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West Midlands Police's soon-to-be puppy recruits

Trev, Ted, Tyler, Topsey, Trotter and Turvey Credit: SWNS

Trev, Ted, Tyler, Topsey, Trotter and Turvey are soon to be trained by West Midlands Police to help catch some of the toughest criminals in the region.

The seven-week-old Springer-Cocker Spaniel cross pups - known as Sprockers - were born last month.

They were born in August Credit: SWNS

They will be looked after until they are a year old, before beginning an eight week training programme to become specialist search or sniffer dogs.

“After their time with the puppy walkers, they’ll go on an eight-week course to develop their search instincts.

They’ll complete searches in buildings, streets, open spaces and vehicles with a view to becoming either a drugs sniffer dog or specialist search dog, depending on what they show an aptitude for.

But for now, it’s important they’re just allowed to be pups and have fun developing in a happy environment, without any fears.

Anyone over 18, who would normally be at home during the day to look after the pups can apply.

We’re also looking for puppy walkers as we’re quite low on numbers at the moment and could really do with some more volunteers."

– Dave Raymond, breed scheme manager at the force's dog unit
The pups Credit: SWNS

£1 million appeal to build new RSPCA veterinary suite

A dog at an RSPCA waiting room Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

RSCPA Leicestershire has launched the biggest appeal in its history to build a new veterinary suite.

The £1 million scheme was launched at Leicester's Woodside Animal Centre where it will be built.

The Care 4 Paws appeal will allow animals to remain on site for treatment instead of having to be transported around the region.


Firm vows pig superfarm would include odour control

The company behind a controversial £15 million pig superfarm have said they made significant changes on original plans which were rejected in 2011.

Before and after: what the site looks like now (above) and what it would look like if the plans are approved Credit: ITV News Central

Midland Pig Producers say fully-enclosed buildings will be installed over loading bay areas, while odour control systems will be put in to the pig units.

A storm tank to deliver clean water run-off will also be used.

If approved, it would be the biggest such farm in the UK Credit: ITV News Central

A big campaign was launched in opposition to the development in the past, including support from celebrities including Dominic West, Pauline Quirke and Lucy Pargeter.

If approved, it would be the largest such farm in the UK.

£15m pig super-farm plans to go on public view

The super-farm would cost £15 million to build Credit: ITV News Central

Revised plans to build a £15 million pound pig super-farm in Derbyshire will go on public view today.

The farm at Foston would be the biggest in the UK and would house 25,000 animals.

The proposed site at Foston Credit: ITV News Central

Original plans put forward in 2009 were rejected.

RSPCA hunt passenger who left kitten on train

Dumped kitten Thomas with RSPCA officer Scott Vanes Credit: BPM Media

RSPCA officials are hunting a rail passenger who dumped a kitten in a train carriage.

The animal, which has been nicknamed Thomas, was handed over to staff at Birmingham New Street Station after being found in a basket on a train from Sutton Coldfield.

A ginger-haired suspect was earlier captured on CCTV cameras at Sutton Station carrying a cat container.

CCTV grab of the person believed to have dumped the kitten Credit: BPM Media

"Luckily this cat was found and was unharmed.

“But it must have been quite scary for him watching so many people get on and off the train and hearing strange noises.

“Despite his ordeal Thomas is doing really well, and he is a lovely, friendly little fella.”

– RSPCA officer Scott Vanes


Amazing X-Ray of a ball of string swallowed by a cat

X-Ray shows the string was twisted in her stomach and intestines. Credit: Birmingham Mail

An X-Ray taken from Roxy, an 11-month-old cat from King's Heath Birmingham, shows where a ball of string became lodged in her stomach after chewing her favourite toy.

The Siamese cat was rushed to YourVets Wythall Clinic near her home, after her owner discovered her choking on pieces of string from her favourite toy.

Roxy is an 11-month-old Siamese cat from Kings Heath. Credit: Birmingham Mail

Roxy was immediately operated on by two surgeons in a complex procedure to remove all of string.

She is now completely back to normal and vets have urged that owners must supervise their pets at all times when playing with toys of any kind.

Rare Zebra shark born at Sea Life Centre

A baby Zebra shark has been born at Birmingham's National Sea Life Centre Credit: National Sea Life Centre

A rare Zebra shark has been born at Birmingham's National Sea Life Centre.

The two-day old pup hatched from an egg that was donated by an American aquarium.

Sea Life staff are delighted with the new addition because the fish is on the Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of threatened species.

Shock as female snake has 'virgin birth' in safari park

A female snake has had a 'virgin birth' at West Midlands Safari Park Credit: Erwin Patzelt/DPA/Press Association Images

A female snake has given birth despite never being near a male.

The Green Anaconda at West Midlands Safari Park shares a habitat with another female and experts say it is a 'virgin birth'.

They say the 'neonates' are clones of the mother.

What had occurred is known to scientists as parthenogenesis, literally Greek for ‘virgin birth’, and this appears to be first time the process has been documented for anacondas. This form of virgin birth has only been reported on in very rare occasions in the past - in a rattlesnake, a rainbow boa, garter snakes and a Komodo dragon.

– Mark O’Shea, Consultant Curator of Reptiles

Red-heads get free entry at zoo celebrating World Orangutan Day

Batu is the only male Orangutan at Twycross Credit: Twycross Zoo

People with red hair are to get free entry at Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire today, to celebrate World Orangutan Day.

The number of the endangered species left in the wild has declined by half in the past 60 years.

Twycross is the only zoo in the UK to have all four types of Great Ape, part of that selection being 4 Bornean orangutans - one male, and three female, including a three-year-old.

Three-year-old Molly Credit: Twycross Zoo
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