tony said: “Lucie was nearly 18 years when we lost her, and she was the light of our lives.
“I would just find myself walking around the village for exercise on my own and it wasn’t the same without her. People used to tell me I didn’t look right walking around without a spaniel, because I’d been doing that for so long.”
Tony said: “The moment I saw Heidi’s photograph, I said: ‘She’s the one!’ Because she looked so lively, cheeky and funny. And she was exactly the right colours, which are black and white – the same as Newcastle United Football Club!”
Marie commented: “It was beautiful when she arrived home. She’s got a lovely nature and loves everyone. She’s a very affectionate little dog.”
Heidi has given the couple the motivation they needed to explore the great outdoors, and for Marie, this has helped her recover from treatment for breast cancer.
She said: “The chemo is behind me now and walking Heidi has helped me get fit and back playing tennis twice a week. A lot of people slow down when they get to 73 but walking Heidi keeps me active.
“Every day I meet four more people when I’m out with Heidi. I talk to everyone. I’ve probably made a hundred friends from having her.”
“She really helped during lockdown, as it gave me the perfect excuse for walking around for an hour or two a day,” Tony continued.
“We met so many people in the village that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise and discovered paths in the country we never knew existed.”
Heidi has also been a huge hit with Tony and Marie’s grandchildren, Jack, Freya and Lara, and her exploits are even detailed in her very own column entitled The Observations of a Spaniel in the village magazine.
Tony added: “I wouldn’t be without her, neither of us would be.”
And Heidi surely knows she couldn’t have landed on her paws in a better place, too.
Funds raised by Together for Animals help animals like Heidi find new, loving homes. Thank you for your support.